Hillstone/Houston’s Famous Spinach and Artichoke Dip with Options to “Lighten it up”
Makes 4-6 Ramekins, depending on size.
This is perhaps America’s favorite, most popular dip, and the recipe is one of the most misrepresented and obscure. I have seen renditions out there that are nothing even remotely close to the actual dip. I found this recipe online years ago, and it sounded about right. I have made it many times with rave results and adjusted it slightly in the process. What I present here is with my adjustments, and I believe it to be extremely close to the actual recipe. As a healthy-gourmet lifestyle expert and home cook, I have made suggestions to help you “lighten up” this very rich dip without sacrificing flavor or the end result. These can be assembled in advance and heated up with tortilla chips or crudités to enjoy! Hillstone/Houston’s serves their chips warmed with salsa and sour cream. Use light sour cream, or opt for crudités (they offer them with the dip, just ask!)
2 pkgs. frozen chopped spinach, cooked, drained well (squeezed and set out to dry on paper towels), set aside.
1/2 stick butter (option to reduce to 1/4 stick butter for dietary purposes)
1 medium yellow onion, very finely chopped
-Melt butter, saute onions until very soft on medium heat.
4 ounces heavy whipping cream (with a whisk or mixer on medium speed, beat cream until becomes creamy and fold into the spinach and sautéed onions. (If you are dieting, you can omit this step, the cream cheese and cheeses make this quite rich and flavorful anyway)
-Fold in spinach, onions, and cream.
Then mix in:
2 cans artichoke hearts, strained and chopped
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
8 oz. cream cheese (can use low fat)
8 oz. Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
8 oz. Swiss cheese, shredded
8 oz. Mozzarella cheese, shredded
-Mix until ingredients are well amalgamated.
-Place in ramekins and let stand in the refrigerator for at least two hours (overnight or a couple days is fine).
When you are going to serve, sprinkle 4 oz. freshly grated Reggiano parmesan cheese (imported from Italy) on top and microwave 3-4 minutes or bake (or toaster/convection) 7-10 minutes, or until hot and cheese is melted, and dip is bubbling.