The City Magazine Since 1975

Big Dippers

Big Dippers
November 2013
Looking for a new game-day snack? Try one of these addictive dips from local eateries, then find the recipes at and whip up a few at home

1. Square Onion
Buffalo Chicken
Serve with Frito Scoops.
“The thing that makes ours unique is that we mix in a homemade blue-cheese dressing.” —Mary Zapatka, owner
18 Resolute Ln., Mount Pleasant; (843) 856-4246

Square Onion Buffalo Chicken Dip
(Makes 2 cups)
1 1/2 lbs. pulled white chicken, cooked
16 oz. Frank's Hot Sauce
3/4 cup Blue Cheese Dressing
6 oz. cream cheese- softened
12 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese

In a bowl, mix the pulled chicken with the hot sauce. In a separate bowl, mix the blue cheese, cream cheese, and eight ounces of the sharp cheddar cheese and blend until smooth. Combine the cheese mixture and the chicken mixture and place into a baking dish. Top with the remaining four ounces of cheese. Bake in 350°F oven for 30 to 45 minutes or until hot and bubbling. Serve with corn chips or Frito Scoops.

2. BÁsico
Cotija Pimiento
Serve warm or chilled with tortilla chips.
“The addition of the Cotija cheese, a hard cow’s milk from Mexico, adds a lightness to this traditional Southern spread.”  —Bryan Lewis, owner
Mixson Bath & Racquet Club, 4399 McCarthy St., North Charleston;  (843) 471-1670

Basico Pimiento Cheese Dip
(Makes 2 lbs.)
1 red bell pepper, charred, peeled, seeded and diced
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 lbs. Cotija Cheese, grated
½ lbs. white cheddar, grated (we recommend Beecher’s Just Jack)
¼ cup Duke’s mayonnaise
1 Tbs. Sriracha
½ Tbs. salt and pepper

On a gas stove, turn single burner to highest setting and place pepper directly over the open flame (if gas stove is unavailable, use an outdoor grill). Using a pair of tongs, turn the pepper until the skin is completely blackened.

Once blackened, place charred pepper in a mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap. The skin will loosen as the pepper steams. Once the pepper has cooled, remove the skin with your fingers; this step can be done under running water. Remove the seeds and dice the pepper.

In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese with Cotija cheese, white cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, Sriracha, salt, pepper, and bell pepper. Fold the mixture until all ingredients are evenly incorporated. Serve warm or chilled with tortilla chips. Refrigerate in closed container for up to four days.

3. Trattoria Lucca
Cannellini Bean Purée
Serve with grilled flatbread and Italian beer such as Menabrea.
“This purée is so light and fluffy in texture that it makes a great starter.”   —Ken Vedrinski, chef/owner
41 Bogard St., (843) 973-3323

Trattoria Lucca Cannellini Bean
(Makes 1 qt.)
1 qts. dried cannellini beans
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. red chili flake
1 1/2 cups shredded asiago cheese
Kosher salt,  to taste

Soak beans overnight in four quarts water, drain. Bring to simmer in four quarts of water, cook until completely soft, drain. Pass beans through food mill, mix in remaining ingredients while the beans are still hot.

4. Black Bean Co.
Serve with sliced cucumber, carrots, celery, and pita chips.
“Tzatziki works great with so many foods. Our zesty version made with fresh local herbs and vegetables delivers that crisp taste that everyone enjoys. It’s tzatziki, energized!”   —Ellis Grossman, chef/owner
429 King St., (843) 277-0990

Tzatziki Dip
(Makes 3 cups)
4 cucumbers
8 garlic cloves
1 red onion
4 cups of green onion, chopped
3 bunches of cilantro
2 bunches dill
3 lemons, zested and juiced
2 containers Greek yogurt

Combine all ingredients, except yogurt and salt in food processor. Blend until well chopped. Add yogurt and salt and blend for another minute. Blend until well mixed and creamy.

5. Sesame Burgers & Beer
Pimiento Cheese
Serve with hard crackers or soft warmed pita.  
“Pimiento is a Lowcountry staple and has been described as ‘Southern caviar.’ Ours is absolutely addictive and kid-friendly as well. You can up the amount of cayenne if you want it spicier.” —Casey Glowacki,chef/owner
675 E. Johnnie Dodds Blvd., Mount Pleasant, (843) 884-5553

Sesame Pimiento Dip
(Makes 7 ½ cups)
4 cups sharp Cheddar
2 cups parmesean cheese
1 cup mayo
6 Tbs. chopped parsley
1 Tsp. cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups chopped roasted red pepper

Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl and set aside for about 45 minutes in a cooler. 

6. Indaco
Butterbean Purée
Serve with water crackers.
“Everyone is familiar with hummus or the more traditional Italian cannellini bean dip, but this butterbean dip pays homage to our Lowcountry legume in a way that’s not only healthy but delicious. The mint brightens the flavor and the pecorino adds depth.”   —Robert Berry, chef7. T
526 King St., (843) 277-1228

Indaco Butterbean Dip
(Makes 1 lb.)
2 ½ lbs. butter beans, shelled
1 medium onion, diced
10 cloves garlic, sliced
1 whole-roasted Roma tomato
1 carrot, peeled
1 piece celery
½ bunch thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup pecorino, grated
½ bunch picked mint
Olive oil
Salt & black pepper, to taste
Hot sauce, 10 dashes

Seed roasted tomato. Sweat down onion, garlic, and olive oil. Add roasted tomato. Turn heat up to high and cook off tomato juice. Add beans, carrot, celery, thyme, and bay leaf. Add water to cover. Cook until beans are tender. Let beans cool. Drain and reserve the liquid. Purée beans in food processor in batches with pecorino.  Add hot sauce, ¾ cups olive oil, and mint. Add reserved liquid to desired consistency. Dip will thicken a little bit when it cools. Add salt & black pepper.

7. Ted’s Butcherblock
Smoked Salmon Spread
Serve with crostini.
“This is a great appetizer option because it features a nice, smoky fish flavor that will complement whatever you’re grilling for your main attraction on game day.” —Ted Dombrowski, chef/owner
334 East Bay St., (843) 577-0094

Smoked Salmon Spread
1lb. cream cheese
½  bunch dill chopped fine
Zest of ½  lemon
Juice of ½  lemon
8 oz. smoked salmon, broken into large pieces
¼ cup capers, chopped
½ shallot minced
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Blend everything with an electric mixer until salmon and cream cheese is incorporated.

8. The Grocery
Charred Onion
Serve with potato chips.
“The sweet-sour-rich flavor of the dip pairs perfectly with the saltiness of chips. Also, the fact that it can be made a few days ahead is ideal for entertaining.”   —Kevin Johnson, chef/owner
4 Cannon St., (843) 302-8825

Charred Onion Dip
(Makes 3 cups)
5 lbs. onion, very thinly sliced
12 sprigs thyme, picked and minced
6 oz. butter
Splash of olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 cup buttermilk, plus more if needed
2 cups sour cream
1 cup Duke’s mayonnaise
1/4 cup sherry vinegar

Mix onions with butter, olive oil, and thyme. Caramelize onions slowly in a wood oven until deep, dark brown. Once they have cooled, purée onions in food processor with buttermilk. Add sour cream, Duke’s, and sherry vinegar. Purée until very smooth. Add more buttermilk if needed. Adjust acidity with more vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.