Boy, am I tired. Last night I hosted my first Pampered Chef party in over 8 years. It's been a long time and my kitchen needed to be pimped out with shiny new kitchen gadgets. It was a wonderful evening filled with chatting, wine and food! Needless to say, I'm still a big PC fan and I'm looking forward to picking out all of my free stuff today!.
The following recipe is a dip that I made for New Year's Eve. I was a little sceptical when I saw that the author said it tasted just like the dips you'd get at a Kelsey's or other similar restaurant. I was pleasantly surprised and impressed with the texture (very creamy!) and the taste of this easy to prepare make-ahead dip. Plus it's a very easy (and tasty) way to eat the infamously good for you spinach ... in a tasty way!
I would make a few tweaks though. I'm a garlic LOVER so I'd definitely increase that ingredient because I thought that the taste was good but a little too subtle for me. I also increased the fresh Parmesan cheese too. Here's the recipe with my tweaks..
1 (10oz) pkg frozen spinach, thawed and dried well (see Tip below)
1 (14oz) can artichoke hearts, drained
5-6 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups Mozzarella cheese, grated (divided)
1 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated (divided)
1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese, softened and cut into small cubes
1 (14oz) jar Alfredo-style sauce (I used President's Choice 'Alfredo')
salt and pepper, to taste.
Place spinach, artichoke hearts and garlic in a food processor. Process until well mixed and fairly fine in texture. Add 1 cup of Mozzarella cheese and 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese; process until blended. Add cubes of softened cream cheese to the food processor and blend well (you may have to scrape the sides of the bowl often throughout the mixing stages).
Pour spinach mixture into a large bowl. Add Alfredo sauce, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix well. Place in an 8x8-inch baking pan and cover with plastic wrap. Place in fridge and allow flavours to blend for a couple of hours.
Preheat oven to 350F. Remove plastic wrap and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of Parmesan and 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheeses. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until dip is heated through. Serve with pita chips, crackers or on slices of toasted sour dough bread..
Tip: I used a very fine colander and squeezed as much water out of the thawed spinach as I could. Then I put the spinach on top of some paper towel (several layers thick) and squeezed out even more.