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Easy dips, good dippers can make a Super Bowl Sunday spread

Chips and dip are supporting players at any Super Bowl gathering no matter which teams are on the field or what food is the star of the menu.

You can hardly go wrong with the Lipton onion soup mix dip (well, except for all that sodium), but you might want to change up your offering this year. Homemade dips don't take a lot of time to make and the payoff is big. You just might be the only one heading home with a completely empty dish.

There are also all sorts of interesting chips on the market these days, flavored with black pepper, chipotle, sea salt and even the essence of loaded baked potatoes and cheeseburgers. When you match the chips with the dip, make sure the dippers can hold up to stiff mixtures. A plain sturdy chip is always a good choice, and don't forget crackers and pita or bagel chips.

To cut back on calories, salt and fat, consider some of nature's dippers. Veggies add welcome nutrition to the Super Bowl party table, something that's often in short supply on that day. Consider carrots, celery, cucumbers, jicama sticks, cherry or grape tomatoes, zucchini or asparagus spears, cauliflower or broccoli florets, radishes, mushrooms, green beans and pea pods.

Here are some easy dips and suggested dippers for your Super Bowl gathering:

. ONION DIP

Combine 1 cup sour cream, 1 cup mayonnaise, 4 ounces softened cream cheese, 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Chill at least 2 hours in the fridge. Garnish with sliced scallions.

Dippers: Classic potato chips.

. DILL DIP

Combine 1 cup sour cream, 1 cup mayonnaise, 4 ounces softened cream cheese, 2 tablespoons dried dill, 1/2 teaspoon each coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Chill at least 2 hours in the fridge. Garnish with chopped fresh dill or a few shakes of dried. (If you want to use fresh dill in the dip, double the amount, at least.)

Dippers: Root vegetable chips such as Terra.

. BEER DIP

Blend 1 package Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix (original flavor), 2 (8-ounce) packages softened cream cheese, 6 ounces beer and 6 ounces shredded cheddar cheese. Chill at least 2 hours.

Dippers: Pretzel rods.

. FETA DIP

In a food processor or blender, pulse 1 cup crumbled feta cheese, 1/2 cup each sour cream and plain yogurt and 2 peeled garlic cloves until garlic is minced. Season with salt and pepper.

Dippers: Cherry tomatoes or pita chips.

. BUFFALO CHICKEN WING DIP

Combine 16 ounces softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup blue cheese, 1/2 cup hot wing sauce or other hot sauce, 1/2 cup chopped celery and 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken and spread in casserole dish. Sprinkle 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese over top and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Dippers: Celery sticks or multigrain crackers.

. WHITE BEAN DIP

In a food processor, process 2 cans drained and rinsed cannellini or other white beans, 3 cloves garlic, 1/3 cup oil, juice of 1 lemon and 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley.

Dippers: Bagel chips or spicy chips.

. HOT CRAB DIP

Combine 2 (8-ounce) packages softened cream cheese, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, 2 cans drained lump crabmeat, juice from 1 lemon, 2 teaspoons hot sauce and 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce. Spoon into baking dish and bake at 350 degrees until bubbly, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle top with paprika.

Dippers: Water crackers.

Easy dips, good dippers can make a Super Bowl Sunday spread 02/01/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 1, 2011 3:30am]

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