Artichoke (and Spinach) Dip

by Kiko Matsing

This dish is easy enough to make and is always a hit at parties.

Let a block of Philadelphia cream cheese soften by letting it sit for a while on the kitchen countertop.

>Meanwhile, open a can of artichoke hearts in water (not oil!) and drain the liquid. Chop the artichoke, but not too fine as you would want it to still be chunky. Squeeze out any excess liquid by hand.

Heat some water in a pot and bring it to a boil. Dump a bunch of spinach leaves in the pot and blanche for about 20 sec. Take out the spinach with a strainer and rinse with cold water. Chop similarly to the artichoke and squeeze the water out. (Note: This dish will also work without the spinach.)

Put the cream cheese, artichoke, spinach into a mixing bowl and add mayonnaise (1 cup), parmesan cheese (½ cup, grated), garlic salt (½ tsp), and lemon juice (½ fruit). If garlic salt is not on hand, substitute with fresh garlic (1 clove, minced) and iodized salt (¼-½ tsp). Also, roll the lemon on the countertop with your palm, whilst applying pressure, before slicing it to make squeezing its juice easier.

Homogenize the mix with a baking spatula, spread out evenly on a small Pyrex dish, and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese on top. Bake in the oven pre-heated to 350F for 15-20 min (or until the top becomes just slightly brown).

Enjoyed best with corn chips. Store any leftover in the fridge and just reheat in the microwave.

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