December Ingredient of the Month

It's a new month, and; therefore, time for a new ingredient! 

This month I've decided that I am going to feature Cream Cheese!

Photo from foodatarian.com

I absolutely love cream cheese - flavored or plain!  It's a great product that can be used in a sweet or savory dish.  In the past, other than spreading it on bagels, I've used it to make cheesecake, and to stuff chicken breasts!

Here is some information from wikipedia:
Cream cheese is a sweet, soft, mild-tasting white cheese containing at least 33% milkfat.  It is meant to be consumed fresh, so it differs from other soft cheeses such as Brie and Neufchatel.  It is more comparable in taste, texture and production to Boursin and Marscarpone.

There are French references to cream cheese as early as 1651.  According to the American food processing company, Kraft Foods, the first American cream cheese was made in New York by dairyman William Lawrence in 1872. In 1880, 'Philadelphia' was adopted as the brand name, after the city that was, at the time, considered to be the home of top quality food.  'Philadelphia' is now used as some as a generic term for cream cheese, and in Spanish is translated as 'queso Filadelfia' or 'queso crema'.

Cream cheese is typically used as a spread for bagels, crackers, bread or vegetables, and also is often used in cheesecakes or salads.  It can be used to make cheese sauces, and is often used in place of or alongside butter. It makes delicious icing, and is the main ingredient in crab rangoon.


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