So there’s a sport thing this weekend, apparently? I don’t know. More importantly, it’s an excuse to sit and to eat snacks, two things I really enjoy. It’s the weekend for chicken wings, nachos, jalapeño poppers, and dip. In my opinion, dip is one of the greatest categories of foods that we know of. Honestly, I can and have made entire meals out of dip.
Way back when we could have people over for dinner, I’d spend all day preparing a menu, only to realize—five minutes before the guests arrived—that I’d forgotten a snack to serve before dinner. But this happened enough times that I developed a system: I’d poke my head in the fridge, find some nearly-dying herbs, maybe a leftover condiment made for another dinner, and spin that into a quick dip. It feels impressive, but it's easy. One of my favorite categories of thing.
This specific dip came about last Thanksgiving. I’d bought a big bunch of leeks at the farmers market. And while doing my other prep I’d slowly melted them down in a bunch of butter, intending for Andrew to use them in his dressing—he always makes the dressing. Well somehow, they didn’t make it into the dressing, which I realized a few days later when I found a pint of beautifully melted leeks in the fridge. But when life gives you forgotten leeks… you make melted leek dip.
Here’s another great thing about dip—you probably already have everything you need to make some kind of dip right now. My basic dip formula is mayo (the cornerstone), a dairy (like sour cream or yogurt), and flavor. Any flavor. It’s your dip. Throw everything in your food processor. Then… dip.
Maybe this isn't even really a recipe. Just sort of a directional push, so that you too might use the trash in your fridge to make something easy and delicious. It just so happens to coincide with that sport thing on Sunday.
Melted Leek Dip
1 bunch of leeks
5 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 cup of mayonnaise
1 cup of sour cream, or more
A few dashes of hot sauce
A few dashes of Worcestershire sauce
A squeeze of lemon
Trim the tough green tops from the leeks and save them for stock. Slice the bottoms lengthwise in half and then into ¼ inch slices. Wash the leeks thoroughly in a colander, and drain well.
Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the leeks and cook on medium-low, stirring occasionally. Do not let the leeks brown. Season with salt. Cook until the leeks are transparent and beginning to break down—it will be a while. Like, 20 minutes or more. Low and slow is key. Adjust the heat as needed.
Remove from heat and let the leeks cool. Add them to the bowl of the food processor.
Add the mayo, sour cream, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon. Pulse to blend.
Taste for seasoning. Add a little salt or more hot sauce, Worcestershire, or lemon. If you have some parsley, chop it up and add it. Maybe a few grinds of black pepper? It’s all up to you.
Serve with crackers (Ritz is always my choice), chips, veggies, or toasted chunks of bread.
If you’re not a subscriber, here’s what you missed last month: Chili-Braised Spare Ribs, Pull-Apart Jelly Doughnuts, and Pizza Babka. I’m dropping my Valentine’s Day dinner recipe in the next few days, so don’t miss it!