Parmesan cheese and peppercorns are natural companions, making everything from savory scones to pasta taste infinitely better. One of my favorite ways to combine them is in a Parmesan Peppercorn Party Dip. This is creamy, cheesy heaven with a hint of heat to make things interesting.
This dip is delicious with so many things. We’ve had it with potato chips for a great weekend snack when all you want to do is curl up on the couch with old movies or reruns of your favorite television shows. It’s lovely spooned atop a steaming bowl of pumpkin soup — be sure to stir it in well to give every spoonful a lusciously creamy goodness — and delectable spread over piping hot vegetable fritters still crispy from the frying pan.
Stir it into broccoli soup or spicy chili for extra cheesiness, or liven up your breakfast menu by mixing it into a bowl of hot grits or spreading it on freshly toasted bread before topping it with a perfectly fried egg. Tonight we’re having Parmesan Peppercorn Party Dip for dinner by scooping it atop baked potatoes before sprinkling them with crispy fried onions. I can’t wait.
The great thing about this dip is it’s easy to make with four ingredients, fast to put together, and can be made low fat or full fat depending on your preference.
The heart of this dip is the base, a good, creamy sour cream. If using full fat sour cream, you may want to thin it with a little milk to keep it from being too thick. Using low fat or no fat sour cream is a great option for those looking to decrease their fat intake since the Parmesan cheese will add richness and bulk. It’s also delicious with plain yogurt. The tangy sharpness pairs well with the freshly ground peppercorns and aged Parmesan cheese.
The next ingredient is Parmesan cheese. It’s essential to use freshly grated cheese for this recipe. The powdered variety from a can just doesn’t have the same flavor profile and can give a grainy feel to the dip. Choose a good quality Parmesan, but don’t feel like you have to shell out a lot for the best of the best. Save the best stuff for your holiday cheese platter.
The final ingredients are peppercorns and salt. Don’t add salt until the end since the Parmesan cheese will add its own level of saltiness to the dip. Wait until all your ingredients are mixed together, then add salt a few sprinkles at a time, tasting after each addition to make sure you don’t over-salt.
Use freshly ground peppercorns for this dip. Pre-ground pepper can be stale and uninteresting, so don’t bother with it. You really want the fragrance and full flavor of the peppercorn to take center stage. As with the salt, add the freshly ground pepper at the end, until it reaches the pepper flavor that you like. Mix well and serve immediately, or keep chilled in the fridge.
Parmesan Peppercorn Party Dip
- 1 tub sour cream
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (more if preferred)
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper (more if preferred)
- Salt to taste
Pour all ingredients into medium mixing bowl and stir well until combined. Store in fridge until ready to serve.