This Viral Reddit Holiday Recipe Is Surprisingly Delicious

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

I’m not totally sure I understand how to use Reddit, but I do know that for the past few weeks, every time I browsed the food and cooking-related threads, a recipe for spicy cranberry salsa continued to pop up. I sort of glazed over it the first few times, until I realized it was being spooned over cream cheese and served with crackers as a holiday appetizer — a very popular one, it seemed. I couldn’t decide whether it sounded strange and disgusting or strange and delicious, but I knew I needed to find out for myself.

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Why Spicy Cranberry Salsa Is the Appetizer You Need

A quick Google search proved that although this recipe was new to me, it’s likely not new to many of you. I couldn’t place where it originated, but the general consensus seems to be that if you put it out at a party, it will be the first thing to go.

The basic recipe is as follows: Place 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries (thawed if frozen, about 3 1/2 cups), 1 seeded and chopped jalapeño pepper (two if you like it super spicy), 4 chopped scallions, 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems, the zest and juice of 1 lime, 1/2 cup granulated sugar (add up to 1/4 cup more if you like your salsa on the sweeter side), and 2 tablespoons grated or chopped fresh ginger in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped, 25 to 30 pulses. Taste and season with salt, transfer to a large bowl, and chill, covered, for at least 2 hours or up to 1 week.

When you’re ready to party, spoon some of it over an eight-ounce block of softened cream cheese and serve with a variety of crackers. (The recipe will yield enough to cover two blocks of cream cheese).

After letting the appetizer chill, I dove in head-first, smearing a generous amount of cream cheese onto my Ritz cracker and then spooning on as much salsa as it could handle. It was delightful, and then some. The salsa itself is tart, tangy, sweet, and spicy, but the mild, creamy cream cheese cools down your taste buds. The cracker adds a nice salty crunch, and it all manages to happen in just that one bite. Now that’s a winning appetizer.

If you’re still not convinced, consider the fact that you can make the salsa up to a week in advance and just stash it in the fridge. It’s a fun and festive way to use in-season cranberries, and the hints of green make it extra perfect for Christmas. Just don’t knock it ’til you try it, because if you try it, you’ll be hooked.

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