The BEST spinach dip there ever was and ever will be EVER and its gluten-free!

spinach dip The best ever

Last week, Steve of Gluten-free Steve asked a number of gluten-free bloggers a number of questions. The whole event can be found on his blog and is definitely worth the read. One of the questions he asked was: “What is your favourite gluten-free snack recipe?”. Well, he actually had a fill in the blank questionnaire which said: “My favorite gluten-free snack is:” but that is beside the point.

The actual point is, I gave Steve the recipe for the best spinach dip ever and I didn’t include a photograph! It was sad. So, I have re-posted the recipe (also available at Steve’s Blog) along with the photo (above) and a warning. The dip looks odd and green — two things that turn people off of the dip when they first encounter this delight. You’ll find that at a party, people will take small spoonfuls when they first approach the food table in order to be polite, but once they try the dip they go back for seconds, thirds and fourths. There won’t be much left at the end of the night. Because of this, I always make a double batch. My photo shows a double batch. I’m not sure the exact dimensions of my dish, but its roughly the size of a 8.5×11 inch (21.6×28 cm) piece of paper. Maybe a little smaller (definitely not larger).

The BEST spinach dip there ever was and ever will be EVER!

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz (250 mL) (approximately one package) cream cheese. Yes, you can use light or fat free.

  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) Parmesan cheese, preferably freshly grated but one time I was out and found that the powdery processed stuff also works in a pinch. Its not as good, but it works.

  • 1 rounded tablespoon (15-17 mL) freshly grated Romano cheese (again, the powdery stuff works but won’t be as tasty.)

  • 1 rounded tablespoon (15-17 mL) very finely chopped sweet red bell pepper.

  • 3/4 teaspoon (4 mL) garlic powder. DO NOT use garlic salt. Alternatively you can puree or finely mince 2 cloves of fresh garlic.

  • 2 green onions (scallions) white and greens finely chopped

  • 1/2 package frozen finely chopped spinach; (those frozen square blocks) thawed and squeezed dry. Do not use if the spinach is wet! You’ll ruin your dip.

  • 1/2 cup grated medium cheddar – old cheddar is too strong

  • 1 tsp (5 mL) of cayenne pepper — less if you don’t like spicy dip. I usually add 1/2 the regular amount if I’m serving to people who are very…er… meat and potatoes. You know, the sort of people who think anything other than salt and pepper is fancy — they tend not to like dishes with an edge.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Mix ingredients (except spinach) with a hand or stand mixer. If using a hand mixer that isn’t very powerful, you might want to consider microwaving your cream cheese for a minute or two. This will soften it up so you do not burn out your motor.

  3. Fold in spinach

  4. Transfer to the oven-proof dish in which you plan on serving this dip. If desired, sprinkle the top with some more cayenne pepper for decoration.

  5. Bake for 15-18 minutes. You’ll know the dip is ready when the edges begin to bubble.

  6. Remove from oven and serve with gluten-free nachos, gluten-free flat bread, raw vegetables, gluten-free breadsticks or gluten-free pumpernickel-like bread.

Technorati : , , , , , , , ,

Advertisements

Jerusalem artichoke dip

jerusalem artichoke dip

jerusalem artichoke dip

This dip is thick so you can dip crudites or GF bread sticks or spread this on a lovely GF bagel. I’ve heard you can also use dip/spread recipe instead of using pesto.The artichokes have quite a strong woodsy flavour, so if you do not like strong flavours you’re not going to like this dip/spread — again, think of pesto — if you add too much pesto the flavour is FAR too strong to eat.

Some more background: Jerusalem artichokes are not actually artichokes. They are the tuber a native Canadian (and American) wild sunflower. They can be eaten like a potato but have a much stronger mustier taste.

Jerusalem artichokes are very high in inulin, they help your body absorb calcium and magnesium and will promote the growth of healthy beneficial bacteria in your tummy. This is great for people who have had some sort of intestinal damage — does this sound like you? Because they affect your intestinal tract JA’s can cause.. er… wind, similar to that experienced if you ate too many beans.

Another warning: even though the Jerusalem artichoke is a native to Canada (and parts of the US), Agriculture Canada considers this plant to be an agricultural weed — it competes with crop plants. So, if you compost like me (i.e. I don’t turn over my compost, so the compost does not get very hot) do make sure you cut your unused tubers into tiny pieces before composting, if you don’t you may have a weed problem. That being said, the flowers of the Jerusalem artichoke are marvellously pretty, so maybe you do want a weed problem?

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 lb (340 g) Jerusalem artichokes
  • 1 bunch green Swiss chard or spinach (I used chard)
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) GF mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) real Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice
  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro (coriander leaves)

Instructions

  1. With artichokes with a brush, they tend to be dirty so scrub really well. If you cannot clearly see the rings around the tuber then you haven’t scrubed them enough. Dry them with a tea towel.
  2. LIGHTLY rub artichokes with oil. I cannot stress lightly enough. If you rub too much they will be a real pain to peel.
  3. Bake in a casserole dish or on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes at 375F (190C)
  4. Meanwhile, remove the stems and the hard centre vein of each green leaf (of chard or spinach) and steam until wilted. This shouldn’t take more than 3 minutes. Let leaves cool.
  5. When the artichokes are finished, remove them from the oven and let them cool.
  6. When cool enough to handle, peel the artichokes. This is the worst part of the whole recipe. Its a pain, but its worth it. Discard the peel.
  7. Put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until the mixture is nice and smooth.
  8. ENJOY!

Continue reading