Showing posts with label cream cheese. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cream cheese. Show all posts

Friday, November 11, 2011

Mango Chutney Cheese Ball

This week I am continuing my quest for the best of the best when it comes to appetizers. As the holiday parties are quickly approaching, I find myself trying to find some new, delicious, never before served by me, appetizers! So this week I tried a Mango Chutney Cheese Ball.  I didn't want to buy the chutney because, well, I like to make the food myself. That way I know it is good, and I know what is in it. I only needed a couple tablespoons of the chutney for the cheese ball, but the chutney recipe I used made 2 1/2 cups. But that's alright. Chutney makes a delicious accompaniment  to chicken and pork  and is perfect for fall.  So we have 2 recipes here. We will make the chutney first, and then the cheese ball.This is so good. I know you are going to like it.
Mango Chutney
(this is adapted from a recipe by Robert Pickens)
2 1/2 cups diced Mangos
1" piece of peeled fresh Ginger
1 Serrano Chili~minced
1 clove Garlic~minced
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Cider Vinegar
1/2 cup firmly packed Light Brown Sugar
1/2 cup dried Cranberries
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Peel the mangos. It took 2  1/2 mangos for  2  1/2 cups.
Mangos can be difficult to peel. Cut the ends off.
Let the mango sit firmly on one end. 
Cut around the center, leaving the core alone.
Be very careful. The mango is so slippery, it can fall out
of your hand and you end up cut.
Slice the pieces you cut off the mango, and then chunk the pieces.
Place the mango in a medium saucepan.
Cut the ends off of the serrano pepper.
Slit the pepper down the middle. Remove the seeds
by running the pepper under running water. DO NOT
inhale over the water as the seeds are being hit by the water.
It will make you cough and choke.
All clean and seed free!
Cut the halves into thirds.
Chop the thirds into very small pieces.
Add to the pan.
Smash the clove of garlic.
Chop the garlic into slices.
Chop the slices into small pieces.
Add to the pan with the mango and the pepper.
Add the piece of ginger in. Keep it whole.
Add the salt and the cider vinegar.
Add the light brown sugar into the saucepan.
Add the cranberries and the pepper.
Mix the chutney together and bring it to a boil. 
Once it is boiling, reduce the heat, and simmer until
it becomes thick, about 25 minutes. 
It will look like this when it is done. Let cool.

Cheese Ball

8 oz Cream Cheese~softened
2 tablespoons Mango Chutney~chopped
1 teaspoon Curry Powder
1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/2 cup chopped Pecans
Start by chopping the pecans.
They should be a pretty fine chop because they are
going to coat the outside of the cheese ball.
The fine chop will stick better and look prettier.
Put the cream cheese in the food processor.
You can use a bowl and a mixer if you like.
Add the chutney.
Add the curry powder and the ginger.
Pulse until well mixed. 6-8 times.
Form the cheese mix into a ball.
Roll the ball in the chopped pecans.
Keep rolling and covering.
Keep at it until it is completely covered.
You should use all the pecans you chopped.
Cover the cheese ball with plastic and refrigerate.
Serve with crackers!

Let me know if you like this appetizer!

I will keep trying new ones every week until
about the second week in December.

Thanks for stopping by
The Freshman Cook!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Baked Apricot Spread

During the holidays, I entertain a lot. I like to serve different foods at each event. I really don't like to duplicate. Sometimes, a few of my guests might be invited to several of the get togethers, and I want them to have something different each time. The only exception is if someone requests that I make something they had at a previous party. Then I happily try to accommodate them.  As a result, I need a lot of recipes. Through out the year I try to find recipes that I think will work. This is the case with today's baked Apricot Spread. I borrowed this appetizer from the Kraft Foods web site. I am so glad I did. It is tasty and delicious. It goes together quickly, and there are only 5 ingredients. Truthfully, I put this together in  about 5 minutes. (+ the cook time). Also, I'll bet that you have most of these ingredients in your fridge and pantry right now.!

Baked Apricot Spread
(serves 8) 
(preheat oven to 350 degrees)
4 oz. Cream Cheese~softened
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar
1/4 cup Sour Cream
1/4 cup sliced, dried Apricots
1/3 cup Sliced Almonds
The recipe called for sliced Dried Apricots. 
I used the dried Apricots~YUM!, but I chopped them instead
of slicing them. I thought they might be easier for guests to handle
if they were smaller. I don't know?? It's just my paranoia coming
out like it does every time I entertain.
Anyway, I chopped them by slicing them first, and then...
turning the slices around, and chopping them up.
Set them aside for a minute.
Put the softened cream cheese, and the cheddar into a bowl.
Mix it up really well. 
I like to do this by wearing food safe gloves, and using my hands.
It really gets things mixed perfectly, but a mixer will do the job also!
Add the sour cream and apricots.
Mix again like above.
Place mix in a baking dish.
Top with the sliced almonds. 
The recipe called for 1/3 cup. I just put them on the 
top of the dish until I thought there were enough. 
I did not make them thick, and I tried to 
cover the entire surface.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Serve with crackers of your choice. 
This recipe is great tasting, hot or cold!

Thanks for joining me today!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Creamy Stuffed Mushrooms

These stuffed mushrooms are delicious. They are the perfect appetizer. You can keep them hot on the stove, or warm in the oven until you are ready to serve. They look and taste fancy, but they are really easy to make.

Creamy Stuffed Mushrooms
1/2 pound Button Mushroom (about 7)
3 oz Cream Cheese softened
2 tablespoons Chopped Onions
3 Pieces of Shrimp
1/2 cup Heaping Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 stalk Green Onion
 Peel the shrimp.
Cut out the back vein.
You don't have to do this. I just prefer to.

Get the shrimp cooking in a pan with about 2 teaspoons
of butter. Cook it on medium high until pink, and a
little crispy.
While the shrimp is cooking, rinse the mushrooms,
and remove the stems.
Let the shrimp continue to cook.
Dry the mushrooms.
When your shrimp are cooked, let them cool.
While the shrimp are cooling, melt about 2 tablespoons
of butter in a pan, and start the mushrooms cooking
on medium.
Put a cover on the pan.
While the mushrooms are cooking, chop the shrimp
into bite size pieces.
Combine the cream cheese, onion, shrimp,
and cheddar cheese. Mix thoroughly.
Check your mushrooms, and flip them over. They
should look brown like this.
Cover the pan again.
Open the pan and check the mushroom. Flip them over.
They should look like this. Cover with a pan again,
but only for a few minutes.
This is not a very good picture, but the mushroom should
fill up with water. When they do, dump it into the pan.
Fill the mushrooms with the stuffing.
Cover the pan for a few minutes, until the stuffing
becomes warm to the touch.
Chop up some of the green onion. Start at the nice part
of the green end.
Sprinkle the tops with green onion pieces.


Thanks for joining me!

Come back later today when we
make our
Blue Cheese Caesar Salad!

See you then!