I planned our Super Bowl menu around this dip. Thankfully, it was very well received! I served it in the skillet and we scooped it out onto individual plates to gobble up with tortilla chips. Some chips may have also been dipped directly into the pan. 😉
The recipe was adapted from a Bon Appétit “healthyish” recipe, contributed by Shilpa Uskokovic. The original recipe convinced me to use American cheese slices in the queso layer to help it emulsify and to keep the cheese layer from solidifying.
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped (I used a food processor)
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped (I used a food processor)
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
3 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, finely chopped (I used a food processor)
2 (15 oz) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 T Diamond Crystal or 1 3/4 tsp Morton kosher salt
1 T apple cider vinegar
For the Queso & Assembly:
2 tsp adobo from a can of chipotle chiles in adobo
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp Diamond Crystal or Morton kosher salt, plus more
4 oz yellow American cheese, coarsely grated or chopped or torn if using singles (about 1 cup) (I used 6 Trader Joe’s singles)
3 oz Monterey Jack or pepper Jack cheese, coarsely grated (about 3/4 cup)
2 ripe avocados, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
freshly squeezed juice from half a lime
1/4 cup (4 T) sour cream
1/2 cup good-quality salsa, drained if watery (I used Trader Joe’s Garlic Chipotle salsa)
1 (4 oz) can fire-roasted, diced green chilies or 1/4 cup sliced pickled jalapeños
4 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
1/4 cup (packed) coarsely chopped cilantro
tortilla chips, for serving
To Make the Beans:
Melt the butter, cut into pieces, in a medium deep skillet over medium heat. (I used a 10-inch cast iron skillet.)
Add the chopped onion, stirring often, until tender and translucent, about 8 minutes. Monitor the heaat, and continue to cook, stirring often, until onion is pale golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes more.
With the pan over medium heat, and add the chopped garlic cloves and cumin. Cook, stirring, until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add chopped chipotle chiles, pinto beans, rinsed, and salt. Pour in 1 cup water and bring to a simmer, mashing beans with a potato masher until mostly smooth.
Cook, stirring often, until most of liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes. (Beans should be risotto-like in consistency, loose enough to fall off a spoon.)
Remove from heat and stir in apple cider vinegar. Cover and keep warm.
To Make the Queso & To Assemble the Dip:
Whisk adobo, cumin, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Add chopped/grated American cheese and cook, whisking vigorously, just until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth, about 1 minute.
Remove from heat and add grated Monterey Jack; whisk until cheese is melted and queso is smooth (return to low heat briefly if needed). (I cooked it over low for about 2 minutes to melt the additional cheese.)
Using your hands to avoid bruising, toss the avocados pieces with lime juice and a large pinch of salt in a medium bowl.
Uncover beans and pour queso over.
Top with dollops of sour cream, followed by salsa, diced chilies, and then avocados.
Scatter sliced scallions and chopped cilantro over the top.
Serve dip warm in skillet with tortilla chips.
Do ahead: Beans can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Reheat over medium-low, thinning with water and seasoning with salt as needed.
I used my beautiful CSA basil to make this flavorful vinaigrette. We ate it drizzled over my CSA tomatoes and cucumbers from a friend. We also enjoyed it on sourdough baguette slices. Great.
This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Melissa Rubel Jacobson. The original recipe notes that it would also be great on grilled chicken or fish, on corn, or in pasta or panzanella salad.
Yield: Makes 1/3 cup
1 small garlic clove
1 cup packed basil leaves
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 to 2 T sherry or Champagne vinegar
pinch of crushed red pepper
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a food processor, pulse the garlic until chopped.
Add the basil and pulse until finely chopped.
Add the oil, vinegar and crushed red pepper and process until smooth.
My daughter recently had a camp out with a few friends in our backyard. They slept in a giant, 14-person tent. What fun! 🙂 The camping was combined with another event on their summer bucket list- a “dip-night.” (inspired by TikTok 😉 )
The girls each contributed a different dip, savory or sweet, to create the feast. We made this Mexican layer dip and served it with tortilla chips and Trader Joe’s corn dippers. The recipe was adapted from ThePioneerWoman.com. I loved that her version incorporated warm beans as the base of the dip. It was an easy crowd-pleaser.
1 can refried beans (I used Trader Joe’s Fat Free Refried Beans)
hot sauce, such as Tabasco or Cholula, to taste (I omitted it for this crowd)
1 can diced green chilies (I used Trader Joe’s mild green chilies)
ground cumin, to taste
3/4 to 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (mild or sharp)
tortilla chips (and/or other corn chips), for serving
Begin by heating the refried beans in a small pan over medium-low heat.
Add one or two dashes of hot sauce, if using, and a small can of undrained diced green chilies. Stir well.
Sprinkle the bean-chile mixture with a little bit of ground cumin. Stir to incorporate.
Spread the beans on the bottom of a glass bowl or high-sided or wide serving dish.
Sprinkle the shredded cheddar evenly over the top.
Next, dollop the sour cream over the cheese. Spread it into a single layer, as much as possible, being careful not to disturb the cheese underneath.
The next layer is the guacamole. (I used my favorite guacamole recipe (link above) using 2 avocados and garlic-chipotle salsa. This time, I omitted our traditional add-ins of chopped tomatoes and red onions.)
Next, sprinkle an even layer of shredded Monterey Jack cheese over the guacamole.
Top with a generous layer of Pico de Gallo.
Sprinkle chopped black olives over the top, if using.
Microwave an ear of fresh corn for 1 minute on high. When cool enough to handle, place upright in a bowl and slice of the kernels. Sprinkle the kernels over the top as the final layer.
Garnish with jalapeños and cilantro, if desired. Serve with tortilla chips.
Broccolini is one of the most prized items that I receive in my CSA share. Eating it with a cheesy dip was a wonderful way to enjoy it.
This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart Living. We ate the leftover dip with pita chips- which was also a good vehicle. It was also delicious with sliced radishes. Easy and tasty.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer
1 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
2/3 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
2 T extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
broccolini, for serving
pita chips, for serving
Bring a pot of water to a boil; season with salt. Fill a large bowl with ice water.
Blanch the broccolini in the salted, boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds, until bright green and tender. Remove and place in the ice water until cool. Drain, pat dry with paper towels, and set aside to continue to dry while you prepare the dip.
Combine the Pecorino, ricotta, 2 T olive oil, and lemon juice.
Season with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
Drizzle with olive oil and more pepper. (I used Tuscan herb olive oil for the drizzle.)
Many years ago, my husband and I first tried Romesco sauce while on vacation in Barcelona. It was served with grilled ramps. We were instant fans! Using jarred fire-roasted red peppers as a shortcut is an absolute genius way to create it. I served the meatballs and sauce in this dish with slices of sourdough baguette to sop up every last drop. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Sara Frost. I modified the proportions. The original recipe notes that the delicious sauce can add richness to other lean proteins such as fish, pan-roasted chicken breast and can also be used as a dip for vegetables. Next time, I may serve this dish with grilled scallions. Yum.
My son ate the leftover meatballs and baguette as a luxurious sandwich with melted cheese, topped with Romesco sauce, of course. This dish could also be served as a fabulous appetizer.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
1 3/4 lbs ground turkey
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
1/2 cup panko
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp paprika
4 to 6 T finely chopped parsley, plus more coarsely chopped for serving
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
2 T plus 1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup toasted almonds (I used toasted sliced almonds)
1 12 to 16-oz jar fire-roasted peppers in water, drained (I used Trader Joe’s)
2 to 4 small garlic cloves, crushed (I used a garlic press)
1 T red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
finely grated zest of half of a lemon
crusty bread, for serving, optional (I served it with a sourdough baguette)
Preheat oven to 425°. (I set my oven to convection roast.)
Using your hands, mix ground turkey, eggs, panko, cumin, onion powder, paprika, parsley, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt in a large bowl.
Working one at a time, use a 1 1/2-inch scoop out to ration out the mixture. (I had 28 meatballs.) Place on a plate.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium. (I used a large stainless steel “all-in-one” pan.)
Working in 2 batches, cook meatballs until golden brown all over, about 2 minutes per side.
Transfer skillet with all of the meatballs to oven and bake until cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes.
While the meatballs are baking, pulse almonds in a food processor until coarsely ground. Transfer to a medium bowl.
Pulse drained fire-roasted peppers, garlic, vinegar, and cayenne in food processor until almost smooth.
Transfer to bowl with almonds and stir in remaining 1/2 cup oil; season Romesco sauce with salt, to taste.
Spoon romesco sauce onto a platter or into shallow bowls; arrange meatballs on top.
Finely grate lemon zest over and scatter coarsely chopped parsley on top. Serve with crusty bread, as desired.
We have pizza night once a week- usually on Sundays. We vary the type and toppings, of course. 🙂 During the initial lockdown, we started experimenting with many variations of garlic knots to eat with our special pizza. I now realize that pizzeria versions are soaked in an incredible amount of oil. I opted for a drizzle before and after baking instead.
We made them with different doughs and determined that a 24-hour pizza dough (one of my favorites) resulted in our preferred garlic knots. We also attempted to make them with sourdough pizza dough (of course!) but they were too puffy. We experimented with different baking temperatures as well. I found that a higher oven temperature and shorter baking time resulted in more tender garlic knots.
This recipe makes two batches of eight knots; I froze half and thawed them in the refrigerator prior to baking with excellent results. Great.
Yield: about 16 garlic knots
For the Dough:
153 grams (1 1/4 cups) 00 Flour
153 grams (1 1/4 cups) King Arthur All-Purpose Flour
8 grams (scant 2 teaspoons) fine sea salt
2 grams (scant 1/2 teaspoon) active dry yeast OR 4 grams (scant 1 teaspoon) fresh yeast
4 grams (scant 1 teaspoon) good olive oil
202 grams (1 cup minus 1 T) lukewarm water
For the Topping: (make half if freezing half of the garlic knots)
5 to 6 T extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 pinches coarse salt
dash of red pepper flakes, or more to taste, optional
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional
marinara sauce, optional
minced parsley, for garnish, optional
To Make the Dough (24 to 48-hours in advance):
In a bowl, thoroughly combine the flours and salt; make a well in the center.
In a separate bowl, thoroughly combine the yeast, olive oil, and lukewarm water.
Pour the wet mixture into the well in the dry mixture and begin mixing the two together with your hands, gradually incorporating the dry into the wet. This process will be more like mixing than kneading.
After about 3 minutes, when the wet and dry are well combined, set the mixture aside and let it rest, uncovered, for 15 minutes. This allows time for the flour to absorb the moisture.
Flour your hands and the work surface. Gently but firmly knead the mixture on the work surface for about 3 minutes. Reflour your hands and the surface as necessary. The dough will be nice and sticky, but after a few minutes of kneading it should come together into a smooth mass.
Divide the dough into 2 pieces, shape them gently into balls, and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate the dough for at least 24 and up to 48 hours before using. This process, called proofing, allows for the fermentation that gives the dough structure- which results in a chewy, pliable crust with great flavor.
To Shape the Dough:
Roll each dough ball into an 8-inch log.
Using a knife or bench scraper, cut each log into 8 pieces (approximately 1-inch each and equal in size).
Roll each piece into and 8-inch long rope. (You will have 16 ropes.)(I did this by hand but my kids also used a rolling pin.)
Tie each rope into a knot. (The ends can be tucked underneath or left out.)
Arrange the knots on two aluminum foil-lined baking sheets. (I ultimately preferred aluminum foil over parchment paper because of the high oven temperature.)(At this point some of the garlic knots can be frozen- see note below.)
Lightly cover and let them rest in a warm spot for at least 30 minutes, or up to 45 minutes. (I used a proofing oven.)
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 500 degrees. (I used the baking stone setting with a stone placed in the lowest position.)
When the rise time is nearly complete, prepare the topping.
To Prepare the Topping:
Combine the olive oil, minced garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes, if using, in a small skillet.
Cook for about 1 minute, or until fragrant. Remove from heat and reserve.
To Bake & Serve the Garlic Knots:
When the rise time is complete, brush the top of the garlic knots with a little more than half of the garlic-olive oil topping.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and brush with remaining garlic-olive oil topping.
Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan and/or parsley, as desired. Serve plain or with marinara sauce for dipping.
Note: Cover and store leftover garlic knots in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
To Freeze Dough Prior to Baking: Arrange the shaped knots on a plastic wrap-lined baking sheet. Freeze, uncovered, for 1-2 hours. Remove from the freezer. Knots should be frozen and no longer sticky. Place into a freezer-safe container or bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or on the counter. Bring to room temperature, arrange on 2 foil-lined baking sheets, cover lightly, and allow to rest/rise in a warm spot for 1 hour before baking as above.