Who doesn’t like a good cheese dip?!
We all like to have a good appetizer recipe for a quick mix when entertaining.
Cream cheese dips are the type that are easy to put together and are sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Served with your favorite bread or cracker, you can easily call it a night with a good bottle of wine and that perfect dip to pair it with.
I always like to keep a pack of cream cheese in the fridge for that particular reason. What ever comes on hand, can easily go into making a great alternative version every time. Left over veggies, fish, meat, some ham cubes, dried fruits, bacon… really, anything goes. It’s just a question of you letting your imagination run wild, and allowing your taste buds to be creative.
For this dip, I wanted to have something refreshing with a crunch to top it off. But I also wanted something different and unexpected. For this reason, I made my star ingredient be Okra to top it off.
Anyone who knows me, will know that I am not a fan of okra. So if there ever was going to be a way that okra would be featured in my recipes, it would definitely have to be in a creative way. One that I would truly enjoy, and non okra fans alike.
Over here in Haiti, okra is very popular, as it is used in a gumbo fashion. We call it Kalalou. As much as I do not have that vegetable on my top 10 list, as much I like the creole name we give it. Kalalou sounds fun and almost like a Haitian version of Yahoo! or something like it.
As a marketer, I can easily see a product or service going international with a name like Kalalou. I can already picture the branding, the perfect typography, the colors, etc. You get the picture. Phonetically speaking I am a big fan of Kalalou.
As a matter of fact, I will go right now back to the top of my post and add Kalalou to my recipe title for the world to enjoy this fun word.
So here is my new recipe for Cream Cheese Dip with Crispy Kalalou!
Hope you enjoy! Because I definitely did. I may adopt these crispy okras to top more dishes after all, like salads, burgers, tacos, and more.
Cream cheese dip with crispy Kalalou
Delicious and fresh cream cheese dip topped with crunchy okra / kalalou allumettes.
For the cheese dip
- 1 pack cream cheese (8oz)
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 tbsp creole garlic marinade (or 1 tsp garlic paste)
- 1/3 cup crushed grilled cashew nut (noix cajou grillé)
- 1/3 cup diced cucumber (no seeds)
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp lime juice
- 1 tsp honey
- salt and pepper to taste
For crispy kalalou / okra
- 1 cup okra (kalalou in creole)
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 tbsp complete seasoning (Badia or any of your choice)
- 1/3 cup bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- cracked pepper to taste
- sea salt
Cream cheese dip
In a bowl, mix cream cheese with garlic and pepper, adding 1 tablespoon of water to allow it to soften into a spread.
Add feta cheese, crumbled nuts, diced cucumber, cumin, honey, lime juice, dill and a pinch of salt, and mix well.
In a large piece of plastic wrap, spread your cheese mix and roll up, twisting both ends in order to tighten.
Place in freezer for 1 hour before serving or in fridge overnight.
For crispy okra
Remove okra heads and cut into thin strips.
In a small bowl, mix flour with pepper and complete seasoning, and dust all okra strips evenly with flour mixture.
In a fry pan, heat your oil, and fry your okra until lightly golden.
Remove from oil with a frying spoon and spread over paper towel to remove excess oil.
In another bowl, shuffle your fried okra into the bread crumbs before going for a second fry. Coat them all evenly, and fry until crisp and golden.
Remove from oil with frying spoon and let cool on paper towel.
Top with sea salt.
Right before serving, add crispy okra on top of cream cheese dip. Serve with pita bread, crackers or bread.