You may think that calling ANYTHING "the ultimate" is just hyperbole. Nope. How do I know? Personal experience. It was given a test by a bunch of hungry billiard-players at Salt-n-Pepa's house. Yes, THAT Salt-n-Pepa.
I am currently working on a cookbook project with Salt-n-Pepa, the iconic hip-hop duo. These ladies can COOK in the kitchen as well as they can onstage! One winter Sunday, we were cooking up a storm, testing recipes, and they wanted to create a crazy-good dip that they knew the guys in their lives would love. (Salt's son is a world-class spinach dip fiend, and will eat an entire bowl as a meal...but don't tell anyone! Remember when you were so young that calories didn't count? Sigh...)
Pepa's house was filled with a bunch of her family's friends, hanging out and playing pool. This was our test audience to a "T." We put out the dip...and they inhaled it. Immediately. Disappeared. Gone. Outta here. Licking the bowl.
The next thing we knew, they were out the door to go to the grocery store and buy ingredients for another batch. (Actually, a double batch.) That's a pretty good endorsement!
The Ultimate Super Bowl Spinach Dip
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Here’s a dip that pushes all of the right buttons—warm, creamy, cheesy, boldly flavored. Consider making a double batch because any leftovers (which are unlikely to happen) will reheat well.
One 10-ounce package thawed frozen spinach (see Note)
One 8-ounce package cream cheese, well softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Romano cheese, divided
2 scallions, white and green parts, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Hot red pepper sauce
Tortilla chips or crackers, for serving
1. A handful at a time, squeeze the spinach to remove excess liquid; set aside.
2. Mash the cream cheese, mayonnaise, mozzarella and 1/4 cup of the Romano cheese together in a medium bowl with a rubber spatula. Stir in the spinach, scallions, and garlic. Season to taste with the hot sauce. Spread in an 8-inch square baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining Romano cheese. (The dip can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day.)
3. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF.
4. Bake the dip, uncovered, until it is bubbling and the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve hot with the chips.