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When the Super Bowl comes along, you must dip it

The Super Bowl is on Sunday, and that means it’s time to get your dip on.

Whether it’s cheese-and-chili dip made from opening two jars and heating their contents in a slow-cooker, or carefully crafting a creamy smoked trout concoction, dips elevate the football-viewing experience. It’s a proven fact.

They’re convenient, crowd-pleasing and – in general – easy to make.

Here’s a variety to try – from the simplest combination of cheese sauce and chili to the Historic Davenport Hotel’s signature Hot Cougar Gold Cheese Dip and chef Adam Hegsted’s elevated Smoked Trout Dip.

It’s OK to root for more than one.

Hot Cougar Gold Cheese Dip

From the Historic Davenport Hotel in Spokane via The Spokesman-Review archives

Of the three cheeses in this popular appetizer, the Cougar Gold makes up the smallest amount.

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 large shallot, chopped fine

4 cloves garlic, chopped fine

Handful of flat-leaf parsley, washed, dried and chopped

12 ounces cream cheese, cut into small cubes

1/4 pound Cougar Gold cheese, coarsely grated

1/2 pound gruyere cheese, coarsely grated

Cayenne pepper, to taste

Salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat olive oil in pan over medium high heat. Add shallot and garlic and sauté for 30 seconds or so, just enough for them to sweat and open up the flavors. Set aside.

Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl. Add in shallot and garlic mixture, season with pinch of cayenne and salt, and combine.

Place in individual ovenproof ramekins or a large ovenproof dish. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or longer if baking in a larger dish, until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Finish under the broiler for a few seconds until the top is caramelized.

Yield: 12 servings or 1 1/2 quarts

Note: You don’t have to make the dip on game day. Hot Cougar Gold Dip can be made the night before. Combine all ingredients in an oven-safe dish and refrigerate overnight. Let it sit out at room temperature for a bit before baking, or plan on keeping it in the oven for a longer period of time.

The Dip

From Frank Comito of Spokane

Executive Corporate Chef Frank Comito makes what he and his sons simply call “The Dip.” He makes it for Super Bowls and “some Nebraska games. It’s not highbrow.”

The first time he had it was during the 1983 Nebraska Cornhuskers v. Miami Hurricanes national championship game, “which we lost when the Huskers went for two and didn’t make it.”

But the dip’s a winner, unless you’re talking to Comito’s wife and daughters, who refer to it as “Gross Dip.” Comito serves it with Ruffles potato chips and calls it a “guilty pleasure. You end up wondering why you ate so much of it.”

3 pounds Velveeta

2 cans of chili with beans, such as Hormel or Dennison’s

Cayenne pepper, to taste

Melt it all together and eat it, Comito said, “before it congeals.”

Note: Try keeping it warm on low in the slow-cooker. Also, for a less beany, more cheesy dip, use only one can of chili.

Smoked Trout Dip

From Adam Hegsted, chef and owner of the Eat Good Group of restaurants, including Wandering Table in Spokane

1/2 pound cream cheese

2 ounces sour cream

1/4 cup green onion, chopped

1/2 tablespoon garlic, chopped

1/2 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped

1/2 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh horseradish, grated

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 tablespoon sugar

1/2 tablespoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

1 pound smoked trout

Whip cream cheese and sour cream until light and well combined. While mixing, add remaining ingredients, incorporating the trout last.

Bagna Cauda

From Travis Dickinson of Clover in Spokane

The amount of anchovies and garlic can be adjusted to taste, but this is the version Travis Dickinson, executive chef at Clover, prefers.

“It is super simple, but very addicting,” he said, noting it’s “an awesome dip for bread or vegetables.”

1 quart heavy cream

5 cloves garlic, smashed with flat of knife

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

Kosher salt, to taste

1 1/4 ounces anchovies, rinsed well

8 ounces (1 stick) butter

4 tablespoons lemon juice

Place cream, garlic, cayenne and some salt (start with a very small amount; anchovies are salty) in a pot over medium heat and reduce by half, or 2 cups.

Place anchovies in a blender with a little bit of the reduced cream. Puree while adding the rest of the cream in a slow, steady stream. Season to taste.

If serving immediately, go straight to the next step. (If serving later, you can re-warm the base to a simmer, then proceed to next step when ready.)

At service, add lemon juice and butter to the heated base. You can whisk these ingredients in slowly by hand, or with a blender or immersion blender.

Serve with anything worthy of dipping, such as good bread, vegetables or chips.

Dave’s Homemade Salsa

From Dave Nichols, sports writer and copy editor at The Spokesman-Review

This is a super-easy homemade salsa recipe. Nichols has been making it for more than 20 years. All of the spices can be adjusted to taste and for heat. For even more flavor, first roast the tomatoes, corn and jalapeños.

6-10 Roma tomatoes, diced

1/2 red onion, diced

1 or 2 fresh jalapeños, diced small, seeded and deveined

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can yellow corn, rinsed and drained

1-2 teaspoons garlic, minced

1 bunch cilantro, minced

1 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Hot sauce, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, chill, serve with tortilla chips.

Seven-Layer Fiesta Dip

From mccormick.com

This is the dip Yakima Herald-Republic sports editor Jerrel Swenning serves at his annual Super Bowl-viewing parties.

1 (16-ounce) can refried beans

1 (16-ounce) container sour cream

1 package McCormick Taco Seasoning Mix

1 package (8 ounces, or 2 cups) shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup guacamole

1 cup chopped tomatoes

1/2 cup green sliced onions

1/2 sliced black olives

Tortilla chips, for serving

Spread refried beans in shallow serving dish. Mix sour cream and seasoning mix in small bowl until well blended. Spread over refried beans. Top with layers of cheese, guacamole, tomatoes, onions and olives. Serve with tortilla chips.

Yield: 8 cups, or 64 (2-tablespoon) servings

Uncle Dan’s Quarterback Guacamole

From uncledans.com

Uncle Dan’s is a Spokane-based dry seasoning company.

1 (0.5-ounce) package Game Day Dip or Zesty Ranch

1 cup sour cream

1 cup salsa

1 avocado, mashed or cubed

Mix seasoning with sour cream. Add salsa and avocado. Mix well.

Easy Artichoke Crab Dip

From uncledans.com

1 (0.75-ounce) package Uncle Dan’s Classic Ranch or Creamy Ranch

1 (16-ounce) container Greek yogurt or sour cream

1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and chopped

3/4 cup crab meat, rinsed and drained

2 tablespoons red or green bell pepper

Sliced French bread, crackers or fresh vegetables, for dipping

Combine seasoning with sour cream. Stir in artichoke hearts, crab meat and bell peppers. Chill 30 minutes. Serve with French bread, crackers or fresh vegetables.

Yield: 3 1/2 cups

Famous Queso Dip

From kraftrecipes.com

1 pound Velveeta, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 can (10 ounces) Ro-Tel diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained

Combine ingredients in microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high for 5 minutes or until Velveeta is melted and mixture is well blended, stirring after 3 minutes.

Yield: 24 (2-tablespoon) servings

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