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My Thursday Thing: The Super Bowl of Dips

This Sunday is Super Bowl LIII. Teams and fans from New England and Los Angeles are converging on Atlanta for what is sure to be an epic battle between the Super Bowl-seasoned Patriots and the young up-and-coming Rams. But as a New York Giants fan, football ended for me many weeks ago and I could care less about the outcome. Well, that's not completely true. Go RAMS! As a New Yorker who lived in Boston for five years, my dislike for Boston teams runs strong in my veins.

Without a horse in this game, I'm turning my attention to what really matters Super Bowl Sunday. What grub will I bring to the party? Sure, there's the typical football munchies like buffalo wings, nachos, potato skins, and sliders. But what do any of those foods really have to do with this year's big game? I love to theme my dishes around an event or holiday. Had New Orleans not been the victim of the greatest theft in the history of the world (ok maybe just in recent NFL memory, sorry Saints fans), I might be thinking about beignets or gumbo. And had the Chiefs been able to do what no other AFC team seems able to do either and beat Tom Brady, I would be prepping some kickass pork ribs right now!

But alas, this year it's East Coast vs. West Coast, New England vs. So Cal. So I decided to do a little super bowl of my own to figure out what dish to bring this year. We'll call it the Super Bowl of Dips I. As classic as the NFL's first edition, which featured the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs. Let's meet the competition.

Having lived in Boston, I quickly fell in love with New England Clam Chowder. Warm, hearty and filling, it's a great winter staple. So to represent the Patriots, I put a spin on the classic with a New England Clam Chowda Dip with buttery Ritz Crackers. As for LA, I've spent a bunch of time there over the years and really enjoy the fresh, healthy eating of Cal-Mex cuisine. So my entry for the Rams is a SoCal Black Bean and Corn Dip and crunchy, salty tortilla chips.

Yesterday, to determine the winner of this first-ever battle, I brought the two contenders to work and had my co-workers chow down to see which they preferred. Here they were on the field before the opening dip.

It was a hard-fought match, a real throw-down, a battle of champions. The Black Bean and Corn Dip jumped out to an early lead thanks to some vegetarians in the crowd, but the Clam Chowda Dip came on strong in the second half. In the end, both sides were reduced to mere dirty dishes and a missed extra point proved to be the difference as the New England Clam Chowda took the inaugural Super Bowl of Dips 7 to 6.

That should have been the end of the story, but it turns out LA's luck still hasn't run out (sorry again New Orleans). When I arrived home, my daughter was crushed by the results, expressing her desire to try the Black Bean Dip on Sunday. And since this referee is against the Pats and for making his daughter happy, both dips will be making an appearance at the Super Bowl party this year!

I hope this post will inspire you to try out some new dishes of your own for the big game. Enjoy the food, the commercials, oh, and the game!

Now here are the super easy recipes for my dips:

New England Clam Chowda Dip

* Recipe adapted from

Peel a half of a small russet potato and dice into very small cubes, about 1/4 inch. Drop in boiling, salted water and cook for 4 minutes until tender, then remove into a ice water bath to stop the cooking. When cool, drain and dry well. In a large bowl, beat together 8 ounces of softened cream cheese, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce and 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce. Stir in one can (6.5 ounces) of minced clams which have been drained and dried well, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley, and a good pinch of salt and black pepper. Lastly, gently fold in the cooled potatoes and chill in the fridge for a few hours. Top with a little crumble of cooked bacon and serve with buttery crackers.

SoCal Black Bean and Corn Dip

* Recipe adapted from

In a food processor, blend 1/4 cup chopped red onion, 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, 1/4 to 1/2 jalapeno (seeds removed), 2 peeled garlic cloves, 1 15 ounce can of black beans (rinsed and drained), the juice of 1 lime, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Drizzle in 1/4 cup olive oil while continuing to blend until the dip is smooth. Thaw 1 cup of frozen corn and mix into dip. Top with a few leaves of cilantro and serve with tortilla chips.

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