I hope everyone had a great holiday season! One of my resolutions this year is to blog more regularly... hopefully that's something that won't go by the wayside once school starts back up.
For New Year's Eve, I stayed in at a friend's house and cooked dinner. There was no way in hell I was going to be caught outside (it was 4° out when I finally drove home). We enjoyed brie from Wasik's in Wellesley (crack brie, as Ann and I like to call it, because we get ridiculous cravings for it), this spinach artichoke dip, and champagne around 7pm, and didn't get to dinner (of shrimp bisque and popovers) until after midnight.
This spinach and artichoke dip was one of my first culinary adventures. My roommate and I made this a bunch of times during college - we felt so very adult, cooking with a bit of wine and drinking the rest as the dip bubbled away on the stove. She and I have shared a few wild New Years (I'm not sure which was the best - Hogmanay in Edinburgh or our cruise to nowhere in Mobile harbor), so I thought it was only fitting to make something that she and I had made so many times in the past.
And let me just say that this looks complicated, especially with so many ingredients, but it's really a simple recipe. You just throw everything into one pot, and then all of a sudden, there's dip to be had. Just make sure to prepare your mise, because this is much easier if you have everything chopped up and ready to throw into the pot. To serve, I like just putting it in a bowl with tortilla chips, but a bread bowl would make for a nicer presentation.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 white or yellow onion, chopped fine
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped fine
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 can (15 oz) artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped
2 boxes (10 oz each) frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend (will contain some combination of mozzarella, Parmesan, Asiago, and other cheeses - the one I picked had 6 types of cheese)
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large sauce pot over medium heat, heat olive oil and butter. When the butter has melted, add garlic, onions, and thyme. Saute for about 2 minutes, until the onions start to turn translucent. Add red pepper and saute for another minute. Add in flour, stir to coat veggies, and cook for another minute. Stir in wine and reduce by half. Stir in stock and let thicken for about 1 minute. Stir in cream. When the mixture starts to bubble, stir in artichokes, spinach, and cheese. Stir until cheese is melted and everything is well combined. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy warm.