Baked Artichoke Dip

Every time I’ve had artichoke dip in a restaurant, I’ve gone home and tried to reproduce it. Unfortunately, most of the recipes out there are LOADED with mayonnaise. A little mayo is fine, but too much and it just takes over. Plus, when it’s cooked, it leaves a layer of oil over everything. Blech.

So I finally found a recipe online that didn’t predominantly feature mayo and I altered it (greatly) to my liking. Here’s what I ended up with. We think it’s a winner!

8 oz cream cheese (lowfat works here)
3/4 c sour cream
1/4 c mayonnaise
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 c shredded mozzarella (I used gouda – mozz is hard to find)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
12 oz jar of artichoke hearts, drained
2 T dried minced onion

Preheat oven to 350° F (176° C). In a food processor, combine first 5 ingredients and pulse on low until blended. Add in mozzarella, cayenne and black pepper until just distributed. Add artichokes and onion and pulse 5-6 times, until artichokes are coarsely chopped and distributed. Pour mixture into 9×9 (we used a ceramic loaf pan) and bake for 40-45 minutes or until bubbly and brown. Serve warm and spread on crackers or rye toast.

Basil Cornbread

Cliff is nutty for cornbread. I could take or leave it, until I made this one. Now, I’m a bit more amenable to it – especially with a pot of chili. I found this one here and deviated very little from the original, however, I’m thinking of leaving out the basil and adding jalapeños and a handful of shredded cheddar. I’ll update if I do it and it works.

2 c cornmeal
1 c flour
1/2 c sugar (I used less – I think you could get away with 1/4 c)
4 tsp baking powder (yes, 4)
1 tsp salt
1/2 c chilled unsalted butter, diced (I don’t think chilled is necessary, but I’m trying to follow directions)
1 1/2 c buttermilk
3 large eggs
1/3 c chopped fresh basil
1 1/2 c fresh or frozen corn kernels

Preheat oven to 400° F (204° C) and grease a 9×9 pan. Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter with a pastry cutter until coarse meal forms. Set aside. Lightly whisk together buttermilk, eggs and basil until just combined. Stir cornmeal mixture into buttermilk mixture with a wooden spoon until all dry ingredients are moistened. Coarsely chop corn kernels in a food processor and stir into batter. Pour batter into greased pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Allow to sit for 10 minutes and serve.