Spinach and Artichoke Dip

One taste of this favorite and you’ll never try it at a restaurant again – that is unless the restaurant’s name is Houston’s, which definitely makes the best Spinach and Artichoke Dip ever! This recipe is an attempt to replicate Houston’s. I googled it years ago and found a guy who had come up with a copy-cat recipe, made a couple of improvements (in my mind) and voila! To your pleasant delight is an EXPENSIVE keeper (if you live close to a Houston’s then it behooves you to buy it from them, as this is not cheap. Unfortunately, we live in St. Louis, which does not understand the culture of Houston’s. Oh, that God would bless us with Houston’s in this downtrodden, God-forsaken city that I love! How I lament…).

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons garlic, minced.
  • 2 Tablespoons white & sweet onion, minced.
  • 1/4 cup Butter (Real with no salt).
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour.
  • 2 cups heavy cream.
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2/3 cups Romano cheese, grated. You can use high quality Parmesan Cheese in a pinch.
  • 2 Teaspoons lemon juice.
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce.
  • 1/2 teaspoon iodized salt.
  • 1/4 cup Sour Cream.
  • 2 boxes of frozen spinach.
  • 12 ounces of artichoke hearts – don’t buy special flavors, just get as plain as you can.
  • 1/2 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded.

Saute garlic and onion with butter until the onion is about to carmelize, then stir in flour and cook until you smell popcorn (What! You were expecting a science experiment. TRUST your nose.) Then slowly whisk cream and broth into mixture until it begins to boil. Make sure you don’t get lumps. Right when mixture comes to boil, add Romano/Parmesan Cheese with lemon juice, Tabasco sauce and salt. Remove from heat. Stir until cheese melts into mixture. Wait for 10 minutes. As you wait take spinach and squeeze it dry with your hand. After 10 minutes, fold sour cream, spinach and artichoke heats into mixture. IT IS SUPER IMPORTANT THAT YOU FOLD (I feel like a Jewish mother yelling at you, but I need you to listen). Fold into a Pyrex dish and sprinkle white cheddar cheese on the top. Now you can store in refrigerator or put in oven or microwave. Its ready when the cheese on top has melted.

Now you can serve with sour cream and salsa – as you should. But only the weak serve it with typical Tortilla Chips as so many do. Rather, what I suggest you try is take a nice thin loaf of french bread. Cut it into paper thin (as much as you can) slices. Coat the top with a spray of Olive Oil or PAM and toast them until they are crunchy. You don’t need them browned, just crunchy. Remember that things with oil take longer to brown. Garnish with a little parsley on top of your sliced french bread and serve with piping hot, steamy spinach and artichoke dip and understand why all men categorically have food as one of their love languages (thank you…I’m here all night).

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