We were at the market, picking stuff up in preparation for some family visiting, and Rich picked up one of those tubs of Cheez Food Spread, thinking mebbe it’d be nice to set out with some crackers for folk to nibble on if they were feeling a bit peckish.
“Hmmm”, he said, “I bet you could make something as good, or mebbe even better, than this, and with more wholesome ingredients.”
He was correct.
Actually, after doing some research on da Google, it seems as though everybody makes a cheese spread of some sort, and they all look to be more or less better for you – or at least less full of funky sounding additives – than the stuff packed into those little plastic tubs by the no doubt very nice Cheez Food Spread folk.
So, I contrasted and compared a bunch of different versions, and came up with a blend of my own that we are kinda liking with sea salt pita chips.
•4 oz cream cheese at room temperature
•2 cups grated cheddar cheese
•2 tsp Dijon mustard
•2 tbsp horseradish
•1/4 cup stout
•1 tbsp vinegar
•1/4 tsp Earl’s – or your favorite hot sauce
•1/8 tsp black pepper
•1/4 tsp Aleppo pepper
Note: this blend is one I thought we’d all enjoy featuring ingredients we normally have hanging about the house anyway; feel free to swap out Gruyère, or just about any other creamy cheese, for the Cheddar, and adjust the other ingredients to suit your tastes and pantry – more or less hot sauce, beer or mebbe even port in place of the stout; it’s all good, and all up to you.
Add all the ingredients to your food processor and pulse until well and truly blended and smooth.
Take a taste and adjust the seasonings if you think it needs anything, but remember, the flavor will develop once you’ve let it all rest in the fridge for a day, so, turn your cheese spread into a small bowl, cover it tightly, and stash in the fridge for that day or resting.
When ready to serve, allow the spread to come to room temperature for 30 minutes or so, then serve with your cracker and/or crudités of choice – I am really enjoying it with those sea salt pita chips.