This recipe came from a restaurant in San Antonio called Liberty Bar. I’ve never actually been, but my sister lived in San Antonio for a while and has been there. When she saw this recipe in a magazine, something like 10 years ago, she decided we should make it. And we did. And it was incredible. I usually refer to it as “the piloncillo dip” to my family, and they immediately know what I’m talking about. And then we all start drooling.
For some reason I had kind of forgotten about it until recently. I’ve now made it twice in the last month for parties and am so glad to have rediscovered it.
The dip is a great combination of flavors; spicy, sweet and tangy. I love goat cheese, so I’m a big fan of this dip, but the goat cheese isn’t so strong that someone who isn’t crazy about it won’t like it. The sauce is rich and creamy and sweet and amazing. It is a little spicy because of the chipotle. If you’re worried about it you can cut back on the chipotle, or just use the adobo sauce and not so much of the peppers themselves.
Piloncillo, also called panela, is a Mexican unrefined whole cane sugar that is available at most large grocery stores. I always find it with the other Mexican foods and have seen it in a cone form and also in a round disc. It is similar in flavor to dark brown sugar, but has a different texture. You might be able to substitute brown sugar in this recipe, but I’ve never tried it. Let me know if you do and if it’s successful. Chipotles in adobo are in the same spot as the piloncillo at my grocery store. But my sister in New York has said it’s hard to find. You don’t end up using the whole can in this recipe, but I’ve frozen the extra in a small tupperware or freezer bag, thawed it out and used it in other recipes with great success. Don’t let it go to waste, especially if it’s a rarity where you live!
Serve this with pita chips or slices of grilled bread. I serve the sauce on top of the dip, but you can also serve the cheese dip and sauce in separate bowls, allowing people to get just the amount of sauce and cheese they want. To serve altogether I usually lay a piece of plastic wrap in the botttom of a pie plate, spread the cheese in an even layer, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Then I uncover the cheese spread and flip it out onto a large platter, peel off the plastic wrap, and then cover with some of the sauce. There is almost always extra sauce and I hate throwing it away since it’s so stinking good. Any ideas on how to use the extra?
Goat Cheese Dip with Piloncillo Chipotle Sauce
Serves at 10-12 as an appetizer
From Liberty Bar
For the cheese spread
6 ounces soft mild goat cheese, at room temperature
12 ounces cream cheese (full fat or 1/3 fat), at room temperature
1 small garlic clove, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/4 teaspoon salt (use the side of a large chef’s knife to do this)
1 teaspoon minced canned chiles chipoltes in adobo sauce
For the sauce
1 tablespoon minced canned chiles chipoltes in adobo sauce
Pita chips, crackers, toasted baguette slices or grilled bread slices
Make the cheese spread: Beat together cheeses, garlic paste, and chipolte chiles. Transfer mixture to a small serving bowl (or pie plate lined with plastic wrap) and chill, covered, at least 4 hours or overnight.
Make the sauce: In a small saucepan combine chipoltes, piloncillo, and cream and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally and breaking up sugar, until piloncillo is melted and sauce is smooth, about 10 minutes.
Transfer sauce to a small serving bowl and chill, covered, for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
Serve cheese and sauce in separate bowls, or pour some of the sauce over the cheese spread to serve.
My Aunt Susan gave me an incredible recipe for artichoke dip a few years ago when we were visiting relatives in Richvale, California. I had a craving for it this week, but couldn’t find the recipe. After making this dip I was putting some things away in the study and I miraculously found Susan’s recipe! Life is funny that way.
This recipe is more complicated and time consuming than Susan’s, so when I need a quick dinner party appetizer I will definitely be making hers. This recipe makes A TON of dip, has a fresher flavor than the mayo based artichoke dips a lot of people make, and re-heats really well. This would make a great addition to a Christmas party buffet, and if you have more than one to attend you could divide the dip between 2 dishes, bring one to one party, keep the other in the fridge and use it later! I do not think they would freeze well, but you could give it a try. Let me know how that goes.
I loved the big, yummy chunks of artichoke in this dip and the use of fresh instead of frozen spinach makes for a better flavor. The vegetables in the dip make me feel as if I am eating something somewhat healthy. However, this dip is really not too terrible for you, or so it seems by the ingredient list. Milk, I used 2 %, and just 1 cup of cheese total…but then there’s the vegetable oil. Oh well. It’s yummy. I served this dip with tortilla chips, but it would be good with pita chips or some whole wheat crackers.
Artichoke and Spinach Dip (courtesy of Emeril)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (about 2 ounces)
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack (about 2 ounces)
1 cup chopped onions
1 (10-ounce) bag fresh spinach, stemmed, rinsed and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 (15-ounce) cans artichoke hearts, drained and julienned
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine 1/4 cup of the vegetable oil and flour in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir the mixture constantly 5 to 6 minutes for a blond roux. Whisk in the milk and bring the liquid up to a boil. Season the liquid with salt and cayenne. Simmer the liquid for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the liquid is thick and coats the back of a spoon. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the cheeses. Set the sauce aside.
In a saute pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions and saute for 2 minutes. Stir in handfuls of spinach at a time, until all the spinach is incorporated. Add the garlic and artichoke and saute for 2 minutes. Season the vegetables with salt and cayenne. Remove the vegetables from the heat and turn into a mixing bowl. Fold the cheese sauce into the vegetables. Turn the mixture into a baking pan. Bake the dip for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
Serve with tortilla chips, pita chips or crackers.
With the mound of shredded zucchini I could have made 3 batches (6 loaves) of zucchini bread. I could have done this and frozen loves, or given them to friends. But lets face it, I just don’t have that many friends and my freezer just couldn’t take the load!
If I would have been thinking more clearly I would have shredded half of the ginormous squash and then sliced the rest and grilled them or sauteed them to serve with the leftover mac and cheese. We cannot change the past, so I decided to make zucchini fritters. I looked at a few recipes. All used shredded zucchini, at least one egg, flour, and salt and pepper. From that base I found that the possibilities are endless. Some recipes used Parmesan or other cheeses in the mix, some used panko or some type of bread crumbs, some used onions (scallions or red), and the seasonings that were used ranged from simple S&P to 6 different herbs in one recipe. I mixed and matched based on what I had at home.