A brief statement of purpose

There are already about a billion food blogs, so what might be a justification of yet another one, and who am I to do it?

What I aim to do in this blog is more than simply provide recipes. While recipes of my own will, in fact, be posted, some of the blog will consist of a variety of comments about restaurants and their practices, food preparation tips, personal annoyances (such as loud restaurants and the epidemic of misspellings on menus), and whatever else pops into my head relating to what we put in our mouths (and swallow, I hasten to add). The whole thing is meant to be somewhat provocative. I hope, if nothing else, it won't be boring. I, of course, solicit reader participation.

As for who I am and why I think I might have something to contribute to public discussions on this essential and pleasurable activity - eating - you'll have to click here.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Yet another baked artichoke dip

What could possibly serve as an excuse for offering another recipe for what is quite possibly the most ubiquitous appetizer on restaurant menus? I’m surprised McDonald’s hasn’t come up with variation of it. Hmmm, imagine it: They could just make it rather thick so it wouldn’t squirt out the sides and slather it between the top and bottom of a hamburger bun. Call it “McChokes”. You saw it here first, and it’s now public, so when they actually market it, I’ll be calling for my share of the profits.
I don’t claim this version constitutes a “quantum” leap unless you use the word “quantum” in the correct sense which means the smallest discrete part of a physical entity. With the exception of physicists, people almost always use the term quantum leap to mean an enormous advancement of some kind; in other words, big, not small. It can mean a sudden change, though, but neither do I claim the property of suddenness for this recipe. 
All right, enough of that. I think what makes this version rather tasty is the Boursin cheese (which comes in different flavors) and the marjoram. And as Forrest Gump said in a different context, “That’s all I have to say about that.”
There is no photo, not only because I haven’t made it recently but because everyone can easily conceptualize its appearance. 
3 oz. Boursin cheese
3 oz. Parmesan, Romano, or Asiago cheese, grated
3 Tbs mayonnaise
3 Tbs sour cream
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp onion salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 14 oz. can artichoke hearts, packed in water, well-drained, and squeezed to remove  any remaining water
Put everything except for a couple of tablespoons of the hard cheeses in a food processor and process, taking care not to puree the mixture; it should be a bit rough. Prepare an oven-proof ramekin or serving dish with non-stick spray and fill with the mixture. Scatter the reserved cheese over the top and sprinkle with some paprika. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for around 20 minutes or until it’s bubbly and the cheese on top has browned.
Note: Do not under any circumstances use the unrefrigerated “parmesan” cheese found in those green cylinders near the pasta. It’s crap. Get a wedge of the cheese - no, it doesn’t have to be from Italy - and grate what you need.

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