Tomato & cream cheese schmears: spicy salsa & bloody mary ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

25 September 2014

Tomato & cream cheese schmears: spicy salsa & bloody mary

Tomato & cream cheese schmears: spicy salsa & bloody mary

When you're canning tomato sauce, as I obviously have been, sometimes you end up with a little bit of sauce left over.

What to do with a bare tablespoon or two of tomato sauce? I propose a cream cheese schmear. In fact, I propose two tomato-based schmears: spicy salsa and bloody mary. Tomato schmears for everyone! It's a perfect plan for the end of the tomato harvest.

I made the salsa schmear with tomato sauce and the bloody mary schmear with fresh raw tomato. The tomato sauce had the texture advantage, since it mixed in smoothly and created a thicker schmear. The raw tomato added some water content, which made it tougher to mix in and created a looser final product, but it definitely had the flavor advantage, because peak harvest tomatoes are just that good. Both of these schmears would work well with either tomato sauce or raw tomato; you just have to decide what your priorities are.

These schmears are also ideal if you have not only tomatoes but a few homemade pickles in your kitchen. For instance, do you have a jar of pickled jalapeños? Dice up a few rings and use them in the spicy salsa schmear. Otherwise, fresh jalapeños certainly provide a serious kick.

For the bloody mary schmear, a handful of dilly beans adds a delightful and appropriate tang. I used some refrigerator green bean pickles that I'd thrown into a batch of Emmycooks's spicy pickled peppers, but traditionally canned dilly beans should work just as well.

The intensity of each schmear is really up to you. Do you like a subtle schmear with only a hint of spice? Or do you like a big, in-your-face schmear packed with vegetables and herbs? Add as much or as little of each ingredient as you like for your own perfect concoction.

Hooray for homemade schmears! Don't go to the bagel shop! These are better.

Each schmear will generously cover one bagel.

Tomato & cream cheese schmears: spicy salsa & bloody mary

Spicy salsa schmear

3-4 tbsp cream cheese/tofu cream cheese
1-2 tbsp tomato sauce (or sub finely diced fresh tomato)
1 tsp finely diced jalapeño, or more to taste (raw or pickled)
1-2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1-2 tbsp chopped green onion
1 pinch each of ground oregano and cumin
several good grinds of pepper
optional fresh corn
optional milk/yogurt to thin as needed (or pickled jalapeño brine?)

Mix everything together well and serve on the bagel or bread product of your choice. Garnish with green onion or cilantro if you so desire.

I made the spicy salsa schmear with the aforementioned leftover tomato sauce. You can see that this was done with sauce from the immersion blender batch, since there are a few flecks of tomato skin in the mix. You can also see the thicker texture; check out those knife marks! Stir in a spoonful of milk or yogurt to thin if necessary.

Tomato & cream cheese schmears: spicy salsa & bloody mary

Bloody mary schmear

3-4 tbsp cream cheese/tofu cream cheese
1-2 tbsp finely diced tomato
3 finely diced dilly beans
1 large pinch celery salt
2 dashes worcestershire sauce/tiny dash of soy sauce
hot sauce to taste - 2-3 drops or more
several good grinds of pepper
optional milk/yogurt to thin as needed (or use the dilly bean brine)

Mix everything together thoroughly with a fork. Be aware that the juicy tomato may take a minute to absorb fully into the schmear. But the end result is well worth a few minutes of stirring!

The finished texture will likely be loose enough not to require any thinning. If you find it too thin, stir in a bit more cream cheese.

Spread your schmear on a toasted bagel. Garnish with additional chopped dilly beans or a few celery leaves if you happen to have them.

Hooray for homemade schmears!

Previously on the schmear show:
- Christmas morning red onion & dill schmear
- Fresh summer corn & basil schmear
- The anti-bagel: parsley, green onion, & arugula schmear

What are you eating on your bagels lately? What's your favorite homemade schmear?


Erin @ The Speckled Palate said...

YUM! I absolutely want to try this whole bloody mary schmear thing on some toast (and with the accoutrements you mention) because, well, how could it not be good? What a brilliant way to avoid wasting gorgeous tomatoes as you're canning tomato sauce!

foodfeud said...

I always love yr schmear flavors! Salsa schmear sounds so good.