I made this beautiful jalapeno cranberry dip as part of my current obsession with cranberries, America's second favorite berry. It is absolutely divine—sweet, spicy, savory, a little hot, in a word, perfect.
I'm not sure what triggered my infatuation with the shiny red berries this year, but it's real. When I began to see the mountains of bagged cranberries in the produce department, finding as many ways to prepare them as I could before the season ended became a challenge.
But I didn't need to worry about running out of cranberries! I've learned that cranberries freeze beautifully without blanching! You can toss the bags right in the freezer, although I put mine inside a freezer bag first.
You can use frozen cranberries in baking or make relish any day of the year if you stash some away for later! Here's a helpful article on how to use frozen cranberries from the cranberry growers themselves.
Along the way, I've also discovered I enjoy a touch of jalapeno when combined with something sweet, for example, in my cranberry pepper jam. I never thought I'd tolerate jalapenos in any form, but I was wrong! I can't get enough of this jalapeno cranberry dip that combines cranberries, green onion, jalapenos, and cilantro!
Jalapeno Cranberry dip is easy to make and so pretty! It's unique enough that if you bring it to a party, there probably won't be two of them! Be sure to bring the recipe with you, though!
Use a food chopper to chop the cranberries, green onion, jalapeno, and cilantro. I do not recommend using a food processor for this dip because it can make cranberries liquify quickly, and you want to retain the texture. I like to chop the jalapenos very fine, so there are no hot surprises in my mouth because "I was born to be MILD!"
Combine the vegetables with lime juice, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl and stir it well. Then, cover the bowl with plastic film and let it rest overnight in the fridge. During the time in the refrigerator, the flavors mingle and marry, and a lot of liquid is released.
When you are ready to assemble the dip on the whipped cream cheese paste, drain off that liquid in a fine strainer so you don't lose any of the vegetables, just the juice.
My strainers either have holes too large or too small for this much volume, so I "MacGuyvered" a sieve using a basket from a coffee maker and my batter bowl! It worked great. I hope at least some of you remember the TV series so you understand my quirky problem-solving mind.
If you don't have a strainer fine enough, you could probably put a cheesecloth liner in it, but I didn't want to make another trip to town!
Without draining, this mixture would be too wet to spread over the yummy whipped cream cheese base. The bowl of cranberries and stuff released nearly a cup of sweet/hot liquid, which I saved to use in another recipe. I don't know what to do with it, but it's too good to throw out!
Whip up two blocks of cream cheese until it's fluffy and spreadable. Spread it in a square baking pan or a pie plate. Looking at this picture, I could have chosen a prettier dish!
Spoon the cranberry mixture over the cream cheese and garnish to your heart's content. This dip is so delicious that the pretty garnish won't last long! Everyone will be swarming around it to get a chipful and another and another! But that's a good thing, right? PS Everyone will beg for the recipe!
Scoop your chip down through the delicious cranberry layer and dredge up a good amount of cream cheese to go with it. The added smooth, creamy tang of the cream cheese layer takes this fabulous cranberry jalapeno dip into orbit! It's a celebration of amazing flavors!
And it's cranberry time, folks! So grab them while they're here, and be sure to stash some away in the freezer when you're craving something cranberry! Never enough cranberries, I say!
If you liked this recipe, you are my people! If you like this recipe, please share it on your social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter! It would sure tickle me, and I would be ever so grateful!
Love, GB (Betty Streff)
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