Spinach Artichoke Dip

I'm a very tolerant man, except when it comes to holding a grudge.
This either is, or is very close to, the recipe for Spinach Artichoke Dip that you get at California Pizza Kitchen. If you’ve been to CPK, you already know how good it is, if not it’s amazing.

It takes a lot of time, there are a lot of ingredients, and it makes a lot. If you have a pot luck or SuperBowl party, this will be better than the commercials.

Spinach Artichoke Dip – California Pizza Kitchen

Ingredients:

* 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
* 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
* 3/4 Cup Diced White or Yellow Onion, Cut into 1/8 inch dice
* 1 1/2 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
* 1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
* 1 1/2 Cups Chicken Stock
* 1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
* 3/4 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
* 2 Tablespoons Dehydrated Chicken Stock Base or Crumbled Bouillon Cubes
* 1 1/2 Tablespoons Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
* 1 Teaspoon Sugar
* 3/4 Cup Sour Cream
* 12 Ounces Frozen Spinach, Defrosted, Drained, Wrung out by hand, and Coarsely Chopped
* 6 Ounces Canned Artichoke Bottoms, Drained and Cut into 1/8 inch slices
* 1 Cup Finely Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
* 3/4 Teaspoon Tabasco Sauce

Directions:

# In a large saucepan, warm the olive oil and butter together over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes longer, stirring frequently and stopping before the onion and garlic brown.
# Sprinkle the flour and continue cooking, stirring continuously, until the mixture turns a golden-blond color, 10 to 15 minutes. Then, whisking continuously, slowly pour in the stock until it is smoothly incorporated. When the mixture begins to simmer, stir in the cream. Let it return to the simmer. Remove from the heat, add the Parmesan, chicken base or bouillon cubes, lemon juice, and sugar, and stir until thoroughly blended.
# Add the sour cream, spinach, artichoke bottoms, Monterey Jack cheese, and Tabasco sauce, and stir until the ingredients are thoroughly combined and the cheese has melted. Transfer to a warmed serving bowl and serve immediately, accompanied by blue and white corn tortilla chips.

Andy’s Guacamole

Did you know that avocados grow on trees?The original plan was to have Andy build us a bar in exchange for stay at our house when he moved to New York. Well the idea for a bar has turned into an idea for a table, neither of which have started construction. Some might be upset for Andy’s failure to hold up his side of the arrangement, but I haven’t mentioned yet that Andy taught us how to make amazing guacamole. I guess we can wait another year for the table.

Andy’s Guacamole

Ingredients:
* 3 Haas Avocados (chopped)
* 2 Tomatoes (chopped)
* 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
* 1/2 white onion (chopped)
* 1 Jalapeno pepper (minced)
* 1 green chili (diced)
* 1 dried habanero chili (minced)
* fresh cilantro (diced)
* garlic powder
* salt & pepper
* 1 cubanella pepper (chopped)
* Mango (chopped)
* Chili pepper (diced)
* Spicy red pepper (chopped)
* 2 Limes (juiced)

Directions:
Combine everything except for the avocados and mangoes in a large bowl. Mix it up well and have a bag of chips to taste the salsa at various stages. I’d suggest adding the habanero last…it’s fiery hot. Then add the avocados and mix until it is at your desired consistency. I prefer it as a creamy guacamole with some small chunks of avocados in it.

When you taste it, it should be pretty hot, that’s where the mangoes come in to cool it down and provide some sweetness. It also seems to take a while for the flavors to mix well, that’s why it’s suggested to let your guacamole sit for 30 minutes in the fridge before serving.

Try experimenting with different types of peppers for different flavors and colors of guacamoles. The key is many different types as they each have their own taste and ‘time to fire’. Some are hot right away, others are hotter after a few seconds. Sara recommends that you have some sour cream handy to protect yourself from the habenero. If find it uneccessary but its all a matter of taste.

Warning: This guacamole may not seem hot at first, but is down right burning if you try to stop eating it.