Tag Archives: Cream Cheese

Deviled Ham Spread


If you’re like me, and maybe you’re not, but if you are…

You still have ham left over from Christmas and you may even be sick and tired of eating it.

I’m not, but I still have a lot of ham to get through.   I did make some lovely Split Pea soup the other day from the ham bone, and we’ve had Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwiches and Ham and Eggs for breakfast and a couple of sandwiches along the way as well.

Gosh it kinda feels like the everlasting leftover turkey at this point.

Which leaves me approximately 6 pounds to go through.

I’m kidding, we’ve only got 2.8 lbs left.

And even less after today.

At any rate, there are a bunch of us who gather together most Sundays and I subjected them to some of my leftover ham last weekend.

But not just leftover Ham, I wanted to have fun with it, and since I love that spread you can buy in the can.
OK, so I’ve been known to buy a can and eat it all.

So I went down to the kitchen and …

I swear sometimes you shouldn’t let me loose in the kitchen.   I have way too much fun.

Here’s my take on Deviled Ham

Recipe:

2 cups cubed cooked ham
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup Creme Fraiche or Sour Cream
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Grey Poupon Mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons Yellow Mustard
2 shallots, finely minced
2 garlic scapes, or one small garlic clove minced

Put the ham into the food processor, and process until it’s all broken up.  I actually tried just chopping it with my knife, but decided to try my little processor and it worked.  Yay!!!!

Place the softened cream cheese into a bowl and add the mustard, mayonnaise and creme fraiche.

Add the minced garlic and shallots  (you can also let them have a quick whirl in food processor if you like).
Mix together and then add the ham.   Mix until all the ingredients are combined.   Taste at this point and add more mustard or creme fraiche if you like.

 

Put the ham mixture into the fridge and let it set there for a couple of hours, let the shallots and garlic get acquainted with the ham.

Serve with crackers.

And get out of the way, you don’t want to get trampled.

I’ll be making this again soon, or at least the next time I make a large baked ham.

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Salmon Mousse


I made some Salmon Mousse last month for Tapas and have to say I thought it needed something ‘more’.

I followed the recipe exactly, but…

So I headed back into town, 7 miles away for an extra ingredient, I ‘knew’ that adding some smoked salmon would be just the ticket.    Actually, I needed horseradish and napkins as well for Tapas, so it wasn’t a ‘one ingredient’ trip.

I had found the recipe for the Salmon Mousse here and since I had some salmon in the freezer, and wanted to do something fun with it, this seemed to be a natural fit.

I made the little tarts, poached some salmon I had in the freezer and proceeded to make them.  I didn’t care for the taste of the filling which is why I ended up heading back to town in search of some smoked salmon which I then added to the rest of the filling and decided it was as good as it was going to get.

And I have to admit, that even though I did not care for the tarts, one of my guests said that they did complement each other very well.

I guess I ‘taste tested’ it too much.

My ‘taste’ was tired.

Here’s the recipe for the Salmon filling first, and when I read the reviews of the recipe, they suggested making this the night before so that the ingredients could get acquainted overnight and pretend they knew it other very well.  So I did.  Make it the night before that is and stuck it in the fridge so the ingredients could get acquainted and meld together.

Here’s how I made it.

Recipe:
8 oz. Cream Cheese
1 cup fully cooked Salmon, skin and bones removed, or in this case, 4 small fillets that I had in the freezer.
3 oz. smoked salmon
2 tablespoons broth (I used the broth I poached the salmon in)
2 tablespoons Sour Cream
1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely minced dill + dill for garnishing

Mix all the ingredients together and chill overnight so that the flavours will meld together and get acquainted.

I poached the salmon in a little water and white wine, then added some sliced lemons, dried dill and green onions.

 

Poached them gently then removed the salmon from the liquid, reserving a little of it for the rest of the filling.
When poaching fish, you barely cover it with liquid, never let it come to a rolling boil or even a simmer, you want the temp of the water to be about 180 degrees, this will cook the fish, really.

I let the salmon cool, then took out the dark bits, if you  have a cat handy, you can feed them this, or even give it to your dog if they like fish.  My current dog doesn’t like anything weird like fish, but…

Threw the flaked salmon into the bowl of my Kitchen Aid, along with the rest of the filling ingredients;

 

 

And let ‘er rip,  well, I mixed them together, and then they went into the fridge to rest.
While that was going on I made the tarts.

1/2 cup softened butter
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup flour
Mix together and then turn out onto a pastry sheet like this.

I then kneaded it a little before dividing it up.

I knew this would make 24 tarts, so I divided it into four pieces…

Then cut each of the four pieces in half,

Each piece was then cut into thirds.  This way you know that the dough is divided evenly.

I rolled them into a ball, and pressed them  into my mini tart pans, making a shell of them.

Along the way, I had a helper, sigh…

She was more interested in the cupboard though, all that lovely space to explore.

No room for the bird in this cupboard…

After I baked the tarts at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes I took them out and was a little dismayed, they ‘ poofed’ up a lot, and when I tasted them, I really didn’t like the taste, so I decided to make some baked Wonton cups.

I just used a cookie cutter to cut rounds out, and then baked them in the oven.

I did learn a little trick.  I sprayed them, very lightly with some cooking spray before baking them.  This helped them to brown up and crisp without making them too hard.

I served some of them on some peeled cucumber rounds and decorated them with some fresh dill from my garden.

OK, so it’s just one little dill plant, but it will grow…

 

And I also served some of the salmon filling in the wonton cups, and they did disappear in short order.

Beer Cheese Dip


You’ve heard of Beer Cheese Soup I’m sure, but have you ever heard of, or tasted Beer Cheese Dip?

I made some Friday for my weekly get together with the NPA club, and I think they liked it.   I got the idea for the recipe from one I saw on Facebook, and then played with it.  And played a little more.

Well, I had to taste test it.

And the fact I had to use beer in it, not the whole bottle though, was a good thing.   There was no leftover beer when I was done.

Beer Cheese Dip

8 oz. Cream Cheese  (use low fat if you like), creamed
1-2 teaspoons Ranch Dressing Dip

1/2 cup-1/2 bottle of beer

4 oz. shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Mix all that together, and put in fridge to let the flavours come together and dance.

Serve with pretzels or salty potato chips or gee, put some on a baked potato.  I don’t know, I just know it was good, and really kinda different.

Green Onion Spread


Many years ago I fell in love with this spread.  It was only available in limited amounts at a local grocery store.   They actually would make it and sell it at holiday’s but for some reason only made limited amounts at a time.

It was oniony, spicy, and oh so very good.    Lately I’ve been on a kind of kick of trying to replicate foods that I really like.   Why I never thought I could try to do this before, I have no idea.   100_7318

I made this last weekend and took it to a weekly gathering I attend, and watched people just inhale this.  OK, so they scooped it up with crackers, but they loved the taste.

 

Ingredients

8 oz Cream Cheese, low-fat is fine here
4 oz. low-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 bunch green onions, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 jalapeño, minced  (or you could add more)
1-2 ounces finely shredded Pepper Jack Cheese
To start with, chop up a bunch of green onions, or scallions if you choose.   I cut them lengthwise into quarters, and them sliced them across so they were minced.   You really don’t want chunks of onions if you can help it.   I then took a clove of garlic, from the elephant garlic I had bought, and minced that finely.   I went to the freezer and took out a half of a frozen jalapeño and minced it.   Dumped it into the bowl and added an 8 oz. block of room temperature cream cheese, mixed that together with the onions, garlic and jalapeño.
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Add the sour cream, grated Pepper Jack Cheese, and mayonnaise.    Taste at this point and you can add more Jalapeno or more cheese or just leave it as is.
I served this with some Pretzel crackers but it also tasted great with Tortilla Chips.     I also think this would be awesome on some baked potato’s, or some fresh french bread or ….
Gotta stop now, and go make some more.   I’m getting all kinds of ideas.

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Chicken


Awhile back I was talking with a friend and comparing notes on using our George Foreman grills.   I have one and use it a lot.   And I do mean a lot.    I don’t own a proper BBQ grill anymore, and have to say that for the most part I don’t miss it.   She was telling me how easy bacon wrapped shrimp were to do on the grill.    And it sounded so good.   But then I ran across this recipe on  the Charbroil grill site.    Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Stuffed chicken breasts.  YUM.

I thought that it might just work out on my George Forman grill so I decided to make them for dinner one night.   Now, I did not chill the filling, and the jalapeno’s I used were way too mild for our taste, but on the whole, not a bad dish.

I had two big chicken breasts in the freezer so I pulled them out, let them thaw for a little while, then while they were still a little frozen cut them into cutlets, and then proceeded to cut pockets into the cutlets.   Believe me when I say these were BIG chicken breasts.   And it worked very well.

  I had the filling made, cream cheese, chopped jalapeno’s and then decided to add some Shredded Pepper Jack to the mixture.   And if you’ve read any of my posts in the past, you know I always have frozen jalapeno’s in the freezer.  Never know when you’re going to need them.

Now, at this point I should have stuffed the chicken breasts and then put them into the fridge to firm up, but hey, it was late, I wanted to get dinner made and on the table so I just stuffed them and wrapped them in bacon.

I had my grill heated up, and placed the chicken breasts on the grill, and had my handy, dandy wired thermometer stuck in the largest of the chicken breasts to check the temp.

Well, the filling kinda leaked out, and the grill didn’t cook them as evenly as I would have liked, but the flavour wasn’t bad.   I think if I make this again, I’ll change the ratio of cheese a little, more grated cheese, and instead of chopping the jalapeño peppers up, I’ll just stuff the pepper, then put it inside the chicken breast.   I think the filling will stay in place better.   And I will par cook the bacon a little as well.   Because I used the grill, the bacon didn’t cook as well as it could have.   But it was still pretty darn good.

And we ate them all…

Savoury Cheesecake


Our Boat Club potluck was last week, and Karen brought this really neat dish, and even better she gave me  the recipe and I want to share it here.   By the way, this went fast at our gathering. Very tasty.  I also want to say that Karen comes up with some really cool dishes and luckily for me, she shares, recipes that is.   Here’s the link to the original post at Spinach Tiger.

Savoury Cheesecake

1 bag, 7 oz. Kettle Chips, crushed
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 pound full fat cream cheese  (2- 8 ounce packages)  at room temperature.
1/3 Cup Sour Cream
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Sea Salt and White Pepper  (no measurements given, so would use 1/4 teaspoon of each)
4 eggs

Extra chives for decorating
Sour Cream for decorating, optional

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.   One ten inch Springform pan*

Crush the potato chips up using either a rolling-pin, food processor or my favorite, put the chips in a ziploc bag and smack with your hand to make smaller chips.
Add one of the tablespoons of butter to the crushed chips and press into a springform pan, bake for 5 minutes. Set aside.

Melt the other tablespoon of butter in a small pan, add the spring onions, cook for just a minute or so to soften, but don’t brown them.  Set aside.

Whip the softened cream cheese, then add the seasonings and Sour Cream, whip until smooth.
Add the eggs, one at a time, whip until smooth and at the end add in the chopped chives.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake at 475 degrees for about 10 minutes.   Then turn the heat down to 250 degrees and continue baking for another 20 to 25 minutes or until set.   The cheesecake should be a little jiggly.

Turn oven off, and open door and allow to rest for about 15 minutes.
You can serve this warm with some crackers or toast, or go ahead and refrigerate but bring to room temperature before serving.

* If using two 6 inch springform pans, bake at 475 for 5 minutes, then turn the oven down to 250 and bake an extra 10 to 15 minutes.

It’s fun to decorate the top with some chives before baking, and you can also serve it with some sour cream spread over the top with more chopped chives and spring onions, or more of the crushed potato chips.
It would also be fun to find some Sour Cream and Onion chips to use as the crust.   But you do need the heavier weight Kettle Chips for this recipe.  The others are just too flimsy and break down too much.

Stuffed Jalapeno’s


Everyone has one, and this is mine.   A dish that can go to any potluck or covered dish affair and hold its head up.   And it’s great for Super Bowl Sunday as well.
Stuffed Jalapeno’s are easy to prepare, pretty to look at, and yummy to eat.    Here goes;

Start with some nice fresh jalapeno’s, give them a bath.

You then need to cut them in two, remove the seeds and membranes.

Pile them up in a pan;

Now prepare the filling;

Cooked sausage and cream cheese

Smoosh them together, (check out the glove, more about it later),

Stuff the peppers, then add a slice of cheese on top,  and put them in the oven.

Pull them out after a half hour or so and enjoy;

Here’s the full recipe:

Stuffed Jalapeno’s
1-2 8 oz. Cream Cheese
1 to 1.5 lb. Sausage, fried
Jalapeno’s (15 – 20 or …)
Cheddar or Monterey Jack Cheese,  use whatever kind you like.
1 pair disposable gloves.
Start by putting on a pair of disposable gloves, or at least one glove, the one you will be handling the jalapeno’s with. I usually just glove my left hand because I’m right handed. Trust me on this, you won’t be sorry. Jalapeno’s can be downright spiteful and nasty if you happen to rub a sensitive part of yourself if you haven’t protected your hand from the jalapeno juice.  I speak from painful experience on this one.
Cut Jalapeno’s in half and remove seeds and the membrane inside. Set aside.
Fry the sausage up, breaking it up a little, drain and set aside to cool.
Dump the cream cheese into a bowl and then put the cooled sausage on top and smoosh it all together. (I’ve found that if I use the other glove for this, it makes for a quicker cleanup. And no messy fingers. )
Fill the jalapeno’s with about a teaspoon to a tablespoon or so of the cream cheese/sausage mixture and place in a baking pan. When they are all filled, add a piece of cheese on top and put it in the oven for about 20-25 minutes at about 325 deg. Take them out of the oven, put on a serving dish and put them on the table. I would advise standing back at this point, as they tend to disappear.
Best part of this, if you end up with more filling than jalapeno’s (it has been known to happen), just stick it in the freezer and use up the next time. Same goes with jalapeno’s, you can stick them in the freezer after prep and use them up later on. Or just throw the leftover jalapeno’s into some other dish you need some heat in.
There are no exact measurements, roughly one pound sausage to 2 packages cream cheese to about 15 or 20 jalapeno’s, I think. I usually figure on about 2-3 per person, but that can vary as well.

Most important of all, enjoy.