On Super Bowl Sunday — or any game day — or any time you have more than two people in a room, you cannot go wrong with a dip. And you surely cannot go wrong with a hot dip.
Hot dips are such a great way to kick off a gathering. For one, people love them. I love them. Sometimes I am distracted from the appetizers by the things I am cooking for a main dish. This is not the case with a hot dip. I do not get distracted. I get all in there.
They can be made in vegetarian form, or be studded with deliciousness like chorizo or crab. You can make the dip ahead of time, hold it to the side, and warm it in the oven when guests start to arrive. You can serve hot dips with cut up vegetables (crudité), crackers, slices of baguette, chips, pretzels, what have you. An assortment of dippers is a nice thing to offer.
One thing I like to do when I have a bigger group and want to make sure the dip stays hot for the duration is to divide the dip into multiple small ramekins, and heat them one at a time. Pull one out of the oven, and when it starts to run low or cool off, pop another one in, and rotate. That, and if the number of guests require it, double the recipe.
If you like hot dips, and you like pimento cheese, this just may be your North Star dip. Pimento cheese has been called the “House Pate” of the South (isn’t that terrific?). It’s usually a combo of roasted peppers (piquillo, pimento, or red bell) with mayo, cheddar cheese … and sometimes it stops right there. Often other ingredients work their way in, such as different cheeses, spices such as hot peppers or paprika, Worcestershire, lemon juice, and some member of the onion family.
This is a hot dip version so go ahead and serve it right out of the slow cooker if you like.
Hot artichoke dips are not exactly revolutionary, but there are just so eternally great. This one is slapped with a dose of two different cheeses: Fontina, and Gouda spiked with Sriracha sauce. The rich dip is finished with a sparkly pop of lemon.
It's like a hundred jalapeno poppers got together and made themselves into a dip. Not too spicy but with a definite spike of heat from the chile peppers, this is a whole lot easier than making jalapeno poppers for a crowd.
Full of texture, full of flavor. You can use pretty much any grade of crabmeat in this dip, depending on how much you want to spend, and how indulgent you want this dip to feel. Skip the colossal or jumbo lump, which would be a waste here, but go for any of the lower grades.
Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, "Dinner Solved!" and "The Mom 100 Cookbook".