Thursday, January 27, 2011

Spinach and Artichoke Dip: Just in time for the Super Bowl...

Just in time for the Super Bowl. Wondering what dip to make? 
I'm headed to a dear friend's Super Bowl party next weekend, and I am looking forward to whipping up another batch of this from-scratch, never-fail, always delicious treat: Warm Spinach and Artichoke Dip.

Some close friends and I are slightly obsessed with Hillstone (formerly Houston's). For steak? No, no. Sushi? No again. Three things: MudHouse Sauvignon Blanc (it's amazing). Chopped Chicken Salad with LOTS of peanut sauce (they should bottle it; my friend has even asked. Dear Hillstone CEO, you're missing out). And this dip.

I've experimented with a couple of different recipes over the past year, forgoing the cheats like cream cheese and lots of sour cream, and instead opting for a from scratch bechamel base. 

While my recipe isn't heavy on the cheese, if you like yours cheesy, I suggest adding lots of shredded mozzarella on top and baking it until very bubbly.

Check out my recipe below--I promise, it won't disappoint!

As published on The Daily Meal

For the past few years, my friends and I have been monthly regulars at the steakhouse chain Hillstone (formerly known as Houston’s), where we catch up and order only three things from the menu, one being the warm spinach and artichoke dip. Once you have one bite, there's no stopping.

Needing a dip fix, I was inspired by the restaurant's dip and started to play around with ingredients, forgoing cream cheese for a béchamel from scratch, adding a kick of cayenne, a bit of lemon for brightness, and lots of spinach and artichokes. While it’s not quite the same as the restaurant’s, it’s pretty darn close and works for me.

4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup fresh-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste if needed
1/4 cup sour cream
Two 10-ounce boxes frozen chopped spinach, thawed, and squeezed dry
18 ounces artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1 cup shredded cheese, preferably fontina or mozzarella
Pita chips and slices of crusty baguette, for serving

In a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, sauté garlic in butter until golden, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.

Slowly whisk in cream and broth and continue cooking until boiling. Once boiling, stir in Parmigiano-Reggiano, lemon juice, cayenne, and salt; stir until cheese has melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Stir sour cream into pan, and then fold in dry spinach and artichoke hearts. Fold the mixture into a microwave-safe 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Sprinkle cheddar evenly over top. At this point, the dip can be refrigerated until ready to serve, if desired. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until bubbly, or microwave on medium heat until bubbly. Serve with pita chips and slices of crusty bread.

Serves 12
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

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