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Appetizers
Spinach and Bell Pepper Dip

1/4 cup corn oil
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup diced yellow onion
1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups chicken stock
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoon crumbled bouillon cubes
1-1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
12 ounces frozen spinach, defrosted, drained, and chopped
1 cup finely shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3/4 teaspoon hot sauce

In a large saucepan, warm the corn oil and butter together over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the onion and bell pepper, stirring occasionally, until wilted (3 to 4 minutes). Stir in the garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes longer, stirring frequently and stopping before the onion and garlic brown. Sprinkle in the flour and continue cooking, stirring continuously, until the mixture turns a golden-blond color (10 to 15 minutes).

Whisking continuously, slowly pour the stock in until it is smoothly incorporated.

When the mixture begins to simmer, stir in the cream. Return to simmer.

Remove from heat, add the parmesan, chicken base, or bouillon cubes, lemon juice, and sugar; stir until thoroughly blended.

Add sour cream, spinach, Monterey Jack cheese and hot sauce; stir until the ingredients are thoroughly combined and the cheese has melted.

Transfer to a warmed serving bowl and serve immediately with toasted pita chips that have been cut into wedges.