People in Texas love cheesy dips.
This recipe came as a complete accident a few weeks ago when I was suddenly asked to come up with an appetizer big enough to feed 8 people, two of them teenage boys. After scavenging the entire kitchen looking for ingredients that made sense, I realized there was very little, and nearly not enough to make a dish for that many people, or that would appeal the teenage taste. That is, until I saw the package of Trader Joe’s Artichoke and & Spinach dip hiding in the freezer! In no way is this an original recipe, but mostly a way to stretch that one package of dip, give it a nice injection of flavor and make everyone happy. In this case, it saved the day!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 4-10 Minutes
- 1 pckg – Trader Joe’s Artichoke Dip
- 3 cloves – Garlic
- 1/2 bulb – Shallots
- 1 tbsp – Olive oil
- 1/4 cup – Chopped Frozen Spinach
- 1 pckg – Light Cream Cheese (Neuchâtel)
- 1/4 tsp – Cayenne Pepper
- 1/2 lemon – Lemon Juice
- 1/2 cup – Mozzarella or Italian Blend Cheese
- Slightly defrost TJ Dip in the microwave – follow instructions of the package.
- Cream cheese should be at room temperature
- Crush or mince garlic cloves, finely chop the shallots.
- While the dip is defrosting, bring the olive oil in a sauté pan to medium heat
- Sauté the garlic and shallots together until translucent, about 4 minutes.
- Add the Cream cheese to a large mixing bowl, then pour in the garlic and shallot mixture, mix by hand using a spatula until incorporated and smooth
- Add the defrosted Spinach (no cooking necessary, just make sure there’s no additional liquid)
- Add the lemon juice, cayenne, a dash of salt & pepper to taste.
- Add the packaged TD Artichoke dip, mix well.
- Continue to mix until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
- Transfer into a serving dish, then top with Mozzarella / Italian Blend cheese.
In the Oven: Broil in 425ºF for 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese is browned and bubbly.
If using a Microwave: Cover and heat in Med / High setting for 4 minutes
Serve with thick tortilla chips and enjoy!