I love watching friends and family take their first bite of one of my flavorful concoctions! Their ohhh and ahhhs just spur me on to continue to create yummy dishes! After making a successful fresh salsa verde cheese spread for a delightful BLT I thought, "Why heck, why not throw the bacon into the cheese spread plus a few new ingredients and make a dip?" I am so glad I decided to give it a try! This dip is a keeper. Of course, when a contest challenges me to use bacon in a creative way, I couldn't just put it in the dip I had to make chips with bacon fat! HELLO ~ this one receives a thumbs up! Enjoy!
Fresh Salsa Verde Cheese and Bacon Dip with Bacon Fat Tortilla Chips
- 16 ounces smoked bacon slices, original thickness
- 4 ounces Poblano Pepper, 1 medium
- 2 cups tomatillos, husks removed, quartered
- 3 green onions, chopped in 2 inch pieces
- 3 large garlic cloves
- 1 cup cilantro, packed
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus additional for chips
- 4 ounces goat cheese, log, soften
- 8 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup low fat sour cream
- 3 cups shredded Mexican style cheese, or cheddar/jack mix
- 4 ounces can diced green chilies, drained
- 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup grape seed oil, about
- 12 corn tortillas
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Fold edges of foil 1/4-inch upward to contain bacon fat as it renders. Cut bacon slab in half crosswise. Arrange bacon slices on the foil and place baking sheet on center rack of cold oven. Turn oven on 400F. Bake bacon for 19 minutes. If bacon is golden brown and fat has been rendered, remove. If not, bake bacon 2 more minutes or until crispy. Remove the pan from the oven. Transfer the bacon to a few layers of paper towels and blot to remove excess fat. Pour bacon fat into glass 1-cup measuring cup. Cool crispy bacon 5 minutes. Chop 6 pieces of bacon in 1/2-inch pieces and reserve. Place remainder of bacon in food processor and process to fine bacon crumbs. Remove from food processor and set aside. Food processor will be used again and does not need to be rinsed or wiped.
Meanwhile, place poblano pepper on gas burner or under broiler and char on all sides. Place in plastic bag 5-10 minutes to steam. Remove pepper from bag, slice open remove and discard seeds, membrane and stem. Scrape and discard charred skin from pepper. Place pepper in food processor. Add tomatillos, green onions, garlic, cilantro, and salt in food processor. Pulse until salsa consistency. Remove 1/4 cup of salsa verde from processor bowl, and set aside. Add goat cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, and Mexican cheese to the remaining salsa verde in food processor. Pulse until smooth. Using a spatula scrape mixture from food processor into a buttered 8" x 8" decorative baking dish. Fold in Anaheim peppers, green onions, and bacon crumbs.
Bake in center of oven at 400F for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly around edges. Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes. Spread reserved salsa verde over dip, chopped cilantro, and remaining 1/2-inch chopped bacon. Serve warm with homemade bacon fat tortilla chips.
To make bacon fat tortilla chips, add enough grapeseed oil to equal 1/2 cup. Brush tortillas on both sides with bacon fat oil. Lightly salt and brush with lime juice. Stack 4 tortillas on top of each other and cut in quarters with a sharp knife. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Heat oven to 400F. Place on a baking sheet and bake until lightly golden brown, about 10 minutes. Serves: 8