“I am at the moment writing a lengthy indictment against our century. When my brain begins to reel from my literary labors, I make an occasional cheese dip.”

John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces



We went to visit some old-slipper type friends not long ago. These are the sort of friends with whom you can pick up a conversation left off a year or so previously, almost seamlessly.

We arrived in time for a sparkling Pimms, served with a stunning dip – translucent flecked bright orange glaze with a creamy layer beneath. It was dangerously more-ish and looked as if many hours had been spent in the kitchen.

I asked how she’d done it (the man of the house limits his culinary activities to growing vegetables). And she told me it was a cinch – a tub of garlic and herb Philadelphia with a varnish of sweet chilli sauce et voilá!

Here is the recipe.


Recipe for cream cheese and sweet chilli dip

For four to six


  • 170g/6 oz tub cream cheese with garlic and herbs
  • 4 tbsp sweet chilli sauce (she used Blue Dragon)
  • Robust crackers to scoop it up with – I used Seggiano Classic or you could use plain round white rice biscuits (not rice cakes, the little hard white discs)


  1. Simply spread the cream cheese over the bottom of a wide-based bowl
  2. And spoon over the sauce
  3. Serve with the crackers


This post is dedicated to Maria Brown

cream cheese and sweet chilli dip

Orange-flecked glaze varnishes a creamy bed of herbed cheese