Free Recipe Dips Info (1 of 9)
Recipe Type: Free Dip Recipes
Recipe Preparation: cook
Recipe Serves: 1
Ingredients for Dips Info (1 of 9) Recipe
DIPS Dictionary follows
(This is Part 1 of 9)
Dips Info (1 of 9) Preparation
In this file, I will try and give some ideas about what you can use for the dips in the other files that I will be posting. ********* * BASES * ********* Although dips come in countless varieties, most start with one of the following bases, to which seasonings and ingredients are added to give each dip its own distinctive flavor and personality. Each base has it own character and is particularly suited in bringing out the best of the ingredients that are added. Likewise, the base will influence what kind of dipper is called for. SOUR CREAM: The classic base of the good old-fashioned all-American chip dip, sour cream is a perennial favorite because it mixes so well with a wide range of flavorings. Its smooth consistency and slightly tangy flavor make it a good companion for veggies of all sorts, and its stark whiteness simply begs for the addition of colorful specks. Sour cream dips should be thoroughly chilled before serving time to allow the flavors of all the other ingredients to blend well into the sour cream. People on low-fat diets can be consoled by the knowledge that yogurt can be easily substituted for the sour cream in most cases. CREAM CHEESE: Cream cheese added to sour cream is the royalty of dip bases as far as I am concerned. The tow are perfect foils for each other’s inherent tastes, resulting in a neutral base that allows the flavor of other ingredients to stand out. The addition of cream cheese to sour cream also thickens the mixture sufficiently sot that heavier ingredients (such as diced veggies) will float in the dip instead of sinking to the bottom of the bowl. (NOTE: Don’t try to use cream cheese alone as a base for dry ingredients. It will most likely do in even the most sturdiest of dippers unless it’s mixed with something more liquid.) Buy the cream cheese in block form. The whipped variety in the tub has air whipped into it, and it will play havoc with your measurements. Before blending with other ingredients, let the cream cheese soften to room temperature and then cream it–mash it to a smooth consistency with a sturdy spoon in a mixing bowl. NOTE: this is fairly easy to do by hand once the cheese has softened.) MAYONNAISE: The traditional dressing of Europe, mayonnaise is now at home as a base for New World dips. Its natural blandness makes an ideal backdrop for herb flavorings, which it tends to absorb quickly. Mayonnaise is often successfully teamed with sour cream. Mayonnaise based dips are best with veggie and seafood dippers as well as with any meat that you might use in a salad. Mayo dips must be watched carefully and ABSOLUTELY cannot be left out in the heat, as the raw egg yolks in the mayonnaise give it a very short life span. Although you certainly can use the convienent store-bought kind, you might want to try this recipe for homemade mayonnaise–it tastes better and is relatively easy to make. The dip recipes in the other files will assume that you are using the store-bought kind. If you use this recipe, omit any additional oil called for in the recipes. HOMEMADE MAYONNAISE: 2 1/2 Tsp Lemon Juice 3 Large Egg Yolks 1/8 Tsp White Pepper 1/8 Tsp Salt 1 1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil USING A FOOD PROCESSOR: Fit a food processor with the steel blade and place the egg yolks, lemon juice, pepper, and salt in the bowl. Blend until smooth. While continuing to process, very slowly drizzle the oil through the feed tube. Continue until all of the oil is used and the mayonnaise thickens. BY HAND: Using a whisk, beat the egg yolks, lemon juice, pepper and salt until well blended. Slowly add the oil by the 1/2 tsp, whisking constantly. Continue until all of the oil is used and the mayonnaise is thickened. Makes 1 3/4 Cups Of mayonnaise YOGURT AND COTTAGE CHEESE: Yogurt is often the costar of a dip base, used either to thin the mixture or to impart a tangier flavor. Be sure to use the plain, unflavored yogurt as Vanilla will NOT do. A lot of people are partial to using cottage cheese, which adds an interesting texture to dips. A dip base that includes cottage cheese holds up with the addition of large chunks of vegetables and works particularly well with cracker dippers. In some recipes the cottage cheese must first be creamed, as you would the cream cheese. (In this case you are breaking up the curds.) BEANS: Bean dips came onto the scene with the widespread emergence of ethnic food some 20 years ago and have remained extremely popular ever since. Beans mix well with cheeses and strong spices, producing distinctive earthy-colored dips that are best accompanied by chip and bread dippers. As most bean dips have ethnic roots, you should pair them with dippers of similar origins. (Middle Eastern garbanzo bean dip with pita triangle, for example.) Dried beans, which are less expensive than the canned variety, must first be soaked for several hour and then cooked until fork-tender. Canned beans are already cooked and thus are more convenient but come packed in floured water that must be thoroughly rinsed off before you use them. From Gemini’s MASSIVE MealMaster collection at www.synapse.com/~gemini
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