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A few weeks ago my wife and I were having a couple of friends over and I was smoking a Tri-Tip. I had been running the smoker all afternoon as I was smoking my famous Smoked Long Hots (I will post that recipe in the coming days). I started getting antsy and wanted to try something new.
I had been reading about this concept of smoking cream cheese as a new trend in the BBQ world. I had to try it. This very, very simple add-on is low cost, easy to manage and worth the wait. I also think this is the ultimate teaser for what else might be coming off your smoker especially when you are serving guests.
It has come to the point where if the smoker is going, the cream cheese will be flowing. The flavor profile is whatever you can dream up. Here's what we did.
1.Take the block of cream cheese out of the foil package. I use Philadelphia cream cheese. This is a premium product, but is only a couple of dollars and Philadelphia Brand is a bit denser than the other brands. In fact it was on sale that day for 3 bricks for $5.
2. Place the cheese on a small square of heavy duty aluminum foil (if you don't have it just double up a regular piece by folding it in half). It is unlikely, but you don't want it to tear on the cooking grate.
3. Slather with olive oil (or any oil you prefer) to coat all sides.
4. Now coat liberally with any seasoning you choose. Press the seasoning into the cheese lightly to ensure it sticks. We used everything bagel mix, a maple honey pork rub if found in the supermarket, and some added garlic.
OK now the cooking instructions:
1. Prepare the smoker to 225F-250F smoking the wood of your choice.
2. Place the cheese on the foil, place the foil onto the cooking grate.
3. Return in no less than 2 hours and not more than 3 hourse.
4. Remove and serve immediately with the crackers, veggies, or hearty bread square of your choice. We used Bagel Chips.
Really let you mind run wild on the seasonings. We were a bit underwhelmed by the strength of the seasoning the first time so next time we really caked it on. We tried a coating of the Costco Pesto sauce(the best IMO) with a further crust of added Parmesan cheese and garlic. We even tried a slather of Maple Syrup and a heavy sprinkle of Cinnamon Sugar.
Each time we gather around to devour a block of this smoked goodness, we throw out new ideas for the next attempt. Savory, sweet, salty, veggie whatever you can dream up. The best is if you don't love it in the end, you wasted 2 bucks and you were cooking anyway, That said, we haven't had leftovers yet,
Let us know you favorite flavor combos. Your biggest fails if you've had any. I would love to know! Now get to it!
Basil and Parmesan Smoke Cream Cheese