Friday, November 18, 2011
Spinach Artichoke Dip
I looked through many different recipes, broke them down and rebuilt a recipe that suited my cupboard ingredients. The base is very simple and you could easily change out any of the ingredients and customize the flavors to your preferences. Maybe you would prefer caramelized onions and bacon instead of artichokes... mmmmm, bacon....
I'm looking forward to digging into some more of this cheesy, gooey, loveliness on Thanksgiving! You can easily make this the day ahead, stash it in the fridge and bake it up the next day.... just make sure to let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes first.
Spinach Artichoke Dip
1 14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
8 oz package of cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup of mayonnaise
1 cup grated parmesan
1 1/2 cup grated mozzarella or jack
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 4oz can diced green chilis
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients, except artichokes, together with hand mixer, keeping back a bit of the cheese to sprinkle on top. Once combined, mix in the artichoke hearts with a spoon or rubber spatula. Place in baking dish and top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until bubbling and the cheese on top is browned.
Here we go with another round of questions...
Absolutely. The marinated ‘chokes will carry the flavor of the marinade with them into the dip and that could be really delicious! My grocery market had the plain canned ones on sale, so that is what I went with. When I first made this, I didn’t chop the artichokes and they proved to be too big for a dip, but just fine as a topping for a burger. I have a hard time finding frozen artichokes in my area, but I have seen them before. Make sure they are thawed and well drained if this is the route you take.
Place the frozen spinach in a sieve to thaw and drain a bit. The easiest way to get the moisture out of the spinach is to squeeze it tightly in your hands. Some people prefer to put the thawed spinach in a clean dish towel and squeeze it tightly. That makes laundry. I don’t like laundry. Squeezing with your hands gets you in touch with your food and your hands wash easily.
I saw many recipes that had 50/50 sour cream, mayonnaise base. I didn’t have any sour cream, so I just made a batch of mayonnaise and called it good. The sour cream would add a nice tang to the dip and I think I will try it the next time I whip this up, which will be for Thanksgiving!
About the parmesan cheese... is it okay if I use the stuff in the green container?
Of course, your kitchen, your rules. That’s all I had on hand, so I went with it. I know that the real stuff, in shreds or grated would be MUCH better! You have to work with what you have... if you have romano cheese on hand, use that.
It depends on which you prefer, both are mild cheeses that get gooey when heated. You could really spice things up and use some pepper jack cheese or Crimson Fire from the WSU cheese heaven. Maybe swap it out for some gorgonzola or bleu cheese or plain ol’ cheddar. Every cheese brings something different to the party. The base is the mayonnaise and cream cheese, everything else is negotiable.
Green chilis are fairly mild. I will be adding in some jalapeno in future recipes because I like more of a kick! Keep in mind that the dairy in the recipe tempers the heat of the peppers a bit. The chilis or peppers are completely optional, feel free to leave them out. You could change things up anyway you like... maybe some cranberries and goat cheese with some walnuts tossed in, or bacon and cheddar, or roasted garlic and bacon, or...
I used an 6 cup soufflé dish because it was a brand new gift and I wanted to play with it! An 8x8 baking dish or a loaf pan or a 9” cake pan or 10” pie plate or anything that will hold about 4-6 cups. You could even do this in a slow cooker, just increase the time needed for everything to get all gooey together! The thinner the layer is in the pan, the less time it will need to get all melded together, the deeper the layer the more time. Take a peak part way through the cooking time to see how things are going and adjust accordingly.
I topped burgers with this delicious, creamy goo and it was MARVELOUS! A vegetable tray would be lovely for those who don’t eat grains. Of course crackers, pita chips, corn chips etc for those who do eat grains. My personal favorite delivery device is a spork... nothing but a spork to interfere with the creamy deliciousness!