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Mushroom, Spinach & Hatch Dip

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We were lucky enough to get an enormous box of fresh medium and hot Hatch chiles (chiles grown in the Hatch Valley of New Mexico) delivered to us from the folks over at Melissa's/World Variety Produce right before the Labor Day Weekend. About a week earlier, they had sent us dried Hatch chiles, Hatch chile powder and a copy of Melissa's Hatch Chile Cookbook.

This cookbook has a ton of great recipes! While some recipes like Hatch Chile S'mores, Red Beans & Farro-Stuffed Hatch Chiles, Hatch Chile Summer Salad, Hatch Chile Polenta Hash & Hatch Baked Ziti made my mouth water, I wanted to try out a couple of dip recipes for the holiday weekend. 

One of the ones I decided to make was this Mushroom, Spinach and Hatch Dip.  The combination seemed like a match made in Heaven, not to mention very few steps, which I always appreciate when entertaining.

Everyone loved this dip! It's one of those that you just can't stop eating.  There's a little heat from the peppers (I used hot Hatch peppers as well as mild ones, so if you don't like spicy just use the mild ones), and that plays really nicely off the spinach and mushrooms - especially if you use a little nutmeg when sauteing them.  This has the right amount of cheese to make it a little gooey without taking the focus off the spinach, mushrooms and peppers.  The roasted  hatch peppers are kind of smoky and peppery all at the same time.

This is great with crostini, tortilla chips, fritos and even carrots or bell pepper if you are trying to watch your carbs and calories.

A few notes:
- The mushroom sauteing instructions listed below are my own.  I highly the recommend you take this extra step. By doing so, the mushroom go from being so-so to absolutely delicious and the garlic, wine, nutmeg and pepper work really well with the Hatch chiles and spinach. 
- I used about 1/3 a cup of mozzarella and 1/3 a cup of Monterrey jack cheese.
- You can make this dip ahead of time and refrigerate, just be sure to mix it up good before baking and add on some extra time (maybe about 5-10 minutes) to allot for the cold temperature. Just watch it and you'll be fine!

Mushroom, Spinach & Hatch Dip

1 cup sauteed chopped mushrooms*
1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed & well drained
4 Hatch Chiles - roasted, peeled, stemmed & seeded and chopped**
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup mayo
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly grease a 9 inch pie plate.

Combine the mushrooms, spinach, chiles, Parmesan, mayo, mozzarella and chile powder in a bowl. Mix well. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pie plate.

Bake until set, about 20 minutes.

* To saute the chopped mushrooms: melt a a tbsp or 2 of butter in a large pan over medium heat.  Add mushrooms.  Season with fresh ground pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, garlic powder and freshly grated nutmeg.  Add a few splashes of dry white wine. Stir occasionally until the mushrooms have some nice color to them and have become soft.

** To roast under the broiler: Preheat the broiler to high.  Arrange the chiles in a single layer on a baking sheet and set under the broiler. Roast until blackened and blistered all over, turning occasionally. To roast on a grill: Heat the grill until hot.  Using long handled tongs, turn the chiles over the direct heat occasionally until they are blackened and blistered all over. Regardless of which method of roasting used, when finished: transfer the chiles to a ziploc bag or bowl with tight fitting lid.  Allow to cool some.  The skins should then easily peel off. 

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