Black Pepper Cream Cheese Salad Dressing

Black Pepper Cream Cheese Salad Dressing, with chilli and garlic

Black Pepper Cream Cheese Salad Dressing

This is why I bought a tub of black pepper cream cheese in the first place, to go with a salad I was making to go with chickpeas and za’atar. The latter hasn’t quite worked out for me – yet! Which is no reflection on Food Daydreaming’s post, I hasten to add. I just can’t get the texture of the chickpeas to work for me (next attempt I’ll roast them). Hmm, does that make me sound fussy? Huh, if it does – cualquiera, cariños! And this is a first for me on here, as in a salad dressing. It’s a bit of a shame that I never seem to bother with proper dressings as such, merely relying heavily on vinaigrettes and herbs to flavour salads. Well, this dressing happened partly as I can’t buy organic eggs right now as the only local store that sells them ran out last week and still don’t have them in stock. As I couldn’t go with a version of my home-made mayo (using a poached egg) I decided to go on the hunt for a suitable cream cheese (something I haven’t bought in ages) or an ingredient that would lend itself to a creamy dressing. Little did I realise that this particular cream cheese is now on sale. And it’s 50% reduced fat!

Black Pepper Cream Cheese Salad Dressing

Not that I would buy the product again as it would be as easy to grab a small tub of plain cream cheese and add freshly ground black pepper to it instead. This time around there were no small tubs of plain left. And talking of none left – my patience has worn out. Can’t deal with uploading to WP anymore. I’ve been wasting so much time recently trying to do just that that I need to stop faffing around and spend more time on developing recipes I’m supposed to be doing. So! If things go to plan the next couple of posts will be password protected. And beyond that there’ll be one public post per week – if that.

Black Pepper Cream Cheese Salad Dressing

On a happier note my most viewed photo on Flickr has been trounced at last! Okay, only by one view. Still, it’s taken two years for that to happen. So, that’s at end of post. So, too, is one of my favourite shots, regardless of how odd it may be. It was so cold in Brno, Czech that I had to balance my camera on a pack of cigarettes  - borrowed from someone else, of course not! I just happen to like the theatricality of the photo :)

Black Pepper Cream Cheese Salad Dressing

Within the photo directly above a tablespoon of black pepper cream cheese was added one at a time, the salad dressing was well whisked and tasted before adding more cream cheese. Three tablespoons were used in total.

Black Pepper Cream Cheese Salad Dressing


  • 3 x tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 x tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • ½ x lime, juiced through a sieve
  • 3 x tablespoons black pepper (50% reduced fat) cream cheese
  • ¾ x small green finger chilli (Scoville heat rating: 50,000), washed and thinly sliced – I used about 15 thin slices
  • ½ x large garlic clove, peeled and crushed (any pulp left in garlic crusher was discarded)
  • 4 x grinds fine sea salt, more to personal taste


  • Combine the first three ingredients, excepting the cream cheese, in a suitable bowl. Gradually add as much or as little black pepper cream cheese as needed. Pretty much the same with the finger chilli and garlic. Add, taste and add more to personal taste. Exactly the same with any seasoning.

All photographs within (Todas las fotografías dentro de) Kitschnflavours:
All rights reserved (© Todos los derechos reservados) – Copyright © Johnny Hepburn

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  1. Love the dressing and the photo’s. Never heard of black pepper cream cheese before but I bet it’s really good and really does lend itself as part of a delicious dressing. I love creamy dressing, and like you just throw together quick vinaigrette’s with lots of herbs. This sounds great. So now your posts are going to be password protected? We, the general population won’t be able to see them anymore. Makes me sad!

    • Yes, I like creamy dressings with certain salads. Yet, I’ve never bothered to make one before! It’s quite fun as well.
      - Only the next couple of posts will be password protected. After those the others will be public, as usual. There’s going to be a lot less posting going on as I can’t stand WP and all of their glitches, atm. It’s an absolute shambles trying to post. And I’m using the latest browsers for PC. When one thing on WP starts to work something else doesn’t! And now I have to wait for 24 hours to check which posts have been viewed via Pinterest! Tsk, I’m SO fed up with it all right now. Okay, so I’d far rather be reading other’s posts than having to deal with my own!

  2. Really lovely way to use the pepper cream cheese, like you, I usually go for the ad hoc vinaigrette, but recently have been trying tahini-based dressings. You are right about chick pea texture. It has taken me a few years to get to grips with it (I include getting hummus to my taste), or maybe adjust my palate to the textures, not sure which. Sorry about your problems with WordPress – I have very few but have not had time to use Pinterest yet, so maybe that simplifies things. Will be very sorry to lose your regular posts :(

    • Ah, tahini! I never seem to get to grips with how powerful its flavour can be. Too much of it and it’s unbearably bitter for my palate. You know, like biting into lemon. Actually, that I don’t mind. Especially as I used to like Polish slammers – freshly ground coffee and a little sugar on half a lemon slice, eat that and down a frozen vodka! Whew, after a couple of those shots I was racing! Anyway, I digress :)
      - Future posts, apart from the next couple, will be public like usual. I just can’t spend this inordinate amount of time faffing around with uploads that don’t crunch…won’t go into it as it’s way too much of a yawn. Besides, I want to spend far more time on developing, not only recipes but my wretched photography! So, I’ll be cooking several recent favourites again and hopefully getting better shots of them.

    • I decided not to have Likes showing within posts. I still get them, they just don’t show. For me it’s too much of a visual gauge of how popular a particular post is. Which I don’t feel is justifiable. Especially as some of my best recipes – by far – have been very ‘unpopular’. I guess I just want my posts to look as professional as poss without viewers/readers being unnecessarily influenced. I could elaborate… :)

  3. Hmmm, black pepper cream cheese sounds promising! With the tahini, it’s a bit of a hit and miss, you may need to add some sugar to the mix. Did you try the chickpeas? Did you use canned ones or dried ones? The canned ones can have a bit of an odd texture if you don’t dry fry them to get rid of some of excess moisture… Sorry it didn’t work out for you! Um, will we be able to access your new password protected posts in some manner? I know I’m fairly new to this but I would love to continue seeing your creations.

    • Tahini is a definite hit and miss with me. I can tolerate some in home-made houmous as long as it’s not a predominant flavour. Yet, I love sesame seeds. Anyway, that’s why I wanted to go with a creamy dressing with the salad to go with the chickpeas! Ouch, I’ve been cooking chickpeas for years. But couldn’t get the texture right with the za’atar. To the extent I’m going to try and roast them instead. I used dried chickpeas and boiled those as usual. Normally I then pan-fry them with garlic as that’s how I usually like them – didn’t work. What does work is the dressing! I think I’m going to have to do some research into using za’atar for future reference :)
      - I will be posting new stuff, mostly public, but not nearly as often as I have been. I just want to concentrate on other things right now.

        • Absolutely love that link :) And really nice photos. Thanks for that. I’m not sure if I’d be able to buy sumac, nor fresh thyme for that matter. Even though I do have a (precious) thyme plant on my south-facing window. I think I’ll try a few chickpeas the next time I’m baking bread, just to test them out with the za’atar I already have.
          - Must keep in touch. Always love it when others, when influenced by what ever source, end up creating their own versions. And I also love it when certain ingredients take you (not exactly by the hand) on a route of discovery!

          • No, sometimes they shove, and you either land perfectly or fall flat on your face – my celeriac remoulade turned pink the other day :/ but it’s always fun trying!

    • Thank you. Have to admit today has been like being on hols, unofficially. Yet, I’ve managed to get loads done pretty much stress free :) New photos, much more playful I think, for this post. My precious feta, figs and walnut bread post has been nicely revamped. And that’s how it’s going to be for a while. Pampering my favourite posts! Like our chickpea and coriander soup. Oh, can’t bear the idea of viewing that one until I can buy in coriander. Still, you get the idea. Photos that aren’t cringe worthy from now on. Hah! Breathing like normal again.

      • I can tell you are an extremely creative soul. It comes out in both your cooking and your level of expectations regarding your photography. An artist indeed. Thank you for your inspiration and have to admit I felt a little sad a few times knowing I do not have your posts to look forward to daily. I’ll keep checking in Johnny. :)

  4. Your photos are really nice, I especially love the how the shadows play around in the Czech Republic one, this is the type of photography I want to learn to be able to achieve. I´ve lived in Seville before (yeah I know, I’ve lived in tons of places) and I adore the Barrio de Santa Cruz.

    • Thank you for that. You have loads of photo ops in the Gothic section. Although, the streets are even more narrow there. And how safe it is after dark with a camera…I guess you would be better off with someone. Besides, they could be the model.
      - I was only in Seville for one week. Too much to try and see. Stunning city! As for the Barrio de Santa Cruz I only went there on my last day before leaving for several hours. It was grey and miserable weather, the only really bad day of the entire week. Anyway, there I was trying to compose a shot of the graffiti when the trendy guy, all wrapped up, came flying around the corner! Had to click :)

  5. Congratulations on your Flickr success! You have a unique blog with unique food styling/photography. Even if it is once a week, I will be looking forward to being amused by your posts! Have a good time with your recipe development! :D

    • Thanks, Kenley. I’d never seen it on sale before. If I could grind black peppercorns very finely, as in the photo with the close-up shot of the tablespoon, I would definitely make my own. Problem with black pepper, as I’m sure you know, is that it’ll discolour if stored. I suppose that’s why the black pepper particles in the cream cheese are so tiny.

  6. Mmmm if only I have a bowl of greens right now! This dressing would have been perfect! I don’t think I have seen black pepper cream cheese being sold here, guess I can only try with a mixture of plain cream cheese with freshly ground black peppers! Oh, and congratulations on your achievement in Flickr, must have made your day!

    • You are so right – that dressing would be so good on greens! Yes, as long as you can grind your black peppercorns very, very finely then there’s no reason not to use a home-made version of the cream cheese. My grinder wouldn’t go fine enough so chances are I’ll have to buy the product again. It’s also nice with white fish (Pollack), in a very light parsley sauce that I’ve wolfed through two large portions of already. Alas, no cream cheese left!
      - Flickr I hardly ever use these days. Although, I’m updating certain ‘old’ photos of mine that I particularly like. And believe it or not the photo of Seville is now in first equal position! After all that :)

      • I would probably use my pestle and mortar to pound the black peppercorns to smithereens before mixing it in :) The idea of the sauce with fish sounds good too!

        I still use Flickr to upload my photos though, I think they retain the photo qualities better than other photo websites!

  7. I’ve found it hard to find time lately to post – let alone get through other blogs but I always look forward to whatever you post Johnny. Completely understand about other things taking priority and the popularity contest within the blogging world. ;)

  8. I don’t understand why you’re having so many problems with WordPress?! Have you tried contacting admin about it? Change to another host if WP doesn’t resolve the problems… blogging is supposed to be enjoyable, not an endurance. Love the idea of the cream cheese dressing. Yum!

    • The irony is since my last post any photos that I’ve uploaded have pretty much gone up first attempt! What’s going on?? You’re right, though. Blogging has been an endurance – okay, so not like a Japanese ‘endurance test’ telly show. Hmm, not even as much fun. Right now it just feels so much better going back to posting once a week.

  9. Johnny, I don’t understand why you’ve been having WP problems uploading photos either. Have you tried contacting their support? They are rather prompt and quite helpful as a rule when you email them with a problem. One thing is, it may be related to your Internet speed. The only times I’ve had problem loading a picture, when it seemed it took forever and forever + forever MORE, was when I realized my Internet connection was on the dodgy side. Otherwise, no matter how big or small an image I upload, or how big a batch of images I upload all at once, it goes through quite fast and in a truly painless fashion. So … But in any event, sorry for the WP woes. That would be quite a vexing annoyance so I sympathize.

    I am a big fan of your photography and love the close up shots you took for this post. Great post as always.

    • So pleased you responded to this. Yes, I do suspect it’s mostly my broadband that’s causing the probs. It’s confusing at times as I can see that the photo is uploading 100% but doesn’t crunch and starts to reload. That’s when I’m lucky as quite often that doesn’t even happen. Oddly, the last uploads were to two already published posts and I didn’t have the same problem, at all. Is their a tenuous connection? Oops, no pun intended. Who knows. I do feel a lot more relaxed about posting less! And not posting at all if I can’t get half decent photos. Talking of which, thanks for mentioning the close-up shots. Kinda pleased with those as they’re slightly different. I am trying to go simpler with less quirky stuff in shots. Tough transitional route right now.
      - Thought I’d ask certain people on here if you know of RecipesUS. Just heard from them this morning. And will check them out as they’ve suggested linking to them. Why, as I’m not doing American posts/recipes, I’m not sure about.

  10. I finally caught up with your latest post – took a hell of a long time searching through the WP reader after my vacation, but I knew there HAD TO BE SOMETHING from you :-D. I really like your cream cheese dressing. One of the reasons I almost never bother with trying to come up with dressings is that in this area I feel absolutely unimaginative. So thanks for this one, it’s in my TRY folder!

    • Hopefully you can get the black pepper cream cheese. I’ve recently bought the Boursin new version of and it was very strong in flavour. Much stronger than the other brand. It might be best to grind black pepper very, very finely and mix that with plain cream cheese instead.
      - I’m the same when it comes to salad dressings. As it’s always for me I don’t bother with anything else but oil and vinegar and whatever herbs I have to hand. Nice to make more of an effort, occasionally :)

  11. You’re right, WP is far from perfect. You have to become, unfortunately, a bit of a mechanic in order to drive the WP car. This salad dressing looks great. I’m tempted to try it with mascarpone. I don’t quite understand the password-protected thing. Does this mean we won’t be able to see posts w/out a password? On another note, I like Pinterest quite a bit, but I don’t ask anything of it except to be my visual bulletin board(s). I do link my post to a board I created with the same name as my blog and I find I get a lot of traffic via that route. Good luck. (…and put me on the password list.). Ken

    • Most of the soft cheeses would work with this. I was merely intrigued by the new black pepper cream cheese on sale.
      - Chances are I won’t need to go with password protected as I can link through Categories, which I forgot about. What I might be doing this week instead is going with public posts without recipes. Hmm, not sure how that will sit.
      - Actually added a recipe on to a board (that I was invited to) on Pinterest last night. Far easier than imagined. Even toying with the idea of creating a board on chickpeas, and inviting people to add to add to it. Really should use Pinterest more often, rather than merely pinning my own posts.

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