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Originally published Wednesday, November 8, 2006 at 12:00 AM

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Recipe: Hot Salsa-Baked Cheese Dip

Serves 6 to 8

- ¼ cup pine nuts or coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans

- 3 ounces plain fresh goat cheese

- 3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

- 3 ounces Colby cheese, grated (see Note)

- 1 cup salsa

- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

- Tortilla chips or pita chips for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven until lightly browned and very fragrant, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl.

3. Add the cheeses to the bowl and combine thoroughly with the nuts. Scoop cheese mixture into the center of a baking dish, such as a decorative 9-inch pie plate, and form into a 5-inch disk. Spoon salsa over and around the cheese.

4. Bake until heated through, about 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve as a dip or spread with tortilla chips or pita crisps.

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Note: The original recipe contained 4 ounces goat cheese. We replaced some of it with Colby.

Slightly adapted from "The 150 Best American Recipes" compiled by Fran McCullough & Molly Stevens; original recipe from El Mundo de Frontera newsletter by Rick Bayless

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