Hot Tangy Spinach Artichoke Dip

the ultimate spinach artichoke dip

Everyone once in a while a party comes around and I get to make something decadent that you wouldn’t eat at home everyday.  I always try to bring something substantial as you never can be certain of gluten free snackies, although my friends are pretty good about it. One of my goto apps is this hot tangy spinach artichoke dip.  I am on the quest for the best recipe ever and think I may have created it this time. This one is tangy with plenty of mustard. I think it helps offset the richness. If you are not a fan of dijon (yellow mustard cannot be substituted) or any mustard, just leave it out. I like the mustard seeds for a little puff of surprise, but again, those could be optional. If you leave it out, just call it spinach artichoke dip, leave the tangy out. In a minute you will read out loud and say roasted garlic? Who has 2 tablespoons of roasted garlic sitting around? Well, I do. I roast a bunch in the oven every once in a while, make it into a paste and then plop it on some saran wrap and roll it up like a tube, twist the ends shut and stick it in a zip bag and into the freezer. When I need roasted garlic, I slice off an inch or two and stick it back in the freezer. If that is not your option, they have some in a jar in the stores or just chop some fresh garlic and very lightly saute it to take the edge off.

Don’t be scared of the list of ingredients (well the half and half), this is an appetizer and you are not eating the whole dish by yourself, right?

1.5 cups of half and half (don’t use milk)
8 oz of grated Monterey Jack cheese
8 oz of cream cheese – I use light usually

1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
2 tbs of roasted garlic
4 tbs dijon mustard or white wine mustard
1.5 tsp mustard seed
10 oz chopped frozen spinach, thawed and pressed dry
2 14 oz cans of artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
as much fresh ground pepper as you like (i like a lot)
taste to see if you need salt

In a 2 quart pot, simmer the cream and once it is at a simmer, add everything but the spinach and artichokes. Stir stir stir. Once melted and well blended, stir in your veggies and when every thing is nice and hot, it is ready to serve. How easy is that? You can bake this dish too if you like that baked flavor, if you do, add a bit more heavy cream and top it off with more Monterey Jack and back at 375 until bubbly and light brown. I serve it with strong tortilla chips. Weak ones are well, weak and won’t stand up to this dip.

the ultimate spinach artichoke dip

Enjoy!

i’m out

Solstice! and Menu of the week Dec 21: Cranberries!

Happy Solstice!  Solstice occurred around 7 am this morning.  The days will be longer soon!  This week’s ingredient is cranberries.  I guarantee you I will consume at least one cranberry vodka cocktail this week, plus we will use cranberry sauce on Friday with a turkey dinner.  Angela’s Kitchen  is this week’s gluten free menu swap host, so click on over there and check out all the great menus floating around.

This weekend I made three different batches of brittle:  pine nut, pumpkin seed, almond brittle with red chile and fleur de Sel; coconut cardamom brittle  and macadamia nut, almond, coconut brittle, both of the last two also had cayenne and fleur de Sel.  That heat combined with crunch and salty sweet  is so delicious!  It is the best brittle I have ever eaten and the first time I have made it.  I made the coconut brittle for a friend who has a peanut allergy and she loved it.

Sunday: Snowpeas with pork stirfry – a hold over from last week’s menu 
Monday: Latkes/potato pancakes with Weiss wurst
Tuesday: Vietnamese Chicken Pho – I still have fresh Thai basil growing in the basement greenhouse/room.  Organic free range chicken raised by my brother for this pot of soup.
Heading North for the holidays at the farm:
Christmas eve – shrimp cocktails and roast beef
Christmas day tradition: cheese fondue with veggies and beef fondue with many dipping sauces with baked potatoes, cheesy parm bread and salad
Christmas day after Roasted Turkey (extended family gathering) with hot spiced wine
Saturday night:  Hanging and likely eating too, at the Bluebird in Leland – traditional reunion weekend gathering spot for all those who no longer live in Leland, but are home for the holidays.

I am bringing apps for both Christmas eve and Day:  mini meatballs with porcini mushroom, parm and thyme, spinach veggie dip with tortillas, shrimp, hopefully some blue cheese gougeres, and a cheese and salami platter with lots of GF crackers.  Oh and pate, if it works.  I have a liverfree pate in the oven right now.  I used chestnut puree instead of liver hoping it will give a similar spreadable texture.  Country pate with homemade fermented dill pickles and dijon.  I have the whole week off to play and cook until we head North.

Happy Solstice and Merry Christmas!

i’m out