With plenty of college bowl games and NFL playoffs just around the corner, today’s Cook’s Corner features a dip great for any game day snack.
The Stadium Salsa’s Chicken Mexicali Dip is courtesy of Greg Shepherd along with his wife, Heather.
The Bowling Green couple are the creators behind Stadium Salsa so it’s no surprise their salsa which he calls a “healthy snack alternative” is a primary ingredient in the dip.
Shepherd says his salsa is a “hobby gone wild.”
Salsa is a staple and featured ingredient in many dishes at the Shepherd home. All four children, ages 5-12, enjoy it. The older they get, the spicier their taste from mild for the younger ones to hotter with age.
Unlike most salsas, he touts his product as being made from locally grown Hirzel tomatoes with no water added. It has a natural shelf life of three years due to the acidity of the tomatoes as there are no preservatives added. Despite sounding like an advertisement, he said those facts are also the key to the tasty dip. He does not use a tomato paste only fresh tomatoes.
He has used leftover chicken as well as canned chicken and chicken chunks but Shepherd says cook’s can substitute any other meat.
The mexicali dip used in the recipe has a sour cream base though it resembles a cheese sauce.
He uses a taco blend cheese in the recipe, but that can be easily substituted as well. For those who like things spicier more jalapenos can be added. Those can also be omitted for those who prefer a milder dip. He used the hot variety of salsa in his dip, but medium or mild can be used to taste.
“You can really tailor this recipe to your taste,” Shepherd said. “It’s fun.”
Though he has not had any culinary school training, he has been cooking for 10 years and has learned what works well.
This recipe like most on the Stadium Salsa website (stadiumsalsa.com) were created from scratch by the family.
“Adding salsa to any recipe turns an average kitchen chef into something more,” Shepherd said. “We’re always creating something new from leftovers.”
He especially likes adding the salsa to meatloaf or a casserole.
When Shepherd is not working with the salsa, he is a district manager at a medical diagnostics firm. Heather Shepherd does accounting work for her family business.
Greg Shepherd also has a passion for basketball and has served as an assistant coach with Bowling Green High School and its junior varsity team.
Other than the need to use Stadium Salsa brands because of the natural ingredients, he says there is nothing else special to preparing the recipe.
His brand of salsa and chips are available at Stimmel’s, Andersons, Falcon Mart, Express Stop and West Side Marathon.
Stadium Salsa’s Chicken Mexicali Dip
12-16 oz chicken (chunk or shredded)
2 jalapenos chopped
1 small can green chilies (drained)
1 jar Stadium Salsa (mild, medium or hot)
1 jar Stadium Salsa Mexicali Dip
2 garlic cloves (pressed)
1 small onion (diced)
1 package shredded Mexican/Taco cheese
1 can refried beans
2 teaspoons vegetable/olive oil
Sauté garlic, jalapenos and onion in oil over medium heat, do not brown, just soften. Set aside and allow to cool. Warm refried beans according to product instructions and set aside.
Cook chicken (if not using precooked chicken), cut if needed and place in to large mixing bowl. Add ¾ cup Stadium Salsa and ¾ cup Mexicali Dip, 1 cup shredded Mexican/Taco cheese, green chilies.
Add in garlic, jalapenos and onion and mix thoroughly in large mixing bowl and set aside.
In pie dish, spread refried beans, then add mixture from large mixing bowl on top of refried beans.
Use remaining 1 cup of Mexican/Taco cheese and spread evenly on top.
Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 20 minutes. Allow to cool a bit before dipping in with Stadium Salsa brand tortilla chips.