Welcome Back! This is the last post for the dinner menu we served a couple weeks back. For the back story, click here. The menu we served was this Dried Beef and Mushroom Spread, French Onion Soup, Spinach Salad, Chicken Pot Pie and Fudge Pie. Check out those posts for the recipes!
Anytime I’m doing a dinner menu, I make a point to have things that I can prepare or at least prep ahead of time. I usually have some things that I do a day before too. It just takes the stress out of getting it together at the last minute. I baked the Fudge Pie, made the Pie Crust and boiled the eggs the day before. The night before, I put the whole chicken in the large slow cooker and let it cook all night so the chicken gets super tender and makes the fabulous chicken broth. Then I did this spread early on and let it stay warm in my little slow cooker. That way my afternoon isn’t so stressed. Having a dinner party isn’t suppose to be stressful and with proper planning, it doesn’t have to be!
This Dried Beef and Mushroom Spread is the appetizer we snacked on while waiting on dinner. It’s a cheesy, creamy, beefy, mushroomy spread bursting with underlying flavors. It’s served warm on crackers or sliced baguette. I like mixing this together and putting it in my small slow cooker. That way I can do this ahead of time and not have to worry with it until guests arrive and just serve it.
Back in the day, I use to get a food magazine called Taste of Home. Loved the recipes that I would find in there! This recipe is adapted from a similar recipe in one of those magazines. Don’t remember which magazine it came from, but it was delicious! I just have a tendency to change things up a bit when I’m cooking.
Here’s how I make it.
Dried Beef and Mushroom Spread
In a medium size pot, saute’ the diced mushrooms and onions in butter on medium-low heat. Dice the mushrooms and onions fairly small. Remember, this will be a spread for crackers.
Cook until the mushrooms are tender and the onions are transparent, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
Add the cream cheese. Melt it into the mushroom and onion mixture on low heat. Carefully stirring and mixing to not let it scorch.
Add the sliced or shredded Monterrey jack cheese and melt it on low heat, stirring frequently.
Pour in the Worcestershire sauce.
Add the garlic powder.
I love fresh garlic in most of my dishes, but in this spread, I do prefer the powder. I think the flavor distributes better and you won’t have little pieces in there. Just my personal taste preference.
Dice up the dried beef into small pieces. They will not break down into anything smaller than the size you chop it. I just think it spreads on crackers or bread better if the pieces are not very big.
Add the chopped dried beef to the mushroomy cheesy mixture and mix well.
Oh my, I’m ready to dig in now!! But it’s not ready quite yet.
Put all of that creamy deliciousness into a small slow cooker. See note below if you don’t have a small slow cooker.
Add the milk and mix in well. This is something you can adjust according to how thick you want the spread to be right up until you serve it.
If there is a warm setting, use that one. Otherwise put it on low, but watch it so it doesn’t get too hot and burn.
** If you do not have a slow cooker, here’s an alternative. After mixing all of the ingredients together, spread it into a small baking dish and put it in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. You can still make this ahead of time and put it in the refrigerator. If you do that, about 45 minutes before you want to serve it, take it out of the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature. Then put it in your preheated oven and bake until it’s bubbly.
What is your favorite appetizer to serve before dinner?
Here’s the printer friendly recipe.