Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Warm Blue Cheese, Bacon, and Garlic Dip

I've had this recipe in my recipe binder for like, no joke, six years and I just tried it for the first time this past year. What took me so long you ask? I don't know. But if I had made this years ago, I'd probably be 20 pounds heavier and in desperate need of a dip-tervention -it's that good! 

I've made this dip four times now, and every time I've made it there has been nothing left. And by "nothing left," I mean the bowl has been wiped clean every time! The first time I made it, the resident Cheese Fatty (Ryan) and I ate the ENTIRE thing in one sitting. True story. That night we didn't eat dinner, and to our shame, we didn't even care. To our further shame, we both wanted more dip. But that was nothing compared to Christmas dinner with the Cheese Fatty Family.

Christmas dinner was fast approaching; meaning it was cutting into our dip eating time. So Aunt Cheese Fatty said (in what I thought was a joke), "I say we put the remaining dip in the mashed potatoes." I laughed and said it would definitely punch them up on notch. Next thing I know Mama Cheese Fatty and Aunt Cheese Fatty are folding the dip into the potatoes! True. Cheese Fatty. Story! I didn't know whether to be stoked or to prepare for a stroke. It was like that one time Paula Deen made a cheeseburger using Krispy Kreme donuts for the buns. You didn't know what to think. Is this woman crazy? Or crazy smart? The jury is still out on Paula, but as far as the potatoes were concerned... I'm not gonna lie, they were pretty freakin' awesome! Props to Aunt Cheese Fatty for not wasting dip and for being resourceful!

Now for the recipe. I do a couple of things differently than the original recipe calls for. I will write the recipe as I make it, but then also include a link to the original recipe at the end. I use roasted garlic instead of fresh because I usually have some in my fridge, but fresh is just as good. I also don't sauté the garlic in the bacon fat, not because I think it's fatty, but rather because it's just one less thing to do. Lastly, I serve it with sourdough bread cubes, but the recipe also suggests pita chips or green apple slices. As we all know I'm a Carbosaurus Rex so naturally I prefer the bread, but next time I think I will also serve it with some Granny Smith apple slices. I think the apples would pair well with the blue cheese, and because you're not loading up on bread you can feel a little less guilty and load up on dip instead :) 

Warm Blue Cheese, Bacon, and Garlic Dip
Makes 2 cups
7 slices bacon cooked bacon, chopped
2 roasted garlic cloves, minced
8 ozs. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup half-and-half
4 ozs. (1 cup) blue cheese, crumbled
2 tbls. chopped green onions
Optional Garnish: 1 additional slice of bacon crumbled, blue cheese crumbles, and chopped green onions.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add half-and-half and mix until combined. Stir in bacon, garlic, blue cheese, and green onions.

2. Transfer to a 2-cup ovenproof serving dish and cover with foil. Bake until thoroughly heated, about 30 minutes. Serve with sliced apples, toasted pita chips or French bread.
Note: The dip may be prepared one day in advance. Refrigerate or freeze. Bring to room temperature before baking. Also this fits perfectly in a 160z corning ware dish (just slightly bigger than a ramekin).

*P.S. I found the recipe on a random website a million years ago and to its credit it cited the original source "Stop and Smell the Rosemary; Recipes and Traditions to Remember" written by the Junior League of Houston. After I tried this recipe I said to myself any cookbook with this recipe in it is worth buying. So, I went on Amazon and bought it! People this book is worth every penny and has earned every award it has gotten. I can't wait to try & share more recipes from it. And if you try this recipe and like it, please buy the book, you won't regret it!