Ok… so I know its January 2014 and all and everybody is trying to start off the year healthy…but I’m sorry I couldn’t resist posting my new recipe for a sinfully delicious warm cheese dip! And lets face it, we are more likely to stick to our healthy eating habits if we allow ourselves to splurge once a week ;-)
The dip I created is a combination of tangy, salty, and crunchy, I combined nutty Gruyere cheese with tangy sour cream and cream cheese, paired that with salty crispy pancetta and fresh chives; then I topped it all off with a layer of crunchy panko breadcrumbs. This baked dip is perfect for any get together, especially football Sundays!
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
2 cups Gruyere cheese, freshly grated
1/3 cup chives, plus some for garnishing, finely chopped
4 oz. pancetta, finely diced
A pinch of cayenne pepper, optional
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
* This recipe makes enough to fill a 6-7 inch round oven safe ramekin, if making it for a large group triple this recipe and use a 9 X 13 inch baking dish.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a large bowl mix together the softened cream cheese, sour cream, grated Gruyere cheese, chopped chives, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper; once mixed set bowl aside.
In a medium sized pan cook diced pancetta over medium heat until light golden brown, about 4 minutes. Be sure to not over cook the pancetta, it will finish completely cooking in the oven. Once pancetta has been browned transfer it to a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess fat.
Once the pancetta has drained and cooled slightly add it into bowl of the sour cream/cheese mixture, save a small handful of the pancetta to sprinkle on top for garnish.
Transfer the bowl of pancetta chive cheese dip to an oven safe ramekin and smooth the top with a spatula or Knife. Sprinkle the top the panko breadcrumbs creating an even top layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the top is light golden brown and the cheese is bubbly. Once out of the oven garnish the top with the remaining chives and pancetta, serve with sliced baguette and enjoy!