Trail Rations: Delicious Dips

I’ve written a bit about how food at the gaming table can enhance your RPG experience. Sometimes, though, you just want delicious food you can scarf down while you outsmart monsters. That’s why easy-to-eat foods like chips, crackers, and vegetables are some of the most popular gaming foods. Well, okay, chips and crackers anyway. But if you want to level up these simple finger foods, you can’t go wrong providing something to dip them in. You may even get your table eating vegetables if they are the delivery vehicle for a delicious dip.

Below are three dips you can easily whip up in time for your next game. While you can throw them together just before the game, if you can manage to mix them up at least 2-4 hours before the game so the dip can chill and the flavours can really blend, I highly recommend it. If you can do it the night before, that’s even better.

You may also be tempted to make larger batches of these by multiplying the ingredients. Normally that would be okay, but for best results I’d recommend simply making multiple batches at these ratios; you’ll find them easier to work with.

Spinach Dip

2 tbsp vegetable oil

4 cups spinach, packed

kosher salt

1/2 cup full-fat cream cheese

1/2 cup full-fat sour cream

1/4 cup minced red onion

1/4 cup minced parsley

1 tsp finely minced red chili pepper or 1 tbsp finely minced red bell pepper + 1/4 tsp crushed red chili flakes

Instructions:

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add spinach and 1/2 tsp kosher salt and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer spinach to a large bowl. Beat in cream cheese, sour cream, red onion, parsley, red pepper and 1/8 tsp salt. Taste and add more salt as desired.

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Guacamole

3 avocados – peeled, pitted, and mashed

1 lime, juiced

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup diced onion

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 roma (plum) tomatoes, diced

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional)

Instructions:

In a medium bowl, mash together the avocados, lime juice, and salt. Mix in onion, cilantro, tomatoes, and garlic. Stir in cayenne pepper. Refrigerate 1 hour for best flavor, or serve immediately.

***

Crab Dip

1 cup cream cheese

½ cup mayonnaise

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

½ Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp (approximately) extra-virgin olive oil, optional

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 Tbsp chopped chives

1 ½ cups (about 12 oz) fresh lump crabmeat, drained and picked over (crab-flavoured pollock will also suffice, and is cheaper)

Instructions:

In a food processor add the cream cheese, mayonnaise, and Dijon and blend until smooth. Then add the lemon juice and olive oil, if desired, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Process until well combined, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula as you go. Dump the mixture into a large mixing bowl and fold in the chopped chives and crabmeat. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper then cover and set aside in the refrigerator.

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And there you go, three dips guaranteed to have your player licking the bowls clean. Pro tip: you should still wash them afterward, you don’t know where your player’s mouths have been. These are also really good, basic dip recipes for you to play around with spice levels and different seasoning combinations.

What are some of your favourite dip recipes? Or have you made variations of the recipes above? Tell me about it in the comments!


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