I bought a brick of cream cheese and I'd like to make it into a spread (like the kind you buy in a tub). Any ideas?
Maryeileen from Brooklyn, OH
I have a few ideas for you:
First, leave the cream cheese out to soften on the counter about 30 min. to an hour. Stir it real well at that point.
Add one of the following:
A couple tablespoons chopped, dried chives
A couple tablespoons honey
A teaspoon or so, to start, of a spice or herb that suits your fancy, such as dried cilantro (or fresh), or oregano, parsley, dill, etc. etc. I would think that fresh herbs and spices would bring more "zing" to your spread, however.
Along that line, I highly recommend the little tubes of herb mixtures that are in the produce section over in the fresh herbs division. I have tried the dill mixture for dill salad sandwiches and it is OUT OF THIS WORLD! My husband just raves over the "dill in the tube" as he calls it. The flavor is so bright and fresh. Try one of those for your spread; there are many other herbal combos besides dill.
You could also try mixing in:
A handful of mini-chocolate chips; a half banana and teaspoon of lemon juice; coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts and either green or black olives--or both.
Bron (aka 'gigglemagoo')
If you want a fuit flavored spread, use the fruit of your choice and blend it with softened cream cheese. A hard fruit like an apple whould be very finely chopped. Crush fruits, like berries, peaches, and plums. You can use canned fruits, just be sure to drain them well.
All you need to do is, stir the cream cheese to a spreading consistency and blend in as much, or as little of the fruit as meets your taste. You can add cinnamon, nutmeg, even apple pie spice [for an apple pie taste], to get just the right strength and balance of flavor. You can also use fruit preserves [not jelly] or a thick puree.
For other flavors you can add dried soup mixes [onion, mushroom, even chicken]. Maybe you want ranch flavor? A dried salad dressing mix,
The supermarkets have envelopes of all kinds of flavors for sauces, soups, salad dressings, and meat dishes [taco, sloppy joe flavor].
If you want a vegetable flavor, puree a seeded drained tomato, very finely chop some celery, add a touch of parsley, maybe use some chives or celery powder [not salt].
Lance makes packages of 6 snack crackers with cream cheese and chives [my fav].
Start with the cheese and experiment for sweet, sour, spicy. or what ever you want.
If you want to test a flavor, take maybe a teaspoon of the cheese, add the flavorings, and let sit maybe 10 minutes then taste.
Of course the results can go on crackers, bagels, toast, celery stalks, chips. pancakes, waffles. Make crustless finger sandwiches.
But most of all....
For a small amount Take 16 oz. of cream cheese, cut up a half to 1 cup green olives add 2 teaspoons of olilve juice from olives Mix well Spread on bagels or great on crackers Very easy.
This is a favorite, give it a try.
250 g cream cheese, softened
1/2cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonaise
2 cans(113g )small or broken shrmp,rinse and drain*
1 cup seafood sauce
2 cups mozzarella, shredded
1 green pepper,chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1 tomato, diced
Mix first 3 ingredients and spread over a 12" pizza pan.
Scatter shrimp over the cheese mixture.
Add layers of seafood sauce,mozzarella,peppers, onions and tomato.
Cover and chill till ready to serve
Supply assorted crackers for "scooping".
*If you don't like shrimp you can use the artificial crab or lobster(don't use the crab in the can). Use any or all seafood that you like, don't be afraid to mix them up.
You didn't say if you wanted it 'flavored' or not. If not, you can use a little milk or sour cream and use your hand mixer to make it smooth.
I ahve a friend who jsut made one for me, it was yummy. Use about the ammount of cream cheese that would come in a regular cube and mix in some canned green chilies (to taste) and spread on tortillas and roll up. It was yummy!
Also, you could spread some on toasted sourdough bread and then topwith a mixture of onion, minced garlic, sundried tomatoes and capers. Mmmmmm
Thank you for all of the flavor/seasoning ideas but I guess I should have been more specific.
One of the guest posts on 9/22 answered what I had been looking for...how to make it creamy (making it into the creamy consistency like what you would get in the tub version).
I take a brick of cream cheese , put in the mircowave for 30 seconds and then add a can of salmon drained,and take the skin out . I mash it in with some Mrs Dash citrus seasoning
it is smooth. Lovely on toasted bagel
I use fat free yogurt to thin the cream cheese to tub like consistancy. You may need to stir it when you get it back out of the refrig.
Take a 8 oz. block of cream cheese, at room temperature place in a bowl. Pour hot pepper jelly over it & serve with assorted crackers. For Christmas, it's pretty, to do one with red pepper jelly and one with green pepper jelly.
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