The trick to making a great artichoke dip, says Albert Rivera, chef at the Boon Fly Café at Napa's Carneros Inn, lies in the ingredients. Most home cook recipes use jarred, marinated artichokes, mayonnaise and Parmesan. Rivera's infinitely tastier version uses fresh baby artichokes, roasted jalapeño and three kinds of cheese for maximum flavor and melty deliciousness. Here's his recipe:
Jalapeño Artichoke Dip
1 pound baby artichokes or frozen artichoke hearts
1 pound cream cheese
1 cup heavy cream
1 roasted jalapeño, skin and seeds removed, minced
4 ounces shredded Parmesan
4 ounces diced mozzarella
1 to 2 tablespoons toasted breadcrumbs
Salt, pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Boil the baby artichokes in acidulated water -- water with a little lemon squeezed in -- until tender. Quarter the artichokes, removing any residual choke, if necessary. (Or use frozen artichoke hearts.)
3. Beat the cream cheese and cream until smooth. Fold in the artichokes, jalapeño and cheeses.
4. Transfer to an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with toasted breadcrumbs and bake for 10 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve with tortilla or pita chips, or sliced baguettes.
-- Boon Fly Cafe, the Carneros Inn, Napa