It was December 1997 when I first made Baked Santa Fe Dip. Ever since, it has been a family favorite—not only during football season, but also for summer BBQs (with Margaritas, of course!) and even Christmas. We enjoy this super-easy Southwest dip so much that The Big Lug and I find all sorts of reasons to make it. Baked Santa Fe Dip is the perfect dip to bring along for card playing or game night evenings with friends or just for casual potluck gatherings. (Keep in mind you will need access to an oven and a heatproof serving piece to act as a trivet. We like to use our large round wicker cheese platter or a round woven place mat, both being heatproof.) However, we especially like making this dip for Super Bowl Sunday in addition to whatever other Super Bowl fare I whip up for the festivities. Why? Because, invariably, Baked Santa Fe Dip disappears. In fact, it disappears first. A clear sign of a favorite Super Bowl snack in my book.
Interestingly, I found this recipe in a Christmas special publication of Better Homes and Gardens magazine, Holiday Cooking, 1997. There it sat, on page 61, just begging to be made as soon as humanly possible. I think I jumped from my seat and ran over to The Big Lug to share with him the news of finding this gem of a recipe. We made it the next day. Yes, the very next day. Christmas Eve at his Aunt’s house was going to be a “pitch in” that year. And, since I was still considered a new member of the family, I wanted to impress everyone with irresistible deliciousness. Yes, a trial run of the recipe was in order. Trial run, indeed. We both fell in love with Baked Santa Fe Dip! A real keeper of a recipe.
Since the first time I whipped up Baked Santa Fe Dip, we have made a few simple changes that, in our humble opinion, improved the recipe. First, I like to use part mayonnaise and part sour cream. (TIP: You simply must not make the recipe with all mayonnaise—that is, unless you prepare it the original Better Homes and Gardens way with light mayonnaise. This recipe depends on added creaminess. Trust us here at Wicked Good Kitchen. Preparing the recipe with only real, full fat mayonnaise, does not turn out well at all—that is, unless you like a curdled mess.) Second, since I do not like baking or cooking with any added sugar that isn’t necessary in recipes, I avoid mayonnaise with sugar or maltodextrin (very high glycemic) added in and go with Duke’s® brand—that is, if I don’t make my own homemade mayonnaise. Fortunately, our local Fresh Market store carries Duke’s® mayonnaise. Third, by adding dairy sour cream in a 1:1 ratio, it solved our undesirable curdling problem and created an especially pleasing amount of creaminess to our Baked Santa Fe Dip. For real dairy sour cream, I always reach for Daisy® Brand because it is all-natural with no maltodextrin or sugars added. For my low carb baking and cooking, Daisy® Brand is the only way to go. It is essential in my kitchen.
We also like to use Monterey Pepper-Jack Cheese in lieu of plain Monterey Jack Cheese in our Baked Santa Fe Dip. It does provide an additional kick, but use whichever you prefer. One of the best aspects of this recipe is that it can easily be assembled in advance, tucked in the fridge and be ready to simply “throw into the oven” just before serving. Not only that, but the assembly itself is easy peasy. Who doesn’t love easy—especially when pulling together a wide spread of appetizers and snacks on Super Bowl Sunday?
What makes our version of Baked Santa Fe Dip wicked good? Easy, creamy-cheesy Southwest-style dip with bits of corn for sweetness and just the right amount of heat from the chili peppers in adobo sauce balanced with cool, fresh homemade tomato salsa with fresh chopped vine-ripe tomatoes, green onions and cilantro. Add your favorite tortilla chips and/or veggie dippables and you’ve got it made in the shade. Your friends and family will be so impressed at your next party. Baked Santa Fe Dip is definitely wicked, wicked good and, quite simply, should always be in your “Game Day Playbook”!
Be sure to read your food labels as maltodextrin quietly lurks everywhere in prepared foods—even in regular table salt. I was shocked to find it in a store brand of sour cream when I was about to make a low carb dip. (Other names for sugar additives to look out for are dextrin, dextrose and maltose.) Maltodextrin has nearly double the glycemic load of regular table sugar. Table sugar or sucrose has a glycemic index of about 65 and glucose clocks in at 100, as to the effect on blood sugar levels. Maltodextrin, however, is seemingly off-the-charts on the glycemic scale between 105 and 150. This is very important, critical information to know—especially if you or a loved one is diabetic or even pre-diabetic. It is the reason why I only use kosher salt in my everyday baking and cooking. You get 100% pure salt with no sugar additives. Don’t worry over kosher salt not having iodine added. If you believe you need iodine in your diet, perhaps by not eating enough seafood rich in iodine, consult your health care provider or nutritionist and take the prescribed supplemental dose. Again, be a smart shopper and read your food labels carefully.
Daisy® Brand Sour Cream
Old El Paso®
Sur La Table® Porcelain Quiche Dish, 10″
Note: Nothing to disclose. I just really like and highly recommend these reliable brands of products!
For more information about maltodextrin and its effects on blood sugar levels and health, read the article, Mysterious Maltodextrin, by Martha McKittrick RD,CDN, CDE, from PCOSA (Polycystic Ovarian Support Association, Inc.) from Spring 2009.
For a comprehensive and helpful list of foods and their GI (glycemic index) values via Mendosa.com, please visit link below:
Glycemic Index & Glycemic Load
Links to Original Recipe:
Baked Santa Fe Dip (at BHG, Better Homes and Gardens, site)
Baked Santa Fe Dip (via Shine from Yahoo! as original Better Homes and Gardens content)
Note: Please note that the servings yielded (28) in the original Better Homes and Gardens recipe are not what we agree with here at Wicked Good Kitchen, LOL!
- For the Dip
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Pepper-Jack cheese
- ¼ cup mayonnaise, such as Duke’s®
- ¼ cup dairy sour cream, such as Daisy® Brand
- 1 (8-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained (about ¾ cup)
- 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies, such as Old El Paso®, drained
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped canned chipotle chili peppers in adobo sauce, such as San Marcos, by Emsanmar®
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, we use McCormick®
- For the Homemade Salsa
- 1 large vine-ripe tomato, seeded and chopped (about ¾ cup)
- 3 green onions, sliced (about ¼ cup)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- Vegetable dippables such as red, orange or yellow sweet bell pepper wedges or sliced jicama
- Lightly salted tortilla chips or scoops, gluten free for gluten free option
Recipe Adapted From: Baked Santa Fe Dip by Better Homes and Gardens, Holiday Cooking magazine, 1997, page 61.TIPS: MAKE AHEAD: Recipe can be prepared up to 1 day in advance. After spreading dip mixture into baking dish, cover with plastic food wrap and refrigerate. Do the same for the homemade salsa. Keep both covered and refrigerated until ready to bake the dip. Remove from refrigerator and bake the dip while allowing the salsa to come closer to room temperature as the dip bakes. IMPORTANT: You simply must not make the recipe with all mayonnaise—that is, unless you prepare it the original Better Homes and Gardens way with light mayonnaise. This recipe depends on added creaminess. Trust us here at Wicked Good Kitchen. Preparing the recipe with only real, full fat mayonnaise, does not turn out well at all—that is, unless you like a curdled mess. Therefore, use all light mayonnaise or our combination of real, full fat mayonnaise and sour cream for best results.