Peppermint Ice Cream
Season's Greetings from TGG! Sorry, it's been a while, but there has been soooooo much (did I say so much?) going on. I have been working, decorating, cleaning, shopping, and a few other things that I will share with my diary and my pillow. But for now...
🎵 It's the most wonderful time of the year... 🎶
I am questioning those lyrics right now. But what I am not questioning is this recipe. I think most of us need a good and solid dip/appetizer this time of year and this classic combination of spinach and artichokes delivers. What separates this dip from the norm of creamy and cheesy is the crunch from the...canned water chestnuts. Notice that I said canned because canned water chestnuts have absolutely no flavor at all. Zero. They are just a nice add-in for crunch to balance the creamy and cheesiness.
The one thing that I want to point out in this recipe is the overall execution. I use a cast iron skillet for cooking and serving purposes, but you can cook it in a large skillet and transfer it to an oven proof serving vessel. Now, if you cook it right before serving while it is still hot, you can skip the baking and just put it under the broiler so the cheese can brown and bubble. Having said that, you can make this ahead of time and that's where the baking comes into play. So, I will let you and your holiday schedule decide on which way to prepare it. Tonight it is going from the stove-top, to the broiler and then into our bellies!
makes about 6 cups
1/4 cup (2-ounces) unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion, like Vidalia or Walla-walla
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups half-n-half
1 cup grated low-moisture part-skim mozzarella
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
2 (5-ounce) containers fresh baby spinach, tough stems removed and roughly chopped
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained drained and finely chopped
1 (8-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or more to taste (optional)
Preheat the oven to 450° F.
In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Whisk in flour until and cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in half-n-half and cook until thick and smooth.Whisk in mozzarella and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese until melted and smooth.
Stir in spinach, in batches, until wilted. Stir in artichokes, water chestnuts, salt and red pepper flakes (if using). Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan on top.
Bake until golden brown and bubbling, about 10-12 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with toasted bread or bagel chips.
Source: Adapted from Southern Cast Iron, 2022