For me, football season has always been about the dips. In fact, when I was just getting interested in cooking, I made a few trays of dip for a Super Bowl party at my years-later-to-be-boyfriend’s fraternity house, and he even just recently reminded me of how kick-ass it was and how quickly it was devoured. Now that I think about it, that might have been one of the first times he ever went out of his way to talk to me. (He’s kind of shy, or introverted, or whatever you’d like to call it, but if he’s already opening his mouth to yell at football players in between shoveling down half a tray of dip, he’ll also use it to genuinely thank you for your delicious contribution.) You could say our relationship is owed to a football season dip. It wouldn’t have much truth to it, but you could say it if you wanted to.
But this isn’t about my relationship. It’s about football season, dips, and how everyone will suddenly think you’re the one of the greatest human beings to grace the face of the earth if you make a good one. (I’d even venture to say the same holds true for any party or event you attend.)
How do you know if you’re on your way to making an awesome dip? One, it should be simple. You shouldn’t have to be a master chef to make it, and you shouldn’t have to be a gastronome to understand the complexity of its flavors (unless, I guess, you’re cooking for all gastronomes. Then knock yourself out).
Two, it should have at least one of the following things in it: sour cream, cream cheese, beer, meat, buffalo sauce, tomatoes, avocado, cheese and more cheese, beans, peppers, spinach, fruit, brown sugar, vanilla, or chocolate. You get bonus points for using more than one, as long as you don’t mix the sweet with the savory– chocolate and buffalo sauce dip? Gross.
Three, the idea of enjoying this dip should be more exciting to you than almost anything else you can imagine eating at the party. If you’re making it for a football game, it should have the power to console the broken hearts of the losing team, or should be a proper celebratory snack for the winning team. Dip is responsible for satisfying a wide range of emotions, you see.
And this is how I came up with Chili Cheese Dog Dip, which may or may not be one of the greatest dips of all time. (I’m leaning toward yes. Leaning so, so very far.) After all, what’s more could one ask for on game day than a hearty dip loaded with homemade chili, cheese, hot dogs, bacon, and more? This dip was never tested by any football-watching snackers because it didn’t make it that long– my girl friends and I devoured this whole thing over the course of two days in the middle of the week. (This would be much more jaw-dropping if you realized how much dip this makes… enough to feed a party full of linebacker-sized men rather than just 3 small girls.) However, you can bet I’ll be making it again for game day.
Don’t be intimidated by the somewhat longer list of ingredients– it’s totally worth it and not actually difficult at all, nor is it expensive to make given the insane amount of dip it creates. Plus, let’s not forget the benefit of becoming one of the “greatest human beings to grace the face of the earth” in the eyes of your football-loving friends.
You can serve this with tortilla chips, bread, potato chips, or spoons– heck, I’d eat this with my hands if that’s all that was available at the time. Just be careful, some grease releases as it cooks so you’d probably want to put it in a much bigger bowl than I show in this picture. Once you mix it up, it’s perfect, but it’s difficult to mix in a too-small pan like that one. Lesson learned.
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 jalapeno chile, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
- 1 16 oz can kidney beans, drained
- 1 16 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 2 plum (Roma) tomatoes, diced
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 1 cup cheddar cheese
- ½ lb bacon, cooked and diced
- 6 hot dogs, cooked and diced
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- Snipped fresh chives or green onions for garnish
- Brown the beef in a large, high-walled skillet over medium heat with a tablespoon of canola oil.
- Add in the peppers, celery, onion, jalapeno, and garlic. Saute until the vegetables become slightly tender.
- In a seperate bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the beef and vegetable mixture, stirring well.
- Cook until the vegetables are completely tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add kidney beans, crushed tomato, diced tomatoes, salt and pepper and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. The chili should become very thick.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
- Mix in cream cheese and the chopped hot dogs and pour into a casserole dish.
- Top with ¾ of the cheddar cheese and half of the bacon. Bake for 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Garnish with the chives/green onions, bacon, and the remaining cheese. Serve with potato chips, tortilla chips, fritos, or bread.