Who: Atlanta Falcons vs New England Patriots.
What: Super Bowl LI.
Where: Houston TX and televised on FOX Network.
When: Sunday Feb. 5th 2017, 6:30pm EST.
Halftime show: The ever so talented Lady Gaga.
All those questions are answered, but the most important question remains, what are we going to eat?
Whether you are staying at home or going out to friends, this central food question is on everyone’s mind. The Super Bowl is a food grazing phenomenon with established traditions that has grown in popularity for the past 51 years. Like Thanksgiving, certain foods are a must have. My friend Alan believes the Super Bowl is not the Super Bowl unless wings are served. I also believe dips fall into the must have category and Spinach Artichoke Dip with Bacon is the perfect stand-in.
It is hard to believe that Spinach Artichoke Dip needs any improvements. Still, as the saying goes, “Everything tastes better with pork,” totally applies to Spinach Artichoke Dip. Adding bacon to this traditional dip turns an “Oh yum,” into, “Wow. What is this? It is incredible.” Spinach Artichoke Dip with Bacon is a powerhouse dip. It is familiar and new at the same time, and well worth the extra time it takes to cook the bacon.
This recipe is an oldie of mine. Well “oldie” is a relative term and I can’t believe that I am considering 2005 in the oldie category. Yet, some foods and food trends have a short lifespan. Additionally, I am one to frequently change around my food ideas for any party. Spinach Artichoke Dip with Bacon is not a passing trend, but there when you need an appetizer on the quick. This recipe stands the honored test of time and continues to be a reliable recipe for a crudité platter, or chips and dip.
I got this recipe from a Food Network series, Party Line with the Hearty Boys. I enjoyed the show and was sad that it did not last very long. The hosts Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh came across as fun easy-going guys and with a collection of delicious and reliable recipes. The only changes I made to this recipe, was to mix in some yogurt with the sour cream to lighten it up.
Tips for making Spinach Artichoke Dip with Bacon
Use any combination of sour cream and Greek yogurt. The original recipe used 100% sour cream. You can also try crème fraiche. This is a thick dip, so regular yogurt will not work as well as Greek yogurt does. I also believe the full fat versions of both ingredients taste a lot better than the low-fat versions.
Cooking the shallots and garlic makes a big difference in this recipe. Raw garlic and onions can overwhelm the dip, and they do not age well. Also, cooking the shallots and garlic extends the lifespan of a dip from 24 hrs to a couple of days.
This can be served cold, but I think it is easier to dip chips, and tastes better when it is closer to room temperature.
If you have non-pork eaters, portion out some of the dip before you add the bacon so all your guests can enjoy this dip.
Spinach Artichoke Dip with Bacon and Crispy Pita Chips
For the Dip
- 1 Tb vegetable oil
- 1 shallot minced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 10- oz package frozen chopped spinach thawed
- 2 cups sour cream or 50/50 combo of sour cream and Greek yogurt
- 1 6- oz jar marinated artichoke hearts roughly chopped
- 10 bacon strips cooked up very crisp, crumbled
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
For the Crispy Pita Chips
- 1 Tb kosher salt
- 1 Tb dried basil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 12 tsp ground black pepper
- 14 tsp celery salt
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 8 pitas cut into 12 wedges each
For the Dip
Heat up the vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium low heat. Once warm add the minced shallots and garlic to the pan. Cook the vegetables and stir frequently until the vegetables are softened, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Put the thawed spinach on a double layer of cheesecloth*. Bring the ends together and twist
forming a tight ball. Squeeze all the excess water from the spinach. Place in a medium size mixing bowl. Add all the ingredients to the bowl with the spinach and carefully mix until all the ingredients are incorporated. Allow the dip to rest for at least 30 minutes before serving. If you are not going to serve it right away, store the dip covered in the refrigerator.
Spoon the dip into a serving bowl and serve with the crispy pita chips.
For the Crispy Pita Chips
Arrange an oven rack to be in the top third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F
In a small bowl mix the Kosher salt, dried basil, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, black pepper, and celery salt until evenly combined. Add the pita triangles into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the mixed herbs and spices over the pita wedges. Using clean hands, toss the pita wedges and spice mix until it is thoroughly mixed together. Drizzle the oil over the pitas and mix thoroughly until the pita chips are evenly coated with oil and spice mix . Arrange the spiced pita triangles on a large rimmed baking sheet. Place the sheet pan in the oven and bake until the pita chips are crispy and lightly browned. Let the pita chips cool for 10 minutes before you arrange them for serving.
Serve with the spinach artichoke and bacon dip.
* If you do not have cheesecloth, you can use a fine mesh strainer and push the water out of the spinach using the back of a large spoon. If you have a clean flour sack kitchen towel, it will work just as well as cheesecloth.
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