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First Down Dips

A few new dips for the Super Bowl that are guaranteed to score.

As I have illustrated in most of my articles, I prefer the unconventional approach to food-particularly in the realm of hors d'oeuvres. The Super Bowl is certainly an opportunity to express creativity. Don't get me wrong. I enjoy BBQ meatballs and cold cuts just as much as the next person. However, dips are an easy way to showcase some culinary ingenuity.  

Below are two recipes to bring your dips to the end-zone. One is a favorite recipe of mine that I learned from my journeys in Peru. The other is a recipe and favourite courtesy of my friends, Matt and Hillary Webster.  

Enjoy the Super Bowl and the good times and gatherings with your family and friends. As always, live deeply and happy eating my friends.  

Peruvian Stuffed Avocado 

3 ripe avocados  (on sale this weekend at Safeway 10 for $10 or at Whole Foods four for $5)

1 red bell pepper

1 yellow bell pepper

1 orange bell pepper

1 jalapeno pepper

1 small red onion 

4 cloves of garlic 

Dash of salt

Dash of black pepper

Dash of cayenne pepper (Consider stopping by the on Wisconsin Avenue for the freshest spices)

Dash of chili powder

Juice from 1/2 a lime 

1/3 cup of cilantro

1/2 cup of mayonnaise

Finely shredded white cheese (mozarella works well).

The softer and riper the avocados, the better. Try find Haas avocados at Whole Foods or . Finely mince the red, yellow and orange bell peppers, the jalapeno pepper, - being conscious of removing the seeds from all of the peppers - the red onion and the cloves of garlic.

Once finely minced, place the produce in a bowl and add the salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper and chili powder to taste. Also add the lime juice, the cilantro - finely chopped - and the mayonnaise. Mix the ingredients well and thoroughly with a large spoon.

Peel the avocados and cut them in half, removing the pits. Place the avocados on a plate and spoon the mixture over the top of the avocados. Sprinkle the finely shredded white cheese over the top of the avocados and the pepper mixture. Serve with tortilla chips.  

Webster-Style Artichoke Dip

1 cup mayonnaise

1 can of artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped

2 cups of mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/2 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated **

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of parsley, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients and place into a small baking pan. Bake for approximately half an hour, but keep a watchful eye on the dip to prevent it from getting too hot. The dip should be warm to hot, but not boiling over. Should it get too hot, the dip will start to separate and become oily. While still delicious to taste, an oily dip is less pleasing aesthetically. Serve the dip with either bagel chips, slices of French bread or tostadas. 

Again, thank you to my friends, Matt and Hillary Webster for this great recipe!

** To minimize the potential oil content, use the simple grated parmesan cheese that comes in the green cans as opposed to the more gourmet deli variety.  

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