Amazing cheese dip made with a ton of mozzarella cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil and olive oil. This simple dip is made on a grill and smoked with some wood chips for a beautiful smokey flavor.
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It’s been too long since I’ve made a nice, cheesy dip. I missed the cheesy goodness so I needed to make some, and satisfy my need for experimentation at the same time.
I really wanted to make a cheesy dip on a grill and see if I could incorporate some smoke into it. I went with mozzarella dip because it’s a mild cheese but it tends to soak up the flavors around it quite nicely. Sun-dried tomato infuses the dip with an additional smokey, tomato flavor that is so much stronger than using any other tomato product. Since I had mozzarella and tomato, fresh basil seemed like a necessary addition. Tomato, mozzarella and basil is such a classic combination and for a good reason. When put together, the taste is unbeatable.
To put a fun summer twist on this simple dip, I made it on the grill. Not just that, I threw a smoke box on the charcoals to get some smoked flavors to the dip. It was fun!
Now, I’m not saying that this dip HAS to be made on a grill, it’s just an awesome flavor option. You can definitely make it in the oven. Just preheat your oven to 400 and bake the dip for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese starts to bubble.
If you will be using the grill, and I always encourage that, remember a few things:
~ Remember to soak your wood chips for at least 30 minutes.
~ Place wet wood chips into a metal smoke box before adding them to the grill. There is an option of side-stepping the smoke box with charcoals but definitely use the smoke box with the gas grill.
~ Don’t walk away from the crostini, they are very fast to toast.
Smokey Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Mozzarella Dip
- 12 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
- 4 oz cream cheese softened
- 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes minced
- 6-8 large basil leaves minced
- 3 garlic cloves pressed
- Fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- French baguette
- Olive oil
- (If using grill to cook this dip, remember to soak the wood chips for at least 30 minutes first, before adding to the smoke box.)
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, pressed garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix very well, until all incorporated.
- In a small bowl, combine sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and olive oil. Mix well, pressing down several times to release the flavors and oils.
- Add sun-dried tomato mixture into the cheese mixture and mix until incorporated throughout.
- Transfer into a well-seasoned cast iron skillet. (You can use a 6-inch, an 8-inch, or an oval au gratin skillet.) Spread evenly.
- You can cook this dip in the oven or on a grill. I recommend on the grill to get the smokey flavor, but oven is an alternative. For oven: preheat it to 400 and bake until cheese starts to bubble. It should take 10-15 minutes.
- If using a grill, start the coals and when they are ashed over, add the smoker box right on top of the coals. Make sure to soak wood chips for at least 30 minutes first, before adding to the smoke box. If using a gas grill, definitely use a smoke box for the wood chips.) Let the smoke box heat through for about 5 minutes.
- Once the grill is ready, place the cast iron skillet in the grill and close the cover. Let it cook for 10-15 minutes. Check to make sure the cheese is bubbling, then take off the heat.
- For crostini: slice French baguette to about 1/4-inch thick slices. rush both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with just a little bit of salt. Place on the grill for about a minute or two on each side. Don't walk away, they toast very fast.
- (Throw some burgers or chicken on afterwards, you can't let that beautiful, smokey grill go to waste!)
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