Can this Mexican cream cheese change your life? Maybe not. But it definitely changed mine.
Back when I was but a wee lass of 24, I had total confidence in myself to go to a dinner party in Shelburne, get back to Burlington, change, and meet another group of friends at the corner bar.
That was the night before I had to be on a bus at 7 a.m. to ride a few hours to my cousin’s high school graduation.
However, it was a transformative 24 hours.
At the fun and lively dinner party, I met a new acquaintance who said something that changed my life. She was an adorable southern schoolteacher who said after a couple of glasses of wine: “Every time I drink tequila, I end up naked and I don’t know why!”
I made a note to self on that piece of wisdom.
After that I met up with some friends at the O.P., a local bar, and when I stumbled home at 10 p.m. I set my alarm for 6 a.m.
I assured myself that I would be at my best and ready for family by the time I made it to the graduation.
When my alarm went off, I realized that I was on the verge of a honey of a hangover. I could feel my liver limping, as I jumped into the shower.
On my mad dash to the bus stop several blocks away, I realized that I needed coffee and food. Badly.
When I raced into the bagel shop next to the bus station, I was stranded in a line of what seemed to be a hundred college students.
I almost backed out of the line, but by then I was trapped in. Ugh.
As the line moved toward the counter, I saw a guy making bagels who I had a massive crush on. He came into the photoshop where I worked, and every time I waited on him somehow my writing implement was always slipping out of my hands because – you know – sweaty palms.
Once I made it to the counter to order, I told myself I would be calm, cool, and collected.
As he walked over to take my order, I promptly blurted out, “Hi! How can I help you?” After we both laughed (and as my ears burned with embarrassment), I placed my order for an onion bagel with Mexican cream cheese and a large coffee.
Jedd smiled shyly as he handed me my bag.
I smiled through the entire bus ride.
Fast forward a couple of months, and he got a job at the photoshop where I worked.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
So, needless to say, I take my flavored cream cheeses very seriously. Especially Mexican cream cheese.
This isn’t the perfect recreation of the cream cheese from that bagel shop, in fact it might even be better.
Hello, Aleppo pepper! Hello, poblanos!
The joy of this concoction is that you can customize it with whatever you have kicking around. The one thing that is randomly necessary however, is green olives. There’s something about their briny flavor that just really works with the spicy ingredients. But, if you don’t have any on hand, I’ll be willing to bet that capers would fill the bill nicely.
Poblano and Jalapeno Mexican Cream Cheese
8 oz. full-fat cream cheese spread
1/3 cup diced poblanos
¼ cup diced white onion, or scallions
¼ cup crumbled cotija cheese, or shredded taco cheese
¼ cup diced green olives
2 tablespoons seeded and diced jalapenos
2 teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon hot smoked paprika
Mix all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to let the flavors meld. (Unless you’re really hungry. In that case it will still be mighty delicious just mixed together without having the flavors meld.)