Spinach Artichoke Dip Stuffed Garlic Bread

I hope I never go through another bad break-up. I certainly don’t plan to. But if the unfortunate day comes when I’m licking my emotional wounds while watching Pretty Woman and ugly-crying on the couch, I will break one break-up stereotype: I’ll stay away from the Ben & Jerry’s. I’ll make myself this Spinach and Artichoke Dip Stuffed Garlic Bread and eat the whole baguette in one sitting instead. Forget frozen desserts, nothing soothes a broken heart quite like cheesy, garlicky carbs, right? Mind you, I have a theory that feeding James delicious things makes him less likely to get fed up with me. Maybe it’s Spinach and Artichoke Dip Stuffed Garlic Bread that helps keep me from bad break-up territory in the first place. It certainly doesn’t hurt. Really, this Stuffed Garlic Bread is a great choice whether you’re dealing with a split or making date night dinner. Or having a party. Or feeding the family. Basically, any time that you want to consume the bread and cheese equivalent of pure joy. How’s it made? First, I cut a baguette into 4 pieces and then I use a long knife to hollow out the insides. It’s much easier to do than it seems, just cut in a circular shape, remove the knife and set it aside, and then use your hands to push or pull out pieces until you’ve hollowed out all of the loose bread. Luckily, I had James around to help me out while I snapped some photos! Next, I need to make the filling. The Spinach and Artichoke dip is similar to what we’re used to eating as an appetizer, but slightly less creamy. I want to make sure it’s thick enough that it stays in place in the sliced baguette instead of oozing out all over the place when it’s cooked, so I leave out the mayonnaise and sour cream and rely on cream cheese and mozzarella instead. Because I don’t wring the spinach out after cooking it, it gives just off just enough liquid to thin the cheeses without making things watery or messy. Then it’s time to stuff the baguette. I use a spoon to help push the filling inside of the baguette quarters, making sure that the Spinach and Artichoke Dip is well-packed. Once I fill the bread, I line up the pieces so that they match up to create one big baguette on a cutting board. Then, I slice the baguette with a sharp knife, making sure not to apply too much pressure and push out the dip filling. Once it’s sliced, I slide the stuffed bread off of the cutting board and onto a long piece of heavy duty aluminum foil. Now I’ve got some tasty stuffed bread, but it’s certainly not garlic bread. I microwave some butter and minced garlic together and brush the mixture aaaaaalllllll over the baguette, letting it drip down in between the slices and spreading over any remaining garlic bits that remain at the bottom of the buttery bowl. Then it’s time to wrap it up tightly and bake all of that deliciousness together. I bake the bread all wrapped up for 15 minutes, and then unwrap it and cook for 5 more minutes to get the top to brown just slightly. Once it’s cooked, I grate some parmesan on top, sprinkle with some torn basil leaves, and then dig in. If you can manage to eat just one slice and share the rest, please share with me your willpower secret. Because I eat almost half of the baguette every single time I make this.

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