Friday, July 24, 2015

Homemade Chip Dip Mix

I've been on a bit of a chip-dip binge lately. I've tried pretty much every brand of onion soup mix and dip mix that's out there.

Some of them were good, some were nostalgic. And unfortunately, some tasted way too raw-oniony for me. But buying little packets of soup mix to make chip dip seemed silly, considering I wasn't making soup, and I had a whole cabinet full of spices that I could use.

The idea was in the back of my head when I saw a recipe for onion soup mix on a blog called Save with Pennies. I was about to try that recipe to make chip dip when I thought, gee, lets skip the soup and go straight to the dip.

So I went into the kitchen, opened the world of spices, and started mixing. After several tasty tries - none of them were bad, really - I came up with something I liked.

This is a LOT of spices, but when they're mixed together and added to a creamy base, you don't really pick out the individual flavors of every single spice. It's just a very tasty dip.

Chip Dip Mix

1 tablespoon dried red and green bell peppers
1 tablespoon dried shallots
1 tablespoon dried romano cheese powder
2 tablespoons dried chives
2 teaspoons dried dill
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried horseradish powder
3 tablespoons dried toasted onion flakes

Combine all the ingredients in a spice grinder (I use a small coffee grinder) and blend for a few seconds. Add the toasted onion  and pulse a few times. I liked this best when there were small bits of onion rather than having it all powdered - but you can do what you like.

You could also simply mix the spices, but the shallots, onions, red & green bell peppers, and chives are all fairly large and you'd end up with a chunky dip, and that's not what I wanted.

If you don't have a spice grinder, you could go old-school and use a mortar and pestle to crush the spices, or you could try using a blender or food processor. I can't guarantee how well those methods would work since I haven't tried them - but from previous experience, the food processor doesn't seem to work as well with really small quantities.

To make the dip:
Add 1 tablespoon of dip mix to 1 cup of sour cream, yogurt, or a mix of sour cream and yogurt. Mix well.

While I love Greek yogurt, I think a little sour cream is needed for dip. A 50/50 mix of sour cream and yogurt is my preference, but when I'm short on sour cream and I have a lot of yogurt, a mix of 1/4 sour cream and 3/4 yogurt is pretty darned good.

But of course you can make it with all yogurt to cut the calories.

It's best if you make this an hour or so in advance and refrigerate it until you need it, so the dried herbs and spices have time to hydrate.

For spices you can't find at the grocery store, check out Penzeys and Savory Spice Shop - that's where I got mine, but there are also other sources, I'm sure.
Make your own chip dip mix so you never have to buy a packet again.