Let’s make up quick a dip for New Year’s Eve that we can place on a tray of snacking vegetables. Now, since we’re making it up from scratch, we don’t want to have the same old ranch-style dip that comes in 55 gallon drums — at least we think that’s how it’s sold, based on its ubiquitousness. Or the standard French onion dip that’s been around since the 1970s, if not longer. Instead, let’s scratch up something a little different.
We fully admit that we hit the Internet in the search of a dip recipe. We don’t really eat dip (except salsa), so we don’t have a store of recipes, but we did want to make one up to go with a plate of veggies. No, it wasn’t for New Year’s Eve, either; instead, it was for a church social coffee hour. We thought that a nice veggie tray would be a good way for people to ease into a healthier mode of eating for the New Year. The dip that we base this one on can be found here. Ours is a bit different, reflecting the fact that we never buy mayonnaise. We would have made some, but we also realize that, in a group, there may be people concerned about eating raw eggs, so we simply omitted it.
Makes 2 cups
Sometimes, even we cheat. We admit it, we used store-bought sour cream, rather than scratching up a batch ourselves. In our defense, we’re saving the heavy cream for a batch of homemade ice cream and sour cream was on sale. The buttermilk, as always was home made; we always have some in the fridge. It’s there mainly to make the dip a bit more liquid-y, not enough so that it’s pourable, mind you, but just a bit thinner. For spices and flavorings, make sure to use smoked paprika, as you want the smoky flavor, not the paprika flavor. That’s also why we added a touch of liquid smoke; after tasting, we wanted the dip to be a little more smoky, but it already had enough paprika flavor. Liquid smoke filled the bill.
Procedure in detail:
Here’s why home-made dips are a great place to start your adventure in cooking from scratch. They’re nothing more than mix, chill, and serve. Five minutes, tops. Of course, that also means there really isn’t much happening, so we only have two photos.
Mix. In a small bowl, or other container (our dip was going to be traveling, so we made it in a plastic tub with a lid), measure out all the ingredients, and stir. If you’re concerned about one of the spices overwhelming your dip — we were about the garlic and salt — add about half the amount called for, then stir until thoroughly mixed. Taste, and add more seasonings as needed. We kept a few celery sticks handy during the mixing process.
Chill. We think that all dips benefit from a short time of settling and melding, so place the dip in the fridge overnight, or for at least a few hours before serving. You might even want to give the dip a taste right before serving and adjust the seasonings.
Serve. Just set the dip out with the veggies and watch it go.
As we said up above, we don’t really eat dips that often, so it’s hard for us to judge how it tastes. To us, it was nice to have the smoky flavor which isn’t found in most veggie dips, but the real taste test is what people at the church social hour think of it (we were making it for them, not us). And they gave it a big thumbs-up, at least four stars’ worth!