I have an unhealthy love for all things cream cheese (bagels, cheesecake, creamy soups etc). It's always in my fridge. I needed another appetizer for Thanksgiving a few years ago and didn't feel like hitting the store again so off I went to rummage in the cabinets and fridge to see what I could come up with. This cheese spread is what I ended up putting on the table. Super easy to make and super tasty to eat. All you need is a food processor. The flavor of the smoked gouda will make your vegetarian friends think you are trying to trick them into eating bacon.
1 8oz block light cream cheese, softened
1/2 to 3/4 cup grated smoked gouda cheese
5-8 sundried tomatoes*
3 cloves or 2 tsps of roasted garlic
salt and pepper to taste
Put the first four ingredients in food processor and pulse until well blended. Taste before adding the salt and pepper (the cheese is salty so it may be unnecessary). Garnish with parsley or basil and serve at room temperature with crackers or pretzel thins.
* I use oil-packed sundried tomatoes but you can certainly use dried ones if that's what you have on hand, just reconstitue them first by pouring boiling water over them and let them soak for 20-30 minutes. They'll release more flavor and be less likely to break your food processor blade if you soften them like this first!
All text and photographs © 2008, 2009 Food is to love / Andrea Quigley