I’ve been craving some hot dips. Not in a hot tub; in my belly! The kind of cheesy, heated dip that requires a very sturdy chip to enjoy.

Back in 2018, the Before Times, Beard Team Kansas, a local philanthropic group held a fundraiser for their annual competition event Oktobeardfest.

The entries were delicious. I make Fletcher Smith’s Reuben dip each fall. I may use closer to a pound and a third of pastrami, too.

As things cool down, and you start looking for a bit of coziness, or a tailgate treat, dive into one of these great fall crowd pleasers.

FLETCHER’S ReuBEN DIP

1 pound pastrami, diced

1 can sauerkraut

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese

Chef’s Choice on these measurements:

Ketchup

Garlic

Sriracha

Salt

Throw in a crockpot on warm, seasoning with ketchup, garlic, sriracha and salt to taste. Don’t drain the sauerkraut and avoid Bavarian style (too sweet). Keep the Sriracha handy for those who like their hot dip hot.

V V V

Before we understood how Covid was spreading, many men decided to shave their beards in order to protect their families. Back in 2018, Jeffery Quintana sported an award-winning mustachio and his entry in the Beard Team Kansas fundraiser was a winner as well.

With pepper jack cheese, peppered tomatoes and additional peppers, it packs a wallop. It’s also great as a sauce on your enchiladas.

JEFFERY’S REAL CROWD ‘CHEESER’

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese

1 (8 ounce) package shredded Pepper Jack cheese

Whole milk

1 pound sausage

1 can Ro-Tel chiles

1 small can diced green chiles

Cook the sausage until no longer pink. Combine everything in a slow cooker and heat, stirring to combine, adding just enough milk to achieve a dip-able consistency.

V V V

However, there is still no one that can beat my dear departed friend Jeff Hodapp’s Ho-Dipp. Get a bag of those hearty, scooping corn chips and at least make an effort not to eat the entire pot at one sitting.

Those we love never leave us, and that is doubly true for those who share their recipes. Let’s get cooking.

HODAPP’S HO-DIPP

1 (2 pound) brick of Velveeta cheese

1 pound Jimmy Dean’s hot pork sausage

1 pound lean ground beef

1 can cream of mushroom soup

2 small cans of green chilies, chopped

1 dash Italian seasoning

1 dash garlic powder

1 dash minced onion

1 dash red pepper flakes

Brown the pork and hamburger in a skillet along with the red pepper and Italian seasoning. Pour off the grease.

Cut the Velveeta into chunks and toss them into a crock-pot. Add the seasoned meat, mushroom soup, green chilies, garlic powder and minced onion. Set the crock-pot on high.

As the cheese begins to melt, start stirring it every couple of minutes. Within 30 minutes the mixture should be at dip consistency.

Jeff always said: “At any time, feel free to break open a bag of chips and do several quality control checks (this step is imperative). The rule here is as you dunk your chip, you must yell rather loudly ‘QUALITY CONTROL!’ As long as you do that, it’s OK to sample the dip before the game or arrival of any guests.”

HALLOWEEN

Okay, one of my favorite holidays is almost here: Halloween! It is a time when you are encouraged to play with your food. I would like to see what gruesomely delicious treats or scary sweets you like to make for the hosts of ghosts, wacky warlocks, zombie pirates and (inevitable) Marvel Comic characters.

Send that recipe — and a photo, if you DARE — to murphyre2000@yahoo.com by Oct. 21 and let’s see who makes the 18th annual Murphy’s Menu Halloween Treats list, eh?

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