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Dipping and Dunking: Making Comfort Food More Comforting

Please confess about the foods you love dipping with.
For me the ritual of dipping and dunking arouses more intimacy with my comfort food and takes the experience to a higher level of comfort. The combined flavor and texture that results from dipping & dunking sometimes enhances the separate flavors so well that it will never be the same to have one without the other. For example, fresh crusty donuts dunked into hot coffee and Oreo cookies dunked into cold milk are some of the foods that seem to have been created with the other, and you, in mind.

I have favorite donut shops that I go to for particular donuts they make that are exceptionally good for dunking. Recently I had a grilled cheese sandwich made with thick slices of grilled sourdough, melted Swiss and smoked Mozzarella and a bowl of tomato basil soup and I could not resist the temptation to dip that sandwich into that soup. After dipping the sandwich I paused to enjoy the image in front of me. A perfectly golden grilled sourdough with a small corner of it coated with thick steaming hot tomato soup. I also know the best place in L.A. for a French Dip with a side bowl of gravy and another place for a French Dip with a side of Au jus. Cleaning your plate with a special slice of bread also counts as dipping and maybe that means that the saint who created Open-face sandwiches smothered in gravy was a dipper at heart.

What other things go well when dipped and dunked?

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  1. Cheese Nips dipped in strawberry-jalapeno jam
    Pizza dipped in ranch dressing
    Burger dipped in a blend of ranch and ketchup
    Fries dipped in cream gravy, ranch or ketchup + mayo
    Bagels dipped in a side of room-temp cream cheese
    Grilled cheese dipped in ketchup
    Bfast burrito dipped in salsa


    1 Reply
    1. re: LeahBaila

      Nothing beats a sour cream donut dunked in either coffee or tea with cream and sugar.

      How about a warm homemade brownie ( I love the Droste recipe with brown sugar) dunked in a glass of cold milk?

      Warm corn chips in chili con queso.

      Crisp cold celery sticks in Marie's Bleu Cheese dressing.

      My final thought was grilled asparagus spears dunked in Hollandaise, but I guess that's not exactly comfort food and more dipping than dunking.


    2. - my fingers in the peanut butter jar ;)
      - slices of smoked turkey rolled up & dipped in honey-mustard
      - when i was a kid, pretzels & potato chips dunked into a tub of cream cheese

      1 Reply
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        i forgot biscotti. too crunchy to eat unless dunked in coffee - preferably a nice dark roast.

      2. McVities Digestive biscuits in tea or coffee.

        The French dip their croissants in coffee.

        1. Grilled cheese on rye dunked in tomato soup
          Celery sticks dipped in onion dip
          Ham sandwich dipped in honey mustard
          Peanutbutter cookies dipped in vanilla pudding
          Bananas dipped in nutella
          Oh now you know all my secrets :)

          2 Replies
          1. re: HillJ

            The replys in this thread have provoided a list of must try dips and dunks.

            Peanut butter cookies and vanilla pudding are two things I have loved since childhood. In fact,anything peanut or vanilla has my interest. Celery sticks dipped into peanut butter is a meal to me. I had to try your idea of peanut butter cookies dipped in vanilla pudding and \learned thart the two flavors go very well together. I also found that the slight crunch and chewing texture of the cookie enhanced the creamy texture of the pudding.. With crunch in mind I bought some great peanut brittle and dipped that in the pudding. It was way too chrunchy and had no chew. -- not as good. Maybe next time I will try making a peanut butter cookie and vanilla ice cream sandwich. My thanks..

            1. re: JeetJet

              Oh yum, what doesn't go great with PB! A splash of ground cinnamon really perks up the dunk'in!

          2. warm chocolate chip cookies into cold milk so that the chocolate firms up a bit and the cookie dissolves on the tongue..mmmmm!
            crusty Italian bread dipped into Grandma's "gravy"... that's tomato sauce cooked all day.

            1. Growing up, when my siblings and I were sick, we'd dip slices of white toast into sweet, milky tea.

              Another restorative meal was what my mom called "bone soup"- beef shank bones, hardly any meat, simmered with onion, ginger and minimal Indian spicing. After boiling for several hours, we'd dip in freshly-griddled roti.

              In college, one of my housemates worked at an Indian restaurant. She's come back in a waft of spices, bearing foil-wrapped naan and sauces scraped up from the hotel pans on the buffet. for dipping Such a great study snack....

              1. Chips and french onion dip, grandma's relish tray with a container of Hidden Valley ranch dip in the center that's at every major family gathering not to mention a biscuit dunked into her homemade chicken and noodles. That is the most comforting thing I can think of!

                1. Lightly toasted bagel dipped in a perfectly cooked egg fried in olive oil. Even better if it's double yolked!

                  1. One of my fav combo's when I am sick is a hot bowl of tomato soup with a bologna and mustard sammy to dip in it

                    1. my old faves:
                      Grilled cheese (sourdough w/ mozz, parm, and romano) dunked in Tomato Basil Soup
                      Fries dipped in vanilla milkshake
                      Almost anything dipped in ketchup
                      Spoon dipped in cream cheese frosting
                      Yellow shortcake dipped in milk and whipped cream
                      Oreos dipped in milk
                      Cheese quesadilla (with the excess tortilla peeled off) dipped in sour cream and the "juice" of salsa
                      Eggs dipped in ketchup
                      Turkey dipped in gravy and cranberry jelly-sauce
                      Pancakes/waffles dipped in maple syrup and butter

                      1. Bread into the soft yellow centre of a fried egg.
                        Bread in olive oil and za'tar
                        Crepes in olive oil and sugar
                        Bread in dips like hummus and baba ghanouj

                        Other than that I pretty much realized I don't do the dunking or dipping thing.

                        1. buttered toast strips in soft-boiled egg

                          1 Reply
                          1. pan y chocolate- Bread and oaxacan chocolate

                            1. Whenever it gets cold, I love making a hearty tomato lentil and sausage soup and serve it with some crusty bread - like a good sourdough or rosemary. Sometimes I'll make mini cheddar bread bowls with pizza dough to serve the soup in it and dunk the pieces of the bread "lid" until I finish the soup and can eat the rest of the bowl that has been holding the soup. Yum.

                              1. good pork breakfast sausage link dipped in real maple syrup

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: laliz

                                  Chicken wings, fried extra-crispy (NOT breaded!) tossed in hot Durkee sauce, dipped in Ranch dressing.
                                  Home-stewed tomatoes poured in to the bacon-frying pan after the bacon is done. Stir and scrape to get up all that salty, bacon-y goodness ( I know, SO bad!!!) and reduce a bit. Serve with thick slices of homemade toast, buttered with REAL butter to dunk in the tomatoes! SO GOOD!! ( Better go check my cholesterol LOL!)

                                2. French Fries in a Chocolate Malt...........

                                  1. French fries in mayo or blue cheese dressing
                                    Garlic bread in whatever sauce is on my pasta

                                    1. Tuna sandwiches dunked into tomato soup.
                                      Bacon into an over-medium egg.
                                      Baguette in the leftover garlic butter from escargot.

                                      1. -Southern Fried chicken dunked in hot mashed potatoes with gravy. Extra bonus with skin on.

                                        -Breakfast sausage dipped in maple syrup.

                                        -Pretzels in cream cheese.

                                        -Saltines dipped in sweetened condense milk.

                                        -Bread in melted butter or bacon fat.

                                        -Bread in New England clam chowder.

                                        -Bread dipped into the runny yolk of my sunny side up egg.

                                        1. I love this thread! My ex used to roll his eyes at my affinity for dipping and dunking. Now I dip and dunk to my hearts content.
                                          Hot wings in mango chutney
                                          Ginger snaps in hot coffee
                                          Cheetos in nacho cheese sauce
                                          Pizza crust ends in marinara
                                          celery sticks in 5 layer dip

                                          1. I agree, what a fantastic thread! My favorite of all time was a mixture from McDonald's back in the day. We would take 3 shots of the McChicken sauce, 2 shots of Arch Deluxe sauce, and throw in some onions, which once mixed made the BEST french fry dip I've ever had! Other ones.

                                            Pizza in garlic ranch
                                            Chocolate chip cookies in milk
                                            Grilled cheese in tomato soup
                                            Pretzels in mustard

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: raidar

                                              I need to add a childhood favorite that slipped my mind. My mother, god bless her soul, made the best chocolate chip cookies; a regular part of my elementary/junior high lunch. Being a forgetful young boy, I 'lost' a fair share of the spoons that accompanied my yogurt. Very quickly, my mother stopped packing a spoon, so I used the chocolate chip cookies as a spoon/vessel to get the yogurt. Best dunking combo! Yum Yum!

                                            2. pretzels in honey mustard, fries in a bbq mayo ketchup mixture, sushi in soysauce (duh, lol) oreos in milk, grilled cheese in ketchup, eggs in my habanero ketchup or cholula ketchup, celery in a super chunky blue cheese dressing, blue corn tortilla chips in a fresh salsa, same chips in home made guacamole, pizza dipped in blue cheese dressing, second pretzels in cream cheese, italian bread in my home made tomato sauce (my favorite thing ever), warm crusty bread dipped in olive oil (with s&p).... etc etc etc

                                              boy do i love dipping. I"m all about the condiments

                                              1. pretzels dipped in PB
                                                pretzels dipped in nutella
                                                shortbread cookies dipped in PB or nutella
                                                turkey slices and baby carrots dipped into spicy mustard
                                                grilled chicken breast pieces dipped into bbq sauce, marinara or pesto sauce

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Jacey

                                                  I love shortbread dunked into Nutella. I try not to keep the combo becasue it's dangerous here.

                                                2. Ok - this is going to sound very weird - my favorite dunking combination is liverwurst and onion sandwich with mayo on rye bread dunked in strong tea with milk and sugar. My next favorite thing is unique to Rehoboth Beach DE - beach fries dunked in vanilla frozen custard - so good - salty, sweet, smooth, crunchy, warm, cold. A feast for the senses!

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: Fiona

                                                    I love liverwurst, onion and rye. These are strong flavors and I can see how they would go very well with strong tea. This meal sounds like something a cheif would make for themself late at night after closing, when they are all alone.. I stopped eating meat at the beginning of the year and the first thing I missed was liverwurst and now this is making me think that one sandwich would not end the world.....

                                                    1. re: Fiona

                                                      Do you put vinegar on your fries first? I love Thrashers fries on the boardwalk in Rehoboth!

                                                    2. salty pretzels into peanut butter
                                                      tart apples into peanut butter
                                                      bananas into peanut butter
                                                      cheesecake into chocolate (or....... peanut butter)
                                                      chicken nuggets and fries into chocolate shake. This started when grandpa used to take me to macdonald's when I was really little.
                                                      Hot bread into the the miscellaneousness left on your plate after a satisfying, delicious meal. If it's toasted sourdough, all the better, and really the best part of the entire meal.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Popkin

                                                        My favorite is Jack in the Box jalapeno poppers in their buttermilk sauce.

                                                      2. Dippig Charms lollipops or Tootsie Pops into a glass of ice water makes them juicy.

                                                        1. Cucumber or asparagus dipped in a red pepper/soybean paste dip.
                                                          Grilled, boiled, or fried pork belly dipped in a sesame oil, pepper, salt dip.
                                                          Korean jeon dipped in a soy sauce, sweetener, vinegar combo.
                                                          Just about any luncheon meat sandwich in tomato soup.
                                                          Toast, hashbrowns, bacon/sausage/ham, in soft yolked egg.

                                                          1. 1. French fries in dijonaise - dijon mustard mixed with mayo and /or fries dipped in garlic mayo.
                                                            2. Buttered baguette spread with jam and dipped in coffee mixed with hot milk

                                                            1. Not a big dipper. Somebody had to say it.

                                                              French fries in A-1 steak sauce is pretty good, though.

                                                              1. Hard pretzels dipped in cream cheese, chips in chile con queso, grilled sandwiches in my creamy tomato and spinach soup, mac and cheese dunked in brown gravy (usually from Salisbury steak.)

                                                                1. Dark chocolate in natural peanut butter.

                                                                  1. Well, so much Indian food is about dipping and dunking (chapatis or other rotis with just about any dal, sabzi, or raita. Or pakoras or any other snack with chutney).

                                                                    But in the spirit of your original post, my favorites are vadais (savory lentil doughnutlike things) dunked in rasam or in sambar, or in chutney. Closely followed by idlis or dosais (dunked in the same).

                                                                    In fact, I wonder which I like more, the dunked object, or the dip.....

                                                                    1. which are your favorite beef dip sandwiches that you mentioned

                                                                      1. I dip my cake into my red wine. If I'm at restuarant...I pour some wine over the top. When no one is looking, I hope. It's especially good with chocolate cake.

                                                                        1. Peanut butter toast in V-8 juice.

                                                                          Peanut butter or just butter toast in orange juice.

                                                                          Anything in tomato soup.

                                                                          Bread in vinegar and oil dressing left in the bottom of the salad bowl after it's been eaten up. I suppose that's more mopping than dipping.

                                                                          I like to drag a bite of fried chicken through the mashed and gravy, then pop it in my mouth.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: fern

                                                                            Any soup with bread. its the only way to eat soup. a memory of a spicy lamb soup with freshly baked persian bread. DH and i frequently made a meal of this. in indian food dipping and dunking is the only way to eat the rotis, parathas and naans with curries. there is something very very satisfying about eating with your fingers and licking them off after the dip/dunk.

                                                                            1. re: fern

                                                                              pretzels in ice cream; french bread in steamed mussels broth

                                                                            2. pound cake in cold milk. but you have to pour a glass of milk, put a piece of pound cake in it entirely, then mash up the pound cake a little bit, so it still has some chunks. delicious. only way i eat pound cake :]

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: chalkalot

                                                                                i haven't eaten pound cake in at least 15 years...but when i did, this was the only way for me as well!

                                                                              2. I don't like dipping and dunking much, but I have a few favorites. Grilled cheese needs something tomato. Ideally, it's a less-oniony, less-buttery version of Marcella's tomato/butter/onion sauce, but salsa is acceptable, and so is ketchup, which I usually only eat out, on a burger or FF. (I stop eating the FF, incidentally, if there are any left when I finish my burger. But I suspect that's a FF issue, not a dunking issue.)

                                                                                Dunking things in coffee kind of grosses me out. I never do it. Even when eating biscotti, I'll take a bite of the biscotti, then a sip of the coffee. The biscotti _never_ goes in the cup. I just can't bear the thought of there being crumbs in my coffee. I don't even like to say the word "dunk."

                                                                                This extends to every beverage. When I was little, I wouldn't even dunk cookies in milk, though sometimes I'd relent if it were chocolate milk, which by definition wasn't "clean." My favorite was either Animal Crackers or Burry Butter Cookies while I drank Pepsi, but nary a cookie went into my glass.

                                                                                I don't even eat cereal in milk. Actually, I hardly eat cereal, and when I do, it's my half-yearly box of Captain Crunch I buy at Big Lots when I go with The Cheapskate. I eat it right out of the box, or if I have company, in a cereal bowl with no milk, as if it were Chex-Mix.

                                                                                I have a friend who likes to dip his breakfast sandwich in mayonnaise. But that triggers my "ewww...warm mayo" disgustometer, not my dipndunkophobia.

                                                                                1. crunchy peanut butter toast into a glass of V-8. So good.

                                                                                  Bread spread with fruit preserves dunked into salty soup.

                                                                                  French fries into a chocolate shake.

                                                                                  1. Reposted from another "Dunkin" thread:
                                                                                    Back in the day my mom would take me with her when she went shopping. We'd have lunch at Nedick's. She was mortified when I dunked my hot dog in my Coca Cola.
                                                                                    These days I love to dunk:
                                                                                    Buttered bagel in espresso
                                                                                    Any kind of donut in coffee
                                                                                    Croissants in espresso
                                                                                    Grilled cheese in tomato soup
                                                                                    Churros in thick hot chocolate YUMMY!!!

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Motosport

                                                                                      the old folks out in the countryside in France break up chunks of buttered bread into a bowl, top it all up with coffee and hot milk, and eat the whole mess with a spoon.

                                                                                      You don't see it very often any more.

                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                        I don't know if anyone has mentioned it, but in past days it was common for the older folks to dunk cornbread in buttermilk in the South. I don't know if it is still common.

                                                                                    2. i get some strange looks when i order a large side of gravy and an order of crispy strips at KFC...

                                                                                      usually they ask what sauce i want with crispy strips...then i say "what do u think the gravy is for?"

                                                                                      sometimes i get a knowing look or answer from the person behind the counter or "gravy for dipping? i do that too!!!"

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: srsone

                                                                                        in KFC franchises in the UK, they serve the french fries with a little side of gravy.

                                                                                      2. - French fries dipped in Wendy's Frosty
                                                                                        - Jalapeno chips dipped in cream cheese
                                                                                        - Baguette dipped in good olive oil
                                                                                        - Sweet potato fries dipped in blue cheese dressing
                                                                                        - Hot wings dipped in blue cheese dressing
                                                                                        - Wheat-Thins dipped in cream cheese
                                                                                        - Crunchy apples and peanut butter
                                                                                        - Potato chips and ice cream

                                                                                        1. this is to confirm what we alway knew: dunking makes things better! http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013...

                                                                                          1. pretty much all my faves have been mentioned already but today I started my day with some buttered nutty multigrain toast dipped into yummy fired egg yolks. perfection.

                                                                                            1. bananas dipped in melted hot fudge dipped in sunflowers seeds

                                                                                              toasty hot patty melt dipped in cheesy French onion soup

                                                                                              a perfectly toasted 'everything' bagel
                                                                                              plunged into cherry pie filling that's been poured over high quality cream cheese

                                                                                              1. Bagel chips dunked in matzo ball soup
                                                                                                Grilled cheese dunked into tomato basil soup

                                                                                                1. any kind of cookie in a big glass of cold milk. (Oreos, since they haven't been mentioned)

                                                                                                  Even better if they're homemade.

                                                                                                  (My all-night study fuel was 6 oreos in a coffee cup (count 'em - it fits perfectly) filled with milk and consumed with a spoon.)

                                                                                                  1. wonder if anyone else dips their fries in Roquefort dressing. that is our fav-ranch doesn't begin to come close