Monday, December 5, 2011

Cocktail Party Week.....Day 2.....Baked Pizza Dip

I found this Pizza Dip in my mom's recipe file that I forced her to hand over to me this summer!  After I made it the first time, I knew it had huge just needed to be updated a tad.  She did have to come clean and admit that she had pilfered the recipe from a former tennis acquaintance that now lives in Texas. Since mom couldn't remember her name, I can only surmise that she must have regularly lost to said tennis acquaintance??  Just sayin.

Fortunately, even though I inherited my mother's hatred of losing, I also inherited her ability to spot a good thing when I see one!   This recipe is a total winner.   And it truly is pizza disguised as a dip.  It's cheesy, creamy and just a hint spicy.  The first time I made it I served it with fresh bread slices, but like pizza, it's best with a crispy crust!  So, the next time I toasted my own crostini and while they were still hot from the oven, I rubbed them with fresh garlic.  Perfect.

Here's the recipe:

Baked Pizza Dip
(from my mother's obviously superior tennis friend from Texas!)

1 8oz pkg. of cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1 log or tube of pepperoni, chopped (I tried this with slices of pepperoni and it makes it too hard to "dip" so I tried chopping up one of those tubes of pepperoni and it works much better.  Just make sure you remove the paper wrapping!!)
1 1/2 cups marinara sauce (I prefer Rao's Arrabbiata Sauce)
Fresh Mozzarella

Preheat oven to 350 deg. F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together cream cheese and sour cream.  Add oregano, basil, pepper flakes and garlic powder and blend.  Spread mixture in the bottom of pie plate.  Top mixture with marinara.  Top with chopped pepperoni and chopped scallions.  Cover with slices of fresh mozzarella.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until mixture starts to bubble around the edges.  I like to finish mine under the broiler to brown the cheese.  Serve with garlic crostini.

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