Esta's Kitchen: The Superbowl Dip of Champions
By: Esta Buchanan, February 1, 2012
Don Parkinson - Esta stocks up on her favorite ingredients.
Before we dive into this week’s column, I just wanted to mention how much FUN we had at the MVY Big Chili Contest this past weekend! I met so many great contestants and some rather interesting tasters! It was crazy, it was hilarious and Ima need a year to recover. Rooms might need a year and a half... Thank you everyone and hope to see you next year!! To see exactly how much fun we had, check out our photo gallery!
So from what I understand, there is a “big” game this weekend. I don’t know a lot about football—and I can promise you that’s not going to change anytime soon—but everyone seems pretty fired up about it.
I know two things about this game thus far: I’m sick of hearing about it on Facebook, and to me, a Superbowl is just an excuse to have some good food. Preferably, fried food.
Last year Wads and I invented the homemade version of an Awesome Blossom or Blooming Onion, whatever you want to call it. I prefer the term Awesome Blossom because you can also use it for an expression. Example: If someone says to me “Hey EB, I just laughed so hard at your column I peed myself,” then my reply is “Awesome Blossom!”
But I digress. Last year’s Blossom was a success, if I remember correctly. There may or may not have been some peppermint schnapps involved, so it’s a little fuzzy. This year, I’ll be trying to top myself (sans Wads) with Beer Battered Onion Rings. I’ll let you know how they turn out.
Side note: My Superbowl greatness is made possible through the use of a turkey fryer owned by my friend JBar. If you don’t own a turkey fryer yourself then I suggest you find a friend who does.
All the food groups in one dip
So, in honor of all you football fans, here is a great dip perfect for game day. I’m calling it Jalapeno Popper Beer Dip.
The Superbowl Dip of Champions
(aka Jalapeno Popper Beer Dip)
- 2 pkgs. cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup Ojai’s Lemonaise or mayonnaise
- 2 scallions, diced
- ¼ heaping cup diced pickled jalapenos (more if you want it extra spicy)
- 2 cups shredded cheese (I used 1 cup Monterey Jack and 1 cup mozzarella)
- 6 T beer
- 1 T garlic powder
- Several dashes hot sauce (again, add more for extra spice)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 T lemon juice (if using regular mayo)
- 2 cups panko crumbs
- ½ stick of butter melted
Mix the first 10 ingredients. Spread mixture in a pie plate. Mix melted butter and panko crumbs and layer on top of cheese mixture. Bake at 350 degrees until mixture is bubbling on the edges and the top is browned, about 20 minutes.
Most importantly, this dip combines two of my great loves: Sonic and Cream Cheese. The third, of course, is beer.
I know many of you damn Yankees aren’t familiar with the famous food chain “Sonic,” but that is really just too bad for you, ‘cause it’s fantabulous.
Whenever I visit Arkansas I send ahead a list of food demands. At the top of the list is always a visit to Sonic. This is not your normal fast food chain: this is the fast food Mecca. They have a breakfast burrito bigger than your hand, pancake on a stick, cherry limeades, and jalapeno poppers just to name a few. The closest Sonic to the Cape is in Wilmington, and don’t think me and my Southern friend from high school (who now lives in Boston) haven’t been there. Jalapeno poppers were purchased and eaten.
If you’ve never eaten a jalapeno popper, I question whether or not you’ve really lived. You don’t even have to like jalapenos to enjoy it. You just have to enjoy life. It’s a seedless jalapeno, stuffed with cream cheese, battered and deep-fried. Does anyone see the issue here? I thought not.
My second love in this recipe is cream cheese, the world’s most perfect food. There is really no need to wax poetic about it any further: it’s just a truth. There is nothing it won’t go with, savory or sweet. Go ahead, challenge me. Thousands have tried, all have failed. In fact, I’m so sure about this that if you send in a challenge I will make it and write a column about it (beer or not) just to prove me right and you wrong.
Take a walk on the spicy side
A few things about this recipe: The amount of jalapenos you use is completely up to you. The amount I decided upon was perfect for me, but some of my friends who enjoy the spicier side of life thought it should have more.
I used a strong craft beer for this dip because I wanted to add another layer to the mixture, and you need something to cut through that heavy cream cheese taste.
Recently, I have become obsessed with really good mayonnaise. I don’t understand this, but I have discovered uncharted territory in the world of mayo. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to go back to regular Hellmann’s. I’m currently favoring something called Lemonaise by a company called “Ojai Cook.” It has lemon in it (obviously) so the mayo has a delightful tang. I mention this because I used Lemonaise in the recipe. And if you are not a mayo snob like I am now, you will need to add some freshly squeezed lemon juice to the mixture.
P.S. If you are among the peons of the world who think “Miracle Whip” is not made from plastic, please stop reading and never come back. Your kind is not welcome here.