Cook’s Choice: Pickle wrap shortcut pleases palate

By Arlene Mannlein   –   Herald & Review

You know, having some fun while you go around in this life makes for a great afternoon.

And Saturday, I had good fun and good times with the group of women and their friends and family who got together to make tutus. Yes, of all things, tutus.

This fun group was primarily the committe members who support and organize Come Together Let’s Walk to help fight breast, cervical and ovarian cancers with fund raising. And, as far as I know, none of us who ranged in age from the young to the not-so-young is planning on any dance recital soon.

The tutus were made with tulle and ribbon or sometimes elastic in the group’s signature colors of pink and teal. They’ll be proudly worn, at least once, during the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day parade in advance of the group’s major fund raising event the last Saturday of June.

And, as is often the case when women gather to create and chat, there were snacks. A hearty fare  included popcorn, cookies decorated in the group’s colors, candy, vegetable pizza, cheese ball, and what I guess I’d describe as a cucumber tea sandwich. Only it wasn’t. The cucumber slice was the “bread,” topped with dip and tomato. Delightful. I’m asking committee members if they’d like to share any of those recipes, and if they are so kind, we’ll have them in future columns.

My offering was a version of the pickle wrap dip. Our group of family and friends has long enjoyed pickle wraps, those dill pickles wrapped in cream cheese and a meat, as an appetizer favorite. But a couple of years ago, I decided to try the dip version as a shortcut. That seemed to please as well as the original.

Here’s my version of the dip, modified to be, hopefully, just a wee bit healthier.

Pickle Wrap Dip

       ¼ pound either deli ham or deli style corned beef
  • 1 cup dill pickles or 1 cup dill pickle relish
  • ½ cup whipped cream cheese
  • 1/3 to ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup fat free sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon onion, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dry ranch dressing mix (optional)
  • Crackers, tortilla-style chips, cocktail breads or vegetables for dipping
  • Finely chopped meat of choice

Place into mixing bowl.

If using dill pickles, pat dry before dicing. If using dill pickle relish, drain on paper towels. Add pickle choice to meat and combine.

In separate, smaller bowl, combine cream cheese, yogurt and sour cream. Add onion or optional ranch mix. Combine. Stir into meat/pickle mixture.

Chill at least 30 minutes before serving.

Cook’s note: 1 cup of dill pickles is measured after the pickles are chopped.

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