Dip into summer with 10 recipes for the blender

News-DemocratMay 26, 2014 

Summer is within shouting distance, leaving you wondering what to bring to your next outdoor get-together that doesn't involve a lot of work yet tastes wonderful and makes you look like a culinary diva.

Even if you aren't one.

Easy peasy: Make a homemade dip that starts with a basic recipe of cream cheese and sour cream, then you get to play food genius by adding other textures and tastes. Best of all, it all goes in the blender.

Then, finish off your dip by surrounding it with colorful cut-up veggies, pita or pretzel chips, gourmet crackers -- anything but typical potato or nacho chips.

After all, if you're making the dip, it should be scooped with something tasteful.

Then, don't forget a colorful bowl and tray for excellent presentation.

This selection of nine recipes, including the base dip, is from Cookstr.com and food experts Andrew Chase and Nicole Young. Make the base, then you choose the other ingredients to add. A 10th dip is from McClatchy and Stonyfield Organic Yogurt.

Cream Cheese Dip Base

8 ounces cream cheese, cut into small cubes and softened

1/4 cup milk or sour cream, approximately

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. In blender on low speed, blend cream cheese, milk, salt and pepper until smooth, adding more milk if necessary.

2. Blend with any of the following flavorings.

3. Make ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Yield: Makes 8 servings.

Per serving, cream cheese base: 111 calories, 242 mg sodium, 1 gram carbohydrates, 11 grams fat, 35 mg cholesterol, 1 gram sugar, 2 grams protein.

Smoked Fish Dip

6 ounces smoked salmon, mackerel, trout or other smoked fish (skinned)

4 red radishes, chopped

2 tablespoons minced red onion

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (or to taste)

Anchovy Dip

1 can (1 3/4 ounces) anchovies, drained

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoons capers, drained

Blue Cheese Dip

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (Danish, Roquefort, Gorgonzola, etc.)

2 tablespoons sour cream

1 green onion, chopped

Chopped walnuts, for garnish (optional)

Curry and Apple Dip

2 teaspoon curry powder or curry paste

1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Onion and Garlic Dip

1 onion, chopped, and 4 cloves garlic, chopped, lightly browned in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Olive and Garlic Dip

1/3 cup pitted olives

1 clove garlic, smashed

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or basil

2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Tuna Dip

1 can (6.5 ounces) tuna, drained

2 tablespoons chopped sweet onion

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (or to taste)

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Fruit and Nut Dip

1/4 cup chopped apple or pear

1/4 cup walnuts or pecans

1/4 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup golden raisins

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Avocado-Blue Cheese Dip

4 ripe avocados (peeled, seeded, and coarsely mashed)

1 clove garlic (finely minced)

4 scallions (green part only, chopped)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 cup Greek plain fat-free yogurt

1/2 cup blue cheese (crumbled)

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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