You’ve been angelic about eating healthy so far into 2013. If you’re going to throw your healthy habits to the wind for an evening, this is a good recipe to indulge in.
Peggy’s chutney dip is indeed divine. People have been begging her to bring this dip to parties for years, she explained. Peggy says she can’t remember how this recipe came into her life, but we’re sure glad it did. It’s actually a riff on a recipe from Saveur Magazine, but the Saveur version calls for an entire stick of butter. This recipe uses no butter whatsoever. So, you can almost consider this a lower calorie version of the Saveur recipe. It’s not snobby, or pretentious. It’s always the first thing to disappear on the appetizer table.
“Men absolutely love this dip,” said Peggy. “It’s gotta be the bacon,” she surmised.
Ridiculously simple to assemble, this chutney dip can be quickly made ahead of time, and then baked right before you need it.
The only exotic ingredient is chutney, and you can easily find a jar of it on your grocer’s shelf. Chutney is probably best described as a savory jam made up of fruit and spices. This recipe calls for a flavor called “Major Grey”, and yes, that IS the name of the flavor. Mango and raisins make up the base for this kind of chutney.
It pulls together that luscious combination of salty and sweet, smooth and crunchy. The chutney is buried in cream cheese, cheddar cheese and topped with crispy bacon and minced scallions.
And what about some local craft beer to accompany this dip?
Cleveland’s Great Lakes Brewing Company has some suggestions for beer pairings.
Bob Voss, the Assistant General Manager of the Brewpub at the GLBC noted that “a spicy Belgian Ale like our Pub Exclusive Tripel Dog Dare would stand up nicely to the dip.” But he also recommends the Eliot Ness Amber Lager, because the toasted malt flavors compliment the chutney, cream cheese, and bacon.
Now, settle in with your chutney dip and beer, and pray your team wins!
Sister Peg’s Chutney Dip Recipe
(Adapted from Saveur Magazine)
2- 8 oz. bars of cream cheese
1- 9 oz. jar of Major Grey Grey Chutney (Crosse and Blackwell is easy to find )
1- 8 oz. bag of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2- 4 strips of crispy bacon, crumbled
2- 4 Scallions (green onions) finely chopped-set aside for garnish. (Do not bake, or the green onions will become soggy.)
Carr’s water crackers for serving
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Start by frying up the bacon, until nearly crispy. Drain on paper towels.
(You could even prepare the bacon the day before, then refrigerate until needed.)
While the bacon is frying, you can assemble the rest of the recipe.
In an 8 x 8 square inch ceramic dish: (or a glass pie plate):
Spread both bars of cream cheese on the bottom of the dish. Next, spread the jar of chutney over the cream cheese. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over the top. Add the crumbled bacon on top. Bake at 375 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, or until bubbly. Remove from oven, and toss on the scallions. Best served slightly warm, or at room temperature.
Cook’s notes: Don’t skimp and use the low fat version of cream cheese or cheddar cheese. It won’t melt as well, or be as tasty. Carr’s water crackers go great with this because they aren’t salty. This dip has multiple flavors going on here, so a simple cracker works best.
Recipe can be easily doubled to accommodate a larger size baking dish.