Bought with good intentions, this spinach cajoled me into renouncing a salad in favor of tantalizing dip. Spinach has a duplicitous personality. It tricks you into thinking you are going to be nutrition conscious, when really you’ll pair it with cream cheese, cheddar cheese and milk. Warm spinach dip. Ribbons of nutrients enveloped in layers of decadence. Winter blues begone!
Shaipon, the GroupOn like Shanghai company, allured me with an offer for 50% off Cheers In beers. 10 different international beers delivered to my door. What could better than that? Beers and Spinach Dip!
If you live in Shanghai and haven’t ordered from Cheers In, I highly suggest you do so immediately. Delivery beers arrive cold and save you from lugging home ponderous bottles. If you prefer a store, there are also three locations where you can shop for beers and drink them simultaneously: BeijingXi Lu, Yongkang Lu and Daxue Lu.
While waiting for libations to magically arrive, this spinach dip can be quickly whipped together. It is creamy, savory and cheesy. It complements beer and disappears all too quickly. Tasty bread soldiers will have this dip marching straight into you. These slices of baguette toasted with garlic and olive oil prove to be trusty dip scoopers and defenders of sticky fingers.
Warm Spinach Dip and Baguette Soliders
1 bunch spinach, washed (about one cup when cooked)
3 cloves garlic, separated (1 clove will be used with the baguette)
1 small onion, diced
1 package cream cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup shredded aged cheddar, or cheese of preference
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 baguette, sliced into 3 inch strips
1 teaspoon thyme
olive oil for drizzling on baguette
Warm Spinach Dip: Sauté spinach in a pan until wilted. Work in batched until all the spinach is cooked. Drain cooked spinach and press out all of the moisture. Chop into tiny pieces.
Sauté onions and 2 cloves of garlic until onions are translucent. Add milk, cream cheese, soy sauce, Dijon mustard, nutmeg and pepper. Stir over low heat until the cream cheese has melted. Add cheddar cheese and mix. Combine the spinach into the dip. Put into a buttered pan or use same cast iron skillet you cooked in to bake. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 180 C or 350 F.
Baguette Soldiers: While the dip is cooking, cut the baguette into 3 inch long strips. Toss with olive oil mixed with 1 chopped garlic clove and thyme. When dip is warm, take it out of the oven and put in the baguette slices. Toast bread in oven for 5 minutes, or until crispy.