Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Artichoke Dip with Cream Cheese & Parmesan

This rich and creamy party appetizer is quick to do and can be prepared way ahead of time - and no cooking is involved! Most of the ingredients come from any well-stocked 99 cent ingredient pantry.

Most chefs will blanch and throw a hissy fit if forced to use 99 cent  grated Parmesan from a plastic jar, but when combined with moist cream cheese and chopped artichoke hearts, this inexpensive cheese reconstitutes and gives an extra sharp kick to my party dip -- so don't worry, no one will know, unless you spill the beans!

Allow a slab of cream cheese to soften in a bowl; add some chopped-up artichoke hearts from a can; sprinkle in some grated cheese from a plastic jar; and get out your favorite box of crackers for my delectable Artichoke Dip with Cream Cheese and Parmesan.
1 can or jar of artichoke hearts in water, drained - small or large size.
1 tub or package of cream cheese: 6-8 ounces.
2-3 tablespoons of 99 cent grated cheese, including Parmesan, Romano, Pecorino, or any combination.

Add cream cheese to a bowl and allow to soften at room temperature. Drain artichoke hearts of water (if marinated in oil or vinegar, this will overpower cheese flavor). Chop with knife or in a blender - both methods work well. Blend in chopped artichoke hearts and sprinkle in dried cheese. Mix well.

Store in refrigerator until time to serve; and be sure to allow dip to reach room temperature again before serving. Set out with serving size sliced veggies (carrots, bell pepper, celery, etc.), chips, or your favorite crackers.

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