Cooking On A Budget: Spreads, Dips and Salad Dressings

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Spreads, Dips and Salad Dressings

Yum
Black Olive Spread

1- 8 oz. bar cream cheese - room temperature
1/3 cup finely minced black olives
1/4 cup finely minced walnuts
1 tsp. granulated garlic
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. white or black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. half and half or milk


Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Using a hand held mixer combine all ingredients.  Serve with crackers, bread sticks or any vegetables of your choice.

Walnut Cream Cheese
 1- 8 oz. bar cream cheese - room temperature
Celery stalks for stuffing
 1/4 cup finely minced walnuts
1 tbsp. half and half or milk

Place the softened cream cheese, walnuts and half and half in a mixing bowl. Using a hand held mixer combine all ingredients. Using a paring knife or peeler, remove the stringy out part of the celery. Depending on the size, cut the stalks in thirds or in half.  Thoroughly wash the celery and stuff each one with the mixture.

You can use this as a spread on crackers, or thin it out with more half and half for a dip with other vegetables.

Garlic Herb Cream Cheese Dip
1-8 oz. bar cream cheese-room temperature
1 tbsp. granulated garlic
1 1/2 tsp. dried chives
1 tsp. dried dill
1 to 2 tbsp. half and half
Salt to taste

Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and blend with a spoon or use a hand held mixer.  Add in additional half and half to achieve the consistency you like. Service with crackers, bread sticks or vegetables.

Blue Cheese Dressing
1-8 oz. bar cream cheese-room temperature
1 cup half and half
1/2 lb. crumbed blue cheese
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 cups good mayonnaise
1 tbsp. granulated garlic
Salt to taste

Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and blend with a hand held mixer.

Thousand Island Dressing
1 quart mayonnaise
1 cup ketchup
1/2 medium red onion diced
4 sweet Gherkin pickles finely diced
1 sweet red pepper - seeds removed and finely diced
1 celery stalk - outer strings removed and finely diced
2 hard boiled eggs - finely chopped
1 tbsp. dried parsley flakes
Salt and black pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and blend with a spoon or use a hand held mixer.  This makes 1 quart of dressing and will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks, maybe longer if sealed properly.

Cold Crab Meat Dip
1-6 1/2 can crab meat
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tbsp. dried parsley flakes
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. Worchestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and blend with a spoon or use a hand held mixer. Chill for at least one hour and then serve with chips, crackers, bread sticks or vegetables.  Keep any left overs refrigerated.  Lasts up to 4 or 5 days in the refrigerator.

Artichoke Dip
2 cans artichoke hearts - drained and finely chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups mayonnaise
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. granulated garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and blend with a spoon.  Put the mixture in a casserole dish and bake in the oven at 350 degrees until the top is a light golden brown and the mixture is bubbling.  Serve with your favorite cracker, bread sticks, vegetables or pita chips (recipe for pita chips follows).

Baked Pita Chips
1 pkg. pita chips
1 stick of butter - melted
1 1/2 tbsp. granulated garlic
1 tbsp. fresh garlic - finely minced (or use jar garlic)
1 1/2 tsp. dried basil

Blend the melted butter, garlic, granulated garlic and basil together.  Slice pita bread down the middle.  Cut into triangles. Spread the butter mixture on the chips and place them on a sheet pan and bake in a 350 degree oven until golden brown.

Bread Dipping Oil
This recipe I created and used in my restaurant.  It makes quite a bit but will last in the refrigerator for at least 2 - 3 months. For that to happen you must use all dried spices and a jar garlic.

8 cups balsamic vinegar
4 cups extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup chopped jar garlic - recommended
1 cup crushed red pepper flakes
1/3 cup oregano
2 tbsp. thyme
2 tbsp. black pepper
1/2 cup basil
Salt to taste

In a bowl combine all of the ingredients and whisk together to blend. Serve with any kind of rustic bread that is either fresh or even slightly toasted.
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