We thought that a New Year's Eve party menu would be primarily appetizers. Dips seemed particularly appropriate!
We made so many dishes that I forgot to take pictures of some of the dishes. Hot chorizo and cheese dip (p. 73) suffered this fate. I only have a final picture:
It was an easy recipe-I sauteed onion in butter, added chorizo, added flour, whisked in milk, and waited until thickened. And waited. And waited. I'm not sure if it was thickened when I said "good enough" but that step took a really long time. Cheddar was then added, along with poblanos, and done! We kept it in a little Crock Pot so it didn't get hard--it was really delicious and slightly spicy. I'm not really into cheese dips so I'm not a good judge of these.
Which might beg the question, why did we make Beer cheese dip in a bread bowl (p. 73)? I think I'm the oddity and that most people really like cheese dips for chips and that certainly seemed the case at the party.
The first step was hallowing out a nice dark rye bread:
I was very nervous about this step! I didn't want to make a hole because then the cheese would leak out. Remember to keep the extra bread for dipping!
I simmered some beer on the stove (beer from the keg!) and then added a cornstarch/water mixture. When the beer thickened up (strange), I added a mixture of cheddar, cream cheese, blue cheese, Dijon mustard, and Worchestershire sauce that I had mixed in another bowl.
And I added it to the bread bowl:
No leaks! It was really good--pretty much like every beer cheese dip I've ever had. I thought that the blue cheese lent it a nice tangy quality that most dips don't have. Rachel said this was her favorite dish of the night and happily ate most of it. I was pretty excited to have made a bread bowl--it's something that always intimidated me but it was actually pretty simple.
I don't like onions (something I am actually--thankfully--getting over) but Red onion dip (p. 72) is a recipe that I would probably never make for myself. I think part of why I don't like onions is because I am really sensitive to them. Rachel chopped all the onions, I was completely across the kitchen, and my eyes were watering like mad. I'm not sensitive to eating them, thankfully!
Two onions is a LOT of onions--I sauteed them in butter until they were soft and then stirred in a little salt and a little sugar.
When they turned golden brown, I added beef broth, garlic cloves, and thyme.
The mixture was then cooked down until almost all the broth is evaporated. This took forever and I was worried that it was going to burn at the end. A little balsamic vinegar was added and then a cup of sour cream was stirred in:
To me, it tasted exactly like the onion dip that you can buy pre-made at the grocery store. Many of you know my philosophy--I won't make something if it isn't either cheaper or better in homemade form (I don't have that much time!) and I don't think this recipe is cheaper or better than store-bought dip. It's just as good but not better. And it was extremely time-consuming--honestly, I think it took at least an hour, which is way too long for a cold dip.
On a slightly different note, we also made Honey yogurt dip (p. 78). This recipe was exactly the type of dip recipe I like--mix yogurt, honey, mind, and lemon zest together and done!
It's a strange flavor combination--especially the mint. Like many TJOC recipes (pickled grapes anyone) the first couple bites seem gross. Then a couple more bites and it's better. All of a sudden it's totally gone! I didn't eat much of this because we didn't have any fruit (why did we make a fruit dip if we didn't have any fruit? I have no idea). It was good though and I actually think I would make it again. It would be even better with fresh garden mint.