For most of us, cream cheese means bagels or cheesecake, but the dedicated and resourceful community on the Chowhound Home Cooking board sees far beyond schmears. Check out these seven recipes ideas that regard cream cheese as an essential ingredient for more cooking creativity.

1. Turn it into a spread for smoked salmon sandwiches by stirring in lemon zest and a little lemon juice, black pepper, and chopped capers, parsley, and dill. –Tokyoite

2. Stir some into asparagus soup to mellow out the flavor. –monavano

3. Make baked Chicken Pillows out of crescent-roll dough filled with cream cheese and chicken stew. –UTgal

4. Make an oyster dip: equal parts cream cheese, plain yogurt, poached or smoked oysters, lemon zest, and Worcestershire. –Veggo

5. Try this easy apple tart from French Food at Home’s Laura Calder. –janniecooks

6. Make potted meats by grinding cooked meat, poultry, seafood, or cold-cut ends and mixing with cream cheese, grated shallot or onion, herbs, and hot sauce or Worcestershire. Serve on crackers, toast points, or stuffed into celery. –greygarious

7. Try Chef David Myers’s white miso–cream cheese spread, served with crudités and rice crackers. –Emme

For more:
Using up Cream Cheese

Photo by Flickr member Tom Ray under Creative Commons

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