Originally named Bombay Cheese, this recipe was published in the Neiman Marcus Cookbook, No Jacket Required. However, this book was probably published before the city’s official name change, so I shall name it Mumbai Cheese.
I make it often, and I always get requests for the recipe. I have yet to find someone who doesn’t like this one, so I hope this becomes one of your “regulars” as well.
WARNING: If you serve this, anticipate a high traffic area. Guests will camp out in front of this appetizer, hog it, hide it, guard it, etc. You and Lady Gaga could potentially compete for guests. I highly recommend hiring a bouncer and removing fragile items from the area.
8-oz soft cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 Teaspoon Curry Powder (I use 1/2 Tablespoon curry powder)
4 oz shredded cheddar cheese (I used “mexican cheese blend” from the grocery store)
1/3 cup mango chutney (widely available in most grocery stores’ international foods aisle. I buy the spicy mango chutney for a faint kick)
1/4 cup toasted almonds (pecans work too!)
2 Tablespoons shredded coconut (sweet or unsweet – whatever you have)
1 Scallions, finely sliced
1 Tablespoon red currants (I used dried cranberries)
Combine the cream cheese, Cheddar, and curry powder in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix until well blended and smooth. Or, beat by hand with a wooden spoon until smooth. Shape the mixture into a disc about 5½ inches in diameter and 1 inch high. Refrigerate until firm, about 45 mintues. The cheese can be made up to 2 days ahead, covered, and refrigerated.
To assemble, place the cheese on a serving tray. Spread the chutney on top. (You might need to warm the chutney in the microwave for 30 seconds to make it pourable. No too hot, though…you don’t want it to melt the cream cheese disc underneath.) Sprinkle the coconut flakes, nuts, scallions, and currants over the chutney. The cheese can be prepared an hour ahead and kept at a cool room temperature. (You can just “eyeball” the quantities of the coconut, nuts, scallions, and cranberries)
Toss the apple wedges with the lemon juice to prevent discoloration. To serve, arrange the crackers and apple wedges around the cheese.
Serves 8-10 guests.