Kicked-Up Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Recipe creator's name:  dash

"My friends go crazy over this version. With three cheeses, how can you go wrong? The cubes of Brie partially melt, and you bite into a piece of heaven."

Preparation time:  15 minutes
Total time:  30 minutes
Servings:  8
Ingredients:
  • 2 (10-oz) packages fresh spinach, well rinsed, stems trimmed
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup (6 1/2 oz) 1/2-inch cubes Brie cheese, rind removed
  • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 (6 1/2-oz) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 4 strips crisp fried bacon, chopped
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • Assorted chips, such as pita, tortilla, and bagel chips, for dipping
Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9-inch round ovenproof baking dish and set aside.

2. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add spinach in batches and cook until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold running water. Squeeze to remove excess water. Chop and set aside.

3. Melt butter in a medium pot on medium-high. Add onion and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add garlic, salt, black pepper, and cayenne and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, to make a light roux, about 2 minutes. Add milk and cream in a steady stream and cook, stirring constantly, until thick and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Add cooked spinach and lemon juice and stir to incorporate. Add Brie and Monterey Jack, artichoke hearts, and bacon; stir well. Remove from heat and pour into prepared baking dish. Top with Parmesan and bake until bubbly, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and serve hot with chips.

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