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Monday, January 30, 2012

Cooking With Banshee: Artichoke Bacon Dip

It's Super Week.  For the Giants and the Patriots and the media, that means a trip to Indy.  Well, for the rest of us, that means we need to start planning our game day menus.  Whether you're hosting a Super Bowl bash, heading to a friend's house or just staying at home for serious concentration on the game, food is a big part of the event.  So, in honor of Super Week, I will be posting several recipes to help you get ready for the big event.

Warm Artichoke Bacon Dip

This recipe came from Giada De Laurentis.  I've tweaked it just a little.  This recipe includes making your own pita chips.  If you can find similarly flavored chips in the store, it's probably not worth the extra hassle of making your own.  Plus, more is better when it comes to chips.  It's easier to buy more than to make more.

This dip has a pretty strong flavor.  If you do not like artichokes, you will not like this dip.  For some reason, this has a stronger artichoke flavor than most spinach and artichoke dips.

Pita Chips Ingredients:
1 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs ground cumin
1 Tbs kosher salt
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
5 pita breads

Pita Chips Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Combine chili powder, cumin and salt in a small bowl.  Drizzle the pita breads with olive oil.  Sprinkle the spice mixture over the pita breads.  Cut the pita breads into wedges.  Arrange the wedges in a single layer on baking sheets.  Bake until crisp.  Approximately 10 minutes.  I had to use two baking sheets and switch their positions in the oven throughout the baking process.

Dip Ingredients:
6 strips of bacon
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 chopped shallots
2 cloves minced garlic (4 tsp if using garlic from a jar)
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
16 oz marscapone cheese
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonaise
1/4 cup lemon juice

Dip Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a 1 quart baking dish.

Add the oil to a large skillet.  Fry the bacon until crispy.  Remove the bacon and allow it to drain on paper towels.  When it's cool enough to handle, give it a rough chop.

Add the shallots, artichokes, garlic, salt and pepper to the bacon grease in the skillet and sauté over medium heat until the shallots get translucent and the artichokes begin to brown.  About 8 minutes.  (Hint: add the garlic a few minutes after the other ingredients.  Garlic tends to burn quickly in the skillet.)

Transfer the sautéed ingredients to a food processor.  Add the marscapone cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice and 1/2 of the chopped bacon.  Pulse until combined, but leave it a little chunky.  (Hint, food processors are powerful things.  If you want the dip to have a little texture, don't chop the shallots or the artichokes too much before adding them to the skillet.)

Spoon the dip into the greased baking dish.  Sprinkle the remaining bacon on top of the dip.  Bake uncovered for about 10 minutes.  You want it to be warm but not boiling.

Serving directions:
Serve this dip warm.  It is best with the chili pita chips, but tortilla chips are good, too. 01 09 10

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