Thursday, September 1, 2011

Gooey Corn and Artichoke dip

When Ben and I go to a restaurant, especially when we are trying out a new one, there are certain menu items that, if present, we will order 98% of the time.  This includes foccacia, flat bread, and if it's a Chinese restaurant, crab rangoon.  Actually, we won't even try a new Chinese place if these aren't on the menu, but that's more because I am on the eternal quest to find the perfect crab rangoon.  (And if you are wondering, the closest to perfection I have found is J.W. Chen's in South Bend, IN.  Seriously, if you are in South Bend, you need to go to this hole in the wall and order crab rangoon.  And some pecan shrimp while you are at it, because it doesn't get any better than that. MMMMmmmm). 

ANYWAYS...  also included in that list is artichoke dip.  Ever since we drunkenly stumbled across a superb version of artichoke dip with huge lumps of fresh crab in it at Pike's Market in Seattle, we're more than willing to try it out if it appears on the appetizer menu.  The one stipulation we have about that is that it has something unique about, something to make it stand out, something that makes it different than your every day T.G.I Friday's Spinach and Artichoke dip.  You know, something like fresh corn off the cob.

I came across this recipe once before when I first found the Big Girls, Small Kitchen blog.  This was before I started up my love affair with fresh corn on the cob and I sort of bypassed it.  When it popped up on my radar again, this time as a online feature at Huffington Post, I knew I was going to try it immediately.  I love cheese and I love corn and I love artichoke dip.  Ben loves at least 2 out of the 3.  And I was sneaking in a vegetable! 

First off, I was too anxious to try the dip to let it bake as long as it needed, and the golden brown crust that should crown the top is missing.  Also, I cooked it in glass and it was rather deep, so I likely should have let it cook longer, maybe even at a high temp.  But look at me, already starting off with the negative.  This dip is good.  This dip is creamy.  The corn in it is amazing.  This dip will disappear very fast at any dinner party.  It just didn't hit my artichoke dip sweet spot.  Ben may argue a bit with me on that point, but it just wasn't quite there.  I'm still searching for the artichoke dip to put into my big green cookbook, and this wasn't the one.  It's out there, I'll find it.  And until then, I'll be dreaming of hot crab and artichoke dip....

Gooey Corn and Artichoke Dip
Inspired by the Big Girls in a Small Kitchen

2 14 oz cans artichoke hearts, drained, half finely chopped, half roughly chopped
2 ears of corn, kernels removed
1 c. mayonnaise
2 c. freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In medium bowl, mix together all ingredients.  Taste and season more if necessary.  Pour into ovensafe dish.  Bake in oven until top is golden brown, 30-35 minutes.  Your patience will be rewarded!

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