Cookbook author James Villas says bacon finds its way into many Southern cocktail dips and spreads. This recipe calls for corncob-smoked bacon, which has a more assertive flavor than bacon that is applewood-smoked. We ordered it online from Dakin Farm of Vermont (www.dakinfarm.com) and love its deep smokiness; of course, you can substitute applewood-smoked bacon.
Serve with crackers.
Make Ahead: This is best made the same day it is served. The dip needs at least 1 hour's refrigeration before serving (or up to 4 hours).
Servings: 2.75 cups
- 6 thick slices corncob-smoked or applewood-smoked bacon (see headnote)
- 16 ounces cream cheese (may use low-fat but not nonfat), at room temperature
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 30 to 40 stems chives, minced (2 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish (not red)
- Freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 lemon (1 tablespoon)
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Freshly ground black pepper
Line a plate with a few layers of paper towels.
Fry the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until it has crisped. Transfer to the paper-towel-lined plate to drain.
Meanwhile, combine the cream cheese and half-and-half in a mixing bowl until well incorporated and somewhat smooth. Add the chives, horseradish, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce; mix well.
Crumble the bacon into fine bits, then add to the bowl, stirring to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours before serving.
Adapted from Villas's "Pig: King of the Southern Table" (Wiley, 2010).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
Email questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.