Whether you have a surplus of cream cheese on your hands, or buy some especially to make dip, you’ll love this easy spreadable treat.
After making homemade cream cheese last weekend and spreading some on breakfast bagels, I had a little over pound of it left. That’s way, way more cream cheese than we could possibly eat on bagels. I gave some away, but quickly realized I needed to get creative, or risk wasting a whole lot of deliciousness. These are the hazards of successful kitchen projects.
In the quiet of the afternoon before our Amazing Race dinner party last Sunday, I stirred up an herbed cream cheese dip. This is really too simple to call a recipe, and you can customize the herbs to suit your own taste.
I used a tablespoon of herbs to a cup of cream cheese, and the herbs were a mixture of everything that looked good: a dash of salt, a lot of pepper, dill, chives, crushed rosemary, thyme. Homemade cream cheese is light and fluffy, so I just stirred the herbs in. A hand mixer would make quicker work of this process with store-bought cream cheese, which is quite a bit stiffer.
The bowl of herbed cream cheese dip was beautiful—snowy white flecked with delicate green. But to gild the lily, I sprinkled Syrian Za’atar, my current spice obsession, over the top.
I don’t know if the Za’atar was what turned a good bowl of dip into a hand-me-the-crack-pipe bowl of dip, but I suspect it had something to do with it.
As everyone started to arrive, I set the dip out on the counter as a prequel to dinner, alongside a bowl of crackers and a knife. Pretty soon, people were bypassing the knife as too cumbersome or slow or something, and standing at the counter digging unabashedly into the bowl with their crackers.
I consider guests abandoning utensils in their haste to eat a definite compliment.