The problem with food fashions is that really useful ingredients get put aside, left behind, left on the shelf. Remember cream cheese? If you are of a certain age you will recall the cream cheese dips. I had a particularly flavoursome one that involved chilli sauce, a jar of sweet and sour vegetables and loads of coriander leaves. It was quick, easy and magnificent.
But over time, cream cheese has lost its appeal in the food world. It is pretty much ignored in place of feta, ricotta, cream, tahini, avocado and other creamy and fashionable ingredients. In our kitchen, however, cream cheese still has its place on the refrigerator shelf amongst these other beautiful ingredients.
It isn’t a dip today, but the recipe is for a spread that we are making with cream cheese. It is so easy it is hardly a recipe, but we share it in the way that we usually do, for consistency. It is cream cheese mixed with orange juice and pecan nuts. Yum.
Use the spread on crackers, or on slices of fruit. If you would like to use it as a dip, simply whip it until it becomes lighter.
Similar recipes include Poached Oranges and Vanilla Ricotta, Black Olive and Herb Cream Cheese with Chilli Pine. Nuts, Quince Molasses and Tahini Spread, Miso and Tahini Sauce, and Yoghurt and Kaffir Lime Leaf Spread.
Orange and Pecan Cream Cheese
0.5 cups pecan nuts
juice 1 orange
220g cream cheese at room temp
1.5 Tblspn orange peel, grated
pinch sea salt and a shake of white pepper
Toast the pecan nuts until golden and chop.
Blend the remaining ingredients in a food processor or by hand, and then mix in the chopped pecans. Chill in the fridge before serving.
recipe notes and alternatives
Use the spread on crackers, or on slices of fruit.
If you would like to use it as a dip, simply whip it until it becomes lighter. If it is still too thick, thin with a little cream.
Orange or Lemon Cream Cheese
Another version of this recipe is sweeter, but can be used in the same way. It is delightful on toast.
Simply mix 1 Tblspn grated lemon or orange rind and 1 Tblspn honey with 250g cream cheese. Blend until smooth.