Friday, April 30, 2010

Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip – Less is More for the First Time Ever

If this is the kind of thing you really love to eat at the local sports bar, but never thought about making at home, then I hope you find this video recipe very motivational. Not only is this baked spinach artichoke dip easy and delicious, but it's also a first in culinary history.

For the first time ever, sour cream and mayonnaise have been removed from a dip recipe…and it got better. I've always enjoyed hot spinach artichoke dip, but it always struck me as a little oily. Almost all recipes call for some amount of mayo, which I really see no reason to include. It adds fat with no significant flavor payoff.

I decided to try a mayo-less version, and then raised the stakes even higher by excluding the
sour cream as well. To counter this, a bit more cheese was added, and the results were amazing. A rich, creamy, cheesy, not greasy dip.While I loved this recipe, I may try it with just a touch of sour cream next time, and that could be named the official final foodwishes formula. I figure I have until football season to work it out.

By the way, I took a quick surf around the web and came up with zero info on the origins of hot spinach artichoke dip. I find this unusual for a dip of such widespread popularity. You would think someone would have claimed credit by now.

Having said that, I only search for about five minutes, so I could have totally missed it! If you actually have any info, even if you have to embellish it to make it more interesting, please share with the rest of us. Enjoy!




Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped green onion, white and light green parts only
2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
1 package (10 ounce) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, squeezed dry
1 can (14 ounce) artichoke hearts, drained, roughly chopped
8 ounces cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
very small pinch of nutmeg
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated gruyere cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano Reggiano
1/4 cup mozzarella, shredded


View the complete recipe

77 comments:

blogagog said...

This is a very educational website. I totally forgot about that old saying about artichoke spinach dip!

;)

Heatherfeather said...

This is such a great idea! I have made this type of dip before at home, but the concept of putting them into smaller dishes and baking is so clever. I have been watching your videos for a while and enjoy them very much. Thank you for the hard work and for sharing your recipes.

Ed said...

Can you use fresh spinach instead of frozen? If so, is there anything extra that needs to be done to it? Your recipes are fan-TAST-tic, by the way. I've tried several of them (I've even unleashed them on some unsuspecting friends) with resounding success. Thanks for posting them!

Chris K. said...

It is my belief that spinach artichoke dip was created by post-WWII food manufacturers. It's a bit long, but bear with me. Dig this, kids:

After World War II, American servicemen returned home from Europe with memories of the foods they ate there. Among these foods were French or Italian crudités, raw seasonal vegetables served with dipping sauces such as pistou or bagna cauda. The wives of these servicemen strove to re-create those dishes with ingredients on hand. Luckily, they had help.

Novel advances in wartime American food processing created excess capacity, a surplus of new products, and marketing opportunities for companies during the postwar boom. All the food processors needed to do was create a need for these products among the rapidly-growing populace.

Through erudite publications as Ladies' Home Journal, Family Circle, and Good Housekeeping, food companies like Bird's Eye, Kraft, Campell's, and Betty Crocker began pushing their new wares as time-saving helpers in the kitchen. In this way canned, frozen, and processed food stuffs became staples in the American pantry.

But perhaps the heaviest hitter of all was Betty Crocker. In 1945, Fortune magazine named Betty Crocker the second most popular American woman (Eleanor Roosevelt was named first).

Through her cookbook, Betty Crocker instructed housewives how to include these new, time-saving products in their cooking. And thus - along with the casserole (a result of wartime rationing, BTW) the party dip was codified in American cuisine.

If you read any party dip recipe from the early 1950s, chances are it consists of some combination of frozen vegetables, margarine, mayonnaise, sour cream, cream cheese, and maybe Spam.

So while Chef John's recipe improves on the formula by using fresh ingredients, it still retains the soul of the original. Which isn't a bad thing. I like to think of it as a respectful nod to food history in the making.

Or maybe I'm just totally full of it.

Kay said...

I love your site! and artichoke spinach dip is one of my favorites!
btw, was that sriracha I saw for the hot sauce? my fiancé is obsessed with it he makes pizza replacing tomato sauce with sriracha.

Lhinelle said...

On a totally unrelated note, could you please do Beef Wellington at some point? I'd love to have a tried and true recipe ready to impress family with. Thanks for all the great videos and tips!

Chef John said...

yes! sriracha rules

Food Junkie said...

Another great recipe chef. A lot of recipes for this dip certainly do include mayo or sour cream or both. While this yummy concoction is hardly low fat this lower fat version is interesting and is on my must try list. I did see one recipe that used a small amount of alfredo sauce instead of the sour cream and mayo for a little extra creaminess.

Food Junkie said...

While struggling to come up with supper ideas it occurred to me that this recipe or a lightly modified version would also make an interesting and tasty filling for large pasta shells, topped with a nice spicy sauce - it's gonna be good.

Chef John said...

great idea!

Anonymous said...

What has happened to your video embeds? The controls on videos don't work: clicking a 'go', 'pause', whatever (after starting the video) sends the reader (me) off to a youtube page, -- which takes me away f rom the recipe page, or sends me to a Chase credit card page, or some other commercial page. What's up with this?

Dave W in PS

Chef John said...

no idea what you are referring to , I just checked and it's playing fine and the controls are working.

Grobbins said...

Hey Chef John, any reason for actual cream cheese over Neufchatel cheese? Tastes exactly the same to me, but 1/3 the fat. Thoughts?

Chef John said...

no, no reason. if u like it use it for sure.

kt said...

This is perfect! I've been looking for a recipe that doesn't use mayo or sour cream because they've never been on my list of favorite foods. Thank you so much!

Elijah said...

Your sheet pan is amazingly clean.
Congratulations.

nikkipolani said...

Oh, I'm so looking forward to trying your recipe. I've thought the same as you when I see pools of fat in typical hot cheesy dips.

Jesse said...

Why add nutmeg? What's it do for the dish?

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef John,
Tried this and it is fantastic. One change, I used a stand mixer (I’m lazy) for mixing all the ingredients and it did a great job. The dish turned out wonderfully. And, “as always,” thanks for your blog.

info said...

Dumb question(?) Do you cook the spinach, or is frozen spinach pre-cooked? I've never used it.
Thanks Chef.

Chef John said...

not a dumb question! frozen spinach is ready to use :-)

mysterysinc said...

I was wondering if you would know if this would freeze well if I prepared the recipe, but stopped right before topping it with Mozzarella and putting it in the oven.


My teenage daughter and her friends have been coming over to sit in the yard and have a fire in the firepit. I really am not one to serve chips and such, but finding decent appetizers that can be pre-made and that teens would like is not really an easy chore.

I love this recipe because I normally have 90% of the ingredients on hand anyway. Right now, I have them all and was hoping to make this tonight or tomorrow for this coming weekend.

Chef John said...

yes, you can freeze!

Hummus said...

Great blog! This is actually one of my favorite dips and I'm excited to try your recipe. Thanks much for sharing. Cheers!

Laura Gould said...

Hey, at what temperature is this to be cooked?

Chef John said...

it's 25 min at 400 degrees (see slide at 2:05 in vid)

Sandra said...

I have made this recipe before and I absolutely LOVE it. I'm going to give it another go again, but I noticed you said that you would add a touch of sour cream for it to be the final food wishes recipe. I have some sour cream lying around and I wanna try it out and see how it is. Rough estimate on how much I should put in?

Thanks!

Chef John said...

just a couple tablespoons or so

Tanya Van Sant said...

This was a big hit at my party last night! And yes, thy did scrape the sides of the bowl!

Rich Stillwell said...

So delicious...Everyone completely fell in love with this dip. It will be a favorite of mind from now on...

http://richstillwell.com/images/xmasdip.jpg
http://richstillwell.com/images/xmasdip2.jpg

I even reheated it a couple days later and it was great.
Thanks Chef!

Kim said...

PERFECT! I was looking for a vegetarian-friendly appetizer for my mother in law and found it! I rarely bring something to a party that I have never made or tried before, but I was low on time and wanted to give this a try. It was amazing and so easy! Thank you, Chef John for another great recipe. :)

Anonymous said...

i'm trying this recipe for the first time tomorrow, and i can't get my hands on gruyere cheese. what should i use as a substitute, or should i just leave it out and double the amount of parmesan cheese? will it make a difference? also, i can't find grated parmesan cheese that isn't in the powdery form. will that be bad? thanks!

Chef John said...

use what u can get! it will be fine. Use 1/2 white cheddar and 1/2 regular swiss cheese instead of gruyere

Anonymous said...

i dont have much cheese either like the other person. i have the grated parmesan in powdery form and mozzarella and sharp cheddar.. will that taste bad? could i use the mozzarella into the mix instead of just placing it on top? thanks

Julia said...

I made this last night and it was incredibly delicious...it's very rich and full of flavor...I had to substitute regular swiss cheese for the gruyere...I also used a bag of fresh baby spinach instead of frozen...I just sauteed it in the onion mixture...the result was truly decadent!! :-)

Storm Runner said...

Smoked on the BBQ. Mmmmmmmm

Tingle said...

Hey Chef John Love your videos!! You've helped me improve my culinary skill thank you so much...
How would the recipe Differ if this had that of a Regular High fat Dip?

Chef John said...

The high fat is just richer and has more cheese and mayonnaise.

sonia said...

This is the recipe I've been looking for! Never got the mayo inclusion either (and I love mayo). Thank you, Chef John! "You have to suffer for your art..ichoke-spinach dip." Ha!

Sam said...

This looks delicious!

I have one question:

approx. how many ounces does this make?

I'm curious as to how many 6oz. ramekins this would fill

Chef John said...

maybe 28 oz?

Sophie said...

I can't wait to try this recipe out! I absolutely love spinach artichoke dip, but would always buy the frozen, already made kinds. I think it would be nice to make it myself next time. :)

Love your videos! Cooking is slowly becoming my passion, but I'm still not too good yet. But practice makes perfect.

Ethel said...

Wait a sec, the spinach has to be cooked first??!

Or can I just chop up my gigantic bag of baby spinach leaves and throw them in?

That was a funny video!!!

Chef John said...

have to cook to squeeze out the extra water.

Vincenzo said...

Chef John, Just wanted to let you know that i made the dip this weekend for a bbq i had and everybody loved it. I made 2 recipes of it and had no leftovers. Thank You, Vinny

Victor said...

I just made creme fraiche, can I use it to make it more creamy? when do I mix it in?

Nicole said...

This is probably a dumb question .... I would like to use fresh spinach. I thought I could stema it in my dbl boiler.
How much fresh would I need to make this? Should I just use the same amount?

Chef John said...

Yes, you still need 10 ounces of prepared spinach.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely adore spinach and artichoke dip and I can't wait to try it out this weekend. Question though -- for the butter, is this salted butter or unsalted?

Chef John said...

I only buy unsalted butter. Thanks !

Dave said...

A restaurant near me stuffs a grilled portabella with this dip and tops it with a slice of provolone and serves it a good grilled bun. Its great!

maranza said...

When I price gruyere in the fancy cheese case I find it to be very expensive but have found if I go to the deli section of my grocery store and ask them to cut me a chunk oh, about 2 inches or so thick - it only costs me a couple of bucks versus the $8.00 or so for the fancy gruyere. Just a tip for the nifty thrify folks like me. Excellent recipe by the way. This is my 4th time to make it - to watch the Giants kick butt at the Superbowl!Should been a Texas team, but hey...

Anonymous said...

Hey Chef... in a pinch is there anything that the hot sauce could be substituted for or is it an integral part of this dish?
Thanks a bunch!

Chef John said...

It will not be a spicy, that's it.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to try this recipe. My husband and I had the most amazing spinach artichoke dip at Penny Lane Pub in Old Saybrook CT. I wish I had the recipe. I will give this one a shot.

Caroline Flarity said...

This Spinach and Artichoke Dip was fabulous! WAY better than in restaurants, and so easy! Thanks Chef John

Anonymous said...

question for you: what is the difference between the white ends and green ends of the green onion?? Also I make dips all the time with the cream cheese and use the low fat and nobody ever notices, even low fat cheese!!

Chef John said...

Not sure what you mean by difference... the white part is solid, and like onion, and the top is hollow and green, more like a chive.

Georgia said...

*gasp* How have you managed to grate your mozzarella? Must not be up to your usual standards ;)

Angelica Alcantar said...

How many of those little ramekins were you able to get filled with this recipe? Thanks.

Chef John said...

it did 2 of those, which i believe are 12oz each.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef John! Love your videos...i am hooked :) How many people would you say this recipe will serve? I have a party coming up and just wanted to make sure i make enough. Thank You!

Chef John said...

I'd say serves 6-8

Orenwolf said...

Hi Chef John! I've decided that your recipes, your ideas, and your inspiration will be part of my weekly culinary experiments from here on out.

THANK YOU so much for what you do. Truly.

I had a family get-together a few weeks back, and I chose this recipe as my first foray into FoodWishes - and let me tell you, it was an absolute hit. So much so, that I find myself unable to eat the appetizer, mayo-based creations found at restaurants any longer!

Thank you so much!

Chef John said...

Thank you!

ShanFitzBan said...

Hello!

Just caught your video- looks like a great thing to bring as an appetizer for Thanksgiving this year!

Quick question though- is this something I can make ahead, refrigerate/not bake right away, then bake the following day? I need something that I can mostly make ahead of time, but usually things with cheese I worry about the moisture wanting to separate and making it king of soggy.

Any thoughts are appreciated!

Chef John said...

You can make ahead! It's a soft, runny dip, so it's already soggy ;)

Shanda said...

Can chicken be added to this?

Shanda said...

Can chicken be added to this?

Chef John said...

Sure! Why not!?

sek said...

Chef John,
I often see your videos on:
www.allrecipes.com
Is it possible to use their shopping list for your recipes?
Idon't see that option on your website.

Lindsay Hout said...

The first time that I made this dip, it was delicious, but the consistency was a little thicker than I prefer. So, the second time I made this, I added 6 oz of plain greek yogurt. It was perfect! Also, I believe that this exact same mixture would be awesome to use to make stuffed mushrooms or stuffed shells. Thanks Chef John!!! YOU DA MAN! : )

S/V Blondie-Dog said...

Dang... I'd done already forgots dat' I already made this dip a whiles back and dat it be a mighty fine good eatin'.

I is jest' gonna have to make this fine gourmet meal yet again sometime real soon!

Yippers... it was good!

Ed Adams said...

Chef,

I am unable to get Gruyere where I am. Not even the local cheese shops or vendors carry it, I was very disappointed to learn this. If you couldn't get your beloved Gruyere, what cheese would you substitute? I've been thinking perhaps an emmanteller (spelling) or a gouda, what is your opinion. I hope to hear back from you before the Superbowl :)

Chef John said...

Those would be fine!

Veronica Gutierrez said...

I tried this recipe yesterday & it was a HIT! This will now be my go to recipe for spinach artichoke dip. To my surprise, I have a ramicin left over that want touched, but was baked. How long will this last refridgerated? Can I possibly freeze it & use it in a week?

Chef John said...

Yes, u can freeze!