If I’m scanning recipes for a dish I’d like to try, the word “creamy” in the title is always going to get my attention. As I’ve said before, it’s a good darn thing I’m not lactose-intolerant, because my love of creamy, cheesy soups, casseroles and other dishes is off the charts.
The folks at Kraft who make Philadelphia cream cheese products know my tastes are representative of a wide array of the American population. Just think about how many of our favorite recipes, whether savory or sweet, call for cream cheese. What’s nice is that we can use full-fat cream cheese, reduced fat or fat free, depending on the recipe and our dietary needs.
The newest product in the Philadelphia line was developed specifically for cooking. It’s called Philadelphia Cooking Creme, and it is described as “a spoonable, easy-to-blend creme that can be effortlessly stirred into skillets, casseroles and pasta.” Well, my first reaction was to wonder how much effort it really takes to soften a block of cream cheese and stir it into a dish. If the dish is hot, it will melt in pretty quickly.
Nevertheless, this new product is even easier to use. Best of all, it comes in original flavor plus Italian Cheese & Herb, Savory Garlic and Santa Fe Blend. Now, we are getting into a value that does not come in the standard block of cream cheese. And Kraft points out that their cooking creme is a flavorful replacement to the typical canned, condensed soup or sour cream added to many recipes.
The cooking cream has 8 to 9 grams of fat and 100 to 110 calories per 1/4 cup serving. It comes in 10-ounce containers for about $2.99 each. Many of the recipes I’ve seen call for an entire tub and serve 4 to 6 people.
The maker suggested several chicken-centric uses for the stuff:
* Stir the Italian blend into a mixture of chicken cubes, zucchini, tomatoes and orzo for a creamy Italian pasta dish.
* Stir the Italian blend into chicken, stir-fry veggies and fresh basil, then mix into fettucine for a creamy pasta primavera.
* Add Savory Garlic to your favorite chicken pot pie recipe in place of the gravy/sauce/soup you would typically use.
* Blend Savory Garlic with chicken, broccoli, a little milk and shredded cheddar for a nice casserole, then top with a buttery crushed cracker mix.
* Use the Santa Fe blend to make a Southwestern skillet dish with chicken, green pepper, diced tomatoes, corn and rotini pasta.
* Mix Santa Fe blend into shredded chicken, onion and tomatoes, then roll in tortillas for easy chicken enchiladas.
* Make a lemon-broccoli rice dish with chicken, garlic, broccoli, lemon zest, rice and original blend.
To see these recipes and more, click here.
It occurred to me that a dollop of the original or Italian blend could be stirred into your favorite spaghetti sauce for a creamy twist. Heck, why not plop a little on a baked potato or a bowl of chili?Any other ideas sound good to you all?
What is your initial impression of this new product? Do you think it’s something you would buy and try, or is it just another way to get folks to spend money by appealing to their desire for convenience?