No Super Bowl party menu is complete without dips

Today, we know something about Super Bowl XLVIII that we didn't know when preseason games started way back in August. We know that crab and beer need to be on the menu because the Seattle Seahawks will be playing the Denver Broncos in Sunday's game. (6:30 p.m. kickoff, Fox, from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.)

Beer? When isn't beer on a football party menu?

Yeah, it's there for drinking, but since Denver is one of the nation's hot spots for microbreweries, and home to the annual Great American Beer Festival (Oct. 2-4), think about adding beer to food. (Seattle's no slouch in the microbrew arena either.)

So to satisfy the beer requirement, we recommend Beer Dip. And if you can't get your hands on Dale's Pale Ale, brewed in Longmont not far from Denver, go for another mild beer. I like Rolling Rock, but to salute the growing Tampa Bay craft beer movement, make the herby dip with Cigar City Brewing's Invasion Pale Ale.

So beer, check.

Now the crab. Seattle, like San Francisco, whom the Seahawks beat for the Super Bowl berth, is known for its Dungeness crab. The sweet meat is typically pried from the shell, dragged through melted butter and devoured. Alaskan king crab is on plenty of Seattle menus, too.

A great way to stretch expensive crab for a party crowd is to incorporate it into dip. In fact, dip is a required offering at any party, football-centric or not. Today, we recommend several dip recipes that will work as totable potluck contributions or as yet another dish on your own party table.

Dips can be made in advance. Even hot dips can be assembled a day ahead and baked just before guests arrived. Make sure you bring ice-cold glass baking dishes to room temperature before putting into a hot oven or you'll risk cracks or worse.

We won't be so picky about what crab is headed for our dip. At Christmas, I used some expensive lump crab for a hot dip that got great praise all around. It also set me back about $60 at the fish market. Well, it was the holidays.

I've had good luck with pasteurized crabmeat purchased at the seafood counter at the grocery store. Again, I let my wallet guide me. If I am flush, I go for the most lump meat, and mix with claw or backfin.

You can use canned crabmeat, too. I find this the least satisfying because the meat itself breaks apart and becomes almost like canned tuna. Whatever kind you use, mix it gently to keep the meat in pieces as big as possible.

Crackers and other salty, sturdy dippers, like pita and bagel chips, are good with hot dips. But don't forget the crudites: Cold, fresh and crunchy vegetables are always welcome on a party menu that trends toward over-the-top.

Crab not on the budget? Consider Loaded Baked Potato Dip, for which the potato comes from the chips; there are no spuds in the mixture. Another party favorite no matter what teams are in the Super Bowl is Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip. (It would certainly be perfect if the Buffalo Bills could ever make it to the big show.) This dip pulls together all the flavors of wings without the mess of the bones. Ice-cold celery and sturdy crackers are great dippers.

Janet K. Keeler can be reached at jkeeler@tampabay.com. Follow @RoadEats on Twitter.

>>EASY

Loaded Baked Potato Dip

Don't look for potato in the ingredient list. There isn't any. The potato comes from the chips that you use as dippers. Sturdy potato chips work best.

16 ounces sour cream

16 slices (12-ounce package) bacon, cooked and crumbled

8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)

cup thinly sliced scallions or chives

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving to allow flavors to meld. Garnish with extra shredded cheese, crumbled bacon and chopped chives. Serve with your favorite potato chips or pretzel crisps. Dip can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Makes 4 cups.

Source: Browneyedbaker.com

>>EASY

Beer Dip

This thick dip is best served with sturdy pretzel rods.

1 package Hidden Valley dip mix (original flavor)

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

6 ounces beer

6 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

In a medium bowl, blend dip mix, cream cheese and beer until smooth. Stir in shredded cheese. Refrigerate for about an hour before serving.

Makes 3 cups.

Source: Tailgating.com

>>Easy

Hot Crab Dip

1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, free of shells

1 cup grated pepper jack cheese

¾ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup grated Parmesan

¼ cup scallions, minced, optional

5 to 6 roasted garlic cloves or 2 cloves minced

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

½ teaspoon dry mustard

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine all of the ingredients in a casserole and gently stir until thoroughly mixed. Bake for 40 minutes. Serve hot with crackers or toast points.

Source: Food Network

>>EASY

Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

½ cup blue cheese

½ cup hot wing sauce (or less, if you don't want it so spicy)

½ cup chopped celery

2 cups cooked, shredded chicken

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with blue cheese on low speed until well incorporated. Add wing sauce and mix well. By hand, stir in celery and chicken until evenly incorporated.

Spread in shallow casserole dish that can also be used as a serving piece. Layer with shredded cheddar cheese and bake for 30 minutes.

Source: Tampa Bay Times

No Super Bowl party menu is complete without dips 01/27/14 [Last modified: Monday, January 27, 2014 5:04pm]

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