In the midst of all of the holiday preparations I find myself immersed in two big moves. My Thanksgiving holiday is going to be anything but a holiday this year and I’m sure I’m not alone. My daughter Emily is moving to North Carolina for a new job and they want her there and in training before Christmas so she will be leaving on December 4th, the day after her birthday. Em lived in Connecticut for a year after college but she has always loved Colorado so was happy to come back home. Moving to North Carolina is different. She was born there and though we left when she was 6, it still holds a special place in her heart; she also knows some people not far from her new job so the entire move should be less traumatic. She’s very excited about going to work for Lowe’s in their operations center in a small town on the west side of the state. She is a small town girl at heart!
After almost eight months of being out of my home; several of those waiting for a new home to be completed, my closing is scheduled for 12/17. Not the best timing because all of my photo props and camera equipment is at Emily’s and will now have to be moved into storage because our dates don’t jive. Once this move business is over I think I will lock the doors and have a major crash; life has been unsettled this entire year dealing with way too many issues in tandem and I can not wait for some quiet moments in my own home.
Still we are planning on having a couple of simple dishes to nosh on and this will most certainly be one of them. I met the PR rep for Parrano Cheese when I went to a tasting held at a new Smashburger in Denver and we connected over cheese. Could you blame me? Heidi offered to send me some and really…who says no to cheese?
Heidi also provided me with some recipes to peruse and I decided to try this one for a cheesy shrimp spread. I am SO glad I discovered that red bell peppers are related in name only to the vile green ones I detest…they add such a great flavor and color to this dish. I think it simply looks like ‘the holidays’ with such festive colors and the flavor of this dip is out of this world. I served it recently during a Broncos football game (which we won) and it literally disappeared; doggone I should have made it again yesterday!
Parrano cheese is a cow milk cheese produced in the Netherlands. It tastes mild and nutty, combining salty and sweet flavors. Made from pasteurized milk, Parrano is produced in 20-lb wheels and is aged for 5 months. It has the smooth creamy texture of a young Dutch Gouda and the nutty, sweet, buttery flavors of aged Parmesan and is marketed as an Italian-style cheese. Taglines have included “The Dutch cheese that thinks it’s Italian” and “Sort of Italian.” Parrano is technically Gouda cheese although its flavor is more pronounced than that of traditional Gouda.
We just loved that nutty taste reminiscent of Parmesan in this melted cheese and shrimp spread. It would be a winning addition to your holiday parties or dinners; or in our case, it just might be our dinner. 🙂
Low Country Shrimp Dip Appetizer
- 1 8 ounce package of cream cheese
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 tsp Cajun seasoning (I found some by Weber labeled just that!)
- Dash of Cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp BBlack pepper
- 1 1/2 cup Parrano cheeses, grated
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 lb medium shrimp cooked, peeled and chopped
- With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, mayonnaise, Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, salt & black pepper until well blended and smooth. Adjust salt and pepper to taste if necessary.
- Fold in Parrano, green onions, bell pepper and shrimp
- Transfer to a 9-inch pie pan. Refrigerate.
- To serve, simply warm mixture on the grill or in the oven at medium high heat until warm and bubbly.
- Serve with toasted bread rounds, crackers or pita chips.