Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Tailgating Dip So Good, It Should Be Unlawful
Made a great dip for a party the other day, along with some killer pumpkin martinis MADE IN AN ORANGE COCKTAIL SHAKER AND SERVED IN ORANGE MARTINI GLASSES (sorry, but the little things in life excite me . . . and cause me to TYPE THINGS IN ALL CAPS). I would share photos, as well as the pumpkin martini recipe, but my laptop decided to die on me last night. Fortunately (?), it's still under warranty.
I include the question mark, because I am kind of done with my laptop. I am rather sentimentally attached to it, because it was a Valentine's Day gift from my husband two years ago (before you accuse him of being the most unromantic person in the world, (1) he's not, (B) he knew that I really wanted, nay, NEEDED a new, smaller and faster machine, and (thirdly) did I mention that it was a Dell [Red], for Valentine's Day?). But, otherwise, done, done and SOOOOOOOO done. By my count, we have (or, rather, Dell has) replaced the power cord four times. I am on my second battery, and a year in they replaced my motherboard and viewscreen due to an issue with the graphics card and associated driver. Each time they replace something, my warranty gets extended, making it kind of hard to walk away and/or go all "Office Space" on it in a field with a baseball bat. Per Ameer at the call center, this go-round I'm getting a new disk drive and a new keyboard. In addition to my fifth power cord. And, no doubt, my warranty will be extended again.
So, I'll share the cocktail recipe (complete with photo of THE ORANGE SHAKER AND GLASSES! AND THE SKULL-SHAPED MARTINI PITCHER!) when, you know, I actually can access my files. In the meantime, here's my adaptation of Mary Alice Yeskey's hoagie dip. Fans of "Ace of Cakes" will know Mary Alice as Duff Goldman's right-hand woman at Charm City Cakes. The Charm City crew are hardcore Ravens tailgaters, and the original version of this recipe appeared in a Food Network Magazine feature about Duff, his buddies and their go-to tailgate dishes. I decided that I wanted to serve my dip heated, and I also made a few additions and substitutions (cream cheese, Italian dressing), all in the interest of making it taste more like "The Invention," which is my husband's favorite sub sandwich of all time. Served at The Great Outdoors sub shop in West Fort Worth, "The Invention" features cream cheese, provolone, ham and mushrooms on a toasted sub roll (so the cheeses get all melty - I'm drooling a little bit while I type this). I like to add "The Works" to my sandwich - shredded lettuce, onions, Italian dressing - and sometimes a little Thousand Island dressing as well. Hmm . . . maybe I should add Thousand Island to the dip recipe. You totally could if you wanted to, and it would be delicious. I also omitted mushrooms below, but if you like them like my husband does, toss in some sliced ones.
THE MARY ALICE-INSPIRED INVENTION
1/2 medium onion (white or red - red gives the dip an authentic hoagie taste)
Pickled pepperoncini peppers, to taste (I use half of a standard-sized jar)
1 large tomato, halved and seeded
Shredded lettuce, to taste
1/4 pound deli-sliced genoa salami
1/4 pound deli-sliced ham
1/4 pound deli-sliced roast turkey
1/4 pound deli-sliced provolone cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
8 ozs. cream cheese, cubed
2 tablespoons Italian dressing, or more to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
8 hoagie rolls, cut into pieces, for dipping
Chop the onion, peppers and tomato into bite-sized pieces. Dice the meats and provolone. Combine the chopped vegetables, shredded lettuce, meats and provolone in a large bowl. Add the mayonnaise, cubed cream cheese, dressing and seasonings and stir until everything is mixed. Spoon into microwavable casserole dish. Microwave in one-minute intervals, stirring in between, until cream cheese and provolone have melted. Serve hot with hoagie roll pieces for dipping.
I substituted shredded cabbage for the lettuce this weekend, primarily because I had just gotten through carving a cabbage bowl, and I had a goodly sized pile of cabbage shavings in front of me. You know that you are a foodie when you: leave the house to head for a party; remember that you left your cabbage bowl in the refrigerator; drive a good way back to the house to retrieve the cabbage bowl; remember a few minutes after your second departure that you forgot the brownie bites; and say, "Screw the brownie bites, at least we have the cabbage bowl." They can kick the girl out of the Culinary Arts department of Junior Woman's Club because the "girl" turned forty (gotta put "girl" in quotes, given the age thing), but clearly you cannot take Culinary Arts out of the girl.
You know that you are a "drinkie" (hey, I think I just coined a new term!) when you: obsess in your blog about YOUR ORANGE COCKTAIL SHAKER, MARTINI GLASSES AND SKULL-SHAPED PITCHER!; realize when you arrive at the party venue that you forgot the spiced rum; and radio to the house for spousal backup and a Captain Morgan's delivery. You know that you married a good man when he brings you the Captain Morgan's . . . and the brownie bites, all of which were present and accounted for. (Hey, I baked him his own batch; I'm not THAT abusive of a spouse.)
You also know that you married a good man when he listens to you dog on his lemon of a Valentine's Day gift ad nauseam for two-plus years. He even stays on hold with Ameer when I have to make a bathroom pitstop. Ameer and I chat a lot. I'm thinking of visiting him after monsoon season.
Enjoy the dip!