Jarred roasted red peppers, cream cheese, shredded mozzarella and chips (oh, and craft beer :-)) are refrigerator and pantry staples in my house. There’s a lot I can do with those ingredients. Plus, they all have a healthy shelf life. This time year, I find it especially important to have several flavorful and flexible items like those on hand. Alone or combined, they can spruce up chicken breasts, dress up pasta, flavor French bread (think French bread pizza), spiffy up salad greens or seafood and create inviting and impromptu appetizers. That’s basically how this finger food came to be. Last week, we had neighborhood friends stop by unannounced–which I totally love and welcome. And in true Genêt fashion, I felt compelled to feed them. It’s a family trait. So, after rooting through my “provisions,” I pulled together this festive dip. The red peppers shine through making it ideal for the holidays. The feta, which is another cheese I often have handy, gives this dip plenty of tang, the cream cheese makes it, well, creamy and the mozzarella contributes that ever-so-important gooeyness.
On the beverage front, it was all Andygator (except for the hubby who drank his favorite Miller Lite). I was so excited to hear that Abita finally found a way to contain this creature in a 6-pack that I ran to our local liquor store and stocked up. Up until now, Andygator has only been available on draft or 22-ounce bombers. Andygator is a swampy mix of two different German-style beers, Helles and Doppelbock. If I could, I’d break that down for you in beer talk. But I can’t. So in my own words, this beer is light in color, heavy on the malt and alcohol (8% ABV) and slightly sweet. Most importantly, it pairs well with this cheesy finger food.
Until next time …
Three Cheese Roasted Red Pepper Dip Recipe
1 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained
1 6-ounce container crumbled feta cheese
4-ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Crostini or chips, for serving
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Pat peppers dry, chop and place in a large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined. Pour into a medium baking dish and bake until bubbly and golden brown around the edges. Baking time varies based on size and shape of dish, 25-35 minutes on average. Serve with crostini or chips. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.