Welcome to Direct Your Dining! This cooking series will introduce you to energy efficient recipes full of tips to keep your meals delicious without using every appliance in the kitchen. Preparing recipes with energy efficiency in mind at least once a week will make cooking a little easier, and may even help reduce your monthly electricity bill. Check in every week for a new recipe full of flavor and creativity that will surely impress your friends and family.
It is finally football season, and that means lots of weekend gatherings to watch the big games. This week’s low energy use recipe features a cool, flavor packed party dip filled with ingredients and flavors inspired by the classic Muffuletta sandwich from New Orleans.
The hardest part of making this recipe is the prep work required to chop the ingredients. Other than that, it’s just measuring, mixing, and eating!
The briny olives and capers pair perfectly with the pickled giardiniera vegetables. The pickled vegetables are a mix of cauliflower, pearl onions, carrots, celery, and banana peppers. The sliced sweet cherry peppers add great color and flavor without delivering any real heat.
The only energy used to make this party dip (besides storing your ingredients in the refrigerator) is when you soften the cream cheese in the microwave. I recommend three 20-second intervals (for a total of 60 seconds) to make it just warm enough to fold easily with the other ingredients. Also, if you set your cream cheese on the counter earlier in the day, it will be at room temperature while you prep the other ingredients – resulting in a no-energy-used, no-cooking, no-appliances-needed recipe!
I encourage you to purchase your meats and cheeses from the deli counter at your local grocery store so you can select a custom thickness. I purchase 2 slices of each meat on the thickest setting available (usually about ½ inch). This helps you cut the meats and cheeses into little cubes that hold together well with the vegetables and cream cheese mixture.
Garnish the top with an extra sprinkle of Cajun seasoning and serve! Just don’t forget the fresh oregano, as it really adds something special to this dip.
Muffuletta Party Dip
- ½ lb. Roast Ham
- ½ lb. Mortadella sausage
- ½ lb. Genoa salami
- ½ lb. Provolone cheese
- 24 oz. Cream cheese, softened
- ½ c. Mayonnaise
- ½ tbsp. Minced garlic
- ½ tsp. Celery Salt
- ½ tsp. Cajun seasoning
- ½ tsp. Garlic powder
- ½ tsp. Paprika
- 1 tbsp. Oregano leaves (Fresh)
- ¼ c. Capers
- ½ c. Black olives, sliced
- ½ c. Green olives, sliced
- 1 Giardiniera pickled vegetables jar (16 oz. jar found on pickle aisle)
- 6 Sweet cherry peppers
- 1 Large round Italian bread loaf
1) Remove the cream cheese from the refrigerator, add it to a large mixing bowl, and heat it to room temperature in microwave (or leave it on the counter for one hour before you prepare the rest of the party dip).
2) Prepare the vegetables as directed above. This includes draining the Giardiniera jar and dicing the pickled vegetables into small pieces, slicing the olives, and slicing the peppers after removing the seeds and stems.
3) Cut the Provolone, ham, Mortadella, and salami into cubes.
4) Add the mayonnaise and garlic to the softened cream cheese and mix.
5) Add the celery salt, Cajun seasoning, paprika, garlic powder, and oregano to the cream cheese mixture. Mix thoroughly to ensure the seasoning is evenly distributed.
6) Add the prepared capers, olives, vegetables, and peppers to the cream cheese mixture and mix again.
7) Finally, add the cubed meats and cheese. Mix a final time to combine everything thoroughly.
8) Place the dip into a large serving bowl and serve with hearty crackers.
Create an even more impressive party appetizer by buying a big loaf of Italian bread and turning it into a serving vessel!
1) Cut the top off the bread loaf. Chop it into pieces sturdy enough to support the dip.
2) Scoop the filling out of the bottom half to use as a serving vessel.
3) Spoon the dip into the bread bowl. Garnish with a sprinkle of extra Cajun seasoning.
Check back in every week for more Direct Your Dining recipes to help reduce your energy use in the kitchen while getting creative with delicious dishes!
Recipe and Images by Stacie Morgan