I’m sharing a bit of food nostalgia with you on this Friday. It centers on Mock Oyster Dip, a glorious concoction of garlicky, cheesy goodness containing chopped broccoli and mushrooms meant to imitate the flavor and texture of oysters. Mind you, this is not French-Creole haute cuisine. It’s comforting New Orleans family finger food made with processed cheese and canned soup. It’s special because each bite awakens wonderful distant memories and important milestones. Over countless servings of warm Mock Oyster Dip, I observed the various ways food connects families and friends, relaxes and comforts us and makes everyone happy. And it was through those same servings that I learned not to eat over the bowl or double dip–big girl stuff!
When dealing with a recipe like this one that’s tied so strongly to my past, I tend not to tweak it even when the memory of the dish ends up being better than the dish itself. But in this instant, I was forced to make some changes since the Kraft Garlic Cheese Roll called for in the original recipe has been discontinued. I’ve replaced it with Velveeta, fresh jalapenos and a touch of liquid smoke. While I was at it, I also decided to work in fresh broccoli and mushrooms for the frozen and canned ingredients listed in the original recipe. I feel confident, though, that the authenticity of the recipe is still intact.
Now I’d like to mix up a nostalgic cocktail to go with my nostalgic dip. The only drink that comes to mind is an Amaretto Sour–the first cocktail I ever liked. However, I can’t stomach those anymore. So I’m turning to what I do enjoy these days, cool brews. I’m going with a Founders Red’s Rye this evening. Its bitter hops and citrusy grapefruit essence should be a good match for this sentimental finger food.
Until next week …
Mock Oyster Dip Recipe
1 pound fresh broccoli florets
1 stick butter
4-ounces white mushrooms, halved and sliced thin
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 10 3/4-ounce can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 8-ounce package Velveeta cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and black pepper to taste
Fritos Scoops corn chips, for serving
Cook broccoli in a pot of salted water until very tender; drain and chop small. Set aside. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add mushrooms, onions, garlic and jalapeno peppers; cook stirring frequently until tender, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in soup. Add cheese; stir over low heat until melted. Add cooked broccoli, garlic powder, liquid smoke and cayenne pepper; cook until broccoli is heated through. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve immediately with Fritos Scoops. Makes about 4 cups.