By Frank Sabatini Jr.
LGBT folk share their favorite party dips
They are the backbone of casual gatherings, the elements of style at fancy soirees, and a test of etiquette should temptation steer your index finger toward the bowl when nobody’s looking.
Yes, we’re talking about party dips while keeping in mind a fast-approaching New Year’s Eve and the 2017 Super Bowl (Feb. 5).
In our search for recipes that supersede queso and ranch dressing (once the stereotype preferences of gay men and lesbians, respectively), we tapped the local LGBT community for dips and spreads that get scooped up quickly and are easy to make.
Roasted butternut squash hummus with cumin-toasted pumpkin seeds
Chris Walsh, Hillcrest, executive chef for California Cuisine Catering
1 to 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
10 garlic cloves, two raw and finely chopped, and 8 roasted
1/4 cup of tahini
Juice of one lemon
Extra virgin olive oil
A handful of shelled pumpkin seeds
A few thinly sliced radishes
Dash of cumin
Salt and white pepper to taste
Toss the cubed squash in olive oil, salt and white pepper until lightly coated. Bake on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until slightly browned. Add to food processor with the garbanzo beans, garlic cloves, lemon juice and tahini. Puree until smooth. Then in a skillet, briefly toast the pumpkin seeds in a little olive oil and a pinch or two of cumin. Remove from pan and let cool before placing them over the hummus with the radishes.
Best dippers: Halved mini sweet bell peppers and pita bread
Layered goat cheese dome
Sarah Bennington, Hillcrest, database architect
8 ounces of low-fat cream cheese
3 ounces of Chevre (goat cheese)
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 teaspoon of thyme
1 cup of basil pesto (homemade or store-bought)
1 jar of roasted red pepper strips
Line a bowl measuring four to five inches in diameter with plastic wrap. Layer the bottom with the peppers, then the cheeses and pesto. Repeat until the layers reach the top of bowl. Cover and chill for at least two hours. On a serving dish, turn bowl upside down and remove the dip and wrap.
Best dippers: Crackers, tortilla chips or pretzels
“French Bitch” Ham and Gruyere Dip
Danny Wright, San Carlos, retail supervisor
7 ounces of sour cream
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 ounces of cooked, lean ham, finely diced
3 ounces of Gruyere cheese, finely grated
1 tablespoon of fresh parsley, chopped
3/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
Thoroughly mix the sour cream and mustard in a bowl. Add the ham and cheese and combine well. Stir in the parsley and black pepper. Cover and chill for at least one hour.
Best dippers: Small crusty bread rolls, sliced cucumbers or carrot strips.
Baked sweet onion and artichoke dip
Brendetta Gentry, Allied Gardens, restaurant management
16 ounces of cream cheese
8 ounces of grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup of diced sweet onions
1 cup of chopped artichoke hearts
1 cup of mayonnaise
Combine all ingredients and transfer to a 1-quart Corningware casserole dish or the equivalent of, and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes until lightly browned on top.
Best dippers: Cubed French bread or crackers
Addicting no-frills chip dip
Yours truly, Mission Valley, food columnist for SDCNN
1 pint of sour cream
3/4 packet of Laura Scudders Green Onion Dip Mix
3 tablespoons of finely chopped green onions, the white and green parts
2 cloves of minced, raw garlic (or 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder)
3/4 teaspoon of black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a glass or ceramic bowl and stir well. Cover and chill overnight or for at least two hours. Garnish the top with additional chopped green onions.
Best dippers: Ridged potato chips, red bell pepper strips or celery sticks
—Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.