Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Creamy Avocado Ranch Dip

Recipe modified by You Want Me to Cook? on February 6, 2011
For a commentary-free and printer-friendly version of it, please click here.

Recipe originally published by Allrecipes daily e-zine on Friday, July 18, 2008.

I rarely can justify making dips.  All that is going to happen is that I’ll eat dip and chips for a meal one night; therefore, the small “intelligent part” of my brain says that this would be a bad idea.  However, this day was Super Bowl Sunday, and for the first time in a long time, we were having company.  I lined up a long list of things I had been waiting to try, hoping at least half would come out good enough to eat.

My finished product:

© You Want Me to Cook?
Picture published with recipe:

© Allrecipes
None of the reader-uploaded pictures were very good.  This one was the clearest I could find.  Obviously, I didn’t want to take a picture of just a big tub of dip, so I scooped out some to show the thickness of the dip.  For the most part, they look pretty similar although mine does look a little chunkier.

for more details about what my ratings mean, go to Gretchen’s Rating System

MessEH – There isn’t a lot to do, but I find peeling and pitting avocados to be a messy prospect.  Even that wouldn’t have been enough, but I did have to pull out the food processor, so that bumped it up a little.

Start-to-Finish Time: LESS THAN 30 MINUTES – most of it is spent peeling and pitting the avocados, but you do have to blend the cream part and then mix it.

Prep Work: SLIGHT BLOOD LOSS – I hate peeling avocados.  I hate it even more than doing peppers and herbs.  However, I bought a friendly little avocado peeler which makes all the difference in the world.  Seriously, I’ve been eating tons of avocados since I bought it!

Ease of Recipe: THE BASICS – I can hear you already… WHAT?!?!?!  This rating – for a dip?  Ordinarily, something as simple as a mix and go dip I would say let the kids make.  However, you are dealing with a food processor and I still remember the first time I tackled an avocado.

OverallSORRY HONEY, NO LEFTOVERS – We all enjoyed the dip during the Super Bowl, and I used the leftovers for everything from a dip to a condiment.  It was fantastic and I hid the leftovers in my favorite hiding place (which I will not reveal here since my husband still has not found it – I’ve got several).  FYI – I did eat some as a meal one night.  See, my “smart side” doesn’t always win the battle over my “idiot side” which is predominately bigger and louder and quite a bit more fun.

Recipe Information:
Time estimates are from the original publisher of the recipe, not the length of time it took me to create it.  Look for my comments below.  Nutritional Information is based on original recipe.  Any changes I make to reduce the caloric, fat, cholesterol or sodium content are not reflected in the Nutritional Information.

Prep/Ready Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 cups / 32 servings

Nutritional Information
  • Calories 71
  • Total Fat 6.5g
  • Cholesterol 12mg
  • Sodium 127mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 2.2g
  • Fiber 0.6g
  • Protein 1.4g

I’ll admit I didn’t time myself on this recipe.  I was making food for my husband and I and our guests, so I got a little lazy.  If it took me more than 30 minutes, I’d be shocked.  It definitely gives you a lot of dip, so one serving will be great for a larger group of people.  Of course, the serving size is 2 tablespoons of dip per person.  Thus, I think that getting 32 servings out of this recipe may be pushing it.

The nutritional information doesn’t seem too bad, until you remember a serving is only 2 tablespoons.  I used light sour cream to help as much as I possibly could to reduce the fat content.  I was shocked that there was only 12mg of cholesterol, until I realized that the avocados provide “good fat”.  I was satisfied with that.

Changes denoted by red text

© You Want Me to Cook?
Creamy Avocado Ranch Dip
1 container (16 ounce) light sour cream
1 package (8 ounce) Neufchatel cheese
1 package (1 ounce) ranch dressing mix
¾ teaspoon smoky chipotle hot sauce
¼ teaspoon garlic salt
¼ teaspoon celery salt
2 avocados, peeled and pitted

Ingredient Notes:
Light Sour Cream – I tend to purchase Daisy brand Sour cream because it is less expensive than most and it has a reduced-fat version.  The reduced-fat sour cream has a third less calories, fat and cholesterol.  However, after doing a little research, Breakstones has a Fat Free Sour Cream that has HALF the calories, a teeny-weeny amount of fat (so much for “fat free”) and less than a quarter of the cholesterol.  I may begin investing in Breakstones from here on out.

Neufachatel Cheese – according to Taste of Home Neufchatel cheese is a soft unripened cheese that originates in France.  Apparently what you find in the grocery store (assuming you shop in the United States) is similar to cream cheese and made from pasteurized milk and cream.  It is lower in calories and has more moisture than cream cheese.  You can substitute regular cream cheese if you need to, especially for dips and spreads.

Hot Sauce – I used a smoky chipotle brand even thought the original recipe called for regular hot sauce.  I was at the mercy of my husband for this one.  He’s in charge of hot sauce.

Equipment Needed:
© You Want Me to Cook?
Creamy Avocado Ranch Dip
Avocado peeler
Food processor
Large bowl
Plastic spatula
Plastic wrap

Equipment Notes:
Avocado Peeler – so a friend came to me and said she was having a Pampered Chef party.  I agreed to buy something and this peeler caught my eye.  Normally, I think of most gadgets as unnecessary, but I figured it was worth a try, since I always massacre my avocados trying to scoop them out of the shell.  This thing is FANTASTIC!  It can’t cut my finger, yet it glides easily through the tough shell of the avocado and pops the seed right out.  I love it!

Food Processor – While I was reading through some of the comments, one of the contributors mentioned that she used a blender to blend the dairy.  If that’s what you’ve got, go ahead and use it.  As an aside, she said she “flash blended” it.  I have no idea what that means, and a quick Google search yielded nothing but a lot of technical information about Flash software programming techniques.  I’m going to assume she meant pulsed it, but you know what assume stands for, right?

(1)  In a food processor, mix the sour cream, Neufchatel cheese, ranch dressing mix, hot sauce, garlic salt, and celery salt.

Even though the recipe doesn’t state this, I broke up the Neufchatel into pieces instead of dumping the entire brick into my food processor.  It just made sense.

(2)  In a large bowl, mash the avocados, and mix in the sour cream mixture until well blended.

Make sure your bowl is large enough to fit 4 cups of dip and gives you room to stir it.

(3)  Cover with plastic wrap, and chill until serving.

We all enjoyed the dip, but honestly, I think I may have enjoyed it more than everyone else.  It was rich and creamy with a little kick to it.  One of the comments stated that you could get the same store-bought, but I totally disagree.  Trust me, I’ve tried all the creamy avocado dips that are out there and this one blew them all out of the water.

I served this with potato chips, pita chips and lime tortilla chips – all which tasted delicious.  I also used it as a condiment on my turkey sandwich.  I LOVE avocado on my turkey, but unfortunately I can’t eat the avocado fast enough to keep it from turning brown.  This was a great way to eat my avocado and it also lasted longer in the fridge.

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