Sunday, October 16, 2011

Curried Cream Cheese with Dried Cherries, Pine Nuts, and Green Onions

Back to football Sunday appetizers!

I love conflicting tastes in one dish.  I'm the person who always reaches for the sweet and salty combo. Or sweet and sour. Or sweet and savory. Or hot and sweet.  My taste buds get pretty bored so I find these interesting tastes shock them back to life.

I also love to try things that don't seem like they would go together. I find that I'm usually pleasantly surprised.  For example, chocolate covered potato chips.  I thought it sounded totally bizarre.  So obviously I had to try them.  And thank God that I did because they're also totally addictive.

Well, that's what drew me to this dip.  The sweetness of the dried cherries (it was originally cranberries, but I like cherries better), the bite of the green onion, the spicy curry and pepper jelly, the creamy cream cheese, and the crunchy pine nuts.  My taste buds were anticipating a roller-coaster ride.

That and it's literally everything Tom hates all in one dish.  Everything that I just mentioned that I love about the dip, he despises... other than cream cheese. I told him about it and he simply said, "eewww".  So I figured this should be an appetizer that I make for personal consumption, which is fine by me because it's so tasty that I don't want to share.

This isn't a very football oriented appetizer (sorry!).  But just think of it as a very New York autumn taco dip.  This might be better suited for a wine and cheese party with adventurous foodies. If you're looking to try something really simple and different, give this a shot... maybe your taste buds need to be brought back to life too!  I've eaten it on wheat thins, pretzels, rice cakes, and carrots so far.  All of them were delicious, though the carrots didn't pick up the cherries very well so I had to grab a spoon.  Because the dip has so much going on, it'd be best to keep whatever you choose pretty plain.

Now I'm going to go open a box of wine and enjoy my personal fancy shmancy cheese dip. 

Curried Cream Cheese with Dried Cherries, Pine Nuts, and Green Onions (from Once Upon a Recipe)
·         8 ounces of fat freecream cheese, softened
·         2 tsp. curry powder (or you can use an combination of savory spices like cayenne pepper, garlic powder, cloves, onion powder)
·         2 tsp. ground cumin
·         1/2 cup red pepper or red chile jelly, divided
·         1/4 cup dried cherries (or cranberries)
·         1/4 cup pine nuts
·         1/4 cup green onions, chopped (about 3 green onions)
1.  Preheat the oven to 350.  Place pine nuts on a baking sheet and bake for 5-8 minutes.
2.  Combine the cream cheese, spices, and 3 TBSP. of the jelly until smooth.
3.  Spread the mixture into the bottom of a shallow dip dish (roughly 5″ x 7″).
4.  Spread the remaining jelly over top of the cream cheese mixture. Combine the dried cherries, pine nuts, and green onions in a small bowl to mix, then sprinkle evenly over top of the dip.
5.  Chill until you serve. 

 Yeah, it's in a tupperware container.  That's all I've got, okay? Jeez.

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