Friday, August 30, 2013

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

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Alright, a couple of things...

First, this is an ANGRY post... I was ANGRY when I decided to make this.  We do not eat out very often.  Several reasons, the cost is certainly one, BUT once I make the decision to go out to eat, I do like to enjoy myself and have good food that I generally do not make at home.

One of those "good food" dishes from my youth was the Spinach and Artichoke Dip.  Back in the 80's and 90's, this was everywhere and deservedly so.  A nice big pot of this delivered to a table would satisfy that appetizer appetite, provide a shared experience for a couple and always delicious...

Until last night.

Skip this paragraph if you like, I am going to rant... I was charged $12 for an appetizer of Spinach and Artichoke Dip.  OK, not the same price I remember from 30 years ago, but what is.  My complaint first arose when I was served about 1/4 cup of dip and 3 slices of bread from a baguette... about the size of an old silver dollar... tiny portion.  But that wasn't the real insult.  the dip was thin and watery, had very very small amounts of spinach and artichoke.  I was basically delivered hot sour cream with specks of flavoring.

In fairness to the restaurant and the server, I did politely express my disappointment and was refunded the cost, but honestly... COME ON, Are You Kidding Me???

OK, rant over, but I started craving the dip of my youth.  It weighed heavy on my mind and I knew I could find a recipe that would work as well (better) than my memories.

I found this in a Cajun Cookbook of all places.  I made a few adjustments to calm the Cajun spices down.  But, and here's my next warning...

Low Fat, it Ain't.

Indeed, this tasted beyond perfect.  thick, chunky with Artichokes and Spinach, Creamy, Cheesy, Salty and delicious... But LOADED with calories.  All in all, this could be the most fattening thing I have made in a very long time.

It does make about 4 cups of dip.  So plan for a party, have several friends over or go crazy and over indulge one night.  Either way, I am addicted to this WONDERFUL Full Flavor delight!

And, this is VERY VERY easy to do.  basically just melt, stir and mix.  Not much to go wrong so I am adding this to my list of dishes that are simple to make but are spectacular to serve and dress up your table... Delicious, Easy and Spectacularly Memorable!

OK... Here's what I did...

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

  • 8 OZ Cream Cheese
  • 16 OZ Sour Cream
  • 8 TBS (1 Stick) Butter
  • 2 Cups Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 small jar (14 OZ) Quartered Marinated Artichoke Hearts, drained and chopped
  • One 10 OZ Box Frozen Spinach, Frozen and SQUEEZED to remove as much liquid as possible
  • 2 Medium Jalapeno Peppers, seeds and white inner ribs removed then Minced fine
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
Cooking Directions
  1. In a medium pot over medium heat, melt together cream cheese, sour cream, butter and parmesan cheese, stirring frequently until melted and an even consistency. It should start to bubble.
  2. Stir in coarsely chopped artichoke hearts, jalapenos and Squeezed spinach Finally, stir in minced garlic cloves.
  3. Serve HOT with chips, crackers or bread and ENJOY!


This simple recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Simple but Next Level Dishes"!

Kind of an odd title for these posts. But the longer sentence is... Simple recipes that are easy and inexpensive that will take your cooking to the next level... Things like easy pickled items (I always have a jar of Pickled Red Onions for sandwiches in my fridge). Or how about the easiest bread to make in the world... Beer Bread that is tasty on it's own but also makes a wonderful open face pizza style sandwich... With easy to make Tomato Sauce. Or how about Roasting Garlic for a spread on toast points for a unique appetizer. Infusing Oil with Herbs or spices or spicy peppers. Or how about making your own BBQ sauce. Nothing sets you apart as a grill master like setting out a jar of your own specialty BBQ Sauce.

You get the idea. These recipes are very simple, take very little time but will set you apart as a better cook...


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