Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Around my house, football rules.  These days that includes both American football and the other kind of football only those of us in the States refer to as soccer (my Gunners rule!).

Spinach-Artichoke Dip with KeftedesFrom September through early February, our Sundays are scheduled around football games where finger foods and appetizers are frequently on the coffee table.  Yes, our season ended early on this year with the Redskins having an absolutely frustrating, coach-ending, dreams-dashed, reputation-tainting, and plain ole abysmal season. Sigh... That doesn't mean we don't still love watching the playoffs. It has helped that there have been some great games to watch this season.  I'm pulling for Seattle all the way at this point. Forget about it this year, Tom Brady.


And, as we get ready to head into the final stretch and wait for the Sunday of all Sundays, the grand nellie of them all, we must turn our attention to food.  Whether you're hosting your own get together or taking something over to a neighbor's house (or deciding to stay in and eat all the goodies yourself), you can't go wrong with making this fantastic recipe for Spinach Artichoke Dip.

Umm...cheesy goodness. Yes, I go a bit crazy for the cheese but this isn't supposed to be healthy stuff. It's party food! So, for one night indulge.  I love the taste of the cream cheese and the fresh spinach.  I don't skimp on the artichokes or cut them too fine. I like to taste all of the flavors in my version of this popular dip.  You can serve them with pita chips, woven crackers, dip-style corn chips, or even sneak a bite by itself with a spoon (not that I've EVER done such a thing).  And, if you happen to take it to someone's house or serve it to your guests, be prepared to share the recipe.  Trust me, I have never served it without being asked to pass the recipe along.

For a print-friendly version of the recipe, click: https://sites.google.com/site/creamyspinachartichoke/

Ingredients:

6-ounce package of fresh baby spinach leaves, steamed in bag and chopped into small pieces
1 15-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 8-ounce block of cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions:
1.  Follow directions on package of spinach to steam in microwave. Set aside to cool. Once cool enough, pat spinach dry and squeeze excess water out using a paper towel.  Chop into small pieces.
Steamed spinach with excess water squeezed out

2.  Drain artichokes and chop into small pieces.  Set aside.

Before
After
3.  In a large saute pan, melt cream cheese over medium-low heat.  Once it's nice and creamy, add the spinach, artichokes, and sour cream, stirring to combine.  Add in 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese and stir until it melts.



4.  Place mixture into a shallow casserole dish (something similar to a 9 x 9 rather than a large casserole dish like a 13 x 9). Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese and then the remainder of the mozzarella cheese.


5.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese topping has melted and browned around the edges.