Buffalo Spinach Artichoke Dip

Tasting Table is one of my favorite Twitter follows.  I love browsing their website for restaurant reviews, recipes, new spins on classic drinks, and guides to cities I am planning to travel to.

I was surfing their website today and came across an appetizer that included 4 of my favorite tastes in a single dish: bacon, Buffalo sauce, spinach and artichoke hearts!  Add to that the ability to make ahead, the reviewers rated it 100% make again, and it didn’t call for any hard to get ingredients and this girl who loves to eat was sold!

Note:  I did adapt the recipe from the original:

    1. I prefer a bit more bacon (and I buy mine from the butcher case, never pre-packaged because we don’t have great options in my stores);
    2. I made the blue cheese optional (it’s not a favorite of mine) and offered some substitution options; and
    3. I added a bit more hot sauce to mine.


Buffalo Spinach-Artichoke Dip

  • 3 slices (5 ounces) thick-cut bacon (I use 6 slices)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 9 ounces frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and finely chopped
  • 6 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 ounces smoked blue cheese, softened (I don’t care for Blue Cheese, so I substitute Gorgonzola.  You can also use Goat Cheese, Feta, Stilton, or Brie)
  • 1½ cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 6 tablespoons Franks Red Hot Sauce (I like mine spicy so I add a couple TBLS more)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the bacon over medium-high heat.  Cook, turning as needed, until the bacon is golden and the fat has rendered, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, then finely chop and set aside.
  4. Add the garlic and onions to the pan and cook, stirring often, until golden, 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Add the artichoke hearts and spinach and cook until the spinach is lightly wilted, 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir the cream cheese, blue cheese (or whatever cheese you’ve substituted), 1 cup of the Parmesan, sour cream, and hot sauce until smooth.
  7. Fold in the spinach and artichoke mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Transfer to a 1½-quart casserole dish and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
  9. In a small bowl, mix the remaining ½ cup of Parmesan with the chopped bacon, panko crumbs and olive oil.
  10. Sprinkle the panko crumb topping over the dip and place the casserole dish on a sheet pan in case any cheese bubbles over.
  11. Bake until golden brown and bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes, then serve.

tt_logo_image_1The recipe calls for serving with chips.  I like to eat this dip with really thick, freshly made tortilla chips, Triscuits, carrot chips, thick bell pepper slices or celery.

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Chicken Under Pressure “Mamba Style”

I’m not feeling a lot of inspiration to create today, but have some chicken in the freezer, plenty of citrus on the trees, dry goods and spices in the cupboards, so dinner shouldn’t be a big ordeal.

I’m employing my handy dandy pressure cooker so I can make dinner ahead and not have to worry about it during all of the pre-final game Laker festivities honoring The Black Mamba,  Kobe Bryant that I’ll be glued to tonight, tissues close at hand.

Chicken Under Pressure “Mamba Style”

  • 6 Frozen Boneless-Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 2 TBLS Extra Virgin Oil
  • 1 Chicken Bullion Cube
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Allspice
  • 2 tsp Dried Tarragon Leaves
  • Juice of 2 Small Ripe Lemons (About 1/4 Cup)
  • Zest of 2 Small Lemons
  • 1 Cup Water
  1. Turn the pressure cooker on to “Brown” setting
  2. Pour 1 TBLS of the Olive Oil into the bottom of pan
  3. Put frozen chicken into pan to begin defrosting
  4. Add the bullion cube then sprinkle 1/2 tsp of the garlic powder & onion powder, 1/4 tsp of the pepper and allspice, and 1 tsp of the tarragon over the top of the chicken
  5. After 3 minutes turn the chicken over
  6. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 tsp of the garlic powder & onion powder, 1/4 tsp of the pepper and allspice, and 1 tsp of the tarragon over the other side of the chicken
  7. Brown for another 3 minutes then turn chicken over one more time
  8. Grate the lemon zest into the pan (on top of the chicken)
  9. Squeeze the juice from the zested lemons into the pan
  10. Add the Water and close & lock the pressure cooker
  11. Set to medium – high setting and, when pressure cooker reaches temperature, set time to cook for 10 minutes
  12. When cooking is completed unplug the pressure cooker and allow to sit, without releasing pressure, for 10 minutes.
  13. After rest time, release the pressure and remove the chicken to a covered dish

 Lemon Artichoke Risotto

  1. Add enough water to the reserved liquid in the pressure cooker to equal 3 cups.
  2. Add 2 Cups Dry Arborio Rice
  3. Set pressure cooker to Rice setting
  4. When cooker reaches desired temperature/pressure, cook rice for 9 minutes
  5. When cycle is complete unplug and release most of the pressure but do not unlock or open machine
  6. After 10 minutes finish releasing pressure and unlock/open pressure cooker
  7. Add 1 jar quartered Artichoke Hearts in Water (drained)
  8. Grate the zest from one medium lemon into the rice
  9. Stir in 1/2 Stick Butter
  10. Stir in 1/4 to 1/2 Cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  11. If desired, add more heated chicken broth to make the rice creamier
  12. Keep covered until ready to serve with the chicken

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