Monday, January 10, 2011

Hot Spinach Cheese Dip

Hot Spinach Cheesy Dip
Adapted from Everyday Food: Fresh Flavor Fast

Printable Recipe

Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 25-30 minutes

Makes 2 cups

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
4oz/112g baby spinach (the recipe called for 2lb/1kg, but all I had was 4oz and I added the Swiss chard – total weight was still less than 1lb and plenty for the dip)
1 bunch Swiss Chard leaves (stems removed), coarsely chopped (beet greens are nice too)
½ cup milk
6oz/25g cream cheese, cut into small cubes and allowed to soften on the counter
3-4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
3-4 dashes Cholula Chiptle hot sauce (or whatever your favorite is – do try to find some Cholula though, it’s awesome)
¾ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded + ¼ cup for topping
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste.

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C

2. In a Dutch oven, sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat until the onions are translucent and fragrant, stirring occasionally (five minutes). Don’t let the garlic burn or the dish will taste bitter.

3. Add the spinach and chopped Swiss chard and sauté until wilted (another 5-8 minutes).

4. Transfer the greens to a colander or large strainer and press out any moisture. Place the drained mixture on a chopping board and coarsely chop.

5. Back in the Dutch oven, bring the milk to a boil and add the diced cream cheese, whisking until melted (about 3 minutes). Return the chopped cooked greens to the pot and add the seasonings and mozzarella. Stir to combine and pour into a baking dish – preferably one you can serve from. Sprinkle more mozzarella (about ¼ cup) over top.

6. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let set on the counter for 5 minutes or so – just until it cools down a little. The dip will thicken and … of course, keep you from burning your tongue.

I like to serve it with multigrain chips or homemade pita chips.

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