Several weeks ago, my husband and I found ourselves lying in bed at 10AM, recuperating from a very long, very busy week. My feet throbbed with exhaustion, my stomach reminded me that we were too tired to eat dinner the night before and I discovered that somewhere along the way I had picked up a family of chiggers. It was at this point that my husband, not in much better shape than I, said, “is this party today a potluck?”
It was, I was sure of it. Any get together starting at Noon on a creek was sure to involve everyone bringing something to eat. The problem, besides our aching feet, was that the busy week had left little time to get to the grocery store and the dark recesses of both refrigerators were reminiscent of Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboards.
To my delight though, I came across a couple of packages of cream cheese hiding on the top shelf, that were (thankfully!) still in date. If you have cream cheese you can make pretty much any kind of dip and after a little more rummaging in the pantry I scored a jar of roasted red bell peppers. I was in business. Five minutes later, I had a perfectly acceptable potluck dip that was so good, I made another batch to keep at home.
Jarred roasted red bell peppers are an excellent ingredient to keep in your pantry for just such occasions. Usually a jar will have 2 whole peppers in it, but once opened, they don’t keep for very long in the fridge (maybe a week or two). You can use that other pepper on sandwiches, thrown in some pasta, or tossed in a salad. It adds a nice touch of smoky sweetness to whatever you are cooking.
- 1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 whole roasted red bell pepper
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 clove minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Combine all ingredients to a food processor and blend until dip is smooth and well combined. Spoon into a serving bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. Serve with crackers and crudité.
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