This weekend I was doing dinner with a friend, so I decided to take a look through the “SNACKS” section of the recipe box and find a good appetizer to bring to dinner. I happened upon “Cheesy Ham Spread”. This recipe was cut out ironically from the back of a KRAFT ready-made bleu cheese dip. No date, but given the typeface selection and lack of super crazy food terms, I’d guess 80s.
The one weird ingredient on this recipe was “jar Sharp OLD ENGLISH Pasteurized Process Cheese Spread” – oddly specific yet I still had no idea what it was. When I was shopping for ingredients, I opted for DiBruno Bros Cheddar & Horseradish spread instead since the recipe also called for a teaspoon (a teaspoon? who can taste THAT) of KRAFT Prepared Horseradish. Killed two ingredients with one purchase, yes! After I got home I googled the Old English spread and turns out it’s KRAFT brand (why did you leave it off that one, brand recipe guys??) and it still exists and you could probably maybe find it at Walmart, maybe at Target. So, I still picked the better substitute, but if you want to be a die-hard purist, it does in fact still exist.
The recipe itself is blissfully easy: Mix. However, don’t be fooled. Creamcheese is a stiff bastard and will take a lot of work from your spatula. Keep stirring, it will all mix I promise. One extra step of the recipe is you have to choose your ham beforehand and cube it up to go into the dip mixing process. I chose 1/4 pound of thick cuts of “Ham Off the Bone” at the deli and the flavor was really nice and worked well with the horseradish. I ended up wanting more horseradish flavor so I added another tablespoon or so of creamy horseradish I had in the fridge. Confession: I didn’t take any pictures during this process because it’s not needed. So, below is the finished product garnished with parsley flakes and cracked pepper!
I used my mom’s old baking dish with a glass lid. Since I don’t recall her ever making this that I’ve tasted, that’s the connection we have in this session 🙂 . I carefully packed it up and took it to dinner (steak and mashed carrots) with a nice bottle of zin. The horseradish in the dip was a prefect precursor to dinner, complimenting the steak and the zinfandel.
Upon my initial taste at home I wasn’t super impressed with the dip, but after letting it sit covered for a few hours before dinner, the flavors actually melded nicely and both me and my dinner host decided the dip was a success and one I would make again! BUT. I have a rework in mind because the dip itself isn’t super impressive so I want to take it to the next level. It will sit on the Chopping Block in the meantime, so stay tuned for the rework.
Cheesy Ham Spread
Ingredients – serves 4 to 6
(1) 8oz container Philadelphia Cream Cheese (1/3rd less fat works great)
(1) 7.6 oz container DiBruno Bros Cheddar & Horseradish spread (or any other brand)
1/2 C ham, finely chopped
creamy horseradish condiment & cracked pepper to taste
Combine cheeses in small bowl, mixing well. Stir in the ham until evenly distributed. Add additional horseradish and black pepper to taste. Cover and let sit in the fridge for a couple hours or overnight. Serve with Wheat Thins or crackers.