Eat your broccoli. That was never something my mom had to say to me. As a kid I loved raw or cooked broccoli (cauliflower too). Mom did too. My dad and my brother, not so much on either count, but, they didn't 100% hate it either -- they put up with it on an occasional basis. When broccoli was served for dinner, I knew there was going to a bonus snack later in the evening, made from preplanned-on leftovers: A little crock of bubbling hot, creamy broccoli-cheese dip.
It wasn't fancy and only took a few minutes to mix together, but, when it came out of the oven, the Ritz crackers came out of the cabinet, and, we two sat at the kitchen counter and polished it off in about as much time as it took dad and Dave to watch three minutes of a football or basketball game: 10-15 minutes in real time. Time marches on. With the advent of microwave steam-and-eat broccoli and pre-shredded cheeses, mom's broccoli-cheese dip makes its way onto our snack or cocktail table a few times a year, as well as any time I'm simply in the mood for it.
It wasn't fancy & only took a few minutes to mix together:
1 5-ounce jarKraft Pimento Cheese Spread, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature, very soft
1/4 cup mayonnaise
8 ounces finely-shredded colby-Jack cheese
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup well-drained pimientos
4 ounces finely-shredded colby-Jack cheese
buttery crackers, for accompaniment
~Step 1. Steam the broccoli florets in the microwave according to package directions. Remove from microwave and carefully open the bag. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli florets to a plate that has been lined with several layers of paper-towels. Allow broccoli to drain thoroughly. When cool enough to handle with hands, transfer broccoli to a cutting board and rough-chop it.
~Step 2. In a medium bowl, using a rubber spatula, place and stir together the softened pimiento cheese spread, softened cream cheese and mayonnaise. Add and stir in the garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne pepper. Fold in the pimientos, followed by the colby-Jack cheese and the chopped broccoli florets. There will be about four cups of very tasty (edible) cheese dip.
~ Step 3. Transfer cheese dip to a 1-quart crock or casserole. Placing the crock (or casserole) on a 12 1/2" x 8 3/4" baking pan that has been line with parchment paper, will catch any cheesy drips that might occur in the oven. Bake on center rack of preheated 350 oven, 25-30 minutes until puffy and lightly-browned.
Pairs great w/a pitcher of bloody's for a holiday brunch:
Special Equipment List: microwave oven; slotted spoon; paper towels; cutting board; chef's knife; large spoon; 1-quart crock or casserole; 12 1/2" x 8 3/4" baking pan; parchment
Cook's Note: Crab bites, crab melts, crab toasties, crab melt-a-ways and crabbys (or krabbys when made with imitation krab meat). These are just a few of the names you'll find associated with this vintage recipe. Check out my recipe for ~ Old English Cheese Spread & Crabmeat Canaps ~. I often make them with the same pimento cheese spread, and, in my kitchen, they've been a staple at tailgate and holiday parties ever since.
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2019)