Friday nights have become our night to grill steaks and make a side or app we don't normally make... or something we are craving for that matter.
Jeremy had it in his head that he wanted some sort of dip. I wasn't in the mood for fancy, so something easy had to be on the agenda. I ended up naming off a ton of dips, but we kept coming back to the spinach dip idea.
It's not something I've made at home before.
We tend to order in restaurants.
The difference between us though is that I like artichoke in mine, J isn't a fan of the artichoke. Don't think I'm suffering though, I get my veggies he hates in when he is gone for meeting.
Jeremy actually suggested we just go to Chili's and buy their dip, I was grossly appalled at the notion and insisted he let me scour the grocery store for what I wanted to put in my own. I mean seriously, this isn't a healthy dish, but why make it more heart-attack friendly by getting the restaurant version that's loaded with extra fat.
He let me go on my dip making hunt around the store, all the while skeptical about how this would actually turn out. He even lingered around the stove while I was making it... still not totally convinced it would work.
The end result though, it was amazing. So amazing that we downed half of it without thinking about it, I had to make sure and reserve some so I could take a picture of it, and even wrote down what I did as soon as we were done eating for fear I would forget something.
I have a habit of doing that.
8 oz cream cheese (I used fat free)
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese (low moisture)
8 oz block of pepper jack cheese, cut into cubes
1/2 cup half & half
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 small onion
1 large garlic clove
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more for more heat)
9 oz bag of fresh spinach
Cooking spray for pan, or olive oil
Preheat oven to 375. Mince onion and garlic and saute on medium heat until tender and caramelized. Add fresh spinach in by the handful until the entire bag has been cooked down. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne. Place spinach, onion, and garlic mixture in a small casserole dish while cheese mixture is heated. Next place 1/4 cup of half & half in skillet, lowering heat to medium low, and add in cream cheese. Break up cream cheese with a spatula and saute until cheese is nearly melted. While cream cheese is melting slice pepper jack cheese into cubes. Add spinach mixture to skillet. Once cream cheese is nearly melted toss in 3/4 of the shredded mozzarella and pepper jack cubes. Saute for another minute or two until pepper jack and mozzarella begin to melt. Spoon spinach and cheese mixture back into the casserole dish, top with remaining cheese and back for 20 minutes until cheese is bubbly. If the dip hasn't browned much on the top set the oven to broil and watch carefully for a minute or two.
This my favorite bloggy friends, has officially made it to my list of dips I'd rather skip dinner and eat.
I think it's the pockets of Pepper Jack cheese that do it for me. Then again, I don't think I suggest ever using frozen spinach for this type of dip again, the fresh makes it far less watery.
Just so we're clear, when I want dip for dinner it's usually a Sunday night.