When her winery, Single Leaf Vineyards & Winery, participates in big festivals, owner Pam Miller uses this appetizer, which can be made ahead and easily multiplied. It goes well with Single Leaf's Chardonnay.
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup fresh chèvre (goat) cheese
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, at room temperature
2 tablespoons brandy or milk
3 tablespoons thinly sliced chives or green onions
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons chili oil
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons sugar
3 dozen unsalted water crackers or thin apple slices
How to Make It
Beat cream cheese, blue cheese, chèvre, butter, and brandy until creamy. Stir in 2 tablespoons chives. Mound in a small, shallow dish. If making ahead, cover and chill up to 2 days.
In a small bowl, mix salt, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, and cardamom.
Pour chili oil and olive oil into an 8- to 10-inch nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add walnuts. Stir often until toasted, 5 to 7 minutes. Add sugar and stir until it melts onto nuts, about 1 minute.
Pour hot nuts into bowl with spices and mix to coat. If making ahead, let cool and store airtight up to 2 days.
Sprinkle nuts and remaining 1 tablespoon chives over cheese. Spread mixture onto crackers.