wooden spoon

wooden spoon

I enjoyed a pleasant Easter get-together, as close to the “old” normal as anything recently.

Family, new friends, good food, kids, fun and games, our afternoon had it all. And it ended with the prospect of a new recipe or two.

I decided to resurrect an old favorite — spinach artichoke dip. This may be enjoyed two ways, cold or warm. Personally, I prefer it served warm.

If cold, the recipe calls for mayonnaise; when served hot or warm, its creaminess comes from cream cheese and heavy cream. It's rich, but, oh, so good.

The dip is easy to fix and comes with a bonus — leftovers, which are great as omelet filling. 

This brought to mind other party dips/spreads that also double for a delicious breakfast dish.

While I’ve shared my crab spread before, I don’t think I’ve mentioned its omelet capabilities. The same goes for another easy, delicious dip made with clams. 

All are good with crackers or sturdy chips, with the option for a tasty omelet or two.

SPINACH ARTICHOKE DIP WITH MOZZARELLA AND PARMESAN

1 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed and drained

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 small white onion*, finely chopped

3/4 teaspoon paprika

14 ounces canned or frozen artichoke hearts (about 2 cups), thawed, drained, coarsely chopped

8 ounces cream cheese

1 cup (or more) heavy cream

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup grated mozzarella

1/4 cup grated Parmesan, more for top

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Squeeze as much liquid out of the spinach as possible with a clean dish towel or paper towels. Melt butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. Sauté onion until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in paprika and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add spinach, artichoke hearts, cream cheese, heavy cream, salt and pepper.

Cook, stirring until warmed through and slightly reduced, 8 to 10 minutes. Fold in mozzarella and parmesan and cook until melted. Add more heavy cream if needed to reach desired consistency. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Serve warm, topped with more Parmesan.

*2 green onions may be substituted.

CRAB SPREAD

Premake dip one day ahead, store in airtight container and chill. Warm before serving, add more cream if necessary.

I don’t recommend imitation crab for this, if it’s a little too pricey, make the clam version instead. 

1 package unflavored Knox gelatin

2 tablespoons cold water

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1 7-ounce can crab meat

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup celery, chopped fine

3 green onions, chopped fine

Combine gelatin, water and soup in saucepan and heat on stove. Stir and simmer until gelatin is melted. Remove from heat, stir in softened cream cheese and set aside to cool slightly. Mix in remining ingredients, chill and serve with party snack-type crackers. (I like Triscuit the best.)

CLAM DIP

This recipe makes a lot. Pile it into two serving dishes and ramp up one serving with a generous sprinkling of cayenne. 

Make this one soon; you’ll be glad to have the recipe in your repertoire. Basically, the same as the crab version, just made with clams instead.

1 package unflavored Knox gelatin

2 tablespoons clam juice

1 can cream of celery soup

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

3 6-ounce cans chopped clams, well drained

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup celery, chopped very fine

3 green onions, chopped very fine

1/2 cup minced fresh parsley, chopped very fine

Cayenne

Combine gelatin, water and soup in saucepan and heat on stove. Stir and simmer until gelatin is melted. Remove from heat, stir in softened cream cheese and set aside to cool slightly. Mix in all but cayenne and chill for a couple of hours or overnight. Serve with party snack-type crackers. Garnish with cayenne before serving.

“I’m not sure the original name of this bread but the taste is reminiscent of Thomas’ English Muffins," Wendy began. “I guess the name English Muffin Bread is more descriptive and appealing than Thomas Bread.” Adding, “I got this recipe from Katie Cavali and it’s been my ‘go to’ ever since.”

“I’m not sure the original name of this bread but the taste is reminiscent of Thomas’ English Muffins," Wendy began. “I guess the name English Muffin Bread is more descriptive and appealing than Thomas Bread.” Adding, “I got this recipe from Katie Cavali and it’s been my ‘go to’ ever since.”

Longtime Valley resident Elaine Revelle can be reached at thewoodenspoon@juno.com.

0
0
0
0
0