Triple-dipping

A trio of dips for your next summer soirée.

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What’s better than having a dip to serve up as an appetizer before the burgers come off the grill? Three dips. 

It was hard to choose just three dips to write about, but I decided to go with a few of my favorites: guacamole, black bean dip, and mango salsa. I love the concept of dips — something to snack on, something to use as an excuse to munch on chips, something that you accidentally fill up on before dinner is even served. Dips are quick, easy, delicious dishes for almost any occasion. But you can’t have dips without chips. For these specific dips, I prefer either a crispy Tostitos scoop or a zesty Tostitos Hint of Lime chip. They would also be good with any kind of sea salt cracker. In reality, I don’t think you can go wrong with any kind of chip. Sliced carrots and celery will work as well if you want to incorporate some veggies. 

These dips will be a great addition to the menu at your next barbecue or summer cookout. The flavors pair well with anything you may choose to grill up, and will definitely be enjoyed by your guests. In my opinion, the mango dip is a must-try. The flavors of the mango and the jalapeño combine for the perfect balance between sweet and spicy, with the lime and the red onion giving it the kick it needs. That is not to say that the guacamole and the black bean dip won’t be big hits as well — they have both been enjoyed by my friends and family alike. Possibly one of the best parts about serving dips is that the utensils come in the form of chips or veggies — no dishwashing necessary.

I was curious about the history of the famous duo, and started to do some reading on chips and dips. I became amazed by the amount of information you can find online when you look up “history of dips.” It is important to note that the first potato chip was invented in 1853, but the potato chip category quickly expanded to include many different kinds of chips. The pairing of chips with dip increased in popularity during the 1950s, at first because of changing styles of entertaining in the U.S. suburbs. Then in 1954, a Lipton advertising campaign aired on television and in supermarket displays, which promoted the use of their dehydrated onion soup mix to create dip, which would then be paired with chips or crudités. The effects of the success of this advertisement were significant, as many new dips were created and shared with the rest of the world. It is not known for sure if this was the true beginning of chips and dips, but this definitely popularized the style of chips and dip that we know and love today. 

The chips and dips concept grew so large over time that it has become the universal party food — I think anything you can scoop onto a chip or cracker can qualify as a dip now. I am still trying to come up with new creations by chopping, mixing, and blending ingredients together, but in the meantime, here are three recipes to get you started. 

Guacamole

3 avocados, mashed
3 ‘Campari’ tomatoes, diced
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. onion powder
¼ tsp. red chili flakes
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, minced
Freshly squeezed juice of ½ lime

Mash the avocados in a large bowl. Dice the tomatoes and add them into the same bowl. Sprinkle in the cumin, onion powder, and red chili flakes. Add the minced garlic, cilantro, and lime juice. Mix well. Top it off with salt and pepper, to taste. 

Black Bean Dip

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 can black beans, drained
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp. cilantro paste
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. cumin
Freshly squeezed juice of ½ lime
Chicken broth, enough to submerge the beans

Heat up a saucepan with enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. While the pan is heating up, empty the can of black beans into a colander and rinse until the foam disappears. Set beans aside. Once the oil is hot, add the onions to the saucepan. Stir occasionally until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Toss in the beans and stir. Add the cilantro paste, cinnamon, cumin, lime juice, and salt, and pepper to taste. Mix well. Cook until the beans become slightly mushy. Then pour chicken broth over the mixture until all the beans are submerged. Cook over medium heat and stir occasionally. Cook until the chicken broth has reduced and the bean dip becomes thick, around 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm and enjoy.

Mango Salsa

2 mangoes, peeled, pitted, and diced into cubes
½ red onion, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
1 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime

Peel, pit, and dice 2 ripe mangoes, and add them to a large bowl. Dice ½ a red onion and add that to the same bowl. Remove seeds from jalapeño and mince. Add to the bowl. Wash fresh cilantro and chop finely. Add to the bowl. Squeeze juice of 1 lime over the top of the mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Mix well and serve immediately.

 

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