Spreads

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by moxiefan, Jul 29, 2002.

  1. moxiefan

    moxiefan

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    Sous Chef
    If a guy wanted to make a savoury spread, like a cheese spread, say... what would he do, and what would he do it with? Is there any classical basis for those mediocre things that come in tubs? ported cheddar or something? I'm looking to do some entertaining... my guests are pretty old fashioned. I think I need cheese and crackers, but I'd like it to be less dull.

    Thanks!

    -P
     
  2. kimmie

    kimmie

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    I would get my hands on Martha's Hors d'Oeuvres handbook. There are lots of ideas in there from simple to fancy.
     
  3. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    The great things about spreads such as the ones you are talking about is that, with a little creativity, the possibilities are endless.
    My parents serve a dip-spread that is as easy as opening a box of cream cheese, putting it into a bowl and pouring salsa around it. They serve it with Triscuits. And as much as I hate to admit it, I love it!! You can also make your own, homemade Boursin, by taking cream cheese, a little goat cheese (optional), fresh garlic, powdered garlic, dried thyme, and a hint of dried oregano and mixing it all together and letting it sit overnight in the fridge.

    Also here is a recipe for Beer cheese:

    2 teaspoon dry mustard
    1 tablespoon celery seed, ground
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground pepper (white if possible)
    1 cup dark, malty beer (a darker Belgian, or Newcastle Brown, etc.)
    4 ounces cream cheese
    1/2 pound grated cheddar (gouda would work also)

    Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

    Many of these cheese spreads follow the same format. Cream cheese, goat cheese, or another soft cheese for creaminess. Grated semi-hard cheeses for flavor, and then some type of flavoring ingredients. Also some sort of liquid to help make it spreadable. Let your imagination be your guide. Try a blue cheese spread with apples and pears instead of crackers. Or maybe a Sage-cheddar spread with vegetables for dipping.
     
  4. bubbamom

    bubbamom

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    1/2 C salted butter, softened
    4 oz cream cheese, softened
    1 tsp (heaping) caraway seeds
    1 tsp capers, drained
    1 tsp (heaping) Dijon mustard
    1-1/4 tsp paprika
    1 tsp anchovy paste (or 1 boned anchovy filet)

    Cream butter until light and fluffy. Add cream cheese and continue beating. Chop caraway seed in blender and add to butter mixture. Chop capers finely and add to mixture. Add mustard and paprika. Rinse, dry and chop anchovy and add to mixture. blend all ingredients well. Place in serving bowl and chill. Let stand at room temperature 30-45 minutes to soften before serving.
    :chef:
     
  5. marmalady

    marmalady

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    Couldn't resist adding my version of the old Southern favorite, pimento cheese!

    1/2 lb. extra sharp chedder
    dash -or two - or three of cayenne or tabasco
    1 T. minced shallot
    1 minced garlic clove

    Whiz all in food processor, and add enough mayo and olive 'juice' from a jar of Spanish olives to make a smooth paste.

    Place in a bowl, and add chopped olives and pimentios to taste.

    Traditionally served on 'Wonder' bread as a sandwich, it's also great on crackers.

    Besides cheese bases, beans are a great base to take off from for spreads. My fave white bean spread:

    WHITE BEAN DIP

    makes 2 cups

    ¼ cup soft bread crumbs
    2T dry white wine
    1 15 oz. can white beans
    ¼ cup toasted almonds
    2-3 T roasted garlic puree
    2T lemon juice
    2T olive oil
    ½ tsp. salt
    ¼ tsp. cayenne
    2tsp. fresh rosemary

    Combine bread crumbs and wine and let sit for 10 minutes. Place beans, almonds, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and cayenne in food processor; process til almost smooth. Add bread crumb mixture and blend til smooth. Stir in herbs. Cover and chill 4 to 14 hours.

    Think about a red lentil (I know, not technically a bean!) spread with Indian spices; pinto bean with mexican spices (a la frijoles refritos); black bean spread with sour orange and cumin.

    Instead of cream cheese for a base, try using mascarpone, or part cream cheese, part sour cream instead of mayo; or sub yogurt cheese for a 'low fat' version, or even 'tofu cream cheese'.
     
  6. shugga

    shugga

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