Monday, February 14, 2022

Southwestern Chip Dip

A bold, cream cheese-based chip dip, with the addition of Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies, chopped black olives and loaded with southwestern flavors.
A bold, cream cheese-based chip dip, with the addition of Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies, chopped black olives and loaded with southwestern flavors.

Southwestern Chip Dip

I originally got the idea for this dip when going through a box of clippings. This one came from a rural EPA newsletter featuring a community cookbook called Cooking with Osyka! It's one of a few fundraiser cookbooks for the Osyka Civic Club of Osyka, Mississippi, usually available at their annual Fall Fest events in October, or by calling their business office at 601-542-5994.

They referred to this dip as Southern Heat Chip Dip in their cookbook, though I've played around with this one enough that I'm not even sure how close I am to the original clipping anymore!

Similar dips are most often made with a base blend of mayonnaise and sour cream and a basic list of classic southwestern seasonings, usually super heavy in chili powder and cumin.

I preferred mine with a lighter touch and just a hint of them, and though I kept it on the milder side and really didn't push it on the "heat," absolutely feel free to increase any of the seasonings included.

I love the use of cream cheese here instead of sour cream, as well as the addition of some well-drained Rotel, and the black olives fit in perfectly. I finished it with some Creole seasoning and garnishes.

At any rate, it's a delicious cold dip that is easy to make and a perfect addition for any gathering. Think of it as a starting point and just make it your own!

Here's how I make it.

As always, full recipe text with measurements and instructions, as well as a printable document, are a little bit further down the page. Just swipe or scroll past the step-by-step pictures below. 

I keep a pretty stocked spice cabinet, so I've got a nice mix of seasonings available all the time. There's a lot of flavor in there and I'm a little bit obsessed with herbs and spices.

For seasonings, I'm using salt and pepper, garlic and onion powder, chili powder, cumin, paprika, Creole seasoning and dried parsley. If you don't typically keep everything here, find a good southwestern style seasoning blend. You'll find it handy not only for this dip, but also for tacos and fajitas and other Tex-Mex meals, but also as an all-purpose type seasoning for meats and other dishes. 

As most of y'all know, my Cajun seasoning of choice is Slap Ya Mama, and sometimes Justin Wilson's, but from time to time I use a Creole seasoning and both Zatarain's and Tony Chachere's are favorites. They're all great seasonings.

I recently bought a three pack of Tony's that included this "bold" version, which really mostly means that it's a bit heavier in cayenne, but also includes some additional chilies and spices and I thought it would be a good option here.

Get your cream cheese to room temperature, or hit it in the microwave 15 seconds a time between stirs to soften. I'm using an 8-ounce block plus a half of another. Add mayonnaise. Blend until smooth.

To that, add all of the seasonings.

Mix up well.

Chop up some black olives. This is one of those tasks where I love using a quick chopper - one of those great kitchen tools to have on hand and I've got a few different kinds. It's just easier than hand chopping some things, plus it's faster!

Add a can of drained diced tomatoes with green chilies (like Rotel brand). Make sure they are well drained, so I do drain those in a sieve early on.

Give it a stir.

Add the chopped black olives.

Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

When ready to serve, add some of your favorite toppings to garnish. I'm using a little chopped fresh tomato, sliced green onion, chopped pickled jalapeno, cooked bacon and cilantro.

Speaking of cilantro...

I am one of those people who had the "cilantro tastes like soap" thing. I actually disliked it immensely. For years.

I don't anymore, but that's because, as a recipe developer and food blogger, I pushed through it. I just kept using it. And tasting it. Now, believe it or not, there is no hint of soap taste to cilantro for me now.

I can't explain that, it just is what it is!

While I enjoy fresh cilantro the most, and I've actually tried to grow it, but it doesn't really last very long in our heat here and it bolts quickly. It's hard to find pods for the Aerogarden too sometimes to just grow it inside. In the meantime, I discovered this "lightly dried cilantro" at my local market.

It falls somewhere in between fresh and fully dried and it lasts for awhile in the fridge. Though it's a little on the pricey side on the first look, it might be something to consider if you tend to end up with slimy fresh cilantro in your fridge between uses and you just don't like the flavor of dried. I found mine at my local Walmart.

Posted by on February 14, 2022
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