Friday, June 11, 2010

Party-Pleasing Dips

These two standard-but-delicious party dips are bound to wow the crowd. I recently test drove them at the little rascal's 4th birthday party and both appeared to be loved by kidlets and grown-ups alike. The recipes came from Fine Cooking, which tends to have finicky but trustfully tasty recipes.


Everyone loves Spinach-Artichoke Dip and when you read the recipe you'll find out why! Complete with sour cream, mayonnaise and asiago and/or parmigiano cheese, its not exactly 'light' but tastes SO GOOD. Here it goes.

10-oz. package frozen leaf spinach, thawed, squeezed dry, and chopped
6 oz. can artichoke hearts, thinly sliced and patted dry
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Asiago (I used some of both)
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup sour cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F.

In a large bowl, mix the spinach, artichokes, 3/4 cup of the parmigiano/asiago, mayonnaise, sour cream, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 3/4 tsp. pepper. Transfer to a 1-quart (or slightly smaller) baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup parmigiano/asiago.

Bake until the top browns and the inside warms through, about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve.

I made it a day ahead and then just saved the baking part for the day of. 


Another classic, but still stellar. When there's tzatziki in the house, I tend to eat it with everything... veggies, leftover meat, as a salad dressing. Not hard to make but sometimes a challenge to find Greek yogurt but high-fat plain works well also.

Kosher or sea salt
2 medium cloves garlic
1-1/2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt, preferably Greek
3/4 cup peeled, seeded, and finely chopped cucumber
1 Tbs. red-wine vinegar
2 tsp. chopped fresh mint
2 tsp. chopped fresh dill
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Fresh mint leaves for garnish (optional)

Spread 3/4 tsp. salt on a cutting board. Peel the garlic and finely chop it on top of the salt. Transfer the garlic and salt to a medium bowl and stir in the yogurt.

Put the cucumber in a colander and squeeze as much liquid out of it as you can. Add the cucumber, vinegar, mint, dill, and olive oil to the yogurt mixture. Stir to blend and season to taste with salt. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

Draining the cuc's is tres important or else the tzatziki will be watery and fall off your pita into your lap.

 Happy dippin. 


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