Thursday, October 8, 2015

Gameday Food Astros Playoff Edition: Cheesy Baked King Ranch Chicken Dip

Have I got a fabulous gameday appetizer for you today! I normally share a monthly gameday bite during Texans football season, but this month’s recipe was created especially for our Astros MLB Wild Card Playoff menu. The Astros have been pretty terrible the past few years, but it’s the dawn of a new era – they’re back in the playoffs!! To celebrate, I created a hearty dip for us to enjoy during the game. My Cheesy Baked King Ranch Chicken Dip has all of the amazing flavors of King Ranch Casserole – a Southern specialty that is one of our favorite comfort dishes. This hearty dip is creamy, a little spicy, and it has a double dose of cheese. It’s a hearty and filling dip, but I also added a bowl of homemade guacamole and store-bought chicken taquitos to round out our menu. This dip can easily be made up to a day ahead and then refrigerated until you’re ready to heat. This dip is great whether you’re watching baseball, football, or basketball. It basically goes perfectly with cheering on your favorite team!

Cheesy Baked King Ranch Chicken Dip
a Weekend Gourmet Original
Ingredients (makes 6-8 generous servings):
  • ¾  lb. chicken breast tenders, chopped
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 large Roma tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated
  • 1/3 cup diced purple onion
  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese
  • 1 can cream of chicken-mushroom soup
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. hot sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1 cup shredded colby-jack cheese
  • For serving: sturdy tortilla chips
Step 1: Preheat oven to 375. Add the olive oil to a large skillet over med-high heat. Add the green onion, purple onion, garlic, and tomato. Cook until the onions start to soften – about 5 minutes. Toss the chicken with the chili powder and salt & pepper to taste. Add the chicken to the pan and cook – stirring occasionally – until the chicken is cooked.
Step 2: Add the cream cheese and soup to the skillet. Cook – stirring occasionally – until the cream cheese has completely melted. Add the shredded cheddar cheese and stir until it is completely melted and all of the ingredients are completely incorporated. Spray a 9x9 baking dish with non-stick spray and spoon the dip mix into the dish.
Step 3: Top the dip with the shredded colby-jack cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the dip is bubbly. Serve this dip warm, with plenty of tortilla chips! Hint: this dip is also great rolled inside of warm flour tortillas.
I have to admit that this dip is a total winner! In sports terms, it's a home run, a touchdown…you get the picture! The warm cheesy, creamy base is slightly spicy. Nearly every bit we tried had tender pieces of chicken. Add in lots of gooey melted cheese and the salty snap of tortilla chips -- and we were hooked. We noshed on this amazing dip while we watched the Astros beat the Yankees to continue in the playoffs against the Kansas City Royals. If we were the superstitions types, Michael would insist that we eat this yummy dip for every playoff game to ensure a win! Just to be on the safe side, I definitely plan to make this dip at least once during our series with the Royals! I hope that you'll whip up a batch of this dip to enjoy when you're watching your favorite team. It's definitely a great way to feed a crowd of hungry sports fans.

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