I have always wanted to make this dip and I had been researching recipes for a long time. Most everybody has a twist on this recipe...Alton Brown has one that looked pretty good and I loved the sprinkle of red pepper flakes in his recipe. I made a note to include that when I made it...if I ever did....
Then there was the article from America's Test Kitchen that mentioned how the dip is sometimes floating in grease, bland and turns to rubber as it cools...yep, that describes the last time I ordered it. The Test Kitchens set forth to make a creamy dip that wasn't the least bit greasy or rubbery...it's made with a flour-thickened Parmesan and cream sauce....mmmm...mmmm...I adore Parmesan cheese....and they included hot sauce!
So, yes, I made the dip...and yes, I lived in denial, and yes, I enjoyed every piece of naan spread with this warm and creamy concoction...and since I don't do this very often, I didn't worry about it!
Spinach and Artichoke Dip
adapted from America's Test Kitchens - Cook's Country
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup flour
2 cups half-and-half
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp hot sauce
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 box frozen chopped spinach (10 oz), thawed and squeezed dry
Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat to 450° F. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onion until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the artichokes and cook until lightly browned. about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Set the pan aside.
Melt the remaining butter in an empty saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook until just golden, about 1 minutes. Slowly stir in half-and-half, 1 1/4 cups Parmesan, lemon juice, hot sauce, and salt. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes. Off heat, stir in the spinach and the reserved artichoke mixture.
Transfer to a 1-quart baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake until golden brown and bubbling, about 15 minutes. Cool 5 minutes and serve.
This can be made ahead: The dip can be prepared to the point prior to baking and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 24 hours. To heat, let the dip come to room temperature for 1 hour, them sprinkle with the cheese and bake, covered with foil for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until golden brown and heated through, about 15 minutes longer.
I must admit to not reading well...maybe it was the size of the print...whatever it was, I made an error and used all four tablespoons of butter when I browned the onion and artichokes....ooops....then I did it again when I used the entire measurement of the Parmesan when making the sauce...ooops....it still was wonderful!!
So, what motivated me? It was actually The Secret Recipe Club and the blog I was assigned, Fit Mama Real Food. The blog is Heather's combination of fitness and healthy eating...along with some parenting tips and home projects. Heather is a fitness instructor and as such, has a passion for fitness. Her passion naturally carries her to the kitchen when she works her special magic creating healthful recipes to share with her family. Heather posted a Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip using Greek yogurt and low fat cream cheese as her base....and this was the motivation for me to dig out my notes, make some comparisons and prepare the dip!