Are you throwing a Saint Paddy’s Day bash? The holiday couldn’t have worse timing. With the festivities kicking off some time after the clock ticks over to March 17th which is a Tuesday this year, and most of us expected to return to work Wednesday morning, your drunken soirée might be in need of some alcohol-dampening noshables, notably those with a fair amount of fat in them. Hot artichoke dip certainly fits the bill, and it might just keep your guests from imbibing well past the delightfully buzzed stage.
We’ve found this spoonable appetizer disappears more completely than Jimmy Hoffa, so consider making a second (or third) batch to hold in reserve should your dip be completely eaten before you finish adding green food coloring to all the beer and don your “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” t-shirt. The chunky dip goes best over freshly sliced baguette, but it would work well with any hearty bread or solid cracker. But why bother with bread getting in the way of your savory artichoke enjoyment; the dip goes down perfectly on nothing more than the tines of a fork. Just be sure to scoop the dip onto a plate first, unless your guests are suitably inebriated and won’t notice you’re eating directly from the casserole dish.
The beauty of this appetizer is its ability to be made way in advance. So far in advance that you won’t be impaired by your beer goggles turning the tiny print of an ingredients list or set of instructions into illegible gibberish. You won’t even need to have mastery over fine motor skills or hand-eye coordination to pour the dip in a casserole dish without dumping much of it on your counter. You can make as many batches as you will need early in the day and hold them in the fridge until you are ready to bake them. Each recipe should feed 8 party-goers, 4 if they are drunk, and 2 if they are drunk and hungry.
If you do plan to make multiple batches, you will need to have enough of your wits about you to count, but you only need to count to 2, so the bar is set pretty low. Each casserole will need to be baked for an hour, and then allowed to rest for an hour. The dip, hot from the oven, will be almost impossible to eat. It’s as hot as Hell, if Hell is 350°, loose enough that it can be poured and puffy in the extreme. Drunken revelers may not care about the temperature, but second-degree burns on your lips and the inside your mouth are pretty painful the following day, and would greatly compound the misery of a hangover. Keep your oven mitts handy and tipsy guests away from the oven.
The holiday is just around the corner. If you haven’t decided on the miniscule amount of food you plan to serve alongside the cataclysmic amount of green-colored hooch, this dip is easy and delicious!
Hot Artichoke Dip
- 16 ozs softened cream cheese
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 24 ozs marinated artichoke hearts, drained
- ¼ cup finely chopped green onion
- 3-4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ½-1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Using a food processor with the largest workbowl, process cheese and cream until smooth, scraping down the workbowl with a rubber scraper. Add the onion, garlic, lemon juice, salt, cayenne and fresh ground black pepper and process until mostly smooth. Add enough parmesan cheese to make the cheese mixture thick and spoonable. This will be the consistency of the dip once it’s set after baking. If the mixture is not thick enough, add more parmesan cheese.
After reaching the desired consistency, add the artichokes and pulse until just combined but still very chunky. Do NOT overprocess. Pour the mixture into a 6-cup casserole dish coated lightly with cooking spray and place it on a baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 350°F if you are baking this immediately. Otherwise, cover and refrigerate until 2 hours before you want to serve.
Bake for one hour in a preheated 350°F oven, uncovered on a baking sheet to contain any spills. Let the dip stand for one hour before serving. Serve with baguette slices, crostinis, crackers or other hearty breads.
Refrigerate any leftovers. Dip can be reheated in the microwave oven on low power for a few minutes to warm it slightly. Reheating in a conventional oven is not recommended.