I'm a little obsessed with potatoes right now. It's been a long winter in New England and indulging in comfort food has kind of taken over. My last post, Twice Baked and Loaded inspired this decadent, yummy potato casserole and the fried potato pancakes that came soon after. Get ready for some good eating. Yes this is a rich side dish, and as a matter of fact it's one of the most decadent concoctions I've ever put together. But it's a side dish, so you don't have to eat it all in one sitting (you'll want to save some for the Bonus Fried Tater Cakes), and it does have it's redeeming qualities- like it's loaded with veggies (artichokes and spinach), slow roasted garlic and of course lots of love. Ready? Let's cook.
Artichoke and Spinach Dip Potato Casserole
Roasted Garlic 1 small head of garlic
1 T olive oil
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
8 oz Neufchatel cheese (lower fat cream cheese) softened to room temp
1/3 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup reduced fat shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup lite sour cream
1/3 cup lite mayonnaise
5 oz frozen chopped spinach thawed or defrosted in the microwave, then squeezed dry to remove any liquid
1 medium-large can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 head of roasted garlic
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp hot sauce
5-6 Yukon Gold potatoes (medium sized) cut into 1 inch pieces
2-3 T unsalted butter
1/4 cup 1/2 and 1/2
salt and pepper
To roast the garlic: Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. Place a baking sheet in the oven as it pre heats. Remove some of the outer layers of the garlic skin if they are plentiful. Cut the top off the head of the garlic and place on a piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Seal the foil and place on pre-heated baking sheet. Roast 30-40 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and squeeze the roasted pulp into your mixing bowl (discarding the skin) with the Neufchatel. We're going to put the dip together.
To roasted garlic and Neufchatel, combine the rest of the dip ingredients.
While you're making the dip, get the potatoes started. Put diced potatoes into a medium size saucepan, cover with salted cold water and bring to a boil on stovetop. Cook about 20 minutes until fork tender. Remove from heat, drain water, and let taters dry a bit in the hot pot they've cooked in. Time to give these babies some love. Add your butter and Half and Half to the potatoes and lovingly give them the mash of their lives. If I had a ricer, this would be when I would grab it- it's the perfect utensil for the creamiest mashed potatoes. But my old fashioned potato masher did almost as well.
That is one pot of creamy goodness. Take a taste, add a bit more salt and pepper if you think it needs the additional seasoning. I added a tad more salt. Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees and spritz your baking dish with a veggie oil spray. In medium sized mixing bowl combine the mashed potatoes with the dip. Take another taste. I think you should be very pleased. If you're feeling extra decadent, sprinkle a little more Parm on top of the casserole, you know I did.
Bake uncovered for 45 minutes and serve.
If, and I stress if, you have any leftovers, you're going to want to try these tater pancakes inspired by Sarah Moulton, one of my favorite cooks ever. I only had enough left over to make 3 pancakes (well.... I did make them rather large and could have gotten maybe 5 or 6). I followed her recipe to the letter, and yes, you do have to cook them at least 15 minutes per side on medium low. Fabulous recipe, and a fulfilling experiment for me.
Happy Spring! And now that the weather is changing, let's bring on the salads, I'm ready!