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Hot California Cheese, Artichoke And Spinach Dip

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Ingredients:

– 3 tablespoons butter – 1 cup heavy cream – 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour – 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg – 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper – 1 teaspoon salt – 1 cup milk – 2 tablespoons lemon juice – 3 ounces thinly sliced Real California Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese – 1 whole large clove garlic, minced – 1 cup (4 ounces) grated California dry jack (or Parmesan) cheese – 1 can (13-3/4 ounces) Quartered artichoke hearts in water – 1 whole box frozen chopped spinach, thawed

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Drain artichoke hearts in colander, rinse under cold running water, then drain again. Place in large bowl and set aside. A handful at a time, squeeze spinach to remove as much water as possible. Put spinach in bowl with artichokes, and add grated cheese and garlic. Stir and toss to combine, then set aside.

Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, whisking or stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Add milk and continue cooking, whisking almost constantly until sauce thickens and boils, 3-4 minutes. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg, lemon juice and cream; stir or whisk to blend. Add to spinach-artichoke mixture and stir vigorously to combine. Spoon into small casserole or baking dish of about 1-quart capacity, and top with sliced cheese.

In conventional oven: Bake 25-30 minutes or until dip is bubbling and top is lightly browned. Remove from oven and let sit 5 minutes before serving.

In microwave oven: Microwave on high power 5-7 minutes or until dip is heated through, bubbling and cheese is melted. If you wish to brown the top lightly, with suitable, heatproof baking dish, place under preheated broiler for 1-2 minutes.

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