I am blessed to know a number of really good cooks that I also can call friends. Mary Lynn is one of those. She is the epitome of laid back but busy. Being a grandmother of one, soon to be two, is one of her greatest joys. This recipe from her is one of my favorites. It is a nice change of pace from the Knorr's cold spinach dip and the spinach and artichoke one. Mary Lynn suggested to serve it alongside purple hull or black-eyed peas as side dish for a simple, filling supper. I think that is a great idea.
1 (10-ounce) box of frozen chopped spnach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 (8 -ounce) block of cream cheese at room temperature
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 - 4 tablespoons chopped jalapenos (from the jar)
2 fresh tomatoes, diced
Mix the thawed, dry spinach with the cream cheese; add the onions, then the Monterey Jack cheese, and finally the jalapenos and tomatoes. You do not want the tomatoes to be smashed. Bake at 400 degrees in a casserole that has been sprayed with cooking spray for 20 - 25 minutes or until lightly browned and heated thoroughly. Serve with pita chips. crackers, etc. Leftovers are good heated in the microwave.
I have added in drained hot Rotel as a subsitute for the fresh tomatoes. It works for us, but it will definitely add some heat. I have frozen this, and it tasted fine although it seemed to "weep" extra liquid. It wasn't a problem for us. I probably would not freeze it if I wanted to take it to a party.