Sunday, February 6, 2011

Spinach, Artichoke, and Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Today is the Superbowl; I have little interest in football, and probably won't watch any of it.  However, something about this time of year makes me crave delicious and unhealthy hot dips.  Today's is my own concoction of spinach, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, and, of course, cheese.

Frozen spinach
1 can artichoke hearts
1 roasted red pepper
Worcestershire sauce
Garlic salt

Preheat oven to 350.
Start by thawing the spinach.  I did this in the bowl I would later be mixing in, in the microwave for about two minutes.  Don't cover it, because you want all the water to evaporate off so it doesn't end up swimming in liquid.
While that's going, drain your can of artichokes and chop 'em up.  You can go very small or chunkier, however you like it.  Pull about one pepper out of the jar of roasted red peppers (or I suppose you could roast it yourself) and chop that up too.
Once the spinach is thawed, mix artichokes and red pepper in with it.  You could add some chopped onion or garlic right now too, if you felt like it.  I was tired of chopping, so I didn't.
Next, add as much mayonnaise as you need to get it to a dip-like consistency.  Remember, though, that the cheese (which we're about to add) will melt and get runny too, so don't overdo it on the mayonnaise.  You could also use cream cheese or sour cream here instead of mayo, and adjust your amounts accordingly.
Chop or grate up your cheese.  I used Havarti because it was in my fridge about to go bad, along with a little homemade cheese I had.  Parmesan is a popular choice, as is mozzarella or monterey jack.
Mix in some of the cheese with the mayo mixture-- I didn't measure, just do what feels right, or alternatively, use up all your cheese.  Save a large handful to sprinkle over the top.
Add in a couple shakes of Worcestershire sauce and some garlic salt, or other spices.  You could do cayenne pepper, that'd give it a nice kick.  Mix well, then spread into a baking dish.  Sprinkle leftover cheese on top.

At this point, it looks something like this:

Before baking.
Pop it in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, until the cheese on top is fully melted.  Then turn on the broiler for about 5 minutes, watching to make sure it gets brown but not too brown.  Now it looks like this:

After baking.  YUM!
Let it cool (if you're patient; burn your mouth, if you're not), then dig in with tortilla chips, bread/toast slices, or a spoon.

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