Battle Cream Cheese!
I have four packages of cream cheese leftover from the 4th and my sister and I are going to have a Cream Cheese Battle this Saturday. She gets two packages and I get two. My husband will decide the winner.
I would love to hear your cream cheese ideas for an entree or dessert. I just know there has to be some excellent recipes out there!
I love Roy Finnamore's Savory Cheesecake. Here's the ingredient list and directions, which I've paraphrased:
3 slices close-textured white bread (like Pepperidge Farm)
½ cup walnuts
4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup ricotta
5 large eggs
¾ pound asiago, shredded
¼ cup chopped oil-cured olives (about 12)
½ teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
Pinch of cayenne
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and while its heating, toast the bread until lightly brown. Tear into pieces and process in a food processor with the walnuts until they’re fine crumbs. Add the butter and process until the butter is completely mixed in. Put in a 10-inch springform pan and press down on the bottom only with your fingers.
Beat the cream cheese in a standing mixer at medium high speed until smooth, then add ricotta, beating to combine. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat several minutes per egg, you want to beat in a lot of air, and be sure to scrape the bowl before adding each egg. Beat in the asiago, then add the olives, oregano, cayenne and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
Pour the batter into the springform pan, shaking the pan to even the batter. Bake for about an hour, until puffed and golden, then let it cool for 30 minutes on a rack. Run a knife around the edge of the cake and release the springform sides. You can serve immediately or later. If you refrigerate the cake, let it warm at room temperature a while before serving. This cake also freezes wonderfully.
I posted this Lamb Noodles Romanoff recipe on CHOW: http://www.chow.com/recipes/18632-lam...
Another favorite, clipped from a woman's mag years ago, is to pound boneless skin-on chicken breasts, put 2tbsp of chive-onion or garden vegetable cream cheese (you'd need to mix up your own) on each, roll up skin side out, wrap lengthwise with a slice of bacon, tuck edges under and place seam side down in a baking dish. 375-400 for 30-45 min, depending on size of breasts, until bacon and skin are crisp. Cheese seeps out and mixes with bacon and chicken drippings to form an intense sauce. You can do the same thing with cut up bacon and cubes of chicken, in a skillet, but the rolls look fancy, are not difficult, and taste a little better, I think.
Look at recipes using cream cheese in ice cream.
One of the best desserts I ever improvised was to blend drained ricotta with cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Scoop onto serving plate, surround with supremes of blood orange, drizzle with Trader Joe's pomegranate glaze, which has since been discontinued.
Adjust the concept, with your choice of fruit - eg almond extract, sliced pears, and melted currant jelly that has been mixed with a splash of balsamic vinegar to taste.