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Published: Sunday, 12/12/2004

Carole's Baked Southwestern Corn Dip

1 15-ounce can yellow corn kernels

1 2 1/4-ounce can sliced black olives

1 4-ounce can chopped green chilies

1 medium fresh jalapeno pepper (for about 2 tablespoons chopped)

2 jarred roasted red peppers, optional

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack or Colby- Jack cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup mayonnaise (see Cook's note)

Cooking oil spray

Tortilla chips, for serving, optional

Cook's note: Reduced-fat mayonnaise can be used, but it's better with "real" mayonnaise.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Drain the corn, olives, and green chilies. (You can pour them all into the same colander to drain.) Place the drained vegetables in a medium-size mixing bowl.

Cut the jalapeno pepper in half, and remove the ribs and seeds. Finely chop the pepper, and add it to the bowl. (Wear rubber gloves when handling jalapeno peppers or avoid touching your eyes for 24 hours.)

If using the roasted peppers, finely dice them and add them to the bowl. Add both cheeses and the mayonnaise. Stir well.

Spray a 2-quart baking dish lightly with cooking oil spray. Place the dip into the dish, and smooth the top. Bake until the top is bubbly, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve with tortilla chips, if desired.

Yield: About 3 cups

Approximate Values Per Tablespoon: 51 calories (80 percent from fat), 5 g fat (1 g saturated), 5 mg cholesterol, 1 g protein, 1.5 g carbohydrates, trace amount dietary fiber, 89 mg sodium

1 8-ounce carton reduced-fat sour cream

1/2 cup light mayonnaise

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon bottled minced garlic

1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Pepper Jack cheese (Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers), see Cook's note

Cooking oil spray

1/4 cup sliced green olives with pimento, drained well

1/4 cup roasted sunflower nuts

3 green onions (for about 1/2 cup slices)

Assorted crackers for serving

Cook's note: If you cannot find already-shredded Pepper Jack cheese, shred your own using a food processor or hand-held grater. If you prefer a milder cheese spread, use 1 1/2 cups of shredded Monterey Jack.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

In a large mixing bowl stir together the sour cream, mayonnaise, flour and garlic. Stir in the grated cheese. Spray a 9-inch round pie plate with cooking oil spray, then spread the cheese mixture to cover bottom of the pie plate.

Place the olives with pimento in the center of dish, forming a circle. Rinse and slice the green onions, using all of the whites and enough of the tender green tops to make 1/2 cup. Spread the green onions in a ring around the olive circle. Finish the dish by sprinkling the sunflower kernels around the green onions. The olives, onions, and sunflower kernels should form a "target" on top of the cheese mixture.

Bake until heated through and the cheese is melted, about 30 minutes. Serve hot with crackers, if desired.

Yield: 12 servings

Approximate Values Per Serving: 144 calories (73 percent from fat), 12 g fat (0 g saturated), 22 mg cholesterol, 5 g protein, 5 g carbohydrates, .5 g dietary fiber, 252 mg sodium

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