Lonely Leftovers: Get More From Your Spinach-Artichoke Dip

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Someone once told me that it's not a party without spinach and artichoke dip. Keeping this old adage in mind, I made a batch of the gooey three-dairy dip for my recent housewarming. Only I forgot to take the casserole out of the oven until everybody had filled their bellies with Lone Star. Not wanting to put an entire container of cream cheese to waste, I wrapped seven-eights of the stuff up in tinfoil and put it in the fridge.

Unless you're having another party sometime really soon, there is not that much that you can do with old artichoke dip. I can tell you firsthand, it's not like hummus. Snacking on this Super Bowl Sunday staple alone in early April makes you feel pretty bad about yourself.

If you don't want to trash the leftovers, there are a couple of ways you can repurpose spinach-artichoke dip. The first is also the easiest -- spinach-artichoke pasta sauce. The sauce is not great for people with milk allergies, as it contains milk and butter on top of the cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise typical of the dip. I heated a tablespoon of butter and a quarter cup of milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the milk began to bubble, I added about two cups of dip to the pan. Stirring constantly, I melted the dip down until the sauce had a uniform temperature and achieved the desired consistency. You can pour it over your favorite pasta as prepared according to its instructions. In my house we used fusilli, because the spirals are great for catching extra sauce. You could probably use a tomato base instead of milk to make this dish a bit healthier.

On the third day after the party, I finished off our dip in a chicken dish. After frying two chicken breasts in a non-stick skillet, I deglazed the pan with white wine. The method here is very similar to that of the cream sauce. After the alcohol sizzles out of the wine, add in a few spoonfuls of dip. Melt the dip down and pour over the chicken beasts. I served this meal with rice and extra sauteed spinach.

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