It is finally getting to my favorite season in the Bay Area – Fall. Warm days with incredibly bright blue skies, no fog lingering on the coast means light breezes, and the heat of the Central Valley works its way to the coast warming the entire Bay Area to perfect temperatures. If you’ve ever wanted to visit San Francisco, this is the time to come!
Along with the perfect days come crisp evenings that beg for warm sweaters and popping fire in the fireplace. It also means it is football season!
Growing up with a dad and three brothers meant that I became an expert armchair quarterback early. It has always been a fun event to watch the game with family and friends, everyone hollering at the referees’ calls, cheering for touchdowns, celebrating wins and commiserating if their team loses.
Everyone loves a good hot dip to snack on while we are watching the game. One of our favorites is this spicy artichoke and cheese dip. It is rich and creamy, full of flavor and just a hint of heat. The artichoke hearts add a nice acidic balance that helps cut the richness. If you are serving a large crowd, you can easily double the recipe. And think about making it in individual ramekins for each person so they can have their own and not worry about double dipping, LOL.
When I was taking the photographs of today’s recipe, I didn’t realize until I was editing them later that I had inadvertently created images with the colors of the 49ers … red and gold! Go Niners!
If you want to build a dinner around this wonderful starter, how about making my Green Chile and Chicken Chili. To go along with the chili and following the Southwestern/Mexican flavor profile, I like this version of my favorite cole slaw. A combination of green and red cabbage blended with some heat from jalapenos if you want. I think I will add some grated apple for a bright note and to celebrate the fall harvest.
To round out the plate, add a touch of sweetness, and another harvest favorite, try this honey-laced cornbread from Sherry Yard of Spago Restaurant. It is unlike any cornbread I’ve ever had. The difference is the melted butter, honey and water glaze that you pour over the pan of cornbread while it is hot. This gets absorbed and infuses the entire pan with the sweet honey flavor. Because it is so dominant, make sure you use a good quality honey that you love. My personal favorite is Tupelo when I can find it. What honey do you like best?
Have a wonderful day and when you’re planning your next football or holiday party, I hope you’ll put this luscious dip on your menu!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
This dip can be made ahead, making it perfect for parties. Rewarm it when your guests arrive and you won’t be locked in the kitchen all day, missing out on the fun and conversation!
Substitute a gluten-free flour blend for the all-purpose and cake flour in the cornbread. If you do not have a favorite commercial blend, you can make your own following one of the many recipes under the Gluten-Free tab.
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup chopped hot New Mexican Hatch green chiles or 1/2 cup chopped mild green chiles
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained, finely diced and squeezed dry
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 2 cups frozen corn kernels
- 2 ripe tomatoes, cored and diced finely, divided
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
- Chopped green onions, for garnish
- Tortilla chips, for serving (gluten-free if needed)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter or oil a shallow casserole, au gratin dish, 9-inch square baking dish or pie plate. You can also make this in individual dishes such as ramekins or mini au gratins.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, chiles, and seasonings. Add the artichokes, cheddar, Monterey Jack, and corn. Stir to evenly distribute. Gently stir in half the tomatoes. Transfer to the prepared casserole dish and sprinkle the top with the Parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly for 5 minutes.
- Just before serving sprinkle the top with cilantro, green onions, and remaining tomatoes. Serve hot with tortilla chips or crackers for dipping.
- Yield: 6 to 8 appetizer servings
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