Chipotle Spinach-Artichoke Dip

This crowd pleaser is super with chips or wedges of toasted pita bread. You can thaw the spinach in the microwave or in the refrigerator overnight – just make sure it’s squeezed dry of any excess moisture. Chipotle flakes can be found at Chipotle Texas, chipotletx.com. Be sure to use low-moisture mozzarella here, not the fresh mozzarella balls you find stored in liquid.

(this recipe was originally published in the March 2008 edition of Chile Pepper Magazine – reprinted here with permission. To download the recipe, go to Chile Pepper Magazine’s March 2008 Archive and click on “At the Stove, Hot Sauce in Hand.“)

Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Zest Factor: Medium

canola oil or vegetable oil spray
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chipotle hot sauce, such as All Spice Cafe Chipotle Garlic Sauce
2 (14-ounce) cans artichoke hearts, drained
1 (10-ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 cup grated parmesan
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup grated mozzarella
chipotle flakes

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a shallow casserole dish with oil or vegetable spray, and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise and hot sauce, and stir well. Place the artichoke hearts in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse for 5 to 10 seconds to roughly chop, making sure
there are no large chunks. Add the artichoke hearts to the sour cream mixture, and stir in the spinach and parmesan.

Mix thoroughly, taste, and season with salt and pepper (the parmesan is salty, so you may not need much).

Scrape the mixture into the prepared baking dish, and sprinkle the mozzarella and chipotle flakes on top. Place in the oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until heated through and bubbly on top. Serve with pita wedges or tortilla chips.