Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

'Chili' in two forms flavors these simple appetizers

Judith Bell

Food Editor

Recipes that stand the test of time are what I call “keepers.”

Two “keepers” in our family are different and delicious. Interestingly they incorporate “chili” in two different forms. One recipe uses bottled chili sauce, another chili powder.

When I consider our parties over the years, I can hear my husband Bob asking, “Are we having…” and he’d often name one or the other recipe shared with you today. Often as not, the answer was, “yes.”

And, while most of the recipes I have can be given their origin in a story or experience, these are simply good recipes that came my way. I have no recollection of who might have given me the recipes nor how they were added to my culinary repertoire.

All I can tell you is that they are good!

Chili Cheese Log is a mixture of cream cheese, seasonings, and nuts. The mixture is then shaped into a log and rolled in chili powder. It is served with round unflavored crackers. Our choice for the crackers is the classic table water crackers or Melba rounds. Most people say “yum” after their first serving…and as they are teeing up their second one. Enjoy!

Chili Cheese Log

2 (3-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Few drops Tabasco sauce

1 clove garlic, crushed or very finely chopped

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

2-4 tbsp. chili powder

Unflavored round crackers

Beat cream cheese until soft and smooth. Blend in Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, and garlic. When well mixed, add pecans and blend in thoroughly. (If the mixture is quite soft, refrigerate before shaping into a log.)

When mixture is firm, turn out onto waxed paper and shape into a log about 7 inches long and 1 ½ inches in diameter.

Sprinkle 2 tbsp. chili powder on a fresh length of waxed paper. Roll log in chili powder to coat evenly, adding additional chili powder if necessary.

Wrap chili-coated log in waxed paper or plastic wrap. Chill at least four hours or until the log is firm.

When ready to serve, unwrap the log and turn out onto a serving dish accompanied with crackers.

Slice into the log to prepare the first serving so guests will see how to serve themselves.

Chili Sauce is the key ingredient in this spreadable appetizer.

Chili, Cheese and Seafood Appetizer

1 (12-oz) bottle chili sauce

1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

½ cup finely chopped parsley

1 cup minced cooked shrimp, canned crab (rinsed and drained) or other cooked seafood

Melba toast rounds or other unflavored crackers

Spread softened cream cheese in a shallow serving dish. Reserve 2 tbsp Chili sauce for garnish. Spread the remainder of chili sauce over cream cheese. Sprinkle with parsley. Sprinkle seafood on top of parsley.

Garnish with reserved chili sauce. Serve with unflavored crackers. (It is helpful if one serving can be beside the appetizer so guests realize there are layers and “dig” deeply to capture all of the layers.)


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