Last week we went to Hubby's favorite Mexican restaurant. His family has been going to Popo's at 6542 W. Indian School Rd. since they move to the west side of Phoenix back in the early 70's. They measure every Mexican restaurant they eat at against Popo's. When one of them comes back to visit friends and family still in Phoenix the first question they ask is, "Did you get to go to Popo's?"
While we were there Hubby had a combo plate that had a red enchilada with it and he had the choice of two toppings. One of the toppings was jalapeño cream cheese. Hubby liked it so well that he had me take a taste of it to see what I thought of it. I like it well enough that we sat there taking tiny nibbles of it to figure out what was in it and how it was made. We came home and I did a search for recipes, taking notes and combining ideas, then heading to the kitchen for the experiment. Here's what I came up with:
Jalapeño Cream Cheese Topping
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 to 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
3 TBSP of cilantro, finely minced (And for the cilantro challenged, use parsley.)
1/4 cup finely minced onion
1 to 2 finely minced pickled jalapeño peppers or to taste (You could use fresh here, seeded or unseeded based on the heat level you wanted.)
2 TBSP of jalapeño pickle juice to thin (Milk could be used here, also.)
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. of salt, to taste
1/4 tsp. of mesquite smoke, if you want a smoky flavor
Use a fork to blend.
Some of the recipes suggested heating it in the microwave until warm if you wanted a hot dip.
This turned out very tasty. It was more of a spread consistency than a dip or topping. We spread it on tortilla chips and I topped a few with some refried beans I was making for supper. WOW! Extra Yummy! I do wonder if you added some sour cream or crema if you could get more of a dip consistency without losing the tangy flavor. By the way, this gets hotter the longer it sets!
Have a good day!