Thank God It's TuesdayJuly 31, 2012
Long Time, No Blog. I'm sorry, friends. I've been out and about this summer, visiting friend...
Long Time, No Blog. I'm sorry, friends. I've been out and about this summer, visiting friends, family, some vegan restaurants and seeing some kickass shows all over this side of the country. I've also been keeping busy doing a bunch of recipe writing and testing and eating, of course. I also just heard John Stewart mispronounce "vegan." He said "VAY-gun." Can we put our faith in no one?
So let's cut to the chase. This dip.
Sometimes, when you find yourself living in central New Jersey, you find yourself at Chilis. Not my proudest moment, but I do often find inspiration in hum-drum, run-of-the-mill, drown-my-sorrows-after-a-shitty-day-at-work, 1/2 price-appetizers-at-happy-hour kind of chain establishment. Well, I find inspiration at these kinds of places, or vicariously through an episode of Diners, Drive-In's and Dives.
Every single place like the kind I'm describing has a Spinach and Artichoke dip. My aunt Maureen used to make one like this for family get-togethers and I think hers is the only one I've ever actually tasted, though they all look and sound delicious. It's an obvious crowd-pleaser, and that's probably why it's on so many menus and on so many tables during family gatherings. Us vay-guns have passed on this dip and scooped up yet another hunk of walmart hummus with our pita chip instead time and time again, because this dip is mostly comprised of cream and cheese, you know, the two things that aren't even part of the title.
Well I can make you that dip, friends. I can, and I will. Oh wait, I did. That was unsuspenseful.
Have I told you I'm writing a cookbook called, "Life after Cashews" ? It's a working title but it had a better ring to it than "Divine Secrets of The Cashew Sisterhood."
8-9 artichoke hearts, sliced
1 large white onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, sliced
5 large handfuls baby spinach
2 teaspoons olive oil
3/4 cup cashews
1/2 cup plain soy yogurt
1/4 cup nooch
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
Put cashews in a blender with nooch, herbs, garlic powder, yogurt, salt and pepper and blend. Add almond milk slowly until a creamy paste is achieved. Blend about 2 minutes, maybe more if you have a tag-sale blender.
Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute for about 4 minutes, until relatively caramelized. Add artichokes and cook another 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 more minute. Then add the spinach in handfuls, adding more as it wilts down. Toss the spinach with everything else using tongs, aiding the wilting process. When all spinach is wilted, pour in cashew cream. Stir everything together and taste for salt and pepper. Preheat the broiler.
Find a cute little baking dish that seems sized appropriately for a dip of this sort. Pile all of the mixture into the dish and broil for about 5 minutes, until bubbly and browned in spots. Let cool about 10 minutes before serving.