First of all, I want to apologize for my absence lately. We have officially moved to a new city, and it was about a three week process with packing / driving / living in the hotel for a couple of weeks / moving in / unpacking / etc. I’m sure you get it! I just don’t want anyone to think I’ve dwindled my frequency of posts for good. They’re actually going to become more frequent!
I made a BUNCH of new dishes as soon as I had my own kitchen again. This spinach & shallot spread, caprese bites, guacamole, pot roast, diablo angel hair pasta… I got a little carried away at the grocery store and loaded up on way too much. But I now am armed with a ton of great recipes to share with you! I feel like I need to get a lot of them out there soon to make up for my lack of writing lately. Again, my apologies 🙂
HERE is where we start it all again! I hope you’re excited, because I am waaay excited to start sharing some more food love with all of you. I want to start with a variation of my perfect spinach artichoke dip. As you know, I am craaaazy about spinach artichoke dip. There are a couple of things that this spicy spinach and shallot spread shares with that previous recipe, but there are some significant changes, too. I omitted the mayo from this version, and I added … *da dum* SHALLOTS! Oh my goodness, I love this combination. I was thinking, “I’m only using sour cream as a creamy base, and sour cream and onion is such a good flavor combo … why not mince a couple of shallots, sauté them until they’re filling the air with to-die-for aroma, and mix them into the spinach spread?” So, I did. And I am sooooo happy that I did, and I hope you are happy after you try it, too!
- 1 cup chopped spinach, thawed
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 whole medium shallot, minced
- 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- dash of salt to taste
- Add thawed, chopped spinach to 2 cups boiling water. Boil for five minutes, then drain. Try to get as much liquid as possible out of the spinach, otherwise your dip ends up being pretty runny.
- Spoon the spinach into a medium-sized mixing bowl, and add the cream cheese. Mix the two together until there are no longer any clumps of cream cheese. You want a smooth texture here.
- Stir in the sour cream using the same process. Mix it thoroughly enough so everything is very well blended together!
- In a small saute pan over medium-low heat, add the olive oil and allow it to cook through for a minute or two. (The oil should be completely heated through before you add the shallots.)
- Toss the minced shallots into the olive oil, and stir them around to coat all of them in the oil. Let them cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally to continue re-coating them in the oil.
- You'll soon notice the awesome fragrance produced by the shallots, and after a few minutes (maybe 5-7), you'll see them start to brown. Add the garlic powder and crushed red pepper directly on top of the shallots.
- Stir and coat them evenly, and allow that fragrance to really take over. Once the shallots are soft, spoon them directly into your creamy spinach mixture and stir thoroughly.
- Enjoy immediately OR bake in the oven at 400 degrees for about seven minutes.
- Don't let your burner become too hot. You want a slow, gentle cook on the shallots.
- If you choose to bake this spread, I've found that topping it with mozzarella before putting it into the oven not only adds great flavor, but also offers you a visual indicator of when it's done cooking. Once the mozzarella has browned, it's time to serve!
- LASTLY: I called this a "spread" because the first time I made it, I spread it over small crostini bites and topped them with roasted grape tomatoes. I PROMISE to add a picture of that soon (I did not take any at the time, and I assembled them at a party and they were seriously gone in minutes.) But it was killer and I highly recommend that method!