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Spinach Artichoke Melts

Spinach and artichoke cooked into a creamy dip, then combined with a bit of chicken and some good bread and finally grilled makes for a fine meal on it's own. Add to that the bonus of lots of leftover dip for snacking and you have a dinner that really makes sense.

BLOG POSTINGS > Everyday Meals

Spinach Artichoke Melts

by zirbirt

My family loves Spinach Artichoke dip, but they don't like the store bought variety. So when considering how to make a good dip, my first thought was based on normal dips. As I really considered how I wanted it to taste and behave, I quickly became aware that the normal dip method simply will not work. Instead, I turned to my cheese sauce method, and the results were way beyond what I had hoped.

The ingredient list is a big long, and I'm sure it can be trimmed and adjusted a lot, but this was made to my family's taste. We love it exactly as it is. So, that is how I will share it with you.

Artichoke Dip:
3 cloves Garlic (chopped)
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs flour
1 1/3 cup milk
4 oz Cream Cheese
1 cup Mozzarella (grated)
1 cup Parmesan (grated)
1 (7oz) Plain Greek Yogurt
1 can spinach
1 can artichoke heats
1 tsp red pepper flakes
fresh ground pepper

The main ingredients here are spinach and artichokes. You can use frozen, canned, jar or fresh... I am going to use canned.

For the spinach, I am going to dump it into a strainer, then using my hand, I will "squeeze" as much juice out the spinach as possible. Then put it in a bowl or something to wait.

For the artichoke, I will drain them, then chop it into a manageable size.

I just set that all aside, and chop 3 cloves of garlic.

So, I know if I want this to be a cheese base, I want to start with a roux. So, I melt 2 Tbs butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan.

Once melted I add in my garlic, and toss frequently.. until the garlic is good and sautéed, and just starting to brown.

I then add in 2 Tbs of flour, and whisk till it forms a nice paste. I let that get all bubbly and cook for a couple minutes... whisking frequently.

I add in my milk, red pepper, a dash of salt and some ground pepper.

I whisk that and continue cooking over medium heat until it comes to a boil, whisking frequently. This will thicken as you go.

Once it is boiling, I add my cream cheese, Mozzarella, and Parmesan.

At this point, it will be a little more difficult to stir, but tough trough it, till it loosens up a bit. Once it does, I toss in 7 ounces of plain greek yogurt.

I stir the concoction until everything is combined. Things will look like a gluey mess at this point and you may start to wonder what kind of dip this will be. Fear not, it will come together.

I then toss in my spinach and artichokes... and stir.

Things should look sticky, with the cheese sauce acting a lot like stringy goo.. That is actually fine. I continue warming this over a medium low heat stirring frequently for about 10 minutes.

The cheese will break down and become part of the sauce, and all the flavors will meld together... and it will begin to resemble a dip.

Now that I have a nice dip, I need something to do with it (though crackers are more than acceptable).

I just happen to have a loaf of fresh everything bread. So I slice that into a bunch of slices.

As luck would have it, I just happened to grill some chicken as well. So I guess I will slice that too.

Next, I will just build sandwiches by putting dip on both slices of bread and some chicken in between. I do about 2 sandwiches per person, because I am not so mean as to tell everyone they can have just one.

I heat my griddle up.

Normally for grilled sandwiches I would spread butter on, but since I already made them sandwiches, and because I would like just a tad more flavor on the outside, I am going to do it a little different.

I stick 1/2 stick of butter in a measuring cup. I add in 1 clove of chopped garlic and a dash of salt. I stick that in the microwave for 45 seconds and let it melt. Then I let it sit for about 5 minutes.

Using a basting brush, I apply butter to the tops of all my sandwiches. Then, I place them on the griddle butter side down. I then baste the unbuttered tops, while on the griddle.

Once grilled, I flip them.

At this point, your probably wondering... What about all that leftover dip? I mean I made a LOT more than these sandwiches need, right?

Fear not, I will find a use for it (probably crackers). This is very good dip for snacking, or to go with a meal. It keeps for over a week in the fridge. So I just store it in an airtight container and enjoy whenever I feel like it.

Once your sandwiches are done, stick them on a plate and serve.

Hope you enjoyed this posting. Thanks for reading.

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