Brighten up your next cocktail party with an appetizer that is equal parts sweet, spicy and savory. Top crispy crostini with The Laughing Cow® Creamy Spicy Pepper Jack cheese wedges and top them off with for last-minute entertaining fare.
I’m going to set three scenes for you and then you’re going to tell me what they have in common:
1. You’re throwing a holiday party and you need a light and balanced appetizer to round out a table full of meat and fried food.
2. You’re packing a simple picnic and you need a quick, easy to assemble snack that you can pack int reusable containers and take on-the-go.
3. You get a call shortly before dinner that friends are stopping by; you need to grab something on the way home to pull together to serve alongside wine.
What does each scenario have in common? Beyond the deliciousness that will ensue, that is. Well, the solution to each of these culinary conundrums is Spicy Pepper Jack Bruschetta with Mango Salsa, which is my latest recipe for The Laughing Cow, a delicious, creamy cheese with endless snack possibilities. With eight spreadable wedges per box, The Laughing Cow is perfect for entertaining crowds during the busy holiday season.
Earlier this year, I attended a super cool media event with The Laughing Cow brand that was all about exploring different ways to reinvent snacking. Tanya Baker, executive chef of the Boarding House, was on hand to share some of her own snacking tips that I took into consideration when building this spicy, sweet and savory snack.
- When building a menu item, Baker makes sure to have a variety of flavors and textures – salty, sweet, acidic, creamy and crunchy. “Try The Laughing Cow® Creamy Original Swiss cheese with sliced prosciutto, grilled fruit and toasted nuts to achieve a perfect balance of flavors and textures,” she said.
- Don’t be afraid to let sweet and savory collide! Baker loves to use fresh corn for sweet and savory applications. One example would be pairing grilled corn relish with grilled fish or pork chops. For a sweet application, try a sweet corn panna cotta or corn pudding with jalapeño jelly.
Jalapeño…now there’s an idea. Instead of dessert, spicy mango salsa is where you want to go with this. And you can’t have a spicy salsa without a little jalapeño.
The best part about this recipe is that, well, you can cheat on it. No, you don’t have to go and make your friends mango salsa. No one will ever know that you didn’t laboriously chop the mango, the cilantro, the jalapeños until your fingers were numb. Most specialty grocery stores have handmade fresh fruit salsas and even some of the large chains do too. For example, I’ve seen mango salsa here at my local Jewel-Osco as well as Whole Foods.
I’m sure that if you make your own salsa, you’ll collect some brownie points among your friends who are…let’s just say talented in areas other than cooking. If you don’t make your own, this recipe has three ingredients and comes together in less than twenty minutes. Maybe even faster if you have a fried to help you assemble the bruschetta.
- 1 long, thin baguette
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup diced mango
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- Extra cilantro (garnish)
- 6-8 wedges The Laughing Cow Creamy Spicy Pepper Jack spreadable cheese
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut bread on a slight angle into ¼-inch-thick slices. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Brush one side of each slice with a small amount of oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toast until lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes, turning pan around twice during baking time.
- Allow to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine mango, cilantro, jalapeño and lime juice (skip this step if using store-bought salsa).
- Top each slice of bread with a liberal amount of The Laughing Cow Creamy Spicy Pepper Jack spreadable cheese wedges. Garnish with additional cilantro and serve immediately.
This is a sponsored post on behalf of The Laughing Cow®. All thoughts and opinions are my own and in my opinion, the world would be a better place if we all ate more cheese.