Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Sometimes you want to bring something to a party and don’t know what to make. You don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen slaving over a dish that not everybody might like. That’s the tricky part – you want to make sure that whatever you make will be a crowd pleaser.

There are gazillions recipes for spinach artichoke dip, and quite frankly I made several of them, but there is always something that I don’t like about it. Either the consistency or the flavor… I know – how picky of me? One Saturday afternoon I noticed a bag of fresh spinach in my refrigerator, it was couple of days past the “best by” date. I had an open jar of Trader Joe’s marinated artichokes, and pita chips – so what else could go better together than spinach artichoke dip.

I had no recipe.

I just sauteed one small, thinly sliced red onion with about a teaspoon of fresh chopped garlic (or less – whatever you like) added the bag of fresh spinach, which at first looked like way too much, but it will wilt down to almost nothing. After the spinach wilts, added 1/3 less fat cream cheese (8 oz.) and 2-3 TBS of light sour cream. The cheese will start melting as it gets warmer, stir it all together to combine the ingredients and it starts creating creamy consistency. One of the last steps was adding chopped marinated artichokes and some freshly grated Parmesan cheese (cheese is completely optional, as the dip tastes really good without it). Season the dip with salt and pepper and taste it. If the dip is too thick, I add some of the artichoke marinate juice from the jar to loosen it up a little. It all depends what brand of cream cheese you are using. Pour warm dip to a serving bowl and serve with pita chips or baguette.

Adding some thinly sliced, sauteed baby portabella mushrooms (or any mushrooms) is another great way to improve this dip. This recipe can be easily doubled or tripled. Oh, and I just wouldn’t recommend frozen spinach, can’t guarantee the flavor…

I have made this dip more than several times and it's always a winner. :)

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