Creative Cooking: Spinach Artichoke Dip

The latest installment of Creative Cooking here at TAT is Spinach Artichoke Dip!!!

This recipe has been my standby for Spinach Artichoke Dip for years.  Would you judge me if I told you that we sometimes have it for dinner?  I hope not.

Instead of frozen spinach, I like to use fresh spinach from our Full Circle Box.   It's a nice way to use up spinach that's a little bit wilty.  After you cook it in a saucepan on medium heat for a few minutes.  It looks like this anyway:

The original wiltiness doesn't even matter.  🙂

TAT is also happy to report that this recipe even works if your cream cheese looks like this:

(No, it's not curdled.  It just got frozen on the trip from Anchorage to Brevig Mission.  These things happen.)

Canned Artichoke Hearts for Spinach Artichoke Dip!

And speaking of imperfect things... how about this dented can of Artichoke hearts?  We like them because they're reasonably priced and sturdier than the kind in glass jars.  They're not marinated like the original recipe calls for, but they still make a delicious dip.

Note to readers: I usually use the entire can in one batch of dip.  I used to use an amount closer to the one specified in the recipe and freeze the leftovers, but then I ended up with all kinds of random ziploc bags in my freezer full of artichoke hearts.  That's no way to live life.

Additional note to readers: I realize the simple solution to the above problem is just to remember that I have the ziploc bags full of artichoke hearts in my freezer and USE THEM.  However, I cannot be counted on to do that.  Thank you.

Cheese options for Spinach Artichoke Dip

The original recipe calls for grated parmesan.  When I have something like the Romano on the left, I use it (it travels well in a suitcase or plastic tub from the Lower 48), but I've also used the packaged parmesan cheese on the right with great success.

The recipe also calls for sour cream and mayonnaise.  I've substituted both of them for each other based on what I had in the fridge at the time.  Worked great every time.

My secret to making this dip is to use a Kitchen Aid because I usually don't remember to take the cream cheese out of the fridge in time for it to soften.  Kitchen Aid = (almost) instantly soft cream cheese.

I throw the cream cheese, parmesan, mozzarella, artichoke hearts, sour cream/mayo, garlic, and salt into the Kitchen Aid and mix it up for a while before adding the spinach.

Crushed Red Peppers for Spinach Artichoke Dip

Another secret to this dip is crushed red peppers.  It's just a teaspoon, but it adds a nice kick.

It all bakes in the oven at 400 degrees for about twenty minutes, allowing for ample time to take pictures of any adorable helpers you may or may not have in your kitchen.

A bunch of imperfect things and substitutions come together to make something delicious.  I love it when that happens.

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