The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Cobb Loaf Dip

Last night at dinner, my friend said I should post up more recipes online because I cook a lot at home. I would love to, if only I have the time! Writing a blog takes up more time than most people think it does, and it requires a certain level of commitment and dedication because it's something that I do for free. Anyway, that conversation reminded me that I had promised to post up a recipe of a yummy Cobb Loaf Dip that I made for Christmas. I first encountered the cobb dip almost 10 years ago at a family gathering at Rob's aunt's place, to celebrate Australia Day and to view the fireworks (she has a grand fantastic view of the Swan River, and the perfect place to watch the annual Skyshow). When I saw the cobb dip, I remember thinking that it was a brilliantly ingenious idea to use a hollowed out cobb loaf as an edible bowl for the dip. It was delicious and very popular, and Rob's cousin said it was the easiest thing to make. It has taken me only about 10 years to make my first cobb dip, in a country where I couldn't find any cobb loaves! I had long forgotten Rob's cousin's recipe, so I had to turn to good ol' Google to help me. Two things stood out to me while researching recipes. The first was that the cobb dip must be an Aussie recipe because the search yielded results from Australian websites and forums. The second thing that stood out to me was how calorie-laden and fattening the recipes were, featuring sour cream, cream cheese AND cheese as well as powdered packet soup mix of some sort. When I play host, I do feel a certain responsibility to serve tasty but healthy food to my guests, so I decided to make a healthier version of the cobb dip for Christmas (it would have been more healthy if the supermarket hadn't run out of spinach). It was very popular, and our Japanese guests had never seen anything like it before. There were no leftovers - the best compliment I could get.

Cobb Loaf Dip

1 cobb loaf (or, in my situation, a square loaf)
5 rashers bacon, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
250g cream cheese, softened to room temperature
250g yoghurt

1. Fry bacon and onion and garlic until cooked.
2. Combine with cream cheese and yoghurt.
--I prepared the dip filling the night before (storing it in the refrigerator) so that I could quickly assemble it the next day--
3. Remove top of loaf and scoop out middle.
4. Pour dip into loaf, place top back on and cook for 20 mins at 180degC.
5. Tear up removed bread and cook with loaf for last 10mins.

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