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What does my dip need?

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  • Grits Oct 19, 2006 03:43 PM
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So I made a large batch of dip last night for a party this weekend. I used 1 lb of cream cheese, about 3/4 lb of danish blue cheese, 1 c. of pecans and two bosc pears caramelized in unsalted butter. This was what the recipe called for, but the result is unimpressive - nice blue cheese flavor but pretty bland.

What can I do to doctor it up? I'm thinking lemon juice or maybe chili powder? Thanks in advance for saving my dip from the garbage!

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  1. I have two suggestions:

    1. Just a little freshly cracked black pepper added; and maybe a tiny bit of freshly grated ginger; or

    2. Drizzle a little bit of tamarand chutney on it when you serve it.

    1. You could try adding salt.

      1. Yes...salt, cracked black pepper, some brandy.

        1 Reply
        1. re: PBSF

          And a little lemon or balsamic vinegar...some acid is needed to balance the richness of the cheeses. IMHO, blue cheese dips tend to get stronger over time...it can take a little while for the full flavor of the cheese to infuse the cream cheese.

        2. I think roasted garlic would be nice and would definitely up the flavor ante, but I do love garlic!

          1. My best suggestion, don't do what I would do. I would have a look at these responses then doctor the whole lot, I would then kick myself if I wasn't happy with the result. Amend a small batch first and check it, then do the whole lot.

            Every time I do this sort of thing I doctor a whole batch of sauce, only to have to then re-doctor the doctored sauce. You'd think I'd learn but I never do.

            I'd add seasoning (fair bit of cracked black pepper) and lemon juice, possibly some fine lemon zest too for a bit more zing.

            1. It seems to me that this must be a pretty thick dip; probably the texture is more suited to a spread. I'd add some sour cream or yogourt or mayo to thin it out, salt and pepper to taste, perhaps a bit of hot sauce and some crushed/pureed garlic.

              1 Reply
              1. re: olivergail

                This is exactly what I would do, but I'd also add a drop or two of Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce to bring out the umami in the blue cheese.

              2. I think you should add some honey and salted nuts...

                3 Replies
                1. re: Clare K

                  Actually I think that honey and salted nuts would be good also - with a touch of cracked black pepper.

                  1. re: pescatarian

                    I've got to disagree about the nuts. I frequently make a salad out of raw spinach, sliced apple, sliced red onion. and Newman's honey mustard dressing. It's a wonderful easy salad. toasted nuts are an important ingredient. But, after having the salad ruined by mixing in the nuts because they almost immediately lose their crunch, I've learned it's vitally important to just toss the nuts on top of each serving immediatley before serving. If you mix toasted nuts into a dip they are going to taste like salty chewy bits of something, but NOT like they should taste - crunchy.

                    1. re: niki rothman

                      I would not mix the nuts in. I agree they should be sprinkled on top.

                2. This may not be to everyone's taste but how about serving some red pepper jelly alongside to balance the saltiness of the blue cheese? I often like sweet and salty flavours together.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mrsleny

                    Ooooh, we had cheese with hot chili jelly last weekend and they needed a crowbar to get me away from the table.

                  2. My first thought was either a little basil or some fresh mint. plain yogurt would also be good to add a little twang and loosen it up.

                    1. Yes, lemon juice was my first thought too. But then I started to mull it over and I thought maybe take the leftover dip and separate it into separate samples and make a bunch of different ideas to try. lemon zest or a little sherry or minced shallot perhaps.

                      1. Wow, thanks everyone! I think I'll follow the advice to experiment with different combos on some small batches. I'll report back.

                        1. Hmm.. cracked black pepper and a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg maybe? Both these flavors will also get stronger as it sits.

                          1. YOua re missing an acid: Lemon juice. Also add honey, I don't think the pears have enough sweetness.

                            It will really round out all the flavors.

                            1. Sounds like a really thick dip! ...but, sounds like a great base. I would do one of two things with this, one dump a jar of fig jam over it or better yet, get a small wedge of brie and a deep dish pie shell. Roll out the pie shell then put the brie wedge in and the above on top of the brie. Wrap the whole thing in the pie shell and bake! I'd still serve w/fig jam - Major yum! :)KQ