|Creamy Artichoke Habanero Dip|
Creamy, rich and delicious with just the right amount of kick - Man, was this good!
I wish I knew the name of the lady I was chatting with in line at the San Jose Airport week before last. She gave me the idea for this wonderful dip. We were talking about food and how we both liked spicy things and then she was telling me how she likes to mix cream cheese, mascarpone cheese and habanero peppers to make a dip. My mind instantly went to artichoke dip and I thought wow, that would make a nice variation. The only problem was - I've never worked with habanero peppers before.
Heat range between 150,000 to 575,000 Scoville units
compared to Jalapenos at 2,500 to 8,000 Scoville units
So, I'll be honest...the habanero peppers scared me. I used gloves when working with them (actually I just used a plastic sandwich baggie to cover my hand and it worked just fine). I also marinated them in a vinegar mixture thinking this would mellow them a little, and the result was fantastic.
|marinating in distilled white vinegar with garlic and kosher salt|
I simply cut up a couple of them, put in a bowl with some fresh chopped garlic and a heavy pinch of kosher salt, then covered with distilled white vinegar. I covered the bowl and let it set out on the counter for several days. The beauty of this was that not only was I able to use the peppers in this dip but the vinegar mixture is quite hot and very tasty now, and would be great sprinkled over cooked spinach or other greens (it's a southern thing).
Special prep: Marinate the fresh habanero peppers for 1-3 days in advance. If you don't want to do this, or don't have time, just use fresh or jarred jalapeno peppers.
Serves 4-6 as an appetizer
Oven 350 degrees F
4 ounces cream cheese (softened to room temperature)
4 ounces mascarpone cheese
1 7.5-ounce jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained and rough chopped (reserve liquid)
1 teaspoon diced marinated habanero peppers, seeds removed (or use 1 to 2 Tablespoons minced jarred or fresh jalapeno peppers)
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon good mayonnaise (I used Best)
2 Tablespoons grated Parmigiano Reggiano
2 teaspoons reserved liquid from marinated artichoke hearts
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
chopped fresh chives for garnish (or you could use green onions)
In medium bowl mix all ingredients together except fresh chives. Mixture will be the consistency of creamy mashed potatoes. Spoon mixture into medium baking dish and spread evenly.
Bake for 30 - 35 minutes until hot, bubbly and lightly browned. Garnish with fresh chives and serve with raw veggies, tortilla chips, french bread, pita bread, or whatever strikes your fancy.
|All I had on hand were a few tortillas,|
so I cut them up and served alongside
|so good it disappears!|
|luckily there was still more :-)|
Thank you for the inspiration, nice lady at the airport!