Garlic dip in its simplest form is a block of cream cheese and garlic. As much fresh garlic as you can stand. Back in the early 1970s, when I first mixed those two ingredients together, I knew I had found a finger food for life. I could devour an entire bowl of that dip in one sitting with the help of nothing more than a bag of chips. Or was it a tin of Charles Chips? Oh, and on those occasions when there were no chips to be found, a sleeve of saltine crackers worked just fine. Back then, I only wish I had the patience to let the cream cheese come to room temperature before I added the garlic. I can’t tell you how many of my mother’s fork tines I bent in the process.
I have made this pungent dip countless times since then and for years I never considered altering it. The garlic dip of my youth seemed perfect the way it was. But the more I started entertaining and sharing this dip with others, the more I felt like it needed a little more character. Two ingredients eventually became three, then five and finally six. The recipe you see here is what I’ve come to refer to as the grown-up version and I believe it hits all the marks the little girl version missed. Make no mistake, the garlic is still front and center. Only now it has a little support on either side.
And now that this dip is all grown up, it deserves a grown-up beverage to go along with it. I’ve sipped a bunch of really good beers recently and I think any one of them would fit the bill. Two you may want to seek out are Voo Ka Ray IPA from Chafunkta Brewing and Hop Dang Diggity Southern IPA from Jekyll Brewing. Now I understand that you may not be able to find either of these smashing brews in your area. If that’s the case, seek out a local craft beer that suits your taste and drink on.
Until next time …
Garlic Dip Recipe
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced onion
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
Chips, for serving
Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into a decorative bowl and serve with chips. Makes about 1 1/4 cups.