25 November 2012

Savory Spinach & Artichoke Cheesecake

So this is kind of a restaurant recreation... and by kind of, I mean it's ten thousand bajillion zillion times better than the original.  It's true!  Also true?  I'm not cute when I brag.  I prance and sing and do the most obnoxious touchdown dances all the eff over the place.

And that's what I'm doing currently.  Like a boss.

Savory Spinach and Artichoke Cheesecake

Savory Spinach & Artichoke Cheesecake
for a mini [perfectly sized to share (hah!) with a few friends]
4 + 1/2 inch mini springform pan [find them at target, michaels, + amazon]
1/2 cup of frozen spinach, thawed + squeezed dry
1/2 cup cream cheese [regular or 1/3 fat]
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
3/4 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup of artichoke hearts
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1 large egg
2 TBSP chopped green onion
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp of salt

note: allow ingredients time to reach room temperature for optimal results! <3
In the event that you wind up with a few spoonfuls of leftover spinach artichoke amazingness.  Top it with parmesan cheese, warm in the oven or microwave, and dig in! 

optional cracker crust
1/4 cup of crushed whole grain ritz-style crackers
1-2 TBSP melted butter
[quadruple the measurements for a standard springform pan]

for a standard-sized cheesecake [fit for a party or potluck]
2 cups frozen spinach, thawed + squeezed dry
2 cups cream cheese [regular or 1/3 fat... 16oz total]
2 cups ricotta cheese
3 cups feta cheese
1 cup of artichoke hearts
1/2 cup chopped green onion
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
4 large eggs
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp of salt
Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes


Savory Spinach and Artichoke Cheesecake

get cooking!
Preheat your oven to 350F and measure out your ingredients.  Then walk away.  This recipe works best when at room temperature.  Also, drain and strain both your spinach and your artichokes.  This will prevent the soggification of your masterpiece.  Prep your springform pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper [totally optional] and lightly greasing the sides with butter.  Next wrap the outside of the pan in two layers of aluminum foil.  To do this, cut two large squares of foil, place the pan on top, centered, and fold to make a barrier along the bottom and sides, leaving the top open for your cheesecake.  Place the pan in a baking dish and set aside.  Here's a visual.  

Combine cream cheese, ricotta, and feta in your food processor.  Pulse just a few times to mix gently. [I know you like to go crazy with the buttons, try to restrain yourself]  Next add your egg(s) spinach, artichoke, garlic, salt and garlic powder and pulse again. Lastly, add the chopped green onion and spoon-fold into the mixture as you pour it into your cheesecake pan.  If you're making a crust [see below] add that to the springform pan first.

I decided to mimic a cheesecake even further by using savory whole grain ritz crackers to replace the traditional graham cracker crust.  Finely crush crackers and combine with melted butter.  Spread evenly onto the parchment paper at the bottom of your spring-form pan and top with your cheesecake filling.

Place the spring-form pan inside a lasagna-style baking dish [example] and fill with enough hot water to reach about halfway up the cheesecake pan, but no higher.  Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 50 minutes.  [add an extra 10-15 minutes for a standard springform]  When finished, the cheesecake will be golden around the edges and wiggle a little when the pan is gently nudged.  Turn off the oven but leave the cheesecake inside to cool down slowly.  After an hour has passed, cover with saran wrap and place the cheesecake in the fridge for a minimum 3 hours to set the shape.  It can be stored in the fridge up to 2 days in advance, making this a perfect make-ahead appetizer!  

Savory Spinach and Artichoke Cheesecake

Ready to dig in?  Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil on top and pop the cheesecake back in the oven for 15 minutes and serve hot alongside crostini, white corn tortilla chips, or your favorite crackers.  Broccoli, celery, and carrot sticks should also be present for good measure.  [I'm certain there's a law stating so!]  Garnish with crumbled feta or shaved parmesan cheese if you're feeling fancy.

so... how was it?
In-freaking-credible!  Remember that annoying happy dance I spoke of?  Still doing it.  I'm certain at this point it doubles as my cardio for the day.  Recipe testing three rounds of this bad boy was mahhhhvelous!  I think P and I have currently consumed enough spinach to merit Popeye-like muscles, complete with a sassy anchor tattoo.
Popeye Spinach
"I yam what I yam!"  [source]

Sure you can convert this to plan-jane spinach dip for your holiday party.... but then you'd have to deal with the social atrocity of complete strangers double-dipping their faces off.  Not to mention the cringe-worthy inevitability of losing a broken chip in the dip bowl, thus leaving you with the decision to fish it out with another chip or be the jerk who left soggy chip remnants in what was once a pristine bowl of dip.  

Eff that.  Make the cheesecake.  It's fancy-schmantsy, uber impressive, and everyone gets their own slice to attack with the veggie/carb of their choosing.  Everyone wins.  Well everyone that was on-time to the shindig.  That guy who showed up late?  He's left to nibble the stray cheesecake crumbs and the lone carrot that someone most likely licked and left behind.  

The moral of the story?  Make the cheesecake =)

Um... now.

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13 comments:

  1. that looks so savory and delicious!!! I may have to indulge!!

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  2. I saw "cheesecake" and was like, "but HOW", I love this!! I will totally be making this for our Christmas party :)

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  3. YUM! I absolutely love artichoke dip. Mmmm :)

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  4. I'm going to need this. I am also going to need those little toasts. I happen to have my own hand model who can feed me...did you try this with hot sauce? did you die of happy?

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  5. OOH YOU SO SO HAD HAD ME at restaurant recreation.
    and the husband.

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  6. Very cute!

    I was definitely one of those kids snacking on spinach artichoke dip all day on THursday... good stuff....

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  7. Man, that looks so good. You have me craving spinach cheesecake and it is only 9 am. So want to make this. By the way, your samosa twice baked potatoes are a family staple in my house. :)

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  8. Jenn, you've done it again! A-FREAKING-MAZING! You have me wanting to stuff my face right this very instant! And it's 10:30 am and I'm at work. :( Your recipes always look delcious, and your presentation skills are PHENOMENAL!

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  9. Um, loving this idea. Completely. It's such a great thing to take to a Christmas party!

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  10. How creative is this?!?!?!? I love it, and I'm almost certain I have everything I need in the fridge to make it! Squeeeeee!

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  11. This looks amazing and love all of the ingredients! YUM! Thank you!

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  12. This looks absolutely delicious! I HAVE to try this!!! Thanks for sharing!

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  13. I had this at a restaurant once and fell IN LOVE with it!! The restaurant closed and I desperately needed the recipe. This was on point exactly. ..so THANK YOU!

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