I’ve made this appetizer a few times for holiday parties now, each time people comment on it and ask for the recipe. Up until now, I’ve given them the link to the blog where I found it on Pinterest all those years ago, but now I can give them my own version! I love making this for holiday parties because it’s so festive looking, the red cranberries and the green cilantro, jalapeno, are perfect for Christmas.
The only trick to this is you have to let the cranberries sweeten up with the sugar for at least 4 hours, so there’s a little bit of planning ahead that needs doing. You probably know by now, planning ahead is not my strong suit. The first time I made this, I of course did not read the directions beforehand and was planning on making it Thanksgiving morning before going over to the family dinner. I happened to look at them after getting home from the bar Wednesday night and panicked because I wouldn’t have enough time to let the cranberries soak the next morning. So, I made this the first time under the heavy influence of alcohol. It still turned out amazing, so that goes to show how easy it is!
Here is what you need:
The cranberries need to be chopped into tiny pieces, there are a couple ways to this. The easiest way, and naturally the way I used, is to put them in a food processor. Alternatively you could chop them with one of those choppy things, or manually chop them with a knife, this sounds dangerous though. I would for sure cut myself.
Chop up your jalapeno, green onion, and cilantro. I used my Herb Scissors for the cilantro, I HATE chopping cilantro without them. Depending what level of “mouth burner” you are, or will be serving, you may or may not want to take out the seeds from the jalapeno. I usually take out half, and leave half in. It usually doesn’t turn out too hot, and the cream cheese does a decent job of calming any fires set in your mouth.
Mix the cranberries, jalepeno, green onion, cilantro, cumin, lemon juice, and sugar in a medium bowl.
Cover and put it in the fridge for at least 4 hours. The sugar needs to hang out with the cranberries to counteract some of their bitterness. Before you put the salsa on top of the cream cheese, try and drain as much juice as you can, otherwise it gets pretty runny and can make a mess on your platter.
Spread the 2 blocks of cream cheese on a serving platter. I chose one with a little lip (because I knew that it tends to get juicy, and have made a mess of cranberry juice before…). You might want to soften the cream cheese in the microwave for a little bit, if it is hard to spread (and you didn’t think ahead enough to set it on the counter for about 20 minutes).
Then just spread the salsa on top of the cream cheese and serve with crackers!
- 12 oz fresh cranberries
- 1 ¼ cup sugar
- ½ cup green onion, chopped (about 3 green onions)
- ½ cup cilantro
- 1 jalapeno, chopped
- ¼ t cumin
- 2 8oz packages cream cheese
- ½ lemon, juiced
- Crackers (such as wheat thins or triscuits)
- Use a food processor to chop the cranberries into tiny pieces. Alternatively you could manually chop them with a knife.
- Chop up your jalapeno, green onion, and cilantro.
- Mix the cranberries, jalapeno, green onion, cilantro, cumin, lemon juice, and sugar in a medium bowl. Cover and put it in the fridge for at least 4 hours. After, try and drain as much juice from the cranberries as possible.
- Spread the 2 blocks of cream cheese on a serving platter, spread the salsa on top and serve with crackers