Jalapeno Artichoke “Backfire” Dip

Recently, my friend Susi made a VERY quick trip to Minnesota. She moved away almost two years ago – on the DAY of our tornado, no less. Great timing on her part, but we’ve missed her ever since. As has become tradition, we met up at Psycho Suzi’s for drinks, nibbles, and great conversation.

Breaking from “tradition”… this was the first time I’d been back to that restaurant since I regained my ability to tolerate gluten. Though the menu had now VASTLY opened up to me, I ended up ordering the same thing I usually ordered – the “Backfire” dip. While the dip itself is listed as gluten free, the normal accompaniment – baguette – is decidedly NOT… and I always had to order mine with corn chips. This time, I was looking forward to trying my old favorite in the way it was intended, and it did not disappoint!

That night, I decided that the time had come to start making it at home. The dip is just far too good to reserve for the times when we’re willing to brave the loud, sensory-overload environment at the restaurant. I bought the ingredients the next morning, banged out a recipe, and … Wow.

I had decided to make my version creamier and cheesier than the source material, and added white wine and provolone. The end result is nothing short of spectacular. Definitely the best artichoke dip I’ve ever had!

This makes a fair amount of dip, so it’s great for parties. If you – like us – only have a couple of people to feed, never fear – it reheats well, and it’s just way too addictive to go to waste. You will plow through a batch in no time!

Jalepeno Artichoke Dip
Inspired by Psycho Suzi‘s “Backfire” Dip

2 cans artichoke hearts (Artichoke size doesn’t matter), drained and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
3 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped*
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 bricks (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
8 oz provolone cheese, shredded
1 tsp fresh lemon zest
1/2 tsp pepper
salt to taste

Heat broiler to high.

In a large saucepan over medium high heat, cook artichoke hearts, peppers, olive oil, and garlic together for a few minutes, until peppers soften a little. Add white wine, cook for another minute.

Carefully mix in softened cream cheese, stirring gently until smooth and well incorporated. Continue heating, stirring frequently, until cheese starts to bubble.

Add in 1 cup of the Parmesan, all of the provolone, as well as the lemon zest and pepper. Stir constantly, until all cheese is melted and smooth. Season with salt, to taste.

Transfer mixture to an oven safe glass baking dish, such as Pyrex – we used a large Pyrex loaf pan. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese.

Broil for a few minutes, until the top of the dip is as browned as you’d like it. Serve hot, with sliced crusty baguette or veggies. Serving corn chips with it is a great option to keep it gluten free, if needed!

* You can remove the seeds and ribs if you’d like a more mild dip – we left it all in.

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