Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Break out the crackers for baked dips

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TWO fabulous restaurant-inspired dips surface today. They are ideal summer appetizers to serve at the cottage or on your back deck at home, and pair well with crackers and cool refreshments.

Maureen Heide sent in Like Montana's four-cheese spinach dip in response to a request by Jean Grenkow.

Suzanne Ritchot of Ste. Anne supplied a recipe for Like Olive Garden spinach artichoke dip for Kate Andersen. Thanks also to Phyllis Gallimore.

Now on to this week's requests:

Helga Bartel is hoping someone will come through with a recipe for a blueberry cordial that she believes appeared in the Free Press a few years ago.

Kym Schmidt would love to recreate a recipe she sampled at Taste of Manitoba this year. It was a wonderful chicken dish from Gulliver's Restaurant called Ameratta Maple Chicken.

Rose Beaulieu requests the recipe for Matador salad dressing, a specialty of Partner's restaurant.

Lastly, Jacquie Pawlyszyn is still on the hunt for a recipe for cottage cheese rolls.

Please send all requests or responses to Recipe Swap, c/o Ilana Simon, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, Man., R2X 3B6, send a fax to 697-7412 or e-mail to ilana.simon@freepress.mb.ca. Please include name, address and daytime telephone number in case any ingredients or directions must be checked.

Like Montana's four-cheese spinach dip

250 g (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
3 ml (3/4 tsp) garlic powder
60 ml (1/4 cup) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
15 ml (1 tbsp) freshly grated Romano cheese
15 ml (1 tbsp) very finely chopped sweet red pepper
1 green onion, white and green parts, finely chopped
1/2 pkg. (284 ml/10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
125 ml (1/2 cup) grated old cheddar
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 200 C (400 F).

Mix cream cheese, garlic powder, Parmesan and Romano with hand or stand mixer on medium until softened and well-mixed.

Add red pepper and green onion and mix on medium-low until just incorporated. Add spinach and mix on low until just incorporated.

Transfer mixture to a small ovenproof dish and sprinkle cayenne on top to taste. Top with cheddar.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until bubbling around the edges. Remove from oven and allow to set for 5 to 7 minutes before serving.

Serve with fried or baked pita wedges and/or tortilla chips.

Taste-tester notes: This delicious dip will delight both adults and children. In place of red pepper, use same amount of minced jalapeno for added kick. Use all Parmesan in place of Parmesan and Romano if desired. I found it worked better to add cheddar cheese at the same time as the spinach and incorporate it into the mixture (rather than sprinkling it on top).

Like Olive Garden's spinach artichoke dip

250 g (8 oz) cream cheese
60 ml (1/4 cup) mayonnaise
60 ml (1/4 cup) Parmesan cheese
60 ml (1/4 cup) Romano cheese
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 ml (1/2 tsp) dried basil
1 ml (1/4 tsp) garlic salt
1 can (398 ml/14 oz) artichoke hearts, drained, coarsely chopped
125 ml (1/2 cup) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
Salt and pepper to taste
60 ml (1/4 cup) mozzarella cheese, grated

Allow cream cheese to come to room temperature (or soften in microwave).

Cream together cream cheese with mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, Romano cheese, garlic, basil and garlic salt. Mix well. Add the artichoke hearts and spinach and mix until well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste. Store in a container in the fridge until you are ready to use.

Spray pie pan with oil, pour in dip, and top with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 180 C (350 F) for 25 minutes or until the top is browned. Serve with toasted bread or crackers.

Taste-tester notes: This hot artichoke dip is always a hit and can be made lower fat with light cream cheese, light mayonnaise, and part-skim mozzarella. The recommended 125 ml (1/2 cup) spinach is about half of a 284-ml (10-oz) package. Be sure to drain spinach in a colander over the sink and press out any excess moisture with the back of a spoon. I found the dip needed an additional 5 minutes baking time. The electric stand mixer works well for mixing up this dish, too.

Unfortunately, a line went missing in last week's Recipe Swap column in the directions for a recipe for rhubarb chiffon tarts. Here's the correct version:

Rhubarb chiffon tarts

24 medium, baked and cooled tart shells
500 ml (2 cups) cut rhubarb
60 ml (1/4 cup) water
125 ml (1/2 cup) sugar
1 85-g (3-oz) package strawberry jelly powder
125 ml (1/2 cup) cold water
250 ml (1/2 pint) whipping cream

Combine the rhubarb, 60 ml (1/4 cup) water and the sugar in a saucepan.

Bring to boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Cover and simmer until the rhubarb is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add jelly powder. Stir until dissolved. Stir in 125 ml (1/2 cup) cold water.

Chill until mixture just begins to set. Meanwhile beat whipping cream until soft and stiff. Fold all but 250 ml (1 cup) of the whipping cream into the partially set rhubarb mixture. Spoon filling into prepared tart shells. Chill. Decorate with remaining whipping cream.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 28, 2004 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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