Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Spinach Artichoke Dip

This steakhouse favorite has plenty of variations but I think it's worth making at home. It's easy and relatively inexpensive for enough to feed a crowd and can be made ahead and reheated in the oven closer to serving time. Shallots and chicken broth add an extra flavor punch! Serve with tortilla chips, pita or bagel chips or just toasted French bread.

  • 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach
  • 10 ounces frozen artichoke hearts (Bird's Eye makes them)
  • 1 medium shallot, peeled and minced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed and minced
  • 1 Knorr chicken bullion cube
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 3 cups half and half -- fat free or non dairy is fine (but why??)
  • 2 cups shredded four cheese Italian blend
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • Freshly grated pepper to taste

Thaw spinach and drain well. Thaw artichokes and chop coarsely.

In a large deep skillet, heat butter or margarine. When foamy and bubbling, add garlic and shallots. Saute until shallots soften, about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add chicken stock cube, crumbling it over the skillet. Stir well to combine. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper.

Add spinach and artichokes. Over high heat, cook until almost completely dry, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add half & half. Mix well. Return to medium heat and heat until small bubbles just form around the edges.

Stir in four cheese blend. Pour into a buttered baking dish.

At this point, the dip can be cooled to room temperature and chilled until about 45 minutes before serving time. To serve right away, sprinkle with grated Parmesan and a little more black pepper and bake in a 400 degree oven until top is browned and bubbly.

To serve later, if at room temp, the dip will need to be reheated about 15 minutes in a 375 oven after sprinkling with grated Parm. If chilled, dip for 30 minutes at 350, then raise heat to 400 and bake for 20 minutes after sprinkling with grated Parm. Enjoy!

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