Saturday, June 2, 2012

Baked Artichoke Spinach and Cheese Appetizers

1 recipe artichoke and spinach dip (put in the freezer until partially frozen just a few hours)
1 cup flour
1 or 2 eggs beaten
2 tablespoons water

Panko preferred or regular Italian flavored breadcrumbs
cooking spray

In three separate bowls add flour in one (about 1 cup), in another bowl, 1 beaten egg with 2 tablespoons of water in it and the last plate or bowl pour in about 2 cups of bread crumbs  for easy rolling.  Roll  the artichoke dip into walnut size balls, or use a melon ball scooper, then dip into flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs.  Set on a piece of wax paper until all are molded.  On a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, spray with oil or use a light coating of olive oil to coat the paper. Place the artichoke balls on the sheet.  Bake at 400 degree hot oven until browned. These do not need to be flipped over. Enjoy with some dipping sauce ...  light lower fat Alfredo sauce (see recipe below) goes fabulous with these!

Artichoke Spinach Dip Recipe

( omit the last part of this recipe for the baking instructions and shredded cheese for the top. Just refrigerate after all ingredients are blended overnight.)

1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and put through food processor will just a little chunky
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained and squeezed out dry
1 1/4 cups finely shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/4 cups shredded 5 blend Italian shredded cheese
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2  cup shredded Fontina cheese for the top
 cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
bread crumbs or cracker crumb (optional)
 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Press the excess moisture from the spinach.
 Combine the artichokes, spinach,  cheeses, cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, and garlic in a bowl and mix well.
Spoon the artichoke mixture into an oven proof bowl (sprinkle with bread crumbs or cracker crumbs) that you can bake this in. Bake at 350 topped with Fontina for thirty minutes until bubbly. Serve warm with tortilla or pita chips, crackers or vegetables.

Low Fat Alfredo Sauce:
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
pinch nutmeg
3/4 cup grated Romano and Parmesan blended cheeses
3 cups  1 % low fat milk
1/2 teaspoon white pepper

Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add flour; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Whisk in milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, whisking; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Shut off heat and stir in the cheese.
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