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4-Cheese Spinach Artichoke Dip

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Welcome back from the holiday! Today, I learned I’m pregnant…with a food baby that is! Don’t worry, no mini Colleens are coming your way any time soon. But from all the chow I’ve inhaled in the past few days, it definitely looks like I’m with child.

I’ve got about a week to regroup and make room in my tummy again for New Year’s Eve feasting. Most people love New Year’s because it gives them an excuse to party, but I love New Year’s because it gives me an excuse to gorge on finger foods and appetizers. I’ve already got the perfect, must-have dip for New Year’s feasting after testing it out on Christmas Eve: 4-Cheese Spinach Artichoke Dip. And if my word isn’t enough to convince you how amazing it is, let me again remind you of the food baby I’m carrying. This dip is why.

I’m going to make a bold but true statement here: my 4-Cheese Spinach Artichoke Dip is better than any restaurant’s Spinach Artichoke Dip. So be warned that, once you have mine, you’ll never want to order it off a menu again. It just won’t satisfy you.

What’s my secret? There’s no cream cheese or mayonnaise necessary; it’s just one ultra-creamy bechamel base that starts with a simple roux. Whoa, sounds complex, eh? Nope. That just means we used butter, flour, and cream, then let it thicken. It couldn’t be much simpler, but the results are absolutely spectacular.DSC_0561

Plus, adding a boatload of cheeses steps this up from your average spinach artichoke dip. We’ve got sharp cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, and pepper jack. And with a little bit of spicy Ro-tel, this dip has just enough kick. It’s a beautiful balance of everything in the creamiest dip of all time, and once you try it, you’ll understand why I’m so in love. Is it legal to marry food yet?

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. Don’t limit yourself to chips; serve this dip with bread, pretzels, veggies, and more.
  2. Ro-tel isn’t a traditional spinach artichoke dip addition, but you’ll never want your dip any other way after you try it. Trust me.
  3. This is a great way to get kids to eat some spinach. They’ll eat anything if cheese is involved.
  4. You could probably make this stovetop then keep it warm in a crockpot.

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4-Cheese Spinach Artichoke Dip
By The Smart Cookie Cook

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 ½ cups shredded  pepper jack cheese
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ¾ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 10-oz. package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 8-oz. can artichoke hearts, drained & chopped
  • 1 10-oz. can Ro-tel, drained

Directions:

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add shallot and garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Whisk in the flour and let cook for 30 seconds then whisk in the cream until free of lumps. Make sure you whisk the entire time so the flour doesn’t burn. Cover and let simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. If it starts to boil, turn down the heat so it stays at a simmer.
  2. Whisk in all the cheeses until completely melted and turn heat down to medium-low heat. Test taste to decide if it’s cheesy enough for your liking, and add more if desired.Fold in all the remaining ingredients until evenly distributed and enjoy.

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Colleen Bierstine

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