With the holiday season quickly approaching, it seems everyone is having a party. What do the best parties include? Amazing apps of course – oh, and of course wonderful company, music, etc. But back to the food. Appetizers of all sorts abound in the Christmas season, and at the suggestion of a friend, I’ve decided to round up some of my favourites over the coming week.
This spinach dip is easily my favourite hot dip. One of the things I love about it is that even once it cools down, it’s still amazing, though it rarely lasts long enough to cool on the table! Speaking of cool though, if you’re looking for a non-heated dip, smokey caramelized bacon dip is amazing, can be prepared a few days in advance, and won’t take up any precious pre-party oven space.
If you’re feeling as though there is already quite enough cheese in the dip itself, you can skip topping with additional cheddar but unless you have a really good reason you shouldn’t skip it! Just stir twice in the same amount of baking time.
I always make a double batch of this dip and freeze half of it as it reheats well. It can be prepared a few days ahead (without the heating step!) and then popped in the oven when needed.
Time: Prep 10 min* bake 25 min
*depends on if you are using a food processor or hand mincing and mixing all ingredients. 10 minutes with food processor, at least 2o without.
You will need:
- 1 package of frozen chopped spinach (300g package)
- 1/2 cup minced red onion
- 1/2 cup minced red pepper
- 2 250g pkg of cream cheese (2 cups)
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup grated fresh asiago or parmesan
- 3/4 cup grated cheddar + more for topping
- 1/8 tsp to 1/4 tsp cayenne
Thaw and drain frozen spinach, squeezing out all excess moisture.
Using a food processor, mince 1/2 cup of red onion and remove from processor. Mince 1/2 cup red pepper (about half of a pepper) and remove from processor. Add 2 bricks of cream cheese and 1 cup of sour cream and the cayenne pepper to the food processor. Process until smooth. Add 3/4 cup grated cheddar and 3/4 cup asiago and the drained spinach. Pulse in food processor until mixed.
Remove spinach and cheese mixture from processor and stir in the red onion and red pepper by hand to avoid over processing them.
Portion into two oven safe dishes and bake uncovered for 15 minutes at 400F. If you portion the whole amount into one dish, the baking time with be longer. Baking time is accounting for the dip being portioned into two dishes.
At 15 min, stir the dip and top with a generous portion of grated cheddar.
Return to oven for another 10 minutes or until cheese on top is melted and bubbly.
Serve hot from the oven with pita bread or tortilla chips.