Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Comfort Food, Day 1: AMAZING DIP (GF)

So I decided that I would participate in the 31 Days challenge this year, as I mentioned.  (More information on the challenge, and lots more people's reflections to read, here.) 

I decided that I would write about comfort food.  Now, you may be thinking - the misfit is not a food blogger.  She doesn't even have any formal training in cooking!  It's true.  So let me offer you my qualifications.

I love to eat.  I guess that's actually my principal qualification.  I also love to cook and bake, but eating is definitely first :).  While I have developed somewhat more "expensive taste" as I age, and some of the recipes I make are actually quite involved, my real love - both to eat and to make - is the hearty and simple stuff.  (Not everything I mention will take five minutes, but none of it will require special chef-only skills, because I don't have those myself.) 

So obviously you'll have to form your own opinion about whether any of these ideas are worth trying in your kitchen.  I'll just tell you what I love - you can take it from there.  Which brings us to...

THE BEST DIP EVER

Today I decided to start with a recipe that, in my view, is magical.  Someone brought it to our work Christmas party last year and I think I had six helpings.  There were easily fifty different sweets and treats to choose from and they were all tasty, but I just found myself wandering back to this crock pot every few minutes.  I could tell the stuff was heavy and should be eaten in moderation, but I couldn't help myself.  And yes, of course, by that night I felt distinctly unwell.  That may not sound like an endorsement, but I think it gives you an idea of the deliciousness involved.  Of course any sensible person looking at the finished product could see that this is something to eat by the ounce, not the pound.  I have eaten it many times since, with some degree of restraint, and been fine.  That's the method I recommend. 

It has only three ingredients:

1 lb. ground pork sausage
1 10-oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 8-oz. package of cream cheese

First, make sure all your ingredients are thawed!  (I keep ground sausage and cream cheese in the freezer at all times for various reasons, including this recipe.)  Then, brown the sausage on the stove and drain the fat. 
Then, dump the sausage, the cream cheese, and the can of tomatoes (with their juice) into the crock pot.  It takes probably 90 minutes on low or 30 minutes on high for it to get all melted.  Stir it with a  wooden spoon once and you're in business.  Serve with tortilla chips or whatever you prefer (pita chips, bread, etc.).  With corn tortillas, it's gluten-free, of course. 
A few thoughts:

  • I have the smaller crock pot (the three-quart one that's round, not oval), and this fills it halfway.  Obviously double the recipe to fill the crock pot, or triple it for a bigger crock pot.  But one recipe is quite a bit of dip. 
  • I use savory (not hot) ground sausage, but if you like dips really spicy, you could use hot.  It has plenty of flavor even with the savory, though. 
  • I've substituted salsa for the canned tomatoes and that works fine.  You could also add heat with extra-hot salsa. 
  • I recently found Greek yogurt cream cheese and that's very nice in this, plus maybe a little healthier. 
  • Last time I made this, I added a can of (drained) black beans - just as delicious, and a little more nutritious! 

Of course, I received this recipe from a coworker (and I don't know where she got it).  But my goal this month is not the publication of original recipes.  (I have very few of those.)  I aim simply to let people know about food that's already out there, and is too good to miss.  And since football season is ramping up and the weather's getting colder, I figured this would be a perfect way to start October.  I hope you enjoy it! 

2 comments:

  1. Sounds awesome! Really looking forward to your scrumptious October posts. :)

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  2. This sounds awesome! We have a lot of parties coming up in Oct. so this will definelty be on my list of things to bring.

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