“I received a gift card to offset the expense of my ingredients. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Milk Advisory Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”
The recipe I’m sharing with you today is a wickedly good California cream cheese appetizer. Most people who have been to my house for dinner know the one I’m talking about; the one that shocks you (in a good way) when you find out what it is. Its take one or two minutes to prepare and it’s awfully good. At least that’s the response everyone seems to have.
Today is the last day to enter the contest sponsored by The Recipe Redux and the California Milk Advisory Board. I wasn’t even thinking of entering this recipe because I already posted a beautiful entry for Homemade Yogurt – 3 Favors, but last night we were celebrating my son Gabriel’s completion of a master’s in Anthropology, and his upcoming military enlistment. His friend Max was raving about the dip I made (to be posted later). “But, he said, “I always remember the cream cheese appetizer you made at another party a couple of years ago. It’s the best appetizer I ever had!” At that moment I knew I had to post it. And truthfully, I get a kick out of seeing the look of surprise on people’s faces when I tell them what the three simple ingredients are.
Here’s how California comes into the picture: I was raised in California and my best friend’s mother made this delectable treat at all the block parties, and then my mom started making it, as well as the neighbors up and down the street; and it’s made with California milk cream cheese.
To make the recipe I chose to replace the cream cheese with Neufchatel cheese which has one-third less the calories from fat compared to cream cheese. The brand I buy is Challenge Dairy, which is the largest selling brand in the west. Their butter is also very good and I buy it for making cookies because they just taste better with Challenge.
This is a pre-lunch or dinner appetizer. Serve with various crackers and an assortment of chopped vegetables.
- 5 ounces California Neufchatel cheese (I use Challenge)
- 1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons light soy sauce, or Tamari soy
- 1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons sesame seeds (toasted or untoasted)
- Slice the Neufchatel cheese bar into 5 crosswise strips about 1/2 inch thick (figure on 8 strips per bar)
- Place the strips on a plate and spoon on the soy sauce.
- Sprinkle on the sesame seeds.