This is not health food. But, it is a serious favorite. This is another recipe that I have assumed that everyone had tucked away in their recipe pile. It has been around for ages. But, I’ve recently been disabused of that notion and have awakened to the fact that we all have our stand-by recipes, but they are certainly not all the same.
This is a recipe of the community and Junior League scene. If you don’t have it, you need to take a year to stop buying big shiny cookbooks and instead get a comprehensive collection of community cookbooks. They are big fun. Anyway, a quick review of my cookbooks revealed that three out of the first five that I grabbed had some variation of the artichoke and mayonnaise hot dip. Some use green chiles like this one, some use Cheddar cheese instead of Parmesan, but they are all great.
I like green chiles and am rarely without a stack of the little cans in my pantry. They tend to liven up boring dishes. So having them around makes me feel more comfortable, just in case of a recipe emergency. If it is not dessert, and maybe even if it is, green chiles might improve it. This is the same reason we (down here) keep Ro-Tel in the pantry. It is a security blanket in the form of a can.
So…this might qualify as one of the easiest appetizers in the world. But, I have one word of warning. When this comes out of the oven it is as hot as molten lava. It will take the surface off of your tongue if you eat it straight out of the oven. Give it a minute, will ‘ya?
Recipe for Artichoke and Green Chile Dip: (yield: approximately 3 cups)
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts
1 can (4 or 4.5 oz) chopped green chiles
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. Drain the artichokes and place them on a paper towel. Cover them with another paper towel and press gently to absorb as much liquid as possible. Chop the artichokes into smaller bits and then press down on them with another paper towel to absorb moisture released by the chopping.
3. Mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl and transfer the mixture to a baking dish. Bake in an 8” by 8” baking dish for 25 minutes until bubbly and a little brown on edges. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool a bit before serving with crackers.
Note: I used two small oval bakers (about 1½ cup capacity each) and served it two nights in a row. You may prepare your dishes in advance. Simply mix the ingredients and place them in the baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Remove the dish from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before baking.
Note from my mom: As if this weren’t easy enough, she has devised a way to make it even easier, assuming you are prepared to make twice as much.
“This is the extent to which I will go to not have to wash out a measuring cup.” -My Mom
Truly, it is the measure of a skilled home cook to prepare things with an emphasis on how few dirty dishes you can create.
12 oz (2 tubs) shredded Parmesan
16 oz (1 pint) mayonnaise
3 cans artichokes (denser with artichokes, if you like them)
2 cans (7 oz) green chiles
Same procedure. Increase baking time a bit.
The darling little bakers are Le Creuset. They were a gift from my mom upon her return from a recent trip to Blackberry Farm. Blackberry Farm is located in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. From my best attempt to understand, without descending too far into a dark pit of juvenile bitterness and jealousy (as the bird has never taken her beloved daughter, not even once, not even stuffed into a suitcase) it is a large and verdant farm and boutique hotel at which some of the finest food in the United States is served. So, to put it another way, my mother went to Blackberry Farm and all I got was this stinking ramekin. But I do so love it. And in black, very cool indeed.
And a nod to my old friend, Renee Harvey, who was scribe of the first version of this recipe that I personally encountered years ago. And, if you love this artichoke recipe, you really need to try this Goat Cheese and Artichoke Dip.