Dip It!

While waiting for steak to come off the grill, we like to serve some easy accompaniments. Homemade chips with tasty vegetable-based dips are perfect, because they will stave off hunger without tons of calories. Both the chips and the dips can be done early in the day, so your preparation is a bit less hectic.

Using the chip as a utensil is not a new concept. History tells us that pieces of flatbread have always been used to pick up food in cultures that are not familiar with modern eating utensils.

Chips and dip as we know them today have been popular since the 1950s. The popularity of this food has led manufacturers to create special dishes to serve the chips and dip. They are among the best selling dishes around the United States. But you don’t need a special dish to serve your your favorite chips and dips; any medium-sized bowl and large platter will do.

Here are a few simple recipes for you to try with your next barbecue:

Grilled Onion Dip with Bagel Chips

For the bagel chips:

  • 2 large everything bagels
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½  teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½  teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (or more to taste)

For the onion dip:

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 small onions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup mayonnaise

Prepare the chips:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Slice bagels into thin discs. In a small pot, melt butter with olive oil. Add butter and olive oil to a cookie sheet or jellyroll pan.  Tip and rotate baking dish until entire bottom is coated with butter and oil.

Place bagel slices in the pan, press down, flip and repeat. Transfer soaked bagel slices to a baking sheet.

In a small bowl, mix spices and sprinkle over bagel slices.

Bake for 5 minutes. Flip slices. Bake for an additional 5 minutes or until desired crispness is reached.

Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Prepare the dip:

Preheat grill to medium. Place onions, oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and thyme in a foil baking pan and put in the grill. Cover and cook until onions have softened and caramelized completely, about 40 to 50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Stir onions into the mayonnaise and refrigerate until needed. Serve with the bagel chips.

Grilled Eggplant Dip With Spicy Tortilla Chips

For the chips:

  • 6   6” tortillas
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin

For the dip:

  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3-4 pickled cherry peppers, drained
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Prepare the chips:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Brush the tortillas with oil on both sides and season 1 side with salt, pepper and cumin. Place on a baking sheet and bake until lightly golden brown. When cool enough to handle, cut into eighths or break into chip-size pieces.

Prepare the dip:

Preheat the grill to medium high. Grill the whole eggplants until soft, about 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool slightly, cut each in half, and remove the flesh and place it in the work bowl of a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Scrape the mixture into a serving bowl, garnish with additional chopped cilantro, and serve with the baked tortilla chips.

Grilled Vegetable Dip with Pita Chips

For the chips:

  • 3 pitas cut into 8 wedges
  • 4 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the dip:

  • 1 red bell pepper, cut in half, seeds removed
  • 1 medium onion, sliced into thick rings and skewered
  • 4 cloves garlic, threaded on skewers
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced thick
  • 4 tablespoon light olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup mayonnaise

Prepare the chips:

Preheat heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut pitas into 8 wedges. Pour olive oil into a bowl and add garlic, salt and pepper. Brush pita chips with olive oil and garlic mixture. Arrange pita chips on large baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool. Store airtight for 3-4 days.

Prepare the dip:

Preheat grill to medium.

Place the vegetables in a bowl with the oil, salt and pepper; toss to coat. Place the vegetables on the grill and cook until they are slightly charred, turning once or twice. Remove from grill and cool.

Place in a food processor and process until slightly chunky. Stir in the mayonnaise. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. Serve with the pita chips or raw vegetables.

Hearty appetite!