My college roommate Heather Ross introduced me to this incredibly easy and delicious dip years ago. Since she lives in Asheville, NC, my friend Kevin Eakes – who lived in Hickory at the time – adopted this recipe as his signature dish to bring to our social gatherings, which was great because everyone looked forward to this dip and anticipated its arrival at every party. That’s how good the dip is.
Which brings me to the moment that will live in infamy in my mind forever…
Several years ago, I planned a gathering at my house. I asked everyone to bring a favorite appetizer. As expected, Kevin shared that he would like to bring “his usual.” However, a conflict arose when another good friend of of ours, who shall remain nameless to protect him/her from greater ridicule, called to say that she/he wanted to bring Kevin’s dip to the party. From this point forward, I shall refer to the unnamed person as “Pat.” I graciously tried to explain to Pat that Kevin had already asked to bring the dip and that the dip was Kevin’s signature dish. Moreover, Kevin had already purchased the ingredients of the dip. However, Pat was adamant that he/she too had already purchased the ingredients and WOULD be bringing the dip. So, I called Kevin. Forever the diplomat, Kevin bowed out gracefully and settled on hummus as his new dish.
Fast forward to party time…
Once the party started, Kevin arrived, and everyone asked where the dip was? I explained that “Pat” would be bringing the dip tonight. This comment met with blank stares since everyone knew that Kevin was the sole proprietor of the dip. Nonetheless, the party went on, and Pat finally arrived, dip in hand. However, Pat asked if we could put the dip in the oven since she/he did not have time to bake it at home. When I removed the foil and looked at the dip, something just didn’t seem right. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but the dip seemed strangely “flat.” I thought to myself that Pat must have spread the cream cheese in the bottom of the pan. I dismissed my concerns and just baked the dip for 15 minutes.
When the timer expired, everyone was ready for the dip! I opened the stove and pulled out the dish, and the strangest thing happened; the dip itself sloshed and rolled as in waves. My eyes grew large. What in the world could this be?!? It certainly was not Kevin’s Signature Dip!!!! Nonetheless, the public was waiting, Fritos in hand. When the first chip hit the dip, it was almost like dipping into liquid. I looked at Pat with contempt and bewilderment and pointed at the dish, “What did you put in there?” And Pat replied, “I did exactly like you told me — chili, shredded cheese, jalapenos, and……..sour cream.”
I burst out in derisive laughing, but it wasn’t funny! That’s what Pat got for hijacking Kevin’s dip. It was a big flop, but it makes one heck of a good story to retell.
From start to finish, this recipe will take approximately 25 minutes.
1 block Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese
1 can Armour Vegetarian Chili*
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Sliced jalapenos (optional)
*I used two scoops of our October Chili instead of canned chili. This makes the dip really special!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place block of cream cheese in baking dish.
Cover cream cheese with chili.
Cover chili with shredded cheese.
Add jalapenos on top.
Bake on 350 for 15-20 minutes until cream cheese and shredded cheese are melted and bubbling.
Serve with Fritos.