Ahh the Super Bowl… the time of year that I pretend for one day to be somewhat, vaguely interested in football (and annoy people by asking questions about the rules and what the players are doing and what the lines on the field mean). In actuality, I’m only interested in the snacks, a couple of commercials and maybe the halftime show. But primarily the snacks. So, even though I could care less about football I always get excited about figuring out what fun and delicious appetizers to create for the game.
This dip is the favorite appetizer of a lot people (myself included!) and it’s easy to see why. It’s hot, rich, and creamy, it’s healthy because it contains two varieties of vegetables…and it’s easy! Ours is especially amazing because it uses fresh shallots, garlic, and spinach (we would have used fresh artichokes but they weren’t available at our local stores!) The red pepper flakes and parmesan give it a little bite and the final baking makes a hot dip that’s addictive…especially when scooped up with the hearty crackers that we whipped up to use as dippers.
This wine is a very good chardonnay but unfortunately not the best pairing for our rich dip! I gave the wine an 8 out of 10 because on its own it’s a winner and would be amazing with a rich fish like salmon or a white meat such as pork. The wine has the perfect level of oakiness combined with tropical flavors, apple, peach, and a little spice. I think for me the particular fruitiness of this wine clashed a bit with the dip…but it wasn’t the wine’s fault!
This imperial IPA embodied everything that I like about this style of beer: big bold pine, citrus, and hop aromas/flavors hit you in the face only to be immediately mitigated with large amounts of smooth malt and a nice burning sensation from the 9.0% alcohol content. The malt complimented the rich flavors of artichoke, cheese, onion, and garlic in the dip while the hops cleansed your pallet and got you ready for the next bite. Just be careful if you are using this duo on game day as two or three of these beers will put you down before the end of the game!
Spinach and Artichoke Dip:
1 Tbs. butter
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 pound fresh spinach, chopped
11/2 cups chopped canned artichoke hearts
6 ounces light cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, divided
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 400°. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until spinach has completely wilted, about 2-4 minutes. Add cream cheese and stir until cream cheese is melted. Fold in sour cream, mayonnaise, artichoke hearts, ¼ cup Parmesan and red pepper flakes; season with salt and pepper.
2. Scrape mixture into a 1-qt. baking dish, sprinkle with remaining parmesan, and bake until golden brown on top, 20–25 minutes. Let dip cool slightly. Serve with tasty homemade crackers! (Recipe below.)
From this recipe.
5 ounces whole-wheat flour
4 3/4 ounces all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling
1/3 cup poppy seeds
1/3 cup sesame seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
1 1/2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 1/2 ounces water
1. In a medium bowl whisk together both flours, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, salt, and baking powder. Add the oil and stir until combined. Add the water and stir to combine and create a dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead 4 to 5 times. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces, cover with a tea towel and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 piece of dough to 1/16-inch and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. If there is room on the sheet pan, repeat with a second piece of dough. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 4 minutes then flip and bake for an additional 4 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. When cool, break into desired size pieces. Repeat procedure with remaining dough. Note: Baking times will vary depending on exact thickness of dough and oven temperature, so watch them closely. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.