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Friday, June 17, 2011

Grilled Spinach Artichoke Dip

It's finally summer and the grilling commences. Now I'd like to start off by saying that this is not my normal artichoke dip. We'll have to go over that one another day, as I know some people would love that recipe too. That's not saying that this recipe isn't amazing. It is.

One ingredient I've been using a lot of lately is quark. It's kind of like a cross between ricotta and goat cheese, but it's made with cow milk. I bought it one day because I thought it was goat cheese, and I ended up liking it more! Plus it's cheaper! Goat cheese doesn't have much flavor to it, but Quark does. I've used it in salads, my boyfriend dips strawberries in it, and now, I've made a dip out of it.

I used basic and simple ingredients, so what made this dip really awesome was the preparation. I mixed together approximately 1 cup chopped spinach, 8 oz quark, 4 canned artichoke hearts, a clove of garlic, a sprinkle of feta and of Parmesan, and pinches of salt and pepper.

I mixed these all together and poured it into a greased and aluminum foil-lined mini cast iron skillet. Finally, I set a small piece of foil on top of the dip, to hopefully create a kind of convection effect.

Set this baby on the grill to let everything melt together and get that great smoky grilled flavor.

And just as equally important, I drizzled a mini-baguette with some oil and sprinkled on some thyme. Toward the end of my grillin', I tossed this on for a little less than a minute to toast it.
Oh yeah. Scoop some of this awesomeness up and slap it on some of that baguette. Do it.
If you want to mix in a little cream cheese too, it won't hurt anything.
There's the thyme toasted baguette, and my grilled garlic potatoes and mustard-vinaigrette pork chop. I spoil myself a lot.

Speaking of spoiling myself, I also tried out Flat Earth Brewing Co.'s Belgian-Style Pale Ale. First of all, I love the label. A Belgian Malinois holding a Belgian Waffle? Oh for cute! (I know I'm so cutesy and Minnesotan) ...
This is another Minnesotan Belgian beer, which I've noticed is becoming a trend. Harriet Brewing makes Belgian ales as well. I'm making a Rosemary Saison at the moment. But that's for another time. This amber colored pale ale has flowery hoppy flavors, a strong malty background, and a very light Belgian-y yeast taste, which is slightly banana and clove-y. It didn't pour any head at all, to my dismay, though the amber color was pretty.
And to quote the description on the bottle, it "finishes dry and leaves you thirsting for more"! I would agree. Flat Earth calls this a "session ale", which makes me want to look in to making one of these, but maybe with more Carapils malt to add to the head retention. I love local beer. Up next: Cygnus X-1 Porter and Angry Planet from my bomber sampler, which, by the way, I think is an amazing idea.

What a good night of grillin' and beer. Hope you enjoy it too.

Happy Grilling!