To say “I’m not really into football” is a major understatement… When I was cheerleading captain in high school, my dad used to sit in the bleachers and hold up a “D” or “O” sign, to let me know whether our team was on offense or defense so I’d know which cheers to call, because I couldn’t be bothered to learn the rules of the game. And you can read my thoughts on the Super Bowl here. But, I do love any excuse to cook food that makes me feel all the happy feelings and will in no way help me fit in a wedding dress. So, yesterday I whipped up this drool-worthy bacon spinach dip with Tony as my sous chef/bacon crisper:
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 lb fresh spinach leaves (without stems)
1 lb good quality, thick-cut bacon
3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
8 oz sour cream
4 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 1/2 tablespoons minced pickled jalapeños
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons hot sauce (we like Cholula)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Pour the chopped pecans onto a baking sheet and bake until toasted and crispy (10 minutes.) Let them cool.
- Rinse and drain the spinach, then place the damp leaves in a large pot. Cover and cook over high heat until the leaves are wilted (4 minutes). Strain the excess water.
- Transfer the wilted spinach leaves to a food processor; chop briefly (I only needed to run mine for about 10 seconds; you don’t want to puree the leaves, so err on the coarser side.)
- Pour the maple syrup or honey in a frying pan over medium-high heat – Tony and I used Trader Joe’s Turkish Honey. Add the bacon and cook until crispy, turning it frequently, for about 15 minutes. Cool the bacon on paper towels.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the sour cream, cream cheese and mayonnaise; whip with a whisk (that’s fun to say out loud) until thoroughly blended. Mix in the pecans, jalapeños, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Add the spinach. Crumble the bacon into the mixture, saving one piece. Stir it all together, then crumble the final piece of bacon on top for garnish (and to let guests know it’s not vegetarian. You don’t see this in the picture because Tony ate that piece of bacon.)
*Lesson I learned the hard way: Have a receptacle to pour the scalding bacon grease into prepped and ready before cooking the bacon. I forgot to do this, but luckily my meathead man was on hand and sawed an empty can of La Croix Coconut soda in half with a fancy knife we got as an engagement present. Probably don’t try that at home, and do something safer/more Martha Stewart-ish.
Serve immediately with tortilla chips, or refrigerate then bring to room temperature before serving. Eat entire bowl by yourself, when you discover how delicious it is. Or share. Whichever.