The 90s are back! Let’s eat Artichoke Spinach Dip!
What goes around comes around, and with a 90s resurgence, I thought that I’d bring back a retro 90s recipe: Artichoke Spinach Dip. Ubiquitous in the 90s and early aughts, I’ve tasted a lot of ASDs. Boldly, I declare this recipe the best Artichoke Spinach Dip. My family and friends from that era will agree. It became known as “That Stuff,” as in “Sara, bring That Stuff to my party.” It was not a request.
The best Artichoke Spinach Dip, by way of a coworker’s friend’s friend’s . . .
I can say that it’s the best, because I didn’t make up the recipe. A coworker at my very first job brought it into work one day, heating it up in our sad little toaster oven. The entire office gathered around it, devouring it in a most unseemly fashion.
Even though it wasn’t like me at all at the time, I begged my coworker for the recipe. She said that she got it from a friend, who got it from someone else. The next day, she brought in printouts for a few of us. I believe that it had the name “Malibu Dip,” though I can’t imagine anyone from Malibu eating such a thing.
The rest, they say, is history. Ancient history now, sigh.
The people love That Stuff
I first brought Artichoke Spinach Dip to a what we would now call a Friendsgiving party at the dawn of the aughts. This was no ordinary Friendsgiving. It was a huge party, with chefs and industry folk, and other friends who could cook with gas. The food game was very strong, and frankly, I was nervous.
A late culinary bloomer, I was an interested, but not yet particularly experienced, cook. Taking a deep breath, I made the Artichoke Spinach Dip in my brand-new Le Creuset gratin dish that I’d gotten from the best part-time job I ever had and brought it to the party.
About ten minutes later, I went to grab some snacks, and the gratin dish was completely empty. My roommate walked up to me and said, “WHAT was THAT STUFF you made? Oh my god was that good.” Someone else heard her and echoed her sentiments and expressed dismay that it was gone.
This was new to me.
“Sara, Bring that Stuff”
I made it for my family at Thanksgiving. And just about every Thanksgiving after that, by demand.
I became known for Artichoke Spinach Dip. Friends told me to bring “That Stuff’ to their potluck parties. I never kept the recipe a secret (after all, it wasn’t mine), but people never really believed me.
“MAYONNAISE?!” A friend once shouted at me at another party after overhearing someone tell him the recipe that I’d just given them. “I thought you’d made a cream sauce! It’s just mayo?! How does that work?”
Two rules for the best Artichoke Spinach Dip
There are two rules for Artichoke Spinach Dip: 1) squeeze out all the water from the spinach that you possibly can, and 2) use the cheap shit. Don’t try to jazz this up with fresh ingredients or fancy cheeses. There’s alchemy in the melding of all this cheapness. Don’t mess with it.
Just eat That Stuff. Long live the 90s!
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The Best Artichoke Spinach Dip (aka That Stuff)
- Shallow baking dish. I use a Le Creuset gratin. A cake pan would probably do in a pinch.
- 1 14 oz can artichoke hearts, chopped
- 1 10 oz box frozen chopped spinach, thawed, water squeezed out as much as possible squeezing out the water is absolutely essential
- 1 4 oz can chopped green chilies think old school taco night
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese the cheap stuff, in the "italian" isle
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Add to a baking dish, preferably one with a lot of surface area (I use a gratin dish).
- Bake until golden and bubbly (about 20-25 minutes).
- Serve warm with crackers or tortilla chips (or, you know, a spoon, standing up in the kitchen).