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Appetizers and Cheese

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Are you sensing a theme yet? We're continuing our Holiday Favorites and I for one have certainly noticed that we definitely lean heavily toward appetizers and cheese. This is of course because you can't go wrong with either. This recipe for Hot Artichoke Dip is from Felicity Tuttle is always a must-have at any get-together - including this month's Holiday Party. Hot Artichoke Dip


This recipe came from the original West Chop Little Cookbook (Martha's Vineyard). One of my favorite aspects of the recipe is that I can ALWAYS remember what to get and how much even when I'm standing in the grocery store without my list! Any recipe you can put together without a list automatically shoots higher on my list of possibilities. You know you won't get home and say, "Oh, no! I forgot the kumquats again!" or "Gracious, I'm out of articulated mini-quail!" Because it's hot, I actually rarely do it in the summer even though it came from a "summery" publication; but once the leaves turn orange, there's a nip in the air, or the snow is flying, I turn to this one again and again.

  • 1 cup real mayonnaise
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 8 oz can artichoke hearts in water
  • 1 box thin crunchy crackers
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Mustard
  • Horseradish
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Open, rinse, and drain the artichoke hearts.
Gently squeeze extra water out using paper towels (or you will have artichoke soup, not dip :)
Quarter and eighth lengthwise the pieces of artichoke, then dice them nicely with a knife without worrying about getting incredibly perfect and toss the diced artichoke hearts into a middle-sized bowl (Editor's cheat: I've popped artichoke hearts into the food processor on pulse.)
Measure and combine 1 cup regular Mayonnaise (better bulk than the light mayo, this is a treat - live it up!) with 1 cup of grated Parmesan.
Stir all together
For a bit of zip, I usually add:
  • 3-5 grinds of fresh black pepper
  • 1 tsp of mustard
  • 1 tsp creamed horseradish or rough horseradish (if rough, use a tad less)
Stir again and put the mixture into your ovenproof, covered bowl
Set the timer for 15 minutes, removing the cover for the last 5 minutes. (If you forget to take the cover off, don't lose sleep; it will taste virtually the same. It just won't be lightly browned.)
Serve in the baking dish with a small appetizer knife
Felicity's Tips and Tricks:
It is wise to remove it from the oven and put on the lid about 10 minutes before arrival of guests. Serving it straight from the oven means the dip is a bit too hot!
Choose crackers that are fairly thin with good crunch to contrast the soft dip
Put a square piece of wet paper towel between the ceramic bowl and your serving dish so the bowl doesn't skid around.
We hope you've enjoyed our taste of the Holidays! We wish you all the Merriest of Christmases and a prosperous, happy New Year, filled with peace and opportunity! It is our pleasure and honor to be part of your lives.

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