Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Nutty Pear and Craisin Dip

This is a quick and simple party dip that I threw together for my family's get together on Christmas Eve. It was a big hit! I love that it's sort of unexpected as far as party dips go. Usually, you'd expected an herbed cheese or something savory, but this one is a little bit sweet and has a very light and fresh flavor. And when you serve it on regular Triscuits or Wheat Thins, you get a little salty hit that makes everything balance. So good! I also love that you can really taste each one of the ingredients, but everything comes together perfectly. Cool, huh? Hope you like it!

2 (8oz) pkgs cream cheese
2 ripe pears, any kind, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 cup craisins
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Salt and pepper to taste

Simply place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until nicely blended but still chunky. Serve with Triscuits or Wheat thins.

The key to this recipe's success is that none of the ingredients overpowers the others. Everything blends perfectly. But you're the cook! So if you'd like to add a few more craisins, or an extra handful of pecans, be my guest. Like my Mom always said, "do you like a lot? add a lot!"
If you want to use canned pears, don't put them in the food processor to mix them because they'll become too mushy. You really want them to be chunky just like the other ingredients. So just chop them up separately, then fold them into the mixture after you've pulsed everything else.
If the mixture if too thick, add a few drops of water to bring it to spreadable or dippable consistency. (Is dippable a word?? ) If you're using canned pears, you can add a little of the juice from the can.
For a little variation and a stronger flavor punch, try substituting half of the cream cheese with goat cheese or even bleu cheese.

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