At the end of 2008, I picked up a special Martha Stewart collectible issue called "Holiday". As I stood at the check out I thought, "I'll make that, and that, and that..." I justified buying a $7 magazine with the fact that I was going to use it more than I would a cookbook.
This Christmas Eve I finally made something out of it. There are several hors d'ouevres in the magazine that look fantastic, but this bacon and mushroom dip caught my eye in that check out line 2 years ago. I'm so glad I finally made it. It was simple enough to make. With my love of bacon and mushrooms, it was a no brainer that this be the first thing I make from the magazine.
The magazine said to serve it with waffled chips (made by hand with a mandoline, oh how very Martha!), but I had enough to do on Christmas Eve. I tried to find something that would sub nicely at my farmers market, but all I could find were regular chips. I bought some black pepper and sea salt chips, but they overwhelmed the dip. We went through our cabinet trying to find the right chip or cracker for this and finally settled on the ever-popular Carr's water cracker. (There is never a bad application for those...)
We really enjoyed this and it will become an welcome addition to our party standards.
Mushroom and Bacon Dip
from Martha Stewart Holiday, December 2008
makes four cups
- 3 dried porcini mushrooms
- 1/2 cups boiling water
- 8 slices thick cut bacon
- 1 large or 2 small leeks, white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise, and washed well
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 pound cremini, white, or shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and chopped, plus extra mushrooms for garnishing
- 1 teaspoon course ground salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups sour cream (16 ounces)
- 3 Tablespoons scallions, dark green parts only, plus more for garnish
1. In a small bowl, soak porcini mushrooms in boiling water, until soft, about 20 minutes. working over the bowl, lift out porcini and squeeze out liquid. Coarsely chop porcini. Pour liquid through a fine sieve into another bowl and reserve.
2. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Pour off rendered bacon fat, reserving 1/4 cup. Wipe skillet clean. Coarsely chop bacon.
3. Return 3 Tablespoons bacon fat to skillet. Add leek and garlic, cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add fresh mushrooms and porcini, then salt and pepper. Raise heat to high; cook, stirring until mushrooms are tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Add thyme; cook 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate; let cool.
4. With an electric mixer, whisk cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth. Gradually add sour cream; whisk until smooth. By hand, stir in mushrooms, three-quarters of the bacon, scallions and 2 Tablespoons porcini liquid. If necessary, add more porcini liquid to reach desired consistency.
5. Garnish dip with scallions and remaining bacon. If desired, cook reserved sliced mushrooms in remaining Tablespoon of bacon fat in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Scatter over dip. Serve with waffle chips (or crackers!).