But right at the top of that list is CHEESE. I love cheese!
I love cheesy jokes!
I love cheesin it up in front of the camera!
I LOVE cheese!
Now I'm not sure if you know this, but cheese isn't very healthy. Sure a 1-ounce serving can supply up to a third of your daily calcium, plus protein and vitamin D, but there is a lot of fat in most of it. And while I'm thankful for the fat-free American singles on my grilled cheese sandwiches (THANKS KRAFT!!) it doesn't always do the trick for me. Sometimes you need something creamier...a little richer...with more flavor...something completely indulgent.
I was at a friends house recently and was introduced to smoked cream cheese. Immediately I was depressed knowing something THAT amazing existed and I couldn't have it. I also tasted it to confirm my misery.
Well in a style very typical of me, I was consumed by a stubbornness to recreate the magic. I spent the next few days researching cold smokers and temperatures, along with the durations and tools needed to accomplish this feat.
It wasn't until I was on my way to Home Depot to pick up the supplies that it hit me. LIQUID SMOKE!? Could it work? Would it be nasty? How expensive is it? How long will it take me to get to the grocery store from here traveling at approximately 60 miles per hour and assuming there is no traffic?
Truthfully none of that mattered, I had to try it.
After a measly $3.50 I realized that I had created something magical. Completely...utterly...magical. It was so magical that I remade it for blogger night with Three and a Half Stones To Go along with my Turkey & Stuffing Meatballs.
Let me introduce you to your new friend:
Smoked Cream Cheese - Hypo Style
2 tbsp liquid smoke
1/2 cup water
1 block fat free cream cheese
Montreal Steak Seasoning
ground black pepper
Find a dish that will fit the cream cheese with only a little room for liquid. (I used one of those Hillshire Farms lunch meat containers.) Mix the liquid smoke and water into that container. Add the cream cheese block. Allow this to sit for 20-30 minutes. The longer it sits the smokier it will taste. After your desired time is up drain all the liquid off the cheese. Drizzle the block with a little Tabasco, then coat it lightly with the seasonings. Press those seasonings gently into the block and serve.
This tastes amazing on everything from cucumbers to crackers to my coworkers breakfast sandwich. I didn't actually try the sandwich, but the sound effects he made after each bite lead me to believe that I am awesome.
I'll also be using this in my Baked Jalapeno Poppers to bribe people in the near future...I just have to find the right