Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

• 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 2 cups milk
• Salt (as desired)
• Cayenne pepper(optional)
• 1 cup grated Parmesan (about 4 ounces)
• 1 cup grated Monterey Jack (about 4 ounces)
• 1 cup chopped onions
• 1 (16-ounce) bag fresh spinach, stemmed, rinsed and chopped

• 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
• 1 (15-ounce) cans artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine 1/4 cup of the vegetable oil and flour in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir the mixture constantly 5 to 6 minutes for a blond roux. Whisk in the milk and bring the liquid up to a boil. Season the liquid with salt and cayenne. Simmer the liquid for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the liquid is thick and coats the back of a spoon. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the cheeses. Set the sauce aside.
In a sauté pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in handfuls of spinach at a time, until all the spinach is incorporated. Add the garlic and artichoke and sauté for 2 minutes. Season the vegetables with salt and cayenne. Remove the vegetables from the heat and turn into a mixing bowl. Fold the cheese sauce into the vegetables. Turn the mixture into a baking pan. Bake the dip for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Serve with tortilla chips.

-Neal Massey Cash

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