Peanut Butter and Purple Onions

Sounds crazy until you try it.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Blogging Blind

So I've misplaced my camera. My best guess had been that I left it at the Patient Co-Worker's house this weekend -- I borrowed her apartment for a party I was throwing, as two of my guests are violently allergic to cats, and mine in particular are having a grand old time with springtime shedding -- but it sounds like that's not the case. Which is most vexing, as I had pictures of all the party food in various stages of prep, not to mention several shots of the cats being adorable (while shedding).

In fact I spent a large part of yesterday admonishing the felines. "Save the cuteness! I don't have my camera -- you're wasting it, my little allergen fuzzballs." You will not be surprised to learn that my instructions had little effect.

So no pictures until the camera turns up (I hope) or I buy a new one (I fear). Sigh. But I will tell you about a dip that I served at Saturday's party. It wouldn't be particularly photogenic, I suspect, and it's also so ridiculously easy as to be a little embarrassing. But it's always devoured and Saturday was no exception.

Jalapeno Artichoke Dip

1 package reduced-fat cream cheese
1 c. grated Parmesan
1 6-oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts
3-5 pickled jalapenos

Bring the cream cheese to room temperature. Reserve a couple of tablespoons of the artichoke marinade, then mince the hearts and the jalapenos. Add them to a mixing bowl with the cream cheese and stir everything together. Add the grated Parmesan gradually until everything's combined. If it seems too dry, dribble the reserved artichoke marinade into the mixture until you like the consistency better. Taste, and consider whether you want to add more jalapenos or more cheese. Or more artichokes, for that matter. I certainly won't stop you.

I prefer this dip at room temperature, but many people like it heated. Easy to do -- pop it into a shallow baking dish, sprinkle more Parmesan on top, and bake at 300 for ten minutes or so until warm and gooey.

Notes:
* Regular cream cheese is fine, but nonfat will throw off the consistency.
* The dip is great with chunks of bread, tortilla chips, or celery sticks. I may have made a sandwich out of it on occasion. Maybe.
* I always use five jalapenos, but of course adjust that to suit your taste. You may need to compensate with extra artichoke hearts if you use only three chiles. Oh, and don't use fresh chiles in this recipe -- too powerful.
* Save your good Parmigiano-Reggiano for another time. I mean, I'm not saying that I reach for the green can, but a domestic Parmesan -- and yep, I get the pregrated kind -- works very well here.

3 Comments:

  • At 9:34 AM, Blogger Lis said…

    This sounds very yummy.. thanks so much for sharing it =) I hope you find your camera soon!

     
  • At 11:24 AM, Blogger BNA said…

    Hey Lis! v. cute blog you have there. I have hopes that the camera may yet turn up...

     
  • At 8:02 PM, Blogger PatL said…

    Hey, thanks for this great recipe. I've been delinquent in blog-reading this past month, just getting caught up, and your blog is making me hungry! Gotta try that chicken/basil thingie too. Thanks!!

     

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