Hot Dip from Café Olé

Café Olé on University Avenue in Oxford was a popular eatery in the 1990s. I worked there briefly when I returned to Ole Miss and finished my degree after several years in Florida. The dip was served as a complimentary side with a basket of warm tortilla chips, and we made gallons of it at a time.

Converting a restaurant recipe to one easily made at home presents problems both with the scaling-down process and the ingredients. Bear in  mind also that this recipe is my adaptation of the one I copied down some twenty years ago. Make a batch of this dip according to these directions and then modify it as you see fit. I have scaled down the more distinctive ingredients (lime juice, vinegar, jalapeno “juice”, onion, garlic and cilantro) in this version, because once these are added, you can’t very well remove them. If you want more, you can add it later. The dip should be on the thin side, very spicy and redolent of garlic, cilantro and lime.

1 12-oz. can tomato puree
1 cup water
1 12-oz. can whole tomatoes (with juice)
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup canned jalapeno juice (or any hot pepper vinegar)
1 cup jalapenos (half that if you’re using fresh)
1 large white onion, chopped
1/4 cup granulated garlic (I recommend dried/minced as a substitute)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Process until smooth and serve with warm home-fried corn tortillas.

5 Replies to “Hot Dip from Café Olé”

    1. Darienne, I also don’t like cilantro. Glad to hear you say it tastes like soap. I think so too. Other people I have said that to looked at me like I was crazy. I guess there are certain people that it tastes likes soap to.

    1. We made a thick white sauce with a very light roux and non-fat milk, then added lots of mild grated cheddar, chopped green chilies (canned) and jalapenos also grated onion and seasoned with granulated garlic, chili powder and cayenne.

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