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Jalapeño Popper Dip

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© 2010 Helana Brigman
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I’ve been telling myself that I’ll be stepping outside of my cooking box.  The world outside of this box is scary–it involves insane French cooking ideas (deboning a chicken anyone?!), dutch ovens, bread making, an entire week dedicated to pumpkin spice, and lots of experimenting.  I have so many recipes to make in the remaining 2010 posts and yet…it’s all so new and scary.

On the road to accomplishing these rather grandiose recipes, I’ve decided to take some baby steps and make dishes that I normally don’t make.  Like dip.  Specifically chip dip.  I hardly ever eat chips and dip in reality.  Whenever I see it at parties, I figure that nothing could look less appetizing than CHIPS and DIP.  Seriously people? Where is your creativity? Your culinary joi de vive? Your ability to make something that doesn’t come from a jar and a bag? Sheesh.

Perhaps this is why I had never formally made a dip before, until now.  I perceive most party dips as canned or chemically enhanced cheese that we spread on fatty Lays chips and eat because, well, we’ve been conditioned to believe that lard and carbs are tasty.  Not me.  I avoid said white appetizers at all costs!

That’s why I was surprised by this Jalapeño Popper Dip.  Made with real cheddar cheese, freshly grated parmesan, spicy jalapeño peppers, and infused with cream cheese, the dip is full-bodied, spicy (but not too spicy), and fresh.  Have you ever had a dip with chips that you might actually refer to as “fresh?!”  Well, try this clearly delicious Jalapeño Popper Dip and you can say that you certainly have.

Jalapeño Popper Dip

This recipe comes from the ever-consistent blogger Kevin over at Closet Cooking.  Kevin found this recipe on Big Red Kitchen and you can find the original here.

Ingredients:

* 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese (room temperature)

* 1/2 cup mayonnaise

* 1/2 cup cheddar cheese (grated)

* 1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano

* 1 (4 ounce) can sliced jalapeños (pickled)

* 2 jalapeño peppers (chopped, optional)

* 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

* 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano

1.) Preheat oven to 375F.  Mix the ingredients together: parmigiano reggiano, mayonnaise, jalepeños, cheddar, and cream cheese.  Pour into a baking dish.

2.) Mix 1/4 cup bread crumbs and 1/4 cup parmigiano.  Sprinkle over dip mixture.

3.) Bake in oven until golden brown on top (anywhere from 10-20 minutes).

4.) Serve with Fritos, or other chips.  Enjoy! Makes 6-10.

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