A Great Dip: Buttermilk/Blue Cheese/Avocado

Dips are an easy and brilliant way to make whatever you’re serving so much better.  Typically, we see the basic sour

cream/cream cheese or mayonnaise based store-bought dips, or store-bought salad dressings used as a dip (think blue cheese dressing for oven friendly buffalo wings). While there is absolutely nothing wrong with this, I think it’s implied that with a little effort, we can do SO much better, and probably healthier too!  With the summer season almost in full swing, the opportunity for great dips is here.  Something to dip BBQ ribs in, spicy roasted chicken wings, vegetable crudites, or anything else you might want a good dip for.  It’s also implied that your food, without a dip, is already delicious.  Wonderful, smokey, sticky bbq… The dip sends it over the top, adding that final amazing touch!  And the great thing about them, and this one in particular, is that they’re easy and can be made a day or two in advance.

This is one of my personal favorites!  It combines so many great flavors into one, and, in my opinion, is one of the most versatile dips you can produce.  It’s really a buttermilk ranch with blue cheese and avocado.  What a great combo!  And, regarding the ingredients themselves, you will notice a couple ‘interesting’ things.  First, use cheap blue cheese.  Strong, very good quality blue cheese clearly has its place in the culinary world, but not in this dip.  It can easily over power the dip, giving it a very strong, pungent flavor.  Second, adding a little melted butter gives the dip almost an undefinable flavor and texture, really bringing out some of the wonderful subtleties that would otherwise be masked.  Third, let the dip sit for a few hours before serving it.  The blue cheese is by nature porous, and will absorb the other ingredients, making the dip thicker, with a more well defined flavor.

Buttermilk/Blue Cheese/Avocado Dip  

Prep time:  5 minutes
Inactive cook time:  3 hours
Yield:  Approx 1 1/2 cups finished dip

Ingredients:

1 cup Hellmann’s real mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk (have more on hand)
1/4 cup inexpensive blue cheese crumbles
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp melted unsalted butter
1 ripe avocado
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
2 tsp lemon juice

Method:

In a large mixing bowl, mash the avocado with the lemon juice.  It does not need to be smooth- some chunks are okay.  Add the mayonnaise, buttermilk, salt, pepper, melted butter, and garlic and work vigorously until smooth (except for the occasional avocado chunk).  Add the blue cheese and continue to work.  Taste it, and add salt/pepper/lemon juice if absolutely necessary.  Next, adjust the consistency.  It should have the consistency of blue cheese dressing.  Remember, the blue cheese crumbles will absorb liquid as it sets, thickening the dip.  If it’s already too thick, add a little more buttermilk to thin it out.  When you’re satisfied, transfer it to a storage container, cover tightly, and refrigerate for a minimum of three hours.

Serve.

Best with anything spicy, anything bbq, or anything at all that needs a great dip.  Also great as a spread on wraps, burgers or some sandwiches.

Enjoy.

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