Sunday, July 25, 2010

Revolutionary Chilli Dip

I like things to be easy.

Recently, my good friend Alex and I went to eat in a small North Carolina town that had a "great I-talian" place. Being unafraid of a small town dive, Alex and I braved the trip and went to eat. I ordered a salad, Chicken Piccata (which gave me confindence in the establishment since they had more than just lasagna and spaghetti). The salad arrived and then the Chicken Piccata was brought out. It looked lovely, and it was served with a side guessed it, spaghetti. I began eating my chicken which was excellent save for the overly crisp artichokes which were somehow introduced to the dish. I then thought, I should try the spaghetti, after all they were nice enough to serve it. MISTAKE! I used my spoon, and twirled those noodles around my fork expecting a nice sauce. Instead I was introduced to Dollar Store spaghetti sauce infused with canned chilli. For crying ourt loud people, it does not take that much time to brown meat to add to spaghetti sauce! So, why am I talking about my trip to North Carolina for Italian while sharing a dip recipe? It turns out that canned chilli is suitable for the base of a wonderful dip.

If you are from the South and many of you are, you will know that we like a good battle. So why not use some darn good shooting dip the next time you do battle with a stack of chips! The basic idea in this dip is simple, chilli and cream cheese. Immediately, you may think, I don't keep spare chilli just hanging around the house. Well, I don't either...kinda. As I grew up in some of the finest school cafeterias South Carolina had to offer in the late seventies and eighties, one thing was always readily availible, Bunker Hill Chilli. When the FDA approved ketup as a vegatable, the brave ladies of the cafeteria fought for the right to open a can of Bunker Hill and make, as some have often told me, "Them kids some chilli for the hotdogs! We gotta keep 'em happy"

As a child, and even as an adult, I am picky about my hot dogs, I do not want one of those bright red ones like I had in school(and how did they make them so BRIGHT RED? I DO NOT want Bunker Hill Chilli on my hotdog; I want my mama's chilli (recipe to come later if she will share). Yet, Bunker Hill is good for something, this dip. Why call it Revolutionary, simple enough, Bunker Hill, before it went into the chilli canning business, was known as a famous battle site of the American Revolution. This recipe also also uses Philli Cream Cheese, yet another food based site that holds important historical importance as it was the birthplace of the United States Constitution. Who knew my recipes would now have a history lesson embedded?

So before I turn over this recipe, I must give a warning. When melting Cream Cheese in the microwave, be aware that it gets hot and will explode when removed from the microwave if you try to melt it too quickly. I know this from an ugly Christmas incident back in 2005, and still have the burn scar on the side of my nose. I will also offer some variation below the main recipe.


1 8 oz block Cream Cheese (Philli is my favorite)
1 can of chilli (Bunker Hill would be my recommendation)
1 tsp garlic powder

Place cream cheese in a microwave safe container. Cook on high for 2 minutes. Remove and stir. Repeat until cream cheese is melted, normally after the third time. Place chilli and garlic powder into cream cheese. Mix well and heat on high one final time for two minutes. Serve while hot. Great with tortilla chips!


In the variation, you will need Velveeta Cheese as well. Once the chilli and cream cheese are well mixed, place thin slices of Velveeta over the chilli   andcream cheese mixture. Place under a hot broiler until Velveeta becomes bubblely and starts to brown.

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