Friday, October 25, 2013

Spinach & Artichoke Melts

So this week I successfully made a meal plan, made a grocery list, and then actually made the food. This is the first time in a very long time that I have done this. I only picked three meals, and I had one alternate meal just in case one fell through. I started with two tried-and-true recipes that I've been making for years. One was my mom's recipe for Great Tostadas. I used to eat it all the time as a child and it is good, easy comfort food. I don't think my gentleman liked it as much as I do, but he also was eating it a few hours after I made it.

The much more popular recipe was my favorite Baked Potato Soup. Over the years, I stopped baking the potatoes and just microwave them before adding them into the soup. It's just so much easier. I made some real bacon bits for the gentleman's soup and he LOVEEEEDDDD it. It was my first time making it for him - it was my first time making this in probably over a year, actually.

Then I picked a new recipe to try. I found this on Pinterest, of course. It's a very simple recipe for a quick spinach-artichoke dip, spread onto some bread and grilled in a pan. Perfect. Gentleman pan-fried some thin strips of chicken to put on his and reported really liking it, despite a general aversion to most spinach-artichoke dips. So that is a success! I doubt I would make this again, but it was a fun little adventure.


Spinach and Artichoke Melts
Half-Baked Harvest via Pinterest

1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup milk
1 ounce cream cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup (about 5 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 (6.7 ounce) jar grilled artichoke hearts or you can sub marinated artichokes, chopped
1 chicken breast, grilled and sliced thin (optional)
8 slices thick sourdough or tuscan bread
Butter, for spreading

1. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Whisk in flour until it makes a paste. Cook over medium-low heat for a minute or two, then pour in milk. Stir and cook one minute, if your paste gets too thick splash in more milk.

2. Add cream cheese, mozzarella, parmesan and pepper. Stir until cheeses are melted. Stir in the greek yogurt until smooth. Chop artichokes and spinach and add to the sauce. Stir to combine. Dip will be thick, just use some muscle and stir in those veggies!

3. Heat a skillet (or griddle, etc) oven medium-low heat. Butter the outsides of every bread slice, then spread a good amount (any where from 1-3 tablespoons) of the spinach and artichoke dip on the inside (the non-buttered side) of each slice. If using, top one slice with the sliced grilled chicken. Top off with another slice of bread, buttered-side up. Cook until each side is golden and crisp and cheese is melted, then gently flip and do the same.

4. Slice and serve.

Yield: 4 sandwiches, with leftover dip

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