Everybody Loves Cream Cheese Spreads

Take a package of cream cheese, add a few choice ingredients, and in minutes you'll have an appetizer spread that everyone will love, say Chowhounds in a recent Home Cooking discussion thread. Njchicaa cuts a brick of cream cheese in half horizontally and spreads one half with wasabi paste before topping with the other slab. Then she rolls the whole thing in toasted sesame seeds and drizzles with soy sauce. Served with Triscuits, it's "a HUGE hit every time," Njchicaa says. ChristinaMason adds her own twist, a topping of cilantro, scallions, and minced jalapeƱos.

letsindulge sprinkles room-temperature cream cheese with lemon zest and coarsely ground pepper, then pours cocktail sauce over it before topping with bay shrimp and chives. splatgirl makes a spread by blending 8 ounces of cream cheese in the food processor with half a cup of oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of capers, a teaspoon or two of sherry vinegar, fresh or dried rosemary, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

Several hounds say it's easy to make a big impression with a rich torta made from a combination of cream cheese, butter, and feta, layered in a mold with ingredients like pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, and roasted peppers. coll makes this layered dip, and says it makes an "over the top presentation for just a few minutes of work."

On the simpler side, Skyline chili dip (cream cheese covered with chili and cheese, baked till bubbling) is "a Midwest party favorite," mattstolz says. biondanonima thinks Hormel canned chili with no beans is perfect for this dish.

Discuss: I need to make a dish for a party...using cream cheese.....

Photo of cream cheese by Flickr member richmooremi under Creative Commons