Have you ever seen those little boxes of spreadable cheese? You know the ones, the ones with little tiny wheels wrapped in foil and a nice French name (although for North America, it’s made in the United States). I bet when you picked one up and looked at the price, you might have experienced some sticker shock. Right? We do. We won’t say that these little cheese wheels aren’t a tasty, tasty, snack, because that would be a lie, as the cheese is quite good, but, if you continue reading, we’ll show you how easy it is to make your own tasty cheese spread.
From late spring until the end of the year, we get fresh chèvre from Black Mesa Ranch through the CSA. It’s a very good fresh goat cheese, without that signature goat-y flavor that many people don’t like. Plus, we know the goats are treated well, as we’ve visited during one of the open houses the Black Mesa owners hosts, and we think that’s important. Healthy and happy goats make for better milk, which makes for better cheese. Simple.
Since we get logs of cheese every other week, sometimes we have to pop one in the freezer for later, which is fine, because the cheese freezes very well. During the winter, we’ll often take out a log of cheese to enjoy as part of our meals or snacks.
Yesterday, you saw that we’d made some crackers, so we decided that we’d make a quick batch of Chèvre Spread for topping the crackers. It’s really easy to make, plus, you get to choose the flavors, not some corporation. Let’s scratch some up.
The buttermilk is really there to thin out the cheese enough that it’ll be spreadable. You can use milk, cream, or half-and-half; basically, any dairy product. We like to use buttermilk because it adds a slight tang to the final spread. We only mentioned dried herbs, because this is your spread, not ours. Use herbs that you think will be good, and, since we’re making such small amounts, if you go way wrong with the flavors, it’s not a huge loss. We made a chervil and garlic (1 Tbs chervil; 1/4 tsp garlic powder) and a dill (1 Tbs dried dill; pinch of salt).
Procedure in detail:
The procedure is really just mix the ingredients, so we’ll simply post a few pictures with captions.
Making cheese spread is so simple, we can’t imagine buying it pre-made. After all, we know all the ingredients, and not a single one is something that sounds like it might be a petroleum product (Xanthan gum sounds like it’s pretty industrial); plus, we can make it match our crackers, or our meal. It’s probably the most useful 5 minutes you’ll ever spend in terms of effort-to-enjoyment ratio. Five stars.