Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Spinach and Artichoke Dip Recipe

A few of you said you'd be interested in getting the deetz on how I made my "Applebee's quality" spinach and artichoke dip I mentioned in my Homecoming post (and also puppy chow, but that's another story/post!), so I thought I'd fill you in.

Disclaimer: I am not an exact cook. At all. I just wing it, taste it, add things if it needs it, sometimes awkwardly try to subtract things (trying to pour hot excess butter out of a frying pan mid-dish? Really hard!), and I never really measure how much of anything I'm putting in. So, I can tell you WHAT I used to make this delicious dip, but I can't really tell you how much!

You will need:

  • Chopped spinach (I used frozen, it was much easier!)
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Garlic
  • 8 oz. of cream cheese (but I think I ended up using 12 oz.)
  • Alfredo sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • And ignore the onions- those were actually for the spicy buffalo chicken dip!
And here's what I did:

1. Coat a pan with vegetable oil and set to medium-low on the stove. Peel as many cloves of garlic as you think you'll like (I used two cloves), press down on them with the flat edge of your knife to release the flavor, and toss them in the pan.

2. Once the garlic is browned and smells delicious, drain your artichoke hearts, separate them, and toss them in the pan.

3. Thaw your frozen spinach (I just zapped mine in the microwave for a few seconds), and break it up, then add to the artichoke hearts.

By now, your pan should look something like this:

4. Soften your cream cheese so that it's easily spreadable, and grab a foil baking pan. Pour the jar of alfredo sauce in and spread it out to fill the bottom of the pan, then add in your cream cheese, and mix it all up. Now, add in about a quarter of the bag of mozzarella.

5. When your spinach and artichoke mixture is warmed through and evenly mixed, add in a handful of mozzarella cheese, and then dump your entire pan mixture into the foil pan with the cheeses.

6. Pop the dip in the oven (I set mine to 350 degrees), and let it bake for about ten minutes, or until it starts to bubble, the cheese melts, and everything is evenly distributed.

7. If you're going to serve the dip immediately, do the following step after about ten minutes. Otherwise, you can do what I did and take the dip out of the oven now, refrigerate it, and do the following step in the morning. Distribute the rest of the bag of mozzarella cheese across the top of the dip, and do not stir! Bake for as long as it takes for the mozzarella cheese to turn a slight golden brown and form a very light "crust" on top of the dip. Note that I did this step the morning after (and was prevented from taking a final picture due to throngs of hungry boys), so my picture doesn't have the mozzarella cheese crust.

Enjoy! The boys are begging me to make this and puppy chow this weekend. Anyone else planning on enjoying some dip, perhaps along with a football game? I love warm comfort food in the fall!

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