Southerners are famous for their quick and easy dips, most of which come together using canned ingredients and a lot of mayo. Judge if you must, but I've never seen any of these dips not get devoured within minutes of serving.
That being said, since it's already summer and the produce is rockin', I decided to nix the usual pantry staples (canned corn and green chiles) and use sweet corn on the cob and spicy jalapenos instead. The Pimentón de La Vera adds an amazing smoky flavor (and an ethnic flare!) that really freshens up this south of the Mason Dixon favorite.
So go crank that grill up and throw together this easy appetizer. I doubled the batch for a birthday party last week and it was gone before anyone could even get seconds! Now I know what will be making an appearance at all of my upcoming potlucks.
So how about you? What are your quick and easy dips for summer?
Smoky Corn and Jalapeno Dip
Yields 2 cups (about 8 servings)
2 large ears of corn, husks on
2 jalapeno peppers
1/2 cup mayonnaise (I prefer Duke's Light)
1/2 cup sour cream (I prefer light)
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated pepper jack cheese
1/4 teaspoon Pimentón de La Vera (smoked paprika)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
Set grill to medium high heat. Grill the corn with the husks on for 20 minutes, rotating every 5 minutes, until outsides are lightly charred. In the last 5 minutes, add the jalapeno peppers and cook until lightly blackened.
Remove the husks and silks from the corn and cut the kernels off of the cob. Seed and mince the jalapeno peppers, reserving seeds if more heat is desired.
In a large bowl, mix corn, jalapeno, mayonnaise, sour cream, cheddar, and pepper jack until well combined. Add smoked paprika and kosher salt. Taste for seasoning and adjust if desired.
Chill until ready to use. Serve with classic potato chips (my preference) or tortilla chips.
(Images: Nealey Dozier)