Start by dicing up the bacon and frying it in the bottom of a pot large enough to accommodate the entire batch of dip. Make sure the bacon is nice and crispy but don’t let it burn. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on paper towels.
In the hot pan on the stove add the onions to the bacon fat, and sauté until soft and clear. When the onions are almost cooked add in the garlic. Then add the flour. Stir the pot consistently until a light roux forms, about 2 minutes.
Now you will add the milk and cream, you may need to turn the heat down to be sure nothing burns. Add the milk and cream slowly, stirring well. This is a good point to add the hot sauce, black pepper, and nutmeg.
Now add the drained spinach, artichokes, lemon juice and parsley. Mix well and then add in the cubed brie and the cup of the other mild cheese, monetary jack is perfect but honestly any good white cheese you have will work. My last batch used a mix of mozzarella and jarlsberg. Just don’t forget to remove that rind off the brie. Last mix your bacon back into the dip. Be sure to taste your dip now and adjust any flavors you need to.
I will then allow the pot to cool and put the dip into the fridge at least overnight. The dip will only get better sitting in the fridge and it’s also convenient to be able to make this dip a day or two before the party. I also highly recommend that you don’t let your family know that the dip is edible at this point. Tell them it’s still raw, trust me, or else you will not have dip for your party. That being said, you don’t have to let the dip rest overnight you can bake it right now.
When I am ready to serve the dip I preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Then scoop the dip into three 500ml ramekins that are well greased with cooking spray. Sprinkle a little grated cheese on top of each ramekin and pop them into the oven on a cookie sheet for about 45 minutes if the dip is cold or only about 15 minutes of the dip is right off the stove. I have found cooking the dip in my toaster oven is prefect at parties as it leaves the main oven free for other things.
For a big party I will start one ramekin so it's ready just before guests arrive, and then pop the second one into the oven as soon as my first guest actually walks in the door. I wait and see how popular the dip is and how big the party is before the third one goes in the oven. I like to serve the dip with pita or bagel chips, but you can use your favorite crackers, celery sticks or tortilla chips too. And for my mother and husband I always put a bottle of Cholula sauce next to the dip. Enjoy!!