Saturday, February 1, 2014

White Pizza Dip with Garlic Butter Bread Dippers

Let's be honest, Super Bowl is all about the food, the commercials and the half time show. Ok, ok...for some it may actually be about the game (haha). And I completely understand that. If the Chargers were playing, I'd be so into it.
But since the Chargers aren't in the Big Game this year, let's focus on my favorite part...the food! Super Bowl food has become as traditional as Thanksgiving dinner. Pizza, Wings, Chili, Chips & Dip have all become America's go to food for the big game. What's your favorite Super Bowl food?
We usually fire up the grill, make a bunch of burgers and dogs with lots of toppings, fry or bake up a big batch of wings with plenty of delicious sides. This year,  I decided to make a delicious all in one baked dip, but not just any boring old that's gooey, oozing with cheese and reminiscent of a white pizza. Instead of spinach, which you might typically find on a traditional White Pizza, this dip has steamed kale and roasted tomatoes for freshness. After all, the veggies make it healthy, right?
OMG you guys, this dip is SO freakin' good. It's a bit more complicated than your standard mix & bake dip, but it's well worth the extra work. It's destined to be the hit of your Super Bowl get-together. I guarantee you won't even miss the pizza.

White Pizza Dip with Garlic Butter Bread Dippers
Serves 6-8

6 Grape Tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup steamed Kale, coarsely chopped (make sure you remove the thick ribs)
12 Rhodes Frozen White Bread Rolls, thawed
****( 6 will be used for the skillet, 6 will be served on the side as additional dippers)
4 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese (for better melting, use a block cheese and shred yourself)
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese (again, shred yourself)
1/2 T Italian Seasoning
Melted Butter + Garlic Powder or garlic paste (for brushing)


Roast the tomatoes - Preheat the oven to 400. Cut the tomatoes in half, place on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt and roast for approx. 10-15 minutes until the tomatoes burst. Remove from oven and set aside.

Generously butter a cast iron skillet, then invert a glass bowl in the center and spray it with nonstick spray. Set aside.

Tear each of the thawed rolls in half, then form into a ball to make 24 balls. Place 12 balls in the skillet evenly spaced around the bowl. Cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise until doubled in size. This might take 1-2 hours depending upon the temperature in your kitchen. Tip:  To make the rolls rise faster, I placed the skillet by the stove then preheated my oven, turned the oven off and left the door slightly ajar.

While the dough is rising, make the dip.

Place the softened cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese and Italian Seasoning in a large bowl. Stir well to combine. Tip: Your cream cheese needs to be really soft in order to properly incorporate the ingredients. Also, for good melting consistency, try not to use pre-shredded cheese. The package cheese usually has an ingredient added to prevent the cheese from sticking together in the package. For dips like this it's better to shred your own.

Add the minced garlic, kale and tomatoes. Fold carefully to evenly incorporate the ingredients into the cheese mixture.

When the dough has risen, carefully remove the bowl without deflating the rolls. You'll probably need a thin, sharp knife to do this.

Scoop the dip ingredients into the center of the skillet, making sure it's in an even layer.

Bake at 375 for approximately 20 minutes or until the dip is nice and bubbly. You might need to tent the rolls with foil during the last 5 minutes to prevent them from getting too brown. If so, just cover them with strips of foil leaving the dip exposed.

Simultaneously, bake the remaining rolls in the same oven until golden brown. These rolls will be served along side the dip in the skillet.

When the dip is nice bubbly and melted, remove from the oven.

Combine a little melted butter (approx. 1-2 T and some garlic powder or garlic paste in a small ramekin). Brush on the warm rolls. Don't forget to brush the rolls you baked on the side.

Allow to cool a few minutes before serving.