Lindsey told me she had the perfect recipe for Super Bowl Sunday. But when I saw it, my instant reaction was, I can’t wait till Sunday! I want to eat it now! Alas, I am at Alt Summit and not making baked dishes in cast-iron pans. But I’ll be home on Saturday, and I’ve already added everything I need for this to our grocery list. : )
I admit that it’s hard for me to think of appetizers without including cheese in some form. One of my all-time favorite dips is spinach artichoke dip, but recently I’ve been mixing it up a little bit. Awhile back I had a prepared artichoke dip made with jalapeños. The spicy kick was unexpectedly delicious. So I’ve been on a little crusade to perfect a version of my own that would be just the thing to add to any party table, to bring out on a night of board games with friends, to take to a get-together, to nosh on during a big football game, or anytime, really.
The truth is, when it comes to football season (and even at other types of get-togethers), you’d be more likely to find me in the kitchen making (and eating) yummy things rather than hanging out in front of the TV. It takes all kinds, right? And that’s the kind of football fan I am. ;)
While I’m outing myself, I may as well confess that I gained about 5 pounds (okay, more like 10) tinkering with this artichoke dip recipe over the last few months. I made it quite a few times during the holidays. Even twice in one week. Ahem.
My family declared this final version I’m sharing with you, the winner. I had tried versions with mayo, which I actually abhor, and it was far too oily. I made several batches with cream cheese, which is delicious, but this goat cheese version was deemed the most amazing of them all. There’s something about the way goat cheese gets extra creamy when it’s baked, plus that undeniable tang. Oh, it’s so good! Please promise me you’ll make it.
Jalapeños are a mainstay in my fridge. I make quite a lot of homemade salsa too. But they really do shine in this dip. The artichokes kind of take on more of a supporting role. I leave the jalapeños in larger chunks so you know they’re there. I also don’t remove the ribs and seeds because the spiciness gives it character. But I understand if you want it more on the mild side.
If you can find a jar of grilled marinated artichoke hearts, go for those. They have a tad more flavor, but any marinated artichoke hearts will work. I prefer the ones bottled in oil because they are less vinegary than the ones packed in water. You can even use frozen ones in a pinch, but you’ll need to adjust the seasonings a bit by adding a little salt and some lemon juice.
I love using different kinds of onions in this. I made a few batches with shallots and leeks, but I decided that a regular onion and leeks are primo. If you can find a sweet onion, that’s a great option too. We like this nice and chunky, so there’s lot of other stuff in there to give it a great texture.
I made an executive decision and used a combo of Monterey or Pepper Jack with Parmesan cheese. You get the ultra creaminess of Jack cheese plus the nutty flavor of Parm, and it is magic with the spicy jalapeños. If you are an artichoke dip fan, I think you’ll love this take, even without the spinach.
If you’ve got a cast-iron skillet, now’s the time to bring it out. It’s a fun way to present the dip, but the cast-iron keeps the dip hotter for longer, and it means one less dish needs to be washed because you use it for sautéing the veggies too.
I’ve served this dip with everything from crackers to veggies to baguette slices to corn chips. If you’re going for the football vibe, I think corn chips are definitely the way to go.
Baked Jalapeño Artichoke Dip
2 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1 cup white or yellow onion, diced
1 large leek, washed well, white and light green parts, thinly sliced
5 large garlic cloves, minced
3-4 jalapeño peppers, diced (remove ribs and seeds for a milder flavor), plus 1 jalapeño very thinly sliced (for garnish)
12 ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
8-10 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
8 ounces sour cream
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling on top
1 cup shredded Pepper Jack or Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
For serving: corn chips, veggies, crackers, sliced baguette, etc.
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Have a 2-3 quart baking dish ready, such as an 8-inch square glass pan, or use an oven-safe skillet such as cast-iron.
2. Heat a large skillet, such as cast-iron, over medium-high heat. Add the butter and let it melt. When the foaming subsides, add the onion and leeks. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to soften. Add the garlic and cook for 30-60 seconds longer, until fragrant.
3. Next add the diced jalapeños. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes. Add the chopped artichoke hearts. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
4. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine goat cheese and sour cream. Add the shredded cheese and stir well, followed by the onion and jalapeño mixture, and black pepper. Stir until very well-combined.
5. Spread the dip into the baking dish or back into the oven-proof skillet. Sprinkle top with the 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until bubbly all over and golden brown on top.
6. To serve – top the hot, bubbling dip with the remaining sliced jalapeño and green onions. Serve hot with corn chips, veggies, crackers, or sliced baguette.
Makes 10-12 servings.
Notes: You can substitute cream cheese for goat cheese. The best deal for goat cheese is at Costco. It comes in a 2-pack of 10.5 ounces each. I used a full package for this, but you can use a little less if need be.
Thank you so much, Lindsey! This looks so good. And not just because I’m super hungry while I write this. : ) Is anyone else drooling?
If you give this recipe a try, I really want to hear what you think. Also, how spicy do you like your food? Would you be eating around the jalapeños (the way I eat around cilantro)?
P.S. — Another game day recipe: Homemade Chicken Tenders.
Credits: Recipe, photos and stylings by Lindsey Rose Johnson for Design Mom.