Given the massive complexities involving certain dipping sauces, I recommend you follow my template below for making homemade dip sauce with as few ingredients as possible.
With my template, you’ll learn how to creatively make an infinite number of dipping sauces that suit your needs!
Start with the Event You Are Catering
Well before you even consider what type of dip you want, I highly recommend you invest some time considering the factors involved in the event you are catering for.
When you are planning food for any event, it is always important to consider the stakeholders, or the people who have a stake in the success of the event.
For example, let’s take a mock Division 1 college football game day tailgate as our prime target. Who are the stakeholders at a D1 tailgate?
Well, I know that I would have to consider the following stakeholders:
- Me and my girlfriend.
- My immediate close friends and their dates
- Various Family.
- 2nd relations (Friends of Friends, or Family of Friends).
As we can see, there is a wide variety of people I have to plan to please with my dipping sauce at this tailgate!
Although you would have a different range of people to please at a house football watch party compared to a birthday party compared to a school party!
The point is, list out your stakeholders first.
Second, make sure that you take your stakeholders list and use it to draw some conclusions. By using my stakeholders list, I can draw the following conclusion about the dipping sauce I need to cater.
- It has to satisfy a lot of mouths.
- People will be socializing, so will need to keep a hand free for drinking.
- None of my friends have kids, so I can use more adult flavors that kids may not like.
- We’ll be outside in the southern humidity, so my dip can’t be temperature sensitive to heat.
- Football games are long, so it’s best to prepare to bring something that lasts awhile.
Now we can see that I’m getting somewhere! By logically drilling down on my needs, I’ll be more able to determine what my option are for my dip transport vehicle, my dipping sauce base, and my dipping sauce flavors!
Choose Your Dip Transporting Vehicle
Now that we’ve determined our stakeholders and our needs, let’s transition to determining our dip transport vehicle!
First things first, a dip transport vehicle refers to the chip, crisp, french fry, etc. that you choose to scoop up your dipping sauce with.
The reason you want to start with your chip, and not your sauce, is that a great homemade dipping sauce is only as good as the dip transport vehicle that it is paired with!
For example, imagine that you create the most epic dipping sauce imaginable, like an epic homemade blue cheese dip.
But, no matter how good that blue cheese dip is, it won’t taste good if you eat it with an Oreo!
My point being, start with the dip transport vehicle you want to eat first, then move on to the dip.
Now going back to our D1 football tailgate example, I need a dip transport vehicle that meets my needs. I imagine it will need to be some of the following.
- Sturdy because people will be wearing team colors, and no one wants to spend all day with a dip stain on their shirt or blouse due to a broken chip!
- Minimally oily because of clothing again.
- Satisfyingly crunchy because people like the engaging nature of crunchiness.
- Salty because people will be drinking, and the salt cuts nicely with sweet mixed drinks (remember, this is primarily and adult crowd!).
So, with these parameters in mind, I’ll probably choose something along the lines of Fritos Scoops!™ because of the following reasons.
- They are sturdy and deep so very unlikely to break and spill dip on my guests.
- Somewhat oily, but not saturated heavily.
- Very crunchy.
- Salty and delicious!
These chips are engineered for parties, and I highly recommend you buy some.
Moving on, next I will show you how to build your sauce with as few ingredients as possible!
Follow Basic Principles
Let’s recap this post up until now. We determined our stakeholders at my fictional D1 football tailgate, who is a largely adult and friendly crowd. And we identified the type of chip we want, Fritos Scoops!™.
Now, the next step is to determine what dipping sauce we want to make, the first step of which, when you don’t have very many ingredients, means you get to be creative!
However, you’ll want to identify some basic principles that you should follow when making a homemade dipping sauce with few ingredients.
- Use a good base, as it will determine your outcome.
- Use flavors that pair well with your stakeholders, your base and your dip transport vehicle.
- Don’t overdo the same flavor!
Boom, so now that we have our principles, let’s see what kind of dipping sauce we can build with as few ingredients as possible alongside our D1 football tailgate example.
What needs do I have for a dip for my tailgate?
- Has to hold up in the humid southern U.S.
- Has to maintain for a long football game, ~4 hours if necessary.
- Has to feed a lot of people.
- Can include more adult flavors.
- Must use as few ingredients as possible.
Based on these parameters, I have some options.
My gut instinct tells me to go for mayonnaise as my base, since it is so versatile and delicious, however the FDA says it should be thrown out after 2-3 hours left un-refrigerated.
So, I won’t use mayo. But after a bit of research I’ve found that the FDA says that hummus can sit out for 4 hours at room temperature without growing bacteria!
So, does hummus achieve our other criteria?
I believe it does. You can buy chickpeas by the can, as well as serve quite a few people with them since hummus is so filling.
Also, hummus is a more adult flavor that I imagine younger American children may not appreciate.
Plus, if you wanted to keep it basic, you could use chickpeas, salt, pepper, and lemon juice and nothing else in your hummus!
Now we can see that by following my process, we’ve come to our perfect solution for this fictional event. Time to close it out.
Closing it Out
We learned that if we want to build a dipping sauce with as few ingredients as possible, then we first have to build a logical basis for what we need our dipping sauce to do.
By doing so, we found a great answer to our dilemma while keeping our dip simple!
I hope you got something out of this post, and as always, if you have any questions or comments leave them below.
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