Make your Super Bowl Sunday super cheesy. We asked NYC chefs for their tips on making a winning cheese dip.
First thing’s first: Before you hit up a grocery store, deciding on a flavor and seasoning profile is necessary.
“I use a combination of heat with red peppers with garlic cloves, mushrooms, salt and pepper and olive oil and then roast everything together,” says Sandy Dee Hall, executive chef at the new Black Tree Brooklyn. “You can work that into anything you use for the cheese.”
Fresh is best
To make the best cheese dip, quality and fresh ingredients are key, says Giovanni Morales, chef at the Latin American wine bar Oovina. He recommends buying the cheese no more than three days in advance.
A mix of hard and soft cheeses is best, adds Hall, in addition to using sour cream. The consistency should be pretty wet when it’s cold, an indicator that it’s gooey and cheesy.
“If it’s not wet and gooey, always add more sour cream and it will loosen up the dip again,” Hall says.
Prior to Super Bowl Sunday, Morales recommends preparing the dip ahead of time and doing a test run to ensure it’s tasty.
“This will allow you to make tweaks to get it just right,” he says.
Homemade corn chips cut from tortillas are Morales’s go-to, while Hall’s favorite chips for dipping are crunchy hard kettle chips. But, if you’re feeling adventurous, Hall endorses the use of frozen egg roll skins, which can be found in a Chinese market.
“You cut them into strips and fry them, which takes about 5 minutes,” he says.
These are great for parties because they’re a bit smaller in size and keep guests from scooping too much — conserving your dip for the lengthy game.
If leftovers exist, don’t throw anything out — the cheese dip can be saved for later snacking.
“You can store the dip for approximately two days,” says Morales. “Most of the ingredients are fresh so the flavors will keep better.”
Mushroom cheese dip recipe
Black Tree Brooklyn executive chef Sandy Dee Hall shares this recipe for a baked ricotta- and cheddar-cheese dip with mushrooms and hot peppers for extra flavor and spice. Makes 20 servings
4 hot peppers
4 cups mushrooms, chopped
2 garlic cloves
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 cups cheddar cheese
2 lbs. cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan, cilantro and red pepper flakes for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place hot peppers, mushrooms and garlic cloves on a sheet of aluminum foil on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil.
3. Slow-roast ingredients for 20 minutes until they’re soft and baked.
4. While ingredients are baking, take a separate bowl and mix the ricotta cheese, cheddar cheese, cream cheese and sour cream together.
5. When veggies are done, mix into cheese mixture.
6. Place mixture in a 9×13 casserole dish and bake for another 40 minutes.
7. To garnish, grate Parmesan over finished dip for another layer of cheese. Add cilantro and red pepper flakes to taste.
8. Serve with wonton chips.