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By Catherine Hill

COST BREAKDOWN

The cost in full: Lucerne cream cheese $1.89, Safeway Select roasted Red Peppers in a jar $3.29, My Spice Sage Garlic Powder Granulated 6.1 oz. Bottle with Sifter (1 Cup) $7.75 for our recipe we will use only ¼ teaspoon that is 1/64 of the bottle making the cost $0.12, My Spice Sage Herbs De Provence Weight 1 oz. (Resalable Bag) 1 oz. $2.50 for our recipe we will use only 1 teaspoon that is 1/33 which is about $0.08, salt and pepper could be about $0.05, and green onion or some chives will be about $0.75 or less. Which is a cost of $6.18

For your shopping list, you will be spending about $16.20 to get all of what you will need.

Cost preserving: $0.52-$0.19

Note on cost estimates:

We’ve based most of our estimates on prices at our local urban supermarket in Fall 2016. The cost will vary by region and type of store and with inflation. Please consider this when looking at our estimates and plan your shopping trip budget accordingly. Our last order for spices and herbs was in late winter 2011 from My Spice Sage, and we have based our estimates for the herbs and garlic from that receipt. To estimate the proportions that the containers contained we also use Chef’s Resources as a resource to figure out conversions. If you really are looking to save some money on the spices like us we suggest opting for a Costco or recreant supply size of garlic in the 13.oz size. We got our last one in summer 2016 for $5.98 on sale. That’s a big difference in the cost of this recipe lowering it by $0.07. Lesson learned for us. However, the herbs de province is superior from anything we could get from our local restaurant supply. So we will keep making herb orders from My Spice Sage. Also, our typical estimate for a small amount of bulk salt and pepper is $0.05 but for this one, it might be less. If you don’t have a bulk section consider adding $4 to your budget, and goodness sakes keep stocked up on salt and pepper. They are pantry must haves.

DIFFICULTY LEVEL

Is this going to be super hard?  No, it is so easy.

KEEPING

Freezing: Not recommended, but if you are going to use it as a thickener for a soup, freezing is okay.

Time: Keeps refrigerated for 7-8 days, but best if eaten within the first 3-4 days.

SERVINGS

12 ¼ cup servings, or 32 tablespoon servings.

TIME

Prep time: 1 minute to gather your ingredients. If you need to make bread crumb add 10 minutes to prep time and see recipe [here].

Cooking time: 9 minutes
Chilling time: 20 minutes
Cleanup time: 5 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes

SAFETY

Read blender instructions, including cleaning instructions before use. I am not kidding. We keep our manuals under the silverware in the drawer next to where I use most kitchen electronics. I always give the manuals a skim if it’s been a country-minute since I used the appliance last. Wear an apron and make sure the lid is on tightly before turning on the blender. Red Pepper Dip is a lovely color but that doesn’t mean you want to be wearing it!

THE HARDWARE AND ACCOUTERMENTS

  •    Blender full size or 1 large mixing bowl or a stick blender (with star or s-blade attachment)
  •    Spatula 
  •    Serving bowl
  •    8-12 inch chef’s knife

THE INGREDIENTS

1 jar Safeway Select Brand Fire Roasted Red bell peppers (12 oz. jar with liquid)

1 package Cream cheese (8 Oz. by weight whipped or regular)*

¼ Tsp. Granulated dry garlic or 1 smashed large garlic clove and its totes optional

1 Tsp. Herbs de Provence

¼ Tsp. Salt

Black pepper to taste (optional)

1 2/3 C Fresh homemade breadcrumb]*

2 Green onion or 6 chives *

SUBSTITUTIONS*

For vegans:

Use can use vegan cream cheese but if you do I would up your breadcrumb amount and add a touch more salt if needed.

For breadcrumb:

You can do a combo of dry breadcrumb and or old breadstick and or crackers if you are in a pinch. Rice crackers sort of work, okay but you will need to really break them down before incorporating them.

For green onion and chives garnish:

Use 10-20 capers for a garnish. Capers make for a more a classy and tasty display. You’ll get extra Brownie points if you can find French style salt packed large capers rather than the small pickled variety, which is the most common one here in the Northwest USA. If using salted capers give them a gentle rinse and a pat dry. If using pickled capers, pat off the excess pickling juice before placg on top in an artistic design.

THE STEP BY STEP

  1. Place in the blender the peppers with liquid, cream cheese, garlic and Herbs de Provence and mix on medium 1 minute. Hold onto that cream cheese container if it came in a tub and keep the tub right next to the blender to set your spatula in, so as to cut down on the mess. And later it might prove helpful for leftovers.  If using a stick blender puree the peppers a little bit and only then fold the cream cheese in with a spatula a little bit before you start in with using the stick blender. Doing it this way it will go easier and splatter a lot less. 
  2. To thicken add breadcrumb blend until fluffy looking should take 1-2 minutes on high setting. 
  3. Be sure to give it a bit of extra blending at the end just to be sure and place in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
  4.  Remove blender pitcher from the blender base and refrigerate mixture for at least 20 minutes. In a pinch, I put a little into my serving dish and placed it into the freezer for 10 minutes and then place the garnish. 
  5. Remove blender pitcher from refrigerator and pour into a serving bowl.  Use the spatula to scrape out all the goodness. The extra delectable spread I poured back into the cream cheese container that I had reserved to the side of the blender. I label that and placed into the refrigerator for later.
  6. Finally, chop green onions or chives and sprinkle in whatever design
    makes you happy.

Serving suggestions:

Serve in a lovely shallow bowl with raw or blanched veggies like carrot sticks, cucumber rounds, endive leaves, jicama, with corn or pita chips, a rustic humble beget, or a festive challah bread. 

As a sauce, our Roasted Red Pepper Dip is good to spread onto toast squares or poured over pasta, shrimp, and veggies. All you will need to do is decide two things 1) if you want a warmed sauce or a cold sauce and 2) how thin you’ll want it. Add a couple tablespoons of milk or olive oil as needed to thin out the dip. Then mix vigorously by hand or for a few pulses in the blender.

To heat sauce, place at least 1 cup of sauce in a small saucepan and set your stove to low. Remember to constantly stir all the way to the bottom of your pan. If cleaning a pan is not your thing place at least 1 cup of sauce in microwave safe bowl and microwave 1 minute at a time whilst stirring every half-minute to a minute. It should not take long to warm – most likely it will take 1-2.5 minutes to heat.

To make our Roasted Red Pepper Dip into a sandwich spread you’ll need to give it overnight in the refrigerator to thicken up to make a good and thick texture for spreading. Our favorite type of sandwiches that we make using this is a baby spring greens or spinach leaves, tomato and cheese with a generous spread of Roasted Red Pepper Dip on sourdough bread and we also love using this spread in the place of mayo in our chicken salad sandwiches.