Sep 24, 2008

Girl's Night

In Knoxville there is a monthly girl's night. This month it was a recipe-swap. I ate so much that moving was painful. I brought an artichoke dip


And homemade pimento cheese-


Both were super easy-

SAMMA’S PIMENTO CHEESE

Ingredients:
v 1- 8 oz black of extra sharp cheddar
v 1- 8 oz block of white sharp cheddar
v 2-4 oz jars of pimentos
v ½ black of cream cheese (4 oz)
v Mayo (Duke’s is best for this- Hellmann’s is too sweet)
v Cayenne pepper to taste
v Tabasco to taste

The cheddar and cream cheese are easiest to work with if they are close to room temperature.

Grate all the cheese (you can use a cusinart on grate mode, or hand-grate. Just don’t buy pre-grated cheese!!!!).
Drain the pimentos and mash up some with a fork.
Mix together the cheese and pimentos in a large mixing bowl.
Add the cream cheese- you might need to smash it against the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula to get it to the right consistency.
Add mayo- this is a personal preference- I use about ½ a cup (dry measuring cup), but start small and add til you get the consistency and texture that you like.
Then add pepper and hot sauce to the spiciness you want- I didn’t do that much for this batch (about a heaping teaspoon of cayenne, and 8-10 shakes of Tabasco).
Let everything chill a couple of hours, then you are ready to dig in!!


ARTICHOKE DIP

Ingredients:
v 2- 7-8 oz packages of frozen artichokes (do not thaw)
v 1 medium onion
v 2 cloves garlic
v ½ block cream cheese (4 oz)
v ¼ cup mayo
v ½ heaping cup shredded parmesan (plus couple tablespoons for topping)
v 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
v 1 Tablespoon butter
v 2 pieces high quality white bread

Dip:
Preheat oven to 450
Toss artichokes with 1 T olive oil, 1 t. salt and ½ t. pepper
Spread on cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil, and roast for 25 minutes (might want to turn a couple of times). Turn oven to 400 when artichokes are done.
Meanwhile mince onion and garlic.
Heat other T of olive oil in 10 inch skillet until shimmering.
Add onion and cook 6-7 minutes.
Add garlic and cook another minute.
Coarsely chop artichokes.
Mix onion garlic mixture, cream cheese, ½ c. parmesan, and mayo in large bowl.
Add in artichokes.
Place in ovenproof dish
Put on topping (see below) and bake at 400 for about 20-25 minutes until bubbly. Yum!

Topping:
chop bread in food processor til it is coarsely crumbled
toss with melted butter and parmesan.

You can also make spinach artichoke dip by adding a 10 oz box (cooked and drained) of frozen chopped spinach to the onions in Step 6.

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