Finger Food Friday: Crescent City Sin


Crescent City Sin Dip

Crescent City Sin


If you live in the south or have ever done any SEC tailgating, you’re probably familiar with Mississippi Sin or, as it’s called by some, Mississippi State Sin. It’s a devilishly delicious dip dotted with specs of ham and chopped green chiles that apparently originated in the kitchen of some big MS Bulldog fan. Up until a few months ago, I had only heard of this Southern college game-day tradition. Then, while flipping through a community cookbook my mom recently gave me (The 2nd Annual South Area Diversity Cookbook of the USPS), I came across the recipe and decided to make a batch for comparison purposes and then create my own version. You know, one that would proudly represent South Louisiana and be embraced by fans at pre-game festivities all across the region–including those at places like, let’s say, Tiger Stadium.

To maintain the integrity of the dip, I felt like the most obvious place to make my mark was with the protein. So I replaced the standard ham with tasso. I also upped the amount of green onions (because South Louisianians love green onions) and added garlic and fresh jalapeños. I kept everything else the same (barring subtle differences from fan to fan). I must say, the smoky, spiced-just-right tasso is what defines this version. The extra green onions along with the garlic and jalapeños, are also welcome additions that help cut through some of the richness brought on by the cheeses and sour cream. And eating the dip-soaked crusty bread bowl that’s left behind after all the dip is gone? The best part of any “sin.”

Now listen. Don’t wait until football season to try this dip. Make it today or for Father’s Day. You’ll love it. It’s grill-friendly too. All you need to do is wrap the stuffed bread bowl in heavy duty aluminum foil and set it over indirect heat until the dip is hot. And remember, if you can’t find tasso in your area click on the “Resources” tab above, find my tasso contacts and order away.

To wash away … I mean, to wash down this sin, turn to my latest fav IPA–Ballast Point Sculpin. Don’t be misled by the title which is derived from that unattractive, stinging fish by the same name. This beer is quite attractive with its full-on flavor of apricots, peaches, mangos, grapefruit, lemon and pine. And about the only discomfort you’ll experience from enjoying it is a hangover. That is, only if you have one too many. Best of luck with that!

Until next time …

Crescent City Sin Recipe

Print Recipe

Print Recipe

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 4-ounce can chopped green chilies, drained
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup diced tasso
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1 large loaf round crusty bread
Crostini, chips or crackers, for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese and sour cream. Stir in green chilies and next 5 ingredients. Cut a thin slice from top of bread and hollow out inside. Pour dip into hollowed bread, cover with reserved top slice and wrap in aluminum foil. Bake until heated through, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Serve with crostini, chips or crackers. Makes about 4 cups.

Genêt

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2 Responses
  1. Frank Speyerer says:

    Here is a tried and true recipe for the round crusty bread you use.

    Bread in a Black Cast Iron Pot
    Yield: 1 loaf

    Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen.

    Note: Plan ahead. The time required for the recipe is about 1½ hours plus 14 to 20 hours rising.

    Ingredients:
    • 3¼ cups bread flour, more for dusting
    • 1½ teaspoons salt 

    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 envelope (¼ ounce) Fleischman RapidRise™ yeast
    • 1½ cups warm water (120º to 130º F)
    • – cornmeal or additional flour as needed
    • – Baker’s Joy® Baking Spray with flour

    Method:

    1. Combine the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook.
    2. Turn mixer to speed 2 and mix about 1 minute or until well blended.
    3. Gradually add water that has been heated to 120º to 130º F and continue to mix.
    4. Stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky.
    5. Continue to mix until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
    6. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 3 hours.

    Note: A closed unlit gas oven is an excellent draft-free place. The heat from the pilot provides adequate warmth for proper rising. With an electric oven, turn to 150° for about 3 minutes, then turn off the heat and open the door for 3 minutes. Place the bowl of dough in the oven and quickly close the door. This will give you an approximate temperature of 85°, just right for even and fairly quick rising.

    Note: Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles.

    7. Alternatively, cover with plastic wrap and let rise slowly in the refrigerator for 10 to 12 hours or overnight.
    8. Lightly flour a work surface with cornmeal or flour and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more cornmeal or flour and fold it over on itself once or twice.
    9. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
    10. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball.
    11. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour.
    12. Put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour.
    13. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours.

    Note: When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

    14. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450° F.
    15. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy black cast iron covered pot in oven as it heats.
    16. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from the oven.
    17. Lightly coat the bottom of the pot with Baker’s Joy® Baking Spray with flour
    18. Slide your hand under the towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up.

    Note: The dough may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.

    19. Cover with lid and bake 40 minutes.
    20. Dump the bread from the black cast iron pot oven and let it cool on a rack for at least 1 hour before slicing.

    • Genet says:

      Frank, you’re killing me! You make bread-baking sound so easy. Trouble is, I haven’t had much success in that department. Patience, no doubt, is one of my biggest obstacles. But I
      promise to try this recipe as soon as I can set aside an entire day to myself and I will share my success (or failure) with you. I appreciate the share!!!

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