3-Cheese Spinach and Artichoke Dip

I've got a weakness for spinach and artichoke dip.

Don't you?

Don't we all?

Be honest with yourself here. It's hot and cheesy, ooey and gooey, you love it even though serving it at a party maybe seems a little dated it's not like your guests dare to chide you for it because they'll be too busy shoveling chip after chip in their mouths.

In celebration of National Chip and Dip day (yes, that's a thing) you will not regret making this tasty, cheesy snack. There are three tasty cheeses in this dip but it's open to interpretation, you can sub the monterey jack for a spicy pepperjack, you can add more cheese if you're a cheese lover or you can go crazy and add a fourth cheese to the mix. 

The amounts in this recipe are enough for a small get together or enough to make two large or three medium sized servings that you can freeze and bake when you need a quick app or snack for movie night. In case anyone is wondering if this can be considered a health food, because there are spinach and artichokes involved the answer is yes! It's practically diet food.

4 tbsp butter (reserve 2 tbsp)
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
8 oz fresh spinach
1 can quartered artichoke hearts
2 tbsp flour
1 cup milk (give or take)
1 package cream cheese (8oz)
1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/8 tsp paprika
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan melt 2 tbsp butter over low heat and add minced garlic. Sauté until garlic is fragrant but not browned, about two minutes. Add spinach and allow to cook down in it's own liquid. Drain spinach and set aside, leaving liquid in the pan and add drained artichoke hearts to the pan. Cook artichokes for 3-5 minutes in liquid until pan is dry, remove artichokes and set aside. In a dry saucepan add remaining 2 tbsps of butter and the flour. Whisk well to incorporate flour for 2-3 minutes and add milk slowly to the pan, stirring constantly to avoid clumps. 

Add cayenne, paprika and cream cheese and stir until melted and well incorporated. Once cream cheese is mixed in, add parmesan and monterey jack cheese and mix well. 

Mince spinach and artichoke hearts finely and add to your cheese mixture. Stir well, scrapping the bottom of the pan to make sure there are no forgotten patches of cheese mixture (perhaps you can keep your pan and stove cleaner than I did). Taste for salt. Pour mixture into a wide, shallow chafing dish or individual sized oven safe dishes. Top with grated parmesan and Monterey jack mixture** and place in the oven for 10-15 minutes until top is golden brown. Serve warm with pita bread, pita or tortilla chips. 

Avoid eating with a spoon, but I understand, it happens sometimes. 

**If you'd like to freeze portions to make later: Line the bottom and side of your dish with parchment paper, fill with cheese mixture, top with cheese and cover with cling wrap. Allow to freeze completely, about 2-3 hours. Pop out of the serving dish, wrap tightly with cling wrap and store in a freezer bag for 3 weeks. When ready to eat bake an additional 10 minutes from frozen and you have a quick ready to go party snack!

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