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Published January 28, 2014, 12:44 PM

Lost Italian: Down, Set, Dip!: Everybody wins with this delicious duo of dunkables fit for a Super Bowl spread

Last fall we hosted a contest to find the Perfect Party Dip, and Jean Eppler’s cleverly-named “Cranberries Gone Wild Dip” took home the title. But just three votes separated the top three party dip contestants.

By: Sarah and Tony Nasello, INFORUM

Last fall we hosted a contest to find the Perfect Party Dip, and Jean Eppler’s cleverly-named “Cranberries Gone Wild Dip” took home the title.

But just three votes separated the top three party dip contestants.

While Jean’s dip spoke to the season with its festive Christmas colors and seasonal main ingredient, our runners-up are perfect for the ultimate Dip-apalooza, otherwise known as Super Bowl Sunday.

What makes Peggy Fisher’s Hot Beef Taco Dip and Sherre Sattler’s Jalapeño Popper Dip ideal for this occasion? While completely different from each other, they are both warm dips. And with the recent low temperatures, outside and even indoors this week, a hot dip is definitely the way to go on Sunday.

Next, both dips are easy to make, and this is important because we don’t think you’ll be able to choose between the two, so why not serve them both? We also love that they can both be made the day before and refrigerated until ready to bake.

Of course, taste is probably most important, and these dips creatively embody the flavors of two highly popular party foods: tacos and jalapeño poppers.

Fisher’s Hot Beef Taco Dip is wonderfully hearty and offers the classic taco flavors of seasoned ground beef, melted cheddar cheese, sour cream and tomatoes. In her recipe submission, Fisher of Fargo said, “Old, young and in between LOVE this easy and satisfying dip,” and the comments we received last fall at our tasting events confirmed this opinion.

People are attracted to Fisher’s dip because it is colorful and appealing in appearance, and they keep coming back for more because it tastes so darn good. She serves it with Tostito Scoops chips, and even recommends leaving recipe cards on display next to the dip for guests to take.

Sattler’s Jalapeno Popper Dip was a terrific surprise. When I first received this recipe entry, I was intrigued by its name, but doubted that it could really live up to the flavors of this popular appetizer. But it does. This creamy concoction of cream cheese, mayonnaise (did I really just say that?), canned green chilies and jalapeno peppers, and parmesan cheese is topped with panko (Japanese-style) breadcrumbs, butter and more parmesan cheese, and the result is almost embarrassingly delicious.

Sattler, of Grand Forks, recommends serving her dip with bagel chips, Ritz crackers or baguette slices, but tortilla chips will also work well.

You can use a chafing dish to keep each dip warm throughout the party, but to be honest, we don’t expect them to stay on your party table for long. We’ve mentioned three distinctively different dips for you to feature at your Superbowl party this Sunday, but feel free to check out the Super Bowl section on our blog at www.thelostitalian.areavoices.com for more great ideas. Have fun this Sunday, and just in case you’re wondering who Tony is rooting for he wanted me to leave you with this clue: Omaha!

Peggy Fisher’s Hot Beef Taco Dip

Peggy prefers a 9-by-13-inch glass pan (10-by-15 is good for larger crowds)

8-ounch package cream cheese (do not use reduced fat)

1 cup sour cream (do not use light)

1 cup Mayo (do not use Miracle Whip)

1½ pounds hamburger

1 tablespoon minced onion (add more for your liking)

1 package taco seasoning

8-ounce can tomato sauce

Tomato, chopped

Green pepper, chopped

2 cups cheddar cheese

Beat cream cheese, sour cream and mayo together and spread in baking pan. Chill mixture covered for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, brown hamburger and add onion, taco seasoning and tomato sauce. Pour over the chilled mixture in baking pan. Top with tomato, green pepper and cheddar cheese.

Bake 30 or so minutes at 350 degrees until the cheese is melted and the sides are bubbling. Let stand 5 minutes and serve with Tostito Scoops or your favorite chip.

Sherre Sattler’s Jalapeño Popper Dip

Ingredients

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened

1 cup mayonnaise

4-ounce can chopped green chilies, drained

2 ounces canned, diced jalapeno peppers, drained

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Topping

½ cup panko bread crumbs

½ cup grated or shredded parmesan cheese

¼ cup butter, melted

Directions:

Mix all of the dip ingredients together and spread into a greased pie pan or a 2-quart baking dish.

In a bowl, mix panko breadcrumbs, ½ cup parmesan cheese and melted butter until incorporated.

Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over the dip and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until top is browned and the dip is bubbly.

Serve with bagel chips, Ritz crackers or baguette slices.

Home with the Lost Italian is a weekly column written by Sarah Nasello featuring recipes by her husband, Tony Nasello. The couple owns Sarello’s restaurant in Moorhead and lives in Fargo with their 9-year-old son, Giovanni. Readers can reach them at dine@sarellos.com. All previous recipes can be found at http://thelostitalian.areavoices.com

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