I will be surprised if you any of you cooks out there haven’t recently seen something about the new Philadelphia Cooking Cremes. Kraft is pretty serious about making sure that all of America is aware of this new product, perhaps creating the biggest launch that cheese and dairy has ever seen.
Part of that launch included sending out some free coupons to a group of consumers across the country so they would test out the cremes and share with friends. Guess who was one of those consumers? Yes, moi.
Although I don’t personally cook with cream cheese that often, I was curious to try them out. I will say that more than once (ok, more than a few times), when I’ve had a recipe that calls for cream cheese, I overlooked the part that says “softened”. Duh. So to me, the best part of these cremes is that they’re already a sauce-like consistency, and you don’t have to remember to let it sit out at room temperature or beat it with a mixer. It’s as simple as opening up and spooning out.
The line includes four varieties, all of which I have now cooked with: Santa Fe Blend, Savory Garlic, Italian Herbs & Cheese, and Original. My opinion? They’re all good and for those nights when you’re extra busy, they’re a great solution. Toss together a protein, some veggies, a starch, and one of these flavored cremes, and you have yourself a meal.
But you want to know the best thing that came out of this whole experiment? This new appetizer. With peas! I do love some peas.
Peas just scream “Spring!” to me. And I desperately want spring.
Maybe if we all make these little bundles, spring will come. Please, Mother Nature. Please?
Pea and Mushroom Bundles with Cilantro Creme
Makes 16-18 bundles. Adapted from Real Women of Philadelphia.
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup of diced onion
1 can diced green chilies, divided
1 cup of chopped baby bella mushrooms
1 1/2 cups of frozen peas, thawed
10 oz container of Philadelphia Italian Herbs and Cheese Cooking Creme
1 tsp salt
1 tsp crushed black pepper
1 roll phyllo pastry sheets, thawed
2 cups of roughly chopped fresh cilantro
1 egg, whisked (for egg wash)
Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to large skillet. Add onions and 1 tablespoon green chilies, saute on medium low heat for 6-8 minutes.
Add mushrooms and peas. Add salt and black pepper and stir. Cook for for an additional 4-5 minutes.
Add 6 oz of Philadelphia Italian Herbs and Cheese Cooking Creme and mix well. Remove from heat.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
On a large cutting board, spray and layer six sheets of phyllo dough (lightly spraying each sheet with cooking spray). Cut layered phyllo in half lengthwise, and then into thirds crosswise, creating 6 rectangles.
Place approximately one tablespoon of the pea & mushroom filling in the center of each rectangle. Brush around the sides with the egg wash and pull all edges up, crimping into a bundle. Place on a lined baking sheet and spray outsides with cooking spray. Repeat this process until all filling is used.
Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes or until bundles are golden brown.
For the cilantro creme, place the cilantro, remaining green chilies and cooking creme in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Serve alongside warm bundles.
PS- the cilantro creme is really excellent even on its own, so keep it in mind the next time you’re snacking on fresh, raw veggies or putting together a crudite platter!