Jack Cheese Dip
1lb Monterey Jack cheese
8oz Neufchetal (or cream cheese)
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Fresh chives, several sprigs
Fresh oregano leaves, about 2tbsp
Fresh thyme, a tbsp or 2
Salt, to taste
First, I used my food processor’s shredding blade to shred the cheese. I then switched to the normal blade and added the neufchetal and Worcestershire sauce and pulsed until it was mixed together. Next I added a poblano pepper from my garden (seeded and cut up),
a tomato (a nice medium sized one, also cut up), and the herbs (tender stems are ok, but remove any larger woody stems), and continued to pulse until the tomato and pepper were nicely diced. Add a sprinkle salt and pulse a few more times to incorporate. Taste and add more salt if necessary. The tomato and pepper should be minced by now but not pulverized. Refrigerate for a few hours to let the flavors develop.
This was a nice, fresh late summer variation on a simple cheese dip idea. One pound of shredded cheese and 8 ounces of Neufchetal provide a base for endless possibilities.
[Neufchetal is very similar, and actually predates, cream cheese. It is lower in fat (usually about 30-33%) than cream cheese so not quite as dense or pungent, but almost always interchangeable.]
All sorts of herbs and spices can be added. Leave the seeds in or use a different pepper for a spicier dip. It can be left thick, as a cheeseball, or thinned into a spread with milk or buttermilk. Different combinations of cheeses can also switch things up. Once you get the hang of it, which doesn’t take long, you can experiment and have all kinds of fun. Serve with crackers, bread, vegetables, chips, whatever! This is my go-to party food (along with chex mix, I love chex mix).
Future variations will be tagged as “cheese dip.”