Tonawanda News

November 29, 2012

HAYNES: Take a dip for holiday parties

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The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — It's the holiday season, and you all know what that means. Parties, get-togethers, pot-lucks, dinners ... whatever you call it, you're on the hook to bring something to pass.

My cooking skills are admittedly weak when it comes to the more savory, hearty concoctions, so I tend to stick with dips, appetizers and baked goods. 

I have a go-to family recipe for a cheese ball that I'm just not ready to part ways with quite yet, but I tried out a new creamy and spicy dip for a big family Cinco de Mayo taco dinner last spring. 

The dip — smoky corn and jalapeno dip — is at once sweet from the roasted corn, and spicy from the peppers. Chose your peppers wisely. I've found the larger the pepper, the milder they are. I have no scientific basis for this theory, and after some searching on the web, it doesn't seem if people agree with the folk wisdom or not. 

The dip is best served with tortilla chips, but you could probably safely use any cracker or unflavored chip you desire. Granted, our family party had about 20 in attendance, but this stuff went fast!

Smoky corn and jalapeno dip

2 large ears of corn, husks on

2 jalapeno peppers

1/2 cup mayonnaise 

1/2 cup sour cream 

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

1/2 cup grated pepper jack cheese

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

Grill the corn with husks on over medium-high heat. Rotate every five minutes until the outsides are lightly charred. 

Grill the jalapenos in the same manner until lightly blackened ... should take less time.

Remove husks and silk from the corn and cut the kernels off the cob.

Seed and chop the jalapenos into small bits. 

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, adding smoked paprika and kosher salt to taste. 

Keep chilled until ready to serve. I'd chill for a couple hours to let the flavors mesh well.

Contact features editor Danielle Haynes at 693-1000, ext. 4116.