Since I told you in the Watermelon Honey Granita post that I want to give you several recipes that allow you to spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying the summer with your friends, families, dogs, kids…cat (No? Just me? Okay.) We continued on with my Low-Country Boil, done two different ways in and enough to feed a small crowd-in less than an hour. Leaving you plenty of time to enjoy the sultry summer nights, you little fox.
This Slow-Cooker Spinach and Artichoke Dip is ridiculously easy and is great on it’s own or things (oohhh in a pretzel? On a pizza crust? Hmm…) And it’s mostly hands off since it’s in the slow cooker for 2 hours. Then take the lid off, stir it up, and leave it on low to serve warm when you have guests over. It would even be great for a game night or Super Bowl party.
Or when you stand in your kitchen by yourself inhaling it like some kind of rabid animal. Not that that happened in my house.
You have NO proof.
This recipe uses an ingredient you may not recognize at first, but I guarantee you have at your local supermarket. Well, I can’t guarantee it per se, maybe you live in a log cabin in the remote mountain wilderness. But otherwise, Neufchâtel cheese is sold in small blocks that are usually right next to the cream cheese. It’s the same consistency as cream cheese- but much tangier, making the dip very well-rounded. I added cheeses and a few herbs as well as a tablespoon of mustard to add some spice. And since spinach is one of my least favorite green things ever, you know this recipe has to be balanced in order for me to overlook its presence.
Neufchâtel, at least in the American version, was technically more the original cream cheese than cream cheese itself. A dairyman from New York created cream cheese by accidentally adding cream to his Neufchâtel recipe. He liked the result, and it took off. Now if you’re wondering if our dairyman inadvertently added cream, wouldn’t it stand to reason that the original Neufchâtel contained less cream and is therefore HEALTHIER?!? Actually…yes. It contains 33% less fat and has a higher moisture content than it’s creamy counterpart. Which makes it ideal for dip creation…and I say classifies it as a health food in my mind. But only in my mind.
If you ask anyone else they’ll probably tell you it’s still cheese.
Slow-Cooker Spinach and Artichoke Dip
1-13.5 oz. Can leaf spinach, drained
1-13.7 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained
8 oz. Neufchâtel cheese, cubed
¼ C. Pecorino Romano cheese
½ C. Mayonnaise
2 C. Mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp fines herbs (a combination of chervil, parsley, tarragon and chives)
¼ tsp white pepper
1 tsp spicy yellow mustard (my favorite is the German brand Löwensenf, but use your favorite!)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
Put all ingredients into the slow-cooker, stir to roughly combine. Place on the lid.
Turn on low for 2 hours.
Stir well to combine again. Taste for any additional salt and pepper.
Take the lid off the slow cooker but leave it on to serve with tortilla chips so it stays warm and creamy. Enjoy!