Thursday, July 14, 2016

French Quarter Cheese Dip

I come from a long line of ladies that like to entertain.  My Aunt Sue has guests at her lake house, my Mom belongs to the Red Hat Ladies and is active in her church.  She and her friends have a monthly birthday group that eats together.  So we're always on the look out for new recipes for pot lucks and other occasions.  Most of my entertaining revolves around sports.  Whether we're tailgating or parked in front of the television with a big group of friends, we want something delicious to snack on.  You can't beat a cheese ball and crackers when you need a fun appetizer for a crowd.  But cheese balls bug me.  They look cute. But you have a giant softball-sized mound of cheese rolled in just a little bit of coating.  Once the outside is eaten, you're basically left with a lump of plain cream cheese.  Whenever I make a cheese ball, I prefer to spread it on a serving platter and top it with the coating.  That way every bite has an equal amount of cream cheese and topping.  That solves the plain jane ball of cheese debacle.  The other great thing about this recipe is the cream cheese is flavored and seasoned.  It has a savory onion and garlic flavor while the topping is slightly sweet, slightly tangy.  The perfect combination.  Definitely a recipe I'll be sharing with my mom and my aunt.

French Quarter Cheese Dip....
Like a cheese ball only better.
And perfect for entertaining.

French Quarter Cheese Dip

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons freshly grated onion
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
3/4 cup chopped toasted pecans

Combine the softened cream cheese, grated onion and minced garlic.  Mix well and spread on to a serving platter.  In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the brown sugar stirring until smooth.  Add the Worcestershire sauce and mustard.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook about 3 minutes over low heat. Remove from heat.  Add pecans.  The mixture should be slightly grainy (think mushy pecan praline candy).  Cool mixture slightly and spread over cream cheese mixture.  Serve with crackers for dipping.

Prep Time:  Approximately 20 minutes     Cook Time:  Approximately 10 minutes

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