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Crumpets and Bollocks: The Alfredo and Spinach Dip Recipes

The Alfredo and Spinach Dip Recipes

Stole these once from Olive Garden's website and no idea where they are now, so it's going here. The Dip is too delicious. Everyone eats it all before I can get some usually. It made my Aunt Jo like Spinach Dip again.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

1 14oz can of artichoke hearts, drained and sliced
1 lb cream cheese, ROOM TEMP
8 oz mascarpone cheese, ROOM TEMP
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/4 tsp chopped red pepper
1 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
5 green onions, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 6 oz package of spinach, chopped
Italian Bread
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (to drizzle, fo shizzle). 

Mix all that in a bowl. 

Coat 9x13 pan with olive oil. Fill pan with mixture. Bake at 325 for 25 minutes until bubbling and center is hot

Drizzle both sides of bread with olive oil and grill

Sprinkle dip with some parmesan. 

Things I do different. I do 8 oz of cream cheese because I don't know how to read. Instead of parmesan, I use shredded Italian cheeses (the Parmesan, Romano and Asiago). The original recipe said crushed red pepper, and i use chopped fresh red pepper and add a little crushed from a spice jar to it, like 1/8 of a tsp. I guess all my tsps and TBSPs, and I go over on it to more like 1/2 tsp for the thyme and red pepper, and 1 very heaping TBSP of parsley. I only chop my green onions half way up. I've done both fresh spinach and frozen spinach, and it tastes about the same. I usually add a tsp of Fennel to it, but I didn't this last time. When it was done, I topped it with some chopped red pepper and chopped tomato, and it's really good on celery too, as well as crackers, flat bread, tortilla chips, and by itself on a spoon. 


The Alfredo Sauce... this is an art. 

3 cups milk
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup Parmesan, grated
1 cup Romano, grated
12 egg yolks 
salt and pepper

Original procedures:

1. Heat milk and cream in heavy bottom saucepan until it begins to simmer. Turn off heat. Slowly whip in cheese, then remove from heat.

2. Place egg yolks in a separate bowl and slowly whip in a portion of the hot milk and cream mixture. Slowly add egg yolk mixture back into remaining cream mixture. Place back on very low heat and continually stir until simmering. Take sauce off heat so it thickens. (This will increase temperature of egg yolks, known as tempering). 

3. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over favorite pasta.


How I do...

Have serving bowl ready, or a bowl for the sauce when it's done...

I stick the milk and cream on a nonstick pot (the deeper the better) and turn on medium to medium high heat. Then I separate the egg yolks from the whites putting the yolks into a big metal bowl. I also get my cheese ready in another bowl. I usually use shredded 3 italian cheeses, 2 cups of it. While I do those things, I frequently go back and stir the pot of cream just to make sure there isn't any burning on the bottom. I usually use a wooden spoon for this so I can leave the spoon in the pot. 

When the milk/cream starts to boil, as opposed to a simmer, because I swear if it's not hot enough, the cheese will clump, like when it's bubbling, not boiling over, but a little more active than what most people define a simmer, I turn off the heat. 

You want to use a hand mixer or a hand blender whisk (which is what I used), and slowly add the cheese as you are mixing it. Don't cheat on this with a regular whisk. You want something powered by electricity. You will feel the sauce get thicker, sort of like the thickness of sweet milk at room temp, just enough to kind of coat the spoon. You don't want to overbeat or the sauce will be too thick later. You don't want to underbeat because then it will be too runny later. This is part 1 of the art part. You have no idea how thick you are making it as you make it.  

Then I add half the mixture to the eggs and beat it with the same beating device I just used. Dump it back in the pot, stir, and turn heat on. Then I stand there stirring it non stop until it comes to a boil again. Just like before. More active than a simmer. Less active than boiling water. Some bubbles form at the top. This is the part where if you cook too long, it will get curdly looking. If you don't cook long enough, it's too runny. 

The part where I usually mess up, as soon as you see those bubbles, you have to get it out of that pot and into something cool. It's not enough to just turn off the heat. You want to immediately move it over to a regular bowl and let it cool. If you just turn off the heat and walk to a cabinet to get a bowl, the time it takes to do that, it will start curdling. It's still good to eat that way. It's just not as pretty. And if you got a picky kid, they may decide the sauce is too dry. 

If it is too thick once it cools, you can add some milk or whipping cream and stir and stir and stir until desired consistency. 

Instead of salt and pepper, I season to taste with Garlic Salt. I did forget to do that this last time around.

OH, and I tagged Chicken in this. That's because I served the Alfredo over chicken and fettuccine garnished with sliced red pepper and some spinach. I just boiled the chicken. No seasoning or anything. I did freeze my chicken fat water for a later broth. 

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Crumpets and Bollocks: The Alfredo and Spinach Dip Recipes

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Alfredo and Spinach Dip Recipes

Stole these once from Olive Garden's website and no idea where they are now, so it's going here. The Dip is too delicious. Everyone eats it all before I can get some usually. It made my Aunt Jo like Spinach Dip again.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

1 14oz can of artichoke hearts, drained and sliced
1 lb cream cheese, ROOM TEMP
8 oz mascarpone cheese, ROOM TEMP
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/4 tsp chopped red pepper
1 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
5 green onions, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 6 oz package of spinach, chopped
Italian Bread
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (to drizzle, fo shizzle). 

Mix all that in a bowl. 

Coat 9x13 pan with olive oil. Fill pan with mixture. Bake at 325 for 25 minutes until bubbling and center is hot

Drizzle both sides of bread with olive oil and grill

Sprinkle dip with some parmesan. 

Things I do different. I do 8 oz of cream cheese because I don't know how to read. Instead of parmesan, I use shredded Italian cheeses (the Parmesan, Romano and Asiago). The original recipe said crushed red pepper, and i use chopped fresh red pepper and add a little crushed from a spice jar to it, like 1/8 of a tsp. I guess all my tsps and TBSPs, and I go over on it to more like 1/2 tsp for the thyme and red pepper, and 1 very heaping TBSP of parsley. I only chop my green onions half way up. I've done both fresh spinach and frozen spinach, and it tastes about the same. I usually add a tsp of Fennel to it, but I didn't this last time. When it was done, I topped it with some chopped red pepper and chopped tomato, and it's really good on celery too, as well as crackers, flat bread, tortilla chips, and by itself on a spoon. 


The Alfredo Sauce... this is an art. 

3 cups milk
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup Parmesan, grated
1 cup Romano, grated
12 egg yolks 
salt and pepper

Original procedures:

1. Heat milk and cream in heavy bottom saucepan until it begins to simmer. Turn off heat. Slowly whip in cheese, then remove from heat.

2. Place egg yolks in a separate bowl and slowly whip in a portion of the hot milk and cream mixture. Slowly add egg yolk mixture back into remaining cream mixture. Place back on very low heat and continually stir until simmering. Take sauce off heat so it thickens. (This will increase temperature of egg yolks, known as tempering). 

3. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over favorite pasta.


How I do...

Have serving bowl ready, or a bowl for the sauce when it's done...

I stick the milk and cream on a nonstick pot (the deeper the better) and turn on medium to medium high heat. Then I separate the egg yolks from the whites putting the yolks into a big metal bowl. I also get my cheese ready in another bowl. I usually use shredded 3 italian cheeses, 2 cups of it. While I do those things, I frequently go back and stir the pot of cream just to make sure there isn't any burning on the bottom. I usually use a wooden spoon for this so I can leave the spoon in the pot. 

When the milk/cream starts to boil, as opposed to a simmer, because I swear if it's not hot enough, the cheese will clump, like when it's bubbling, not boiling over, but a little more active than what most people define a simmer, I turn off the heat. 

You want to use a hand mixer or a hand blender whisk (which is what I used), and slowly add the cheese as you are mixing it. Don't cheat on this with a regular whisk. You want something powered by electricity. You will feel the sauce get thicker, sort of like the thickness of sweet milk at room temp, just enough to kind of coat the spoon. You don't want to overbeat or the sauce will be too thick later. You don't want to underbeat because then it will be too runny later. This is part 1 of the art part. You have no idea how thick you are making it as you make it.  

Then I add half the mixture to the eggs and beat it with the same beating device I just used. Dump it back in the pot, stir, and turn heat on. Then I stand there stirring it non stop until it comes to a boil again. Just like before. More active than a simmer. Less active than boiling water. Some bubbles form at the top. This is the part where if you cook too long, it will get curdly looking. If you don't cook long enough, it's too runny. 

The part where I usually mess up, as soon as you see those bubbles, you have to get it out of that pot and into something cool. It's not enough to just turn off the heat. You want to immediately move it over to a regular bowl and let it cool. If you just turn off the heat and walk to a cabinet to get a bowl, the time it takes to do that, it will start curdling. It's still good to eat that way. It's just not as pretty. And if you got a picky kid, they may decide the sauce is too dry. 

If it is too thick once it cools, you can add some milk or whipping cream and stir and stir and stir until desired consistency. 

Instead of salt and pepper, I season to taste with Garlic Salt. I did forget to do that this last time around.

OH, and I tagged Chicken in this. That's because I served the Alfredo over chicken and fettuccine garnished with sliced red pepper and some spinach. I just boiled the chicken. No seasoning or anything. I did freeze my chicken fat water for a later broth. 

Labels: ,

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