Saturday, January 8, 2011

"Real" Sundried Tomato and Artichoke Dip (aka "St. John's Ran Out of Canned Artichokes and Philadelphia Cream Cheese")

This was the non-vegan, non-"raw" version of my preferred sundried tomato spread. It has lots of cream cheese, and is actually slow-cooked to a slightly molten state, unifying the flavours better than a stove or simple arm strength, I think. Maybe just my arm strength, though.

I tricked everyone. Normally I'm tricking people with making dishes "raw" that seem creamy and dairy-filled, but this case was a little different. It's not actually an artichoke dip...St. John's ran out of canned artichokes. Absolutely ridiculous, I know, but there you have it. I went to possibly the biggest grocery store in the city and there were none. So I bought bamboo shoots instead. They're bland, they're not too salty, and I figured the texture would work fine. Besides, I don't know a single Newfoundlander who would be able to call me on it being a bamboo shoot. The best they could do is call it "not an artichoke". So when people said "great artichoke dip!" to my dip labeled "sundried tomato cream cheese spread" I just said "thanks". Not that Newfoundlanders can't tell the difference, just that most wouldn't know what bamboo shoots are or taste like. So I got away with it.

I made a double recipe. It makes a ton. It's also a very labour-intensive slow-cooker recipe because you actually need to stir it. Thanks, ma.

2 cans bamboo shoots, chopped
2 packages cream cheese (the whole point of the dish was to use cream cheese because of the Philadelphia cream cheese commercials that have that angel woman eating the stuff (because the party was called "Heavenly Hosts" it had to be Phili). Except St. John's ran out of Phili too. So I used no name brand...again, no one called me on it)
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup mayo (I had the best intentions to use a home-made mayo but I hadn't made the angel food cake yet so I didn't have any yolks sitting around and I was not about to leave any whites sitting around getting potentially less able to expand, thus causing a sunken cake. So I used bottled. Again, no one complained)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (didn't use the real stuff here either. I'm a horrible cook. You should use the real stuff. Anyone could make this dip better than I did)
1/2 cup chopped, drained oil-packed sundried tomatoes. Finally! Something I did right!
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup chopped green onions (for garnish)

All you do is add everything except the green onions to the slow-cooker and stir.
Turn the slow-cooker to low and cook for just 2 hours. Stir twice during the cooking time and when it's done sprinkle with the green onions. It's kind of cool to serve this out of the slow-cooker, but it's also kind of cool to turn it into a snake. It's supposed to be served warm, kind of like a cream cheese fondue, but come on! A snake! How cool is that?