Warm Blue Cheese, Bacon and Garlic Dip
When your husband comes home from an event with a recipe in hand, you know what's printed on that little slip of paper has got to be extraordinary.
December 2012 -- My husband tried an unassuming-looking warm cheese dip at a business associate's Christmas party and was floored by the combination of flavors he tasted. He had some more dip, and some more, and some more. He asked the hostess about it, and she gladly shared the secret of this savory, bacon-y concoction.
Within a week, I was fixing Bleu Cheese and Bacon dip for my family, and even my preschooler devoured it with wild abandon. While it's very easy to put together, the taste is rich enough for special occasions. Now, this recipe is our gold standard for holidays, especially Thanksgiving (pre-feast), Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.
While you could always serve this with pita wedges, I'd highly suggest serving it with apple slices or crusty French bread to complement the flavors in the dip.
- 7 slices bacon, chopped (Do yourself a favor and don't use bacon crumbles or turkey bacon. Go for the real stuff)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup half-and-half
- 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese (approximately 1 cup)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 3 -4 tablespoons chopped smoked almonds (I can usually find these fairly easily at the supermarket. Didn't know they existed before this recipe)
- Crusty French bread or sliced apples for dipping. My family prefers gala or fuji apples. You can use pita chips as well, but may I strongly suggest the bread or apples since they complement the flavors in the dip.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit
- Cook bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat until nearly crisp.
- Drain off excess fat, then add garlic and cook until bacon is crisp, approximately 3 minutes.
- Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add half-and-half, and mix until combined.
- Stir in bacon mixture, blue cheese and chives.
- Transfer to an oven-proof serving dish. I use a glass pie plate when I'm just serving it to my family, but any 2 cup capacity dish will do. Cover dish with foil. (NOTE: you can prepare the dip 1 day beforehand up until this step. Let it warm to room temperature before baking)
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until heated through.
- Sprinkle with chopped almonds.
- Serve WARM with French bread, sliced apples or pita chips.
This is where the party hostess originally found this fantastic recipe. It's award-winning, and if the other recipes it contains are as good as the Bacon Blue Cheese dip, I'm ordering it ASAP.
My KitchenAid mixes beautifully, and it makes easy work of combining the cream cheese and half-and-half. Got mine for my wedding in 2001, and it's still going strong.