Saturday, August 21, 2010

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Mr. Max's sweet sister, Clare, has come to town to visit us so we decided to cook a little dinner for her Friday night, including some pre-dinner munchies. I received this recipe for a spinach artichoke dip from, which of course, I adjusted just a bit. At 175 calories, here it is!

Grocery List:
2 cups of frozen spinach, thawed
1 14 oz can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
3 cloves garlic (I added an additional 2)
1/2 cup of fat free mayonnaise
1 and 1/2 8 oz packages of cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Tony's Creole Seasoning

Additional Needs:
Cutting board, knife
Mixing bowl
Serving dishes - some kind of baking dish
Aluminum foil
Non-stick spray

First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease your baking dish(es) with non-stick spray.

Drain and chop your artichoke hearts.

I love the concept of including artichoke hearts, but I'm not really wild about thick chunks of artichoke, so I chopped them up rather small and used 2 and a half artichoke hearts.

Next, I had to thaw my frozen spinach, so I put it in a bowl and nuked it for 1 minute. As I said in my Mediterranean Chicken Florentine recipe, spinach naturally holds a lot of water. As it cooks, it releases excess moisture, so you will want to try to remove what you can. Take a paper towel and press out the water.

A soaking wet paper towel!

In a bowl, mix together the cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth.

Then add the artichoke hearts, minced garlic,

and Parmesan cheese.

Then the spinach.

Add a tablespoon, or a cap's worth of lemon juice.

And finally, to give it a bit of a flare, some Tony's Creole, mmm-mmm-mmmm.

Stir it all up!

Scoop your dip mixture into your serving bowls. I got these little black ceramic fan dishes in the dollar section at Target 4 years ago, they were for my first dinner party and I needed something to serve my store-bought dips in. Now look how far we've come.

Cover the dish(es) in aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.

When that timer goes off, remove the foil and sprinkle a delicous gooey meltable cheese on top - I had a 3 cheese blend of parmesan, asiago and fontina that I used.

Let it bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

Let cool and serve it up with either tortilla chips, wheat thins or pita chips! I was intrigued that it seemed a little souffle like, similar consistency at first dip, but very good! Maybe this means I can try my hand at a souffle some time in the near future! The one thing I thought of after the fact was how would the addition of sun dried tomatoes have fared? A thought to try for next time!

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