There are certain recipes I make for holiday celebrations and family get-togethers that are crowd pleasers, but have to be retired after a few years because I get tired of making them. They just seem to lose the luster after a while. Once example of a retired recipe is my Pumpkin Ginger Trifle. Delicious. Rich. Festive. But one year I realized that the rum-soaked ginger snaps just didn't hit the same way anymore.
(Okay, as I describe this recipe I'm actually starting to crave it so maybe I'll bring it out of the vault soon, lol).
One recipe I think will never go into retirement is this Cranberry Jalapeño Cream Cheese Dip.
It is equal parts savory, sweet, spicy, creamy, merry, and the PERFECT palette-wetter as you anticipate that big Thanksgiving or Christmas feast. (note: I always make this for Christmas Eve dinner, but since I'll be having a baby around that time this year, we got to enjoy it for Thanksgiving).
Did I mention the star of this recipe is fresh cranberries? Yes, THE highly underrated fruit that hits its peak around this time of year because honestly do we eve know where we can buy whole cranberries from January-October? So I try to enjoy them while I can!
And, as is true to most of the recipe I will be posting here in The Kitchen, the ingredients are minimal and pretty clean, and directions are straight-forward! Because, let's be honest, a holiday appetizer should not be the thing taking up all your cooking time and energy.
Alright, let's jump in!
1 bag whole fresh cranberries (12 oz)
3 green onions
1 medium-sized jalapeño pepper
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
16 oz cream cheese, softened
Ritz crackers, or crackers of your choice
Food processor or blender
Finely chop the green onions, cilantro, and jalapeño pepper (make sure to remove the seeds from the jalapeño).
Chop the cranberries in the food processor or blender (this can also be done by hand, but it is much more tedious). Be sure not to over-blend the cranberries - the texture should be that of a rough chop, not a puree.
Add the green onions, cilantro, jalapeño pepper, cumin, salt, sugar, and lemon juice from the 1/2 lemon to the food processor to mix in with the cranberries.
Transfer the cranberry mixture to a bowl and refrigerate from 4 hours-overnight.
In the meantime, spread the softened cream cheese in the bottom of a serving dish.
After the cranberry mixture has cooled, spread it on top of the cream cheese.
Serve with crackers and enjoy!