NEW ORLEANS — Over the course of its 300-year history, New Orleans’ cuisine has been one of its greatest gifts to the world. Now, as we celebrate the city’s 300th birthday and WWL-TV’s 60th anniversary, our gift to you is a free e-cookbook, with free summertime recipes.

Click here to download the free "Summer Favorites" cookbook as well as the previous editions with Recipes for Cajun cooking, Lent, Global Cuisine and Holiday Recipes.

This edition of our "360 In the Kitchen" cookbook series focuses on dishes that are perfect for the long, hot south Louisiana summer. Coping with the heat and humidity of a New Orleans summer has been a way of life here from the beginning. From salads and dishes with lighter sauces to icy cool desserts, our cookbook gives you some creative recipe ideas to try without sacrificing any of the flavor that New Orleans cooks are known for.

Baked Spinach Dip

Ingredients:

  • 6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled, divided (optional)
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 can (8 ounces) sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped
  • 1-1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 2 green onions, chopped, divided
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tsp. dill weed
  • 1 tsp. Creole seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
  • 1/8 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 unsliced round loaf sourdough bread or any rustic loaf
  • Cucumber slices

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Reserve 1 tablespoon crumbled bacon for topping. Beat cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth. Stir in spinach, water chestnuts, 1 cup cheese, half of the green onions, garlic, seasonings and remaining bacon (if using).
  2. Cut a 1-1/2-in. slice off top of bread. Hollow out the bottom, leaving a 1/2-in.-thick shell. Cut all removed bread into cubes for serving. Fill shell with dip. Wrap in heavy-duty foil, tenting foil over dip. Bake on a baking sheet 1-1/4 hours.
  3. Open foil carefully, allowing steam to escape. Sprinkle dip with remaining cheese and green onion and the reserved bacon. Bake until cheese is melted, 10-15 minutes. Serve warm with sliced cucumber, cubed bread, or chips.

More Recipes: 

Watch Chef Kevin Belton every Tuesday morning on Eyewitness Morning News on WWL-TV and WUPL.

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