Charred Jalapeño with Lime Cream Cheese Spread
With the addition of a few simple ingredients, Challenge Cream Cheese can push an appetizer or sandwich from good to outrageously delicious. Try serving this Latin-inspired spread alongside tortilla chips or the Mexican pork cracklings called chicharrones.
- 2 jalapeños, halved lengthwise
- 8 ounces Challenge Cream Cheese, room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
- zest of 1 lime
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
Place a cast iron skillet, grill pan or heavy bottom sauté pan on high heat.
When the pan is hot, place the 4 jalapeño halves into the pan, skin side up, without any cooking oil and allow them to sit undisturbed for 3 minutes to char the sliced side. Use a smaller pan to press the peppers for a harder sear.
After the jalapeños are charred, remove them from the heat and set aside to cool.
Mix the tempered cream cheese with the cream, lime zest, salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin and paprika, in a bowl or in a food processor until ingredients are completely combined.
Once the charred jalapeños are cool, mince them (remove seeds and veins for milder heat).
Fold the charred jalapeños into the seasoned cream cheese (optional - reserve a pinch for garnish).
Scoop flavored cream cheese into a small dipping bowl and garnish with a bit more lime zest, a pinch of charred jalepeños and sprinkle of paprika.
Serve with tortilla chips, pork skins or pita chips.