When I was pregnant with my second child I became obsessed with all food that had a vinegary acidity. Tasty, tangy chicken wings. Pepperoncinis. Pickled spicy green beans. The pinnacle (that still triggers a Pavlovian mouth watering) took place at the Barnum and Bailey circus of all places. This was before I was gluten free though I still ate a very healthy diet. We went to get a snack and I became fixated on a particular chili dog. A perfect texture hotdog, piled grotesquely high with chili, covered with chopped onions and pickled jalapenos, and cheese of course. It tasted so fantastically perfect to my pregnant taste buds; I was unconscious of my incessant verbal fawning over it. My husband, a patient, polite fellow with an uncanny knack for home culinary wizardry finally could not take it any longer and blurted out ‘this is really putting into context your praise for my food’. If you haven’t been pregnant, there is no way to describe the distortion and obsession that creeps into the food situation.
My love of tangy foods did not abate when my child was born and I still covet that pucker in foods. As I was thinking ahead to Super Bowl food options, that same flavor signature resides in many of the favorite dishes. Football food has a stereotypic signature. Drippy, dippy, full of fatty-flavor-indulgent-food and I’m not complaining. It’s not something I eat all the time but there is a time and place for everything and the Super Bowl certainly calls for cuisine of its own.
As the play offs and cold weather march on I wanted to share a family recipe for Creamy Hot Artichoke Dip. At first blush it might not sound fabulous but believe me it’s luscious. A perfect dipper for white knuckling through the Play Offs and the Big Game.
When considering the best dipping partner for the Hot Artichoke Dip, I reflected on something missing in my edible repertoire since becoming gluten free; the Baguette. I was not a huge bread eater before becoming gluten free but when you want or need it, only a baguette fills the bill. The crusty outside with soft, tangy center.
Recently when on the quest to supply eight loaves worth of gluten free bread for a large school function I discovered Udi’s Gluten Free Dinner Rolls. They are available in a few styles, one of which is Classic French. Suffice it to say there were many gasps of delight at the school function from those gluten free who felt they’d never be enjoying a ‘normal’ dinner roll again until these. I really wanted to pair a sliced, slender baguette with this dip and the Udi’s Classic French rolls provided a perfect solution. Sliced horizontally into ½ inch thick slices, slathered with homemade garlic butter and broiled to add a crusty top, leaving the underside soft and chewy. They are the size of a slender, gluten-filled baguette with all the same flavor. It felt like a gluten free culinary coupe!
Perfect for a party or watching the Big Game, this Creamy Hot Artichoke Dip provides a tangy blend of flavor and texture. Paired with garlic toast rounds making an upscale, easy appetizer. Instructions for both gluten and gluten-free toast rounds included.
- 1 15-ounce can Artichokes
- 1 large Garlic Clove
- 8 drops Hot Sauce
- ½ cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
- ½ cup Sour Cream
- ¼ cup Cream Cheese or Neufchatel
- 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 4 tablespoons unsalted Butter
- 2-3 Garlic Cloves, peeled and diced
- 1 small, slender baguette (for gluten eaters) OR 5 Udi’s gluten-free Classic French dinner rolls; sliced horizontally into 1/2” thick slices
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the artichokes, garlic, hot sauce, parmesan cheese, sour cream, cream cheese and process until creamy.
- Spoon dip into a small casserole, sprinkle with parmigiano-reggiano cheese and paprika and bake for 20 minutes. Remove and set on cooling rack.
- While the dip is cooking, in a small sauce pan melt butter and add diced garlic. Turn off heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
- Place sliced bread on a large baking sheet. Brush the top side only with the garlic butter. Note: if choosing to make a larger batch, the garlic butter ingredients can be doubled.
- While the dip is cooling, place the bread sliced under the broiler for 30 seconds to 1 ½ minutes only. Watch closely to ensure no burning. Remove as soon as the toast turns a light golden brown.