Dip your way through a less-than-stellar football season 

Published 1:30 pm Thursday, October 26, 2023

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By Kara Kimbrough

    What do you do when your football team is playing badly? Find a comfortable spot in the tailgate tent and find solace in the dips. Lack of entertaining football action can be tolerated and in some cases, totally ignored by continuously dipping chips, crackers, chopped vegetables, toasted bread sticks and more into tangy black bean salsa…hot seafood dip…cool and creamy vegetable spread…just a samll sample of the dip delicacies at the Homecoming tent at my alma mater a couple of weeks ago.

   Dips have come a long way since a California housewife mixed a cup of sour cream with Lipton’s onion soup mix in 1952 and called it California dip. Today, there’s a homemade version without the freeze-dried onion bits. And dips served cold, warm, baked, bubbly and hot can be made with every possible ingredient, filler and topping number in the hundreds, possibly thousands of recipes. 

    I enjoy almost every dip known to man, especially those that double as a sandwich spread. Here are just a few of my favorite dip recipes to be enjoyed when your favorite team is playing poorly…or even when it’s not. 

Black Bean Salsa Dip

4 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained well

1 (16 ounce) package frozen shoepeg or yellow corn, thawed

1 green onion, diced

1/4 red onion, finely chopped

2/3 cup olive oil

4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon white sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

   Stir the black beans, corn, green onion and red onion together in a bowl. Whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, cumin and cilantro together, then pour over vegetables (add mixture to taste); then stir. Chill in refrigerator several hours or overnight.

Cold Crab Dip

1 package imitation crab meat, chopped fine

8-ounce cream cheese

16 ounces soup cream

1 packet Hidden Valley ranch seasoning

Small bell pepper, chopped fine

1 small yellow onion, chopped fine

   Mix together crab, bell pepper and onion. Combine cream cheese, sour cream and ranch packet. Mix everything together and refrigerate at least two hours. Serve with crackers or chips or serve on croissant or sliced bread. 

Louisiana Hot Crab Dip

1/2 pound jumbo lump crabmeat,

8-ounce cream cheese

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

3 tablespoons minced green onions (white and green parts)

2 large garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon hot sauce

1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste

   Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine all of the ingredients in a skillet and gently stir until thoroughly mixed. Adjust seasoning to taste. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until lightly golden on top. Serve hot, with hot sauce on the side for those who like it spicy.

Original Cream Cheese Shrimp Dip

8-ounce cream cheese, softened

3/4 pound cooked cleaned shrimp, chopped (about 2 cups)

3/4 cup cocktail sauce

1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

 2 green onions, xhopped fine

   Spread cream cheese onto bottom of shallow bowl. Toss shrimp with cocktail sauce; spoon over cream cheese. Top with remaining ingredients and chill before serving. 

Beefy Cheese Dip

1 pound ground beef

1 pound sausage

2 pounds Velveeta cheese, shredded

16-ounce jar salsa

1 bunch green onions, chopped

   Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir ground beef and sausage in the hot skillet until browned and crumbly, 7-10 minutes. Drain and discard grease. While the meat is cooking, combine Velveeta, salsa and green onions in another large skillet over low heat. Stir constantly until cheese melts.

  Stir meat into the melted cheese mixture until incorporated. Simmer, uncovered, for a few more minutes or until ready to serve.

Creamy Vegetable Dip

8-ounce sour cream

½ cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons dry ranch seasoning mix

1 tablespoon grated onion 

¼ teaspoon dried dill or 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

¼ teaspoon seasoning salt

   Whisk together all the ingredients. Serve with fresh vegetables and/or chips.

   (The flavors get better with time; dip can be made several days in advance and refrigerated until ready to serve.)

Kara Kimbrough is a food and travel writer and travel agent from Mississippi. Email her at kkprco@yahoo.com.

Photo 1: Hot crab dip served in a cast iron skillet is the perfect game day – or anytime – dip.