Nothing can get a party started like some killer appetizers. It’s funny for me to say that, because when I am throwing a dinner party I absolutely LOATHE them. Why? Everyone stuffs their face on the items that you spent all of 20 minutes on and don’t have enough room for the meal that could have taken days to create. But I digress….whew.
One of the crowd pleasers that I have always found works a treat is spinach and artichoke dip. The creamy, hot mixture tends to fly out of the bowl before you know it! Personally, I was never that keen on the concoction due to its salty and greasy nature. Nothing turns this chef off more than dipping a chip into a nice warm bowl of dip, only to taste and be greeted with a salty greasy stick.
So, I though to myself “Self, you need to sort this out.” And sort I did.
I basically got some of the traditional recipes and put my own spin on it. The results were awesome! I’m honestly not joking, I made nearly a bucket of the stuff for Christmas and by the evening it was a goner (as was the need for a outfit with a waistline). So from my kitchen to yours, here’s The Social Media Chef’s Spin&Art Dip.
Now this is a pretty hefty recipe, but should be good for 4-6 people. My advice, double-triple this sucker. It freezes like a dream to.
Now, you guessed it….time to go shopping!
*1 Cup Canned Artichoke Hearts (or Frozen)
*20 Ounces of Fresh Spinach
*1 Clove of Garlic
*3 Tablespoons of Minced White Onion
*1 Tablespoon UNSALTED butter
*2-3 teaspoons of flour
*1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
*1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
*1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
*1/2 cup sour cream
*1 1/2 cups of grated parmesan cheese
*1/2 cup shredded white sharp cheddar cheese
Ok, now for the painful part: the prep. This is the only part that I find a little tedious with this recipe, but every second is worth it. While you are prepping your ingredients, I suggest filling a large pot with water and begin to bring it to a boil. The larger the better, as all of this spinach is going to be blanched in it.
While your water boils, get the spinach and remove the stems. Yep, I told you it would be tedious. Once all of your stems are removed, roughly chop the artichoke hearts and then set aside. Then mince the onion and garlic and set those aside.
Now when your water boils, carefully toss the spinach leaves into the pot and stir gently for 30 seconds. Then immediately dump them into a strainer and run cold water over them. This will stop the cooking process and help sustain that beautiful green glow!
While the spinach rests, saunter back over to that stove top, and using a large saucepan (large being the operative word here folks) set the burner to medium heat. Once pan is heated, melt the butter. Once melted, sauté the onion and garlic in the melted butter for a minute or two – basically until they are soft. Next pop in the flour and cook while stirring for 30 seconds to a minute. Then break out your whisk and begin to whisk the ingredients gently while slowly adding the heavy cream. By now, you will be hungry…but remember – the best is yet to come.
Once you heavy added all of the cream whisk for a minute or two, or until the sauce begins to thicken. Then remove from heat and add the Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, sour cream and parm. Blend this thoroughly and then return the saucepan to medium heat, adding the spinach and artichokes. Stir this gently and then slowly add the white cheddar.
At this point you need to keep an eye on two things: the heat and if the sauce begins to stick. My solution is to keep stirring the sucker until all of the ingredients are heated through, combined perfectly and the thickness is ready for those chips.
Now it is ready! I don’t like garnishing dips as I think it can be a bit pretentious, but if you must, throw some chopped tomatoes on top for color. I like to serve this with tortilla chips, but you do as you please.
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