Sunday, February 5, 2017

Spinach Artichoke Pretzel Skillet


Dips are undoubtedly the heart of every Super Bowl party. If you search the definition of Super Bowl in Merriam Webster, the actual definition is “an excuse to have a party with lots of dips.”

But with so many people bringing dips to your Super Bowl party, how do you make your dip stand out?

Your cast iron skillet is currently in the back of your cupboard raising it’s hand and saying “Pick me! Pick me!” That’s right—a cast iron skillet is the secret to transforming an ordinary dip into the coolest appetizer at the party.

Cast iron skillets have obviously been around for centuries. But I’ve noticed that they have become very very popular in the past year. They are extremely versatile, and I love that the skillet is used as both the baking dish and the presentation dish.

I made my first dip with a cast iron skillet last month and it was a huge hit. My favorite part about the Spicy Cheese Pretzel Skillet is that the dip and the pretzels baked together in the same skillet. The soft pretzels were extremely easy to make (store bought biscuit dough for the win), and ultimately that’s what made the dish look deceptively stunning. So I decided to try the same concept with this skillet artichoke spinach dip. The creamy and cheesy dip with baked-in pretzel dippers is what dreams are made of.

In my last skillet post I went into great details about the science behind homemade soft pretzels. So this week, I’m going into great detail about the best practices for taking care of your cast iron skillet.

First of all, the best time to clean your cast iron skillet is immediately after using it. You can’t be a set-aside-to-soak kind of person. Soaking the skillet is one of the worst things you can do to it because it will rust.

Instead, immediately after you’ve removed all the food from it, wash your skillet by hand using a sponge or a stiff, non-wire brush. Don’t use soap! If there is food stuck to the pan that won’t come off with water, scrub it with a mixture of salt and hot water.

Completely, dry our skillet immediately after you’ve finished washing it so it doesn’t rust. I recommend heating the pan over your stovetop burner on high for about 5 minutes to ensure it’s completely dry.

After drying, add a thin layer of oil to the pan to keep it well-seasoned.

Store your cast iron skillet with a paper towel on it to absorb any moisture and protect it from dust.

I realize this entire post is about cast iron skillets, but I do want to point out that you can still make this delicious dip as well as the pretzel bites without a cast iron skillet. Just bake the dip in an oven safe dish and bake the pretzel bites separately on a baking sheet.


Or if pretzels aren’t your thing, you could buy a big loaf of bread, hollow it out to make a bread bowl, and then use the inside scraps to dip—similar to what I did with this Buffalo Chicken Stuffed French Bread. Enjoy and Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

Spinach Artichoke Pretzel Skillet
Ingredients
For the dip
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 14 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained
  • 8 ounces Challenge cream cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dill
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce

For the pretzel bites
  • 1 can refrigerated biscuit dough
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • Egg wash (1 egg mixed with 2 Tablespoons water for brushing on dough)
  • Sea salt, for sprinkling

Directions
For the dip
  1. Place spinach in a bowl with 1 Tablespoon water and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
  2. Microwave on high for 1 minute; leave covered 15 minutes to cool. Drain spinach well and add to medium bowl.
  3. Chop artichoke hearts and add to bowl.
  4. Add remaining dip ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

For the pretzel bites
  1. Generously oil or butter your cast iron skillet.
  2. Open can of biscuit dough, cut each pre-sliced biscuit into quarters, and roll into balls; set aside.
  3. Bring water and baking soda to a boil in a small saucepan. Drop biscuit dough into boiling water and let cook for one minute. Remove biscuit dough from water with slotted spoon and transfer to cast iron skillet, forming a ring along the inside edge.
  4. Brush biscuits with egg wash and sprinkle with sea salt.
  5. Transfer spinach artichoke dip to center of skillet.
  6. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until pretzels are golden brown and dip is bubbly.
  7. Let skillet cool about 5 to 10 minutes before serving.





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