Friday, July 10, 2009
My Venture into Dips with Strange Names
Don't let the strange name scare you. Coon Dip is the best hamburger cheese dip you will ever eat in your life. Where did the name come from? Who knows but I guarantee that there is no raccoon meat in it. When my office has a potluck, this dip is what everybody wants me to bring.
When I was growing up, my mother would fix Coon Dip for special occasions. One morning a few years ago, I was talking to my mother about making some for New Year's Eve. She was clipping coupons with some pointy scissors while taking occasional sips of Pepsi and drags on a cigarette – her favorite breakfast at the time. I casually mentioned that I had changed her Coon Dip recipe. She immediately stopped, looked up at me and said in a low growl, "You. Changed. My. Coon Dip recipe?". She inhaled deeply and her left eye started twitching uncontrollably. With a sinister look, she stared at her scissors…then at my chest…then back at her scissors. Through the years, I had changed many of her recipes but this time, I was scared I was going to end up like that lady in the shower scene in "Psycho." After 20 minutes of being scolded unmercifully, I started looking down at her scissors...then at her...then back at her scissors.
I can't say that my recipe is better than my mother's – it's just different. They're both good! So, without further adieu, I present you my Coon Dip recipe. Make it for your family. Make it for your office. Make it to spackle your walls. Just make it! You won't be sorry. Venture into your kitchen and start making dips with strange names today!
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Coon Dip Recipe
1 can Tomato Soup
1 can Cream of Mushroom or Golden Mushroom Soup
1 16-oz jar of salsa (I use Pace – Medium Spicy)
2 lbs of processed cheddar cheese (such as Velveeta), cut into 1 1/2” chunks
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste
1 TBSP vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs ground beef
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt (or 3/4 tsp table salt) or to taste
3/4 tsp pepper or to taste
Add the soups, salsa, cheese, and cayenne to a cold crock pot (5 quart or larger). Stir to combine, set on high heat, and cover.
Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for a couple of minutes until they just begin to soften. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Add the hamburger, salt, and pepper and cook until the meat has fully browned. Drain. Using a potato masher, mash the hamburger into a fine crumb. Add the meat mixture to the crock pot and stir. Heat the dip until the cheese has melted and the mixture is hot – about 2 hours. During cooking, stir the dip every 45 minutes to ensure even heating. The dip tastes even better when reheated. In fact, I rarely serve the dip on the same day I make it. I normally follow the above instructions and heat it for 2 hours, then transfer the dip to a large bowl and refrigerate it overnight. The next day, I reheat the dip in a crock pot (on high heat) about 2 to 2 1/2 hours before serving – stirring every 45 minutes. Serve with your favorite brand of tortilla chips.
Posted by Cooking Ventures at 7:14 PM