Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tilton Family Dip

The Basic Ingredients

I made my first batch of the Tilton Dip in the ’50’s. Found the original recipe on the back of an Old Dutch potato chip box. I can still see the box sitting on the red counter in the back pantry. I decided to make some as an appetizer for my parents and their friends. 

My dad travelled during the week and when he returned home on Friday night, he and my mother would usually go out to dinner (what a civilized idea). Friends would come over to our house for a drink and snack before going to the restaurant. The dip was a hit that first night and it’s been a hit ever since.

The original recipe has disappeared and the ingredients morphed over the years depending on who makes it but that’s what keeps it interesting. 

For Christmas this year I used 3-1/2# of cream cheese for the main batch and 2 tubs of Tofutti’s ‘better than cream cheese’ for the non-dairy folks and it was all gone by the 26th. Much of it on my hips I must admit for I still love the stuff.

It’s delicious with potato chips or pretzels of course (nothing like a little fat and grease for flavor) but also perfect with crudities of vegetables for the health conscious.

Basic ingredients are:
Cream Cheese, Neufchatel or Tofutti
Ketchup and/or Western dressing and/or Heinz Chili Sauce (I usually just use Ketchup)
Garlic salt
Finely chopped onions

Sun dried tomatoes (this makes it a little more 21st century)
Milk (if you want a thinner mixture)

Putting it together:
Soften the cream cheese (or substitute) in a bowl.  Add ketchup to taste (about 1/2 cup to start).  Add garlic salt to taste (maybe 1/3 t to start). Add chopped onions (about 1/2 cup).  Mix it all up and adjust flavors to your liking. This can be done with an electric mixer or by hand using a ‘Granny Fork’.  I prefer the ‘Granny Fork’ because I like to leave some lumps in the mix. Chives and parsley add a nice hit of color and taste.

When using sun dried tomatoes wait to add the ketchup. Soften the tomatoes in some warm water and chop into smallish pieces. Add the tomatoes and some of the water to the cream cheese. The tomato water adds color and flavor so you can use less ketchup or none at all.  I love this option but some of the family are purists so I save this for smaller groups.

Hope you enjoy making and eating this old family recipe!  Happy New Year!