From the very first day it premiered 3 years ago, I have been a faithful viewer of The Chew.  From Michael Symon’s funny giggle and banter with Mario Batali to Carla Hall’s witty personality, I just love it!  This week a couple of recipes made me take notice but specifically Carla’s Cheesy Baked Spinach Dip.  dip
  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 1 tablespoon Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 medium Yellow Onion; finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons Flour
  • 3 cups Milk
  • 1 packet Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® dip mix
  • 6 ounces Cream Cheese
  • 1 cup Swiss Cheese; shredded – preferably Gruyere – divided (I must admit, I double!)
  • 10 ounces Frozen Spinach; thawed and squeezed to remove excess liquid
  • Salt
  • Optional:  2 oz can of chopped jalapeno peppers
Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Over medium heat, melt Butter with Olive Oil in a sauce pot. Add Onions, season with Salt and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until soft and pale golden. Sprinkle in the Flour and stir until a dry paste forms.
  • Slowly whisk in Milk, trying to avoid lumps. Stir in the Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® dip mix and reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until thickened slightly.
  • Stir in the Cream Cheese and half of the Swiss Cheese until melted. Add the Spinach and remove from heat.
  • Divide mixture between two small oven safe baking dishes. (This can be prepared a few days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer)  Notice, that in the picture Carla did hers in miniature ramekins but I chose two separate dishes (One with the original recipe and one with my added change of jalapeno peppers and hot sauce)
  • Place the baking dishes on a rimmed sheet pan and top with the remaining Swiss Cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly on top.DSCN0115

Bottom Line:  Bland (Sorry, Carla)!  Even the one that I added the jalapenos to fell flat.  There are so many better recipes out there for if you are going to have this type of decadent dish!  This one needs a lot of help and it isn’t worth making in your kitchen. 

That being said, another recipe I tried from the same show turned out perfectly and I will be sharing it soon…Stay tuned!


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