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Old 02-20-2005, 03:11 PM   #1
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Help with Spinach Dip!

We tried making this dip last night and turned out awful. Little or no taste. My wife thinks it is because she used fresh spinach and cooked it before putting in the dip. I tried adding salt and cayenne pepper to little effect. Here is the recipe;

8 oz. Philadelphia cream cheese
1/4 cup milk
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed drained.
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
8 oz water chestnuts drained/chop
1/2 tsp garlic salt (we used garlic powder)
1/8 tsp hot pepper sauce

You mix the cream cheese and milk then blend in the rest, refrigerate.

I tried adding chopped fresh garlic, cayenne and more salt. We omitted the water chestnuts I cant imagine that was problem. Oh we also used fresh green pepper not red pepper...

So what happened here? Maybe it was the garlic powder? the whole thing tasted bland really it tasted like the cream cheese was all it was. Did we mess up on the spinach?

Thanks.

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Old 02-20-2005, 04:14 PM   #2
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No I don't think the spinach was the culprit - or the missing water chestnuts, either!

If you look at the quantity of 'spice' or flavor in the recipe, there's really very little - an eighth of a tsp of hot pepper sauce? That's hardly worth the mention! Same for 1/2 tsp of garlic powder/salt.

The cream cheese tends to 'bland' things out, as does any dairy product; and the spinach is very good at masking flavors, too, so when you think of adding flavors, really add a 'punch' to have any effect.

I'd try maybe using fresh garlic, and go with the cayenne - maybe 1/2 tsp. instead of the hot sauce; add a dash or two of Worchestershire, a little lemon juice, at least 1 tsp. of salt, and a generous amount of black pepper.
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Old 02-20-2005, 10:13 PM   #3
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I added at least 3 cloves of minced garlic. I added at least one tsp. of salt prolly more. I used a bunch of cayenne it covered the surface, mixed it up and then I added more cayenne. Any more suggestions?
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Old 02-20-2005, 10:16 PM   #4
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Good suggestions. More spices needed. Plenty of fresh pepper, cayenne, garlic, and worchestershire. I would also punch up the cheese a bit by mixing in some feta, ricotta salata, or fresh parmesan.
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Old 02-20-2005, 10:34 PM   #5
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You might try the frozen spinach next time. Also here are a few ingredients that would add some more flavor:

3 scallions, sliced thin, including tops
1/2 teaspoon seasoned pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion salt
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

A cream cheese based dip to me is best heated. You might want to try next time 1/2 cup sour cream and 1/2 cup mayo - just to see if it makes a difference. I'll do some more thinking on this in the meantime.
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Old 02-21-2005, 01:13 AM   #6
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Elf is so right on the money. Ya gotta heat that up and marry the flavors, otherwise.

Some other good ingredients that you could add to help:

Crushed Red Pepper

Chopped Artichoke Hearts

Roasted Red Peppers

Heavy Cream (instead of milk)

Carmelized onions or Leeks

Roasted Garlic

Spinach dip is one of my favorites, I could eat that constantly. Also makes a fantastic base for a pizza.
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Old 02-21-2005, 09:36 AM   #7
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Erik - I used hearts of palm along with artichokes one time and it turned out were really good - I also topped it with pine nuts before baking then when it came out topped with a tomato concassé - it was excellent!
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Old 02-21-2005, 01:02 PM   #8
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Here's the spinach dip that I always make.
It seems to have a lot of flavor and my friends LOVE it.

Spinach Artichoke Dip



This is my all time favorite artichoke dip. It's thicker and heavier than your usual spinach dips but I think that's what gives it character. It never fails that this is the first thing to disappear and I always get asked for the recipe.

Ingredients:
10oz pkg frozen spinach, thawed and drained well
2 6oz jars marinated artichoke hearts, undrained
3 lg cloves of garlic, chopped
8oz cream cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mayonaisse
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together and bake at 375 for 25 mins. Serve warm with crackers, melba toast, etc.
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Old 02-21-2005, 01:30 PM   #9
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Yeah baking it is probably the route. WOrcestshire I'll be is also key to this. thanks.
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Old 02-21-2005, 01:42 PM   #10
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jp - the best spinach dip I made started out as artichoke dip - it started with 1 cup mayo, 1 cup green can parmesan cheese, 1 can artichokes, garlic powder and tobasco.......then I added 2 packages of spinach (though I'm sure 1 would be enough - I just think spinach dip should have lots of spinach in it! lol), 1 blockof cream cheese, half and half to help with the consistancy, 1 can chopped hearts of palm, more garlic and hot sauce (Chalula is now my favorite - I think that's the right name) Parmesan cheese and jack cheese. I placed everything in a pretty wide shallow pan (it was the pan from my chafing dish) and I topped the whole thing with pine nuts. Once it came out of the oven I topped that with tomatoes concaisse - it was REALLY good! I might have even added some more mayo - can't really remember anymore.

I probably added some salt and pepper too.
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