Who doesn’t like smoky sweet salty flavors? This may be a mix of Mediterranean and Southwestern flavors but they really work well together. Give this as a gift in a basket along with things to serve it with and perhaps a bottle of ground chipotle chile powder. You could include a pretty serving platter and spreading knife as well. You can make tortilla wheels or stuffed mushrooms with this too!
- 8 ounces neufchatel cheese
- 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (1/2 cup)
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 teaspoon chili powder, adjust to taste
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper, adjust to taste (smoked chile)
- 1⁄4 cup bacon, crumbled (I used Hormel real crumbled bacon bits)
- 1⁄4 cup kalamata olive, pitted and minced
- 1⁄4 cup dried cranberries, minced
- 1⁄4 cup dates, pitted and minced
- 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (1/4 cup)
- chile powder, smoked or paprika
- feta cheese, crumbled
- parsley, chopped
- bagel chips
- pita chips
- assorted crudites
- egg, hard boiled
- flour tortilla
- In a small bowl, cream together neufchatel and feta, scraping the bowl until well combined.
- Beat in chili powder and ground chipotle powder and adjust to taste.
- Scrape bowl and beat in bacon, olives, cranberries, and dates until well combined.
- Stir in last 1/4 cup of crumbled feta cheese.
- Put in a covered container and chill for at least 2 hours. The flavors will develop more the longer it sits. You can mold it by pressing plastic wrap into a bowl and pressing the spread into it, cover and chill, then turn out onto serving platter.
- To serve, spread into a pretty bowl on a platter or mound on a platter. Sprinkle with feta, chili powder and fresh chopped parsley. Surround with desired foods.
- For Tortilla Wheels, Spread this on flour tortillas, roll them up and tightly wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for a few hours until firm. Unwrap them, trim away ends and cut each roll into 8 slices crosswise to make wheels. You could try baking them too! I would try 400°F Place wheels on baking sheets and bake 15-20 minutes until browned.
- For stuffed mushrooms, hollow out mushrooms, you can add some chopped stems to the spread. Fill mushrooms with spread and bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes.
This is a very interesting combination of flavors. I like the sweet- spicy- salty mix. The only thing I changed was to replace the ground chipotle, which I did not have, with hot/sharp paprika (brought back from Hungary). I served with crackers but since I have some left, I will be trying it wrapped in tortilla also. Thanks for sharing!