One Cheese, Five Ways: Cream of the Crop | culture: the word on cheese
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One Cheese, Five Ways: Cream of the Crop

Photographed by Michael Piazza | Kendra Smith

I don’t know about you, but cream cheese is something I always have stashed in my refrigerator drawer. That’s because it can do more than rescue breakfast. In the recipes ahead, cream cheese moonlights in two party snacks (anchovy spread; deviled eggs), masquerades as pasta sauce, plays a supporting role in cult-favorite avocado toast, and adds a tangy layer of flavor to pound cake. So go ahead, buy another block—we’ve got more than one way for you to use it.

1. Cream Cheese Pound Cake with Candied Carrots and Ginger Whipped Cream

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Cream cheese pinch hits for a stick of butter in this decadent recipe, while unsweetened ginger whipped cream keeps things from getting too cloying.

2. Onion Dip Deviled Eggs

Cream cheese unites two of everyone’s favorite appetizers: onion dip and deviled eggs. To save time, make the filling a day ahead and store it in a covered container in the refrigerator—refrigerate the empty whites in the same manner. Simply fill the egg whites once it’s party time.

3. Rye Pasta with Cream Cheese Sauce and Chard

Rye pasta
Homemade pasta becomes accessible with this recipe, which doesn’t require a pasta machine. The sauce here tends to get sticky as it sits and cools, so do your best to eat it while it’s hot. If you must reheat, save some additional pasta water during cooking to loosen the sauce.

4. Anchovy, Cream Cheese, and Hot Pepper Spread

Don’t be afraid of anchovies! They bring briny umami to this dip accented by creamy, fresh cheese and zingy hot peppers. Fresh veggies bring crunch and springtime vibes.

5. Cream Cheese Avocado Toast with Fried Eggs and Za’atar

Perfect for breakfast, lunch, or a snack, this one-handed meal is surprisingly creamy and rich for how simple it is to pull together.

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