Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pine Nut and Artichoke "Schmear"

The schmear is in the middle.
This one kind of came out of nowhere yesterday while I was making Pommes Duchesse. I knew I was going to make the potatoes with the leftover cut of strip we had, but that was about it. Later on I made a "schmear" of artichokes and toasted pine nuts using cream cheese, and I finished with a little diluted meat glaze that I had in the fridge. In the end we were all pretty happy with what was for dinner, albeit a very light dinner.

Since I already shared the Pommes Duchesse recipe and assuming everyone can cook a steak to their pleasing, I am just going to supply the schmear recipe. (A meat glaze is pretty intense to make at home but you can buy it pre-made.)

I think this sauce, schmear, what-have-you, works well with the beef. Even though it is cut with cream cheese, the toasted pine nuts give it a strong enough flavor to hold up to the red protein. We all agreed that this would make a great party dip too, though it would need more cream cheese to deaden the flavors.
Pine Nut and Artichoke "Schmear":
4 oz low fat cream cheese (more if using as a dip), at room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons pine nuts
12 oz canned artichoke hearts, drained, marinade reserved
Squeeze of fresh lemon

1. Toast pine nuts over medium heat with a little butter in a pan until deep brown.
2. Let the pine nuts cool slightly, then add them to a food processor and process until a powder forms.
3. Add the artichoke hearts and process until a thin paste forms. Add the cream cheese and process into a uniform consistency. (Add more cream cheese if you would like to use this as a dip.)
4. Just before serving, squeeze some lemon juice into the sauce and mix well.

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