Thursday, December 15, 2005
Yay! Exams are finished, grading is done. Grading is the worst part of being a professor. Otherwise, I love teaching, even though it can be exhausting. But now I have some extra time in front of me, and I can work on other projects-- namely research, which is necessary for getting tenure. But hopefully cooking and the reading of lots of good fiction, too.
Spinach-Artichoke Dip is a good one to take to holiday parties, when there are often so many desserts that people need something savory. I've made it twice in the past week. This version has a bit of heat to it, and I like it that it's got both spinach AND artichokes, to make you feel as if you're doing something healthy. I lightened it too, by using fat-free sour cream and light mayonnaise. (There is also a more decadent adaptation, below). I'm sure it's good for you. ;)
1 10-ounce package chopped spinach
2 14 ounce cans quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1 cup percorino romano cheese, grated
1 cup monterey jack cheese with jalapenos (if you don't like spicy, just use plain monterey jack)
Dash of nutmeg
Dash of red (cayenne) pepper
Dash of black pepper
Preheat oven to 350. Microwave spinach for 5 minutes, then drain well, squeezing out excess water (a salad spinner does a good job of this). In a food processor, chop up the artichoke hearts. In a large bowl, mix artichoke hearts and spinach with all other ingredients except monterey jack. Spread in a 9" baking dish and sprinkle monterey jack cheese on top. Bake at least 30 minutes, or slightly longer so that top is golden brown and bubbly. Serve with tortilla chips or pita chips.
*Slightly more decadent version: add another 3/4 cup monterey jack to the spinach-artichoke mixture itself, keeping the other 1 cup for spreading on top.