Hot Virginia Dip

Hot Virginia Dip (Courtesy of the Virginia Hospitality Cookbook and the Junior League of Hampton Roads)

Original recipe:

1 cup pecans, chopped
2 tbsp butter (Unsalted)
16 oz cream cheese, softened
4 tbsp milk
5 oz dried beef, minced
1 tbsp garlic salt
1 cup sour cream
4 tbsp onion, minced

Recipe as created above:

4 eight-ounce blocks of cream cheese, softened
16 oz cream cheese
10 oz dried beef, diced
4 tbsp milk
2 medium onions, diced
2 tbsp garlic salt
3 cups of pecan halves
1 stick unsalted butter

Either way you make the dish, the process is the same – I just needed to make it in much larger quantities.

In a large mixing bowl, add cream cheese, sour cream, diced dried beef, garlic salt, diced onion, and milk and using a stand (or hand) mixer, beat to combine thoroughly (this is most easily done if your mixer has a paddle type attachment.

Melt butter in a large saute pan. Add pecans and toss to coat. Continue to cook until just scorched (the original recipe just says to saute). This does not add a burnt flavour or taste, but does add a je ne sais quoi flavour to the topping.

The original recipe makes enough for a 1 1/2 qt baking dish; the larger recipe makes enough for a 3 qt baking dish.

Turn out the cream cheese mixture into the appropriately sized baking dish; cover with sauteed pecans. Place in a 350 oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with bread sticks, crackers, Wheat Thins or Triscuits.

(N.B. – This dip does reheat well, but is one of the very few things The Wannabe Gourmet has found that does not have a pleasing taste if served cold. A chafing dish (solid fuel, alcohol based, or even electric) works wonders, and for smaller amounts (1 1/2 quart), I’ve found that even the chafing dishes that are heated by votive candles alone will keep the dip at a sufficiently heated temperature for all to enjoy — it goes QUICKLY.)