Karin Calloway

Food columnist for The Augusta Chronicle.

Peppery Bacon-Cheddar Artichoke Spread

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Next week is the 15th anniversary of the Cooking with Karin column. This week, in honor of the anniversary, I’m revisiting a favorite from the early years of the column: Hot Artichoke Spread.

Original Hot Artichoke Spread  TODD BENNETT/STAFF
TODD BENNETT/STAFF
Original Hot Artichoke Spread

I came up with four variations on this Augusta party classic, which is from Tea-Time at the Masters, and now I’m adding another tasty variation: Peppery Bacon-Cheddar Artichoke Spread.

The original spread is a combination of chopped artichoke hearts, mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese with a dash of Tabasco. This new version replaces the Parmesan with sharp cheddar and adds crumbled bacon and a good amount of crushed black pepper. I’ve included the original recipe and the variations below.

The spread is a great addition to any weekend party or pool-side get-together. Serve with wheat crackers.

PEPPERY BACON-CHEDDAR ARTICHOKE SPREAD

6 strips of bacon, cooked until crisp and coarsely chopped

1 can artichoke hearts, well drained

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

¾ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise

1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

5 dashes Tabasco or other hot sauce

Wheat crackers, for serving

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coarsely chop the artichoke hearts and place them into a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until well-combined. (Or, you can combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse it several times to chop the artichoke hearts and combine the ingredients.)

Spread in a baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes, until bubbly around the edges.

Serve with wheat crackers.

Makes 6-8 appetizer servings.

ORIGINAL HOT ARTICHOKE SPREAD

1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, chopped

1 cup regular or lowfat mayonnaise

6 to 8 ounces shredded Parmesan cheese

Dash Tabasco sauce

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients and place into a small baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly. Serve with plain crackers.

Variation 1: Chili Cheese Artichoke Dip

Substitute shredded cheddar cheese for the Parmesan and add a 4-ounce can of diced green chilies. Serve with corn chips for dipping.

Variation 2: Crab and Artichoke Dip

Double the standard recipe and add:

1 2-ounce jar chopped pimentos, drained

8 ounces crab meat, picked over

1 4-ounce can diced green chilies

Combine all ingredients and pour into baking dish. Top with 1/3 cup toasted sliced almonds and serve with pita triangles or plain crackers. This makes enough for 16-20 appetizer servings.

Variation 3: Spinach Artichoke Dip

Prepare standard recipe adding 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed (remove as much liquid as possible) and 3 ounces of softened cream cheese. Serve with tortilla chips or plain crackers.

Variation 4: Cold Artichoke Dip

Prepare standard recipe, decreasing mayonnaise to 1/2 cup and mashing artichokes well with a fork. Chill before serving with crackers.

WHAT’S COOKING?

Watch Karin prepare the recipe on Tuesdays on WJBF-TV 6 (ABC) at noon and Wednesdays during Good Morning Augusta.

We’re looking for your best kitchen creation, whether it’s a simple chili or an elaborate continental concoction. Our food writer, Karin Calloway, will re-create your dish, and we’ll feature it on the Wednesday food page of The Augusta Chronicle.

Send your recipe and contact information to karin.calloway@gmail.com, or write to Recipe Favorites, Newsroom, The Augusta Chronicle, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903-1928.


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