For the past few years, my friends and I have been monthly regulars at the steakhouse chain Hillstone (formerly known as Houston’s), where we catch up and order only three things from the menu, one being the warm spinach and artichoke dip. Once you have one bite, there's no stopping.
Needing a dip fix, I was inspired by the restaurant's spinach dip and started to play around with ingredients, forgoing cream cheese for a béchamel from scratch, adding a kick of cayenne, a bit of lemon for brightness, and lots of spinach and artichokes. While it’s not quite the same as the restaurant’s, it’s pretty darn close and works for me.
In a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, sauté garlic in butter until golden, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.
Slowly whisk in cream and broth and continue cooking until boiling. Once boiling, stir in Parmigiano-Reggiano, lemon juice, cayenne, and salt; stir until cheese has melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Stir sour cream into pan, and then fold in dry spinach and artichoke hearts. Fold the mixture into a microwave-safe 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Sprinkle cheddar evenly over top. At this point, the dip can be refrigerated until ready to serve, if desired. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until bubbly, or microwave on medium heat until bubbly. Serve with pita chips and slices of crusty bread.