Sunday, April 22, 2012

Our Version of a Junk Food Night: Grilled Stuffed Jalapenos and Artichoke Dip

Billy and I had a night to ourselves, so we decided to splurge with a "junk food" night. It's not all processed and junk food in that way, it's just that cream cheese is the star of this splurge. In a big way. Our favorite stuffed jalapenos are grilled and filled with a creamy mixture with grilled corn and chives, and our artichoke dip is chock full of various creams and spreads. 

Since you never know if the jalapenos you buy from the store are going to be super hot or mild, we mix in sweet tiny peppers, for my sake really. We serve this meal with chips and sometimes quesadillas.

Grilled Stuffed Jalapenos and Sweet Peppers
Serves: 4 Time: 30 Min
Adapted from Bobby Flay
Gluten-Free | Vegetarian

1 tbsp olive oil
8 oz can corn, drained and rinsed
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
4 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp chili powder
Freshly ground black pepper
8 jalapeno chiles, halved, stemmed, and seeded
10 sweet peppers, halved, stemmed, and seeded

How To:
1) In a cast iron skillet, add olive oil and heat over medium. Once oil is hot, add corn kernels. Stir occasionally until corn begins to blacken. Turn off heat, and set aside. 

2) Heat grill to medium. (Also works on an indoor grill plate, or cast iron skillet.)

3) Combine cream cheese and feta, stir until smooth. Add in cheddar, corn, green onions, chili powder, salt and pepper, and stir until well mixed.  

4) Fill the chile and pepper halves with the mixture. Set on a plate.

5) Once the grill is heated, place each chile and pepper on the heated grates at a diagonal, filled side up. Cook until slightly blackened, about 8 minutes.

Artichoke Dip
Serves: 4 Time: 10 minutes
Adapted from Alton Brown

1 1/2 cups water
2 cups fresh spinach chopped, or 1 cup frozen chopped spinach
1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
6 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

How To:
1) In small saucepan, add water, and place over medium-high heat. Add spinach and artichoke. Bring to a boil, until spinach softens. 

2) Drain spinach and artichoke over a sieve, and using a paper towel blot and squeeze out even more liquid. Set aside.

3) In a medium sized heat proof dish or container, microwave cream cheese for 1 minute. Add the rest of the ingredients, and add in the artichoke and spinach mixture. Mix well. Heat again if need be and serve.

Serve: This meal is good with a side of salsa, chips, and/or quesadillas.

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