Artichoke and Spinach Dip
This dip makes an appearance at almost every party in New Orleans. It is a staple here because it is not only delicious but it can easily feed a crowd and everyone seems to love it.
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
- 1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (about 2 ounces)
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 1 (10-ounce) bag of fresh spinach, stemmed, rinsed and chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 2 cans of artichoke hearts, julienned
- Salt and cayenne
- Chips or toast points for serving
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a sauce pan over medium heat melt 1/4 cup of the unsalted butter, once bubbly add the flour. Stir the mixture constantly for 5 to 6 minutes to make a blond roux. Whisk in the milk and bring the liquid up to a boil. Season the bechamel with salt and cayenne and simmer for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the liquid is thick and coats the back of a spoon. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the cheeses. Set the sauce aside.
In a sauté pan, heat the remaining butter. When the butter is hot, add the onions and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in handfuls of spinach at a time, until all the spinach is incorporated. Add the garlic and artichoke and sauté for 4 minutes. Season the vegetables with salt and cayenne. Remove the spinach and artichokes from the heat and turn into a mixing bowl. Fold the béchamel sauce into the vegetables. Transfer the mixture into a baking pan and bake the dip for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
Serve the dip with chips or toast points.
Yield: about 8 servings
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