For this coming weekend, we tapped our friend Peggy Fallon, author of Great Party Dips, for a couple of super easy dips. Peggy is the author of eight cookbooks including Great Party Fondues, another terrific cookbook for easy entertaining. Hope these tasty recipes come in handy for game day or any party day!
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BAY SHRIMP with CREAM CHEESE and CILANTRO COCKTAIL SAUCE
“Bay shrimp, which are tiny and already cooked and peeled, are sold in cans, frozen, and loose in fish markets. Opt for fresh if you can find them. Serve this popular spread with crackers, small slices of dark rye bread, Crostini, or Rosemary Focaccia.” Peggy
8 ounces cream cheese
3/4 cup bottled chili sauce
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1-1/2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus a few sprigs for garnish
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons prepared white horseradish
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
12 ounces (about 1-1/2 cups) bay shrimp, rinsed if canned, drained
Place the cream cheese in the center of a serving plate. Set aside at room temperature for about half an hour to soften.
Meanwhile, make the cocktail sauce: In a small bowl, combine the chili sauce, scallion, chopped cilantro, 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice, the horseradish, and hot sauce. Stir until well blended.
Spoon the sauce over the cream cheese, letting it drip down the sides and onto the plate. Mound the shrimp on top and drizzle the remaining 1 teaspoon lemon juice over them. Garnish with cilantro sprigs and serve at once.
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WARM ARTICHOKE DIP with SCALLIONS and JALAPENO
“Many versions of this classic hot artichoke dip are way too oily for contemporary tastes. Substituting cream cheese for part of the mayonnaise corrects that problem and contributes extra body, which helps the dip hold together nicely. Serve with crisp raw vegetables, Baked Pita Chips, baguette slices, or crackers.” Peggy
2 scallions, coarsely chopped
1-1/2 teaspoons coarsely chopped pickled jalapeño pepper
1 garlic clove, cut into 2 or 3 pieces
Dash of salt
4 ounces cream cheese, cut into pieces, at room temperature
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Dash cayenne pepper
1 can (about 14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
In a food processor, combine the scallions, pickled jalapeño, garlic, and salt. Pulse until the scallions are finely chopped.
Add the cream cheese, all but 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan cheese, the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and cayenne. Puree until smooth. Add the artichokes and pulse until coarsely chopped.
Scrape the mixture into a 2-cup gratin or other shallow ovenproof baking dish. Sprinkle the reserved 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese over the top. (At this point, the dip can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 24 hours before baking.)
Shortly before serving, bake for about 20 minutes, until the dip is lightly browned on top and bubbly hot. Let cool slightly before serving.