With the holiday season in full swing, there’s always room for a few new or revised recipes for tasty nibbles to serve at a drinks party, family gatherings, or cozy get-togethers. If you’re hosting this year, try this classic dip-with-a-twist. You’ll find the recipe in my “Christmas Flavors of Ireland” cookbook; for some other classics, order my newest book “Favorite Flavors of Ireland” from www.irishcook.com.
Dubliner is one of the most popular cheeses in the Kerrygold range of Irish cheeses and butters. It has a distinctive flavor, a result of 12 months of aging, along with nutty tones like Swiss, and the crunchy bite of Parmesan. It melts beautifully and is delicious in salads and dips like this one, with the slightly Mediterranean taste of marinated artichokes, spinach, and the creamy texture from two cheeses. Try it with crostini, pita chips, wheat crackers, raw or blanched vegetables.
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. minced shallots
1 (16 oz.) jar marinated artichokes, drained, and chopped
4 tbsp. dry white wine
1 (20 oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, and squeezed dry
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, cut into pieces
1 (7 oz.) package Dubliner Cheese, grated
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Dash of Tabasco sauce
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Crostini, crackers, or pita chips for serving
1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently for 3–5 minutes or until soft, but not browned.
2. Add the artichokes and cook, stirring frequently, for 5–7 minutes, or until warm. Add the wine and cook for about 3 minutes, or until evaporated. Add the spinach, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes, or until evenly blended with the artichokes.
3. Stir in the cream cheese and Dubliner cheese and cook for 2–3 minutes, or until the spread is creamy. Stir in the mayonnaise and season to taste with Tabasco and pepper.
Transfer to a heatproof bowl.
4. Serve at room temperature or warm in the microwave for 30–40 seconds. Surround with the vegetables, crostini, and crackers. (Dip can be made one day ahead; cover and refrigerate.)
Cooking Your Way to Christmas: