See this? This is an actual photo (with the addition of my book through the wonders of Book Brush) of the dip we always ordered at a family favorite restaurant. The James Gang gathered there to celebrate anniversaries and birthdays and this dip was always on the Must Get Appetizer list whenever we went to Nomad’s. Sadly, the place has been closed for several years but after some fiddling and a lot of trial and error, here’s my close approximation of the very yummy stuff.
Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
1 medium onion chopped (approximately 1 cup)
2 10 oz. packages frozen chopped spinach (thawed and drained!)
1 14 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 8 oz. package cream cheese
1 8 oz. tub sour cream
1 cup total shredded Monterrey Jack cheese (3/4 cup and 1/4 cup)
1 cup total shredded Parmesan cheese (3/4 cup and 1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon sea salt
Grated “dry” Parmasan cheese
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft. Stir in spinach, artichokes, cream and sour cheeses, salt, and 3/4 cups each of Jack and Parmesan. Stir until well blended and heated through. Pour mix into a 1/2 quart casserole dish and top with remaining shredded cheeses. Bake in 350 degree oven until cheese starts to brown, about 10 minutes. Let stand for about 5 minues to “settle.”
Turn off the oven. Spread the pita chips on a foil-covered cookie sheet. Shake Parmasan cheese over the chips and place in the still-warm oven for about 5 minues to toast slightly.
Warning, this stuff is addictive, which is why I make it in big size–about four cups. It can also be made with low fat/no fat cream cheese and sour cream. It still comes out ooey-gooey yummy cheesy and totally worth the effort!
While she’d never make this on her own, luckily Sade Marquis, or favorite FBI agent and wrangler of magical mayhem, has a favorite Italian restaurant* in Washington DC that’s not far from her row house. There are times when she’ll just order the chips and dip to go, stop by on her way home, and have that for dinner. Sounds pretty good to me. For those of you not familiar with Sade, you’ll want to start with THAT OL’ BLACK MAGIC. For those of you who might not have read GHOSTS & THE ANCIENT STONES, this is your reminder. And you can make some of Sade’s favorite dip to mucnch while reading. To those of you who have the book, THANK YOU! And why not give it a reread. *bwahaha* Just click on a title or the photo with the cover to get to the landing page to pick your favorite on-line bookstore. What about y’all? Is there a local restaurant that’s your go-to for family celebrations or do you prefer to do-it-yourself at home?
*The restaurant is real. No clue if they serve the spinach artichoke dip. But hey, I’m an author. I get to make stuff up, right?