Kirk and Daine are back in the studio full of holiday happiness and excitement to dip their proverbial toes into some cheesy dips and spreads (We promise they didn't ACTUALLY dip their toes into any of the dips and spreads)!
Check it out to hear some cheese news, some cheese lore and even a little cheese law along with some recipes from Kirk that will wow your family and friends this holiday season!
As always, thanks to the Fabulous Sam and her amazing iPad for the cheese lore and a special shoutout to Paul and Sheila Pavloski for graciously hosting Daine and Erin for a Packer game!
Aside from the basic ratio of cheese to wine, this is a very flexible recipe. Don't just add salt: taste it first, especially if you use salty cheeses. If you use stronger cheeses (washed rind, blues, old old goudas, and the like), you can swap out the dry white wine for an eau-de-vie or a kirsch.
You can add fresh herbs: I've used parsley and thyme and both were nice. If you want, you can add a tablespoon of unsalted butter, maybe if you've got some really dry cheeses. If you don't have a food processor, run the garlic through a garlic press, shred all of the cheeses (not just the hard ones), let everything come up to room temperature and mash it together with a fork.
You can eat this on crackers, on bread, or on baguette slices that you've run under the broiler. You can eat it on anything you want, really.
About the easiest recipe ever: put everything in a bowl and mix and eat. It's better when it sits for a bit.
I've also given the link for Andrew Knowlton's Grandma's pimiento cheese. The basic recipe is the same, the ratio of cheese and peppers to mayo in this one is greater than in Zingerman's'.
If you want to go in heavy and freak out your cardiologist, use this as the base for mac and cheese. If you want to assuage your guilt, add some fresh spinach right at the end and wilt it down.
2:1:1 ratio of small curd cottage cheese to sour cream to shredded Monterrey Jack
Finely sliced green onion tops, 1 bunch per 1 1/2 cups of mixed cheese and sour cream
One finely minced jalapeno per 3 cups of mixed cheese
Mix in a bowl. Let sit half an hour. Overnight is better.
If I'm serving a crowd, I start with a 2 cup tub of cottage cheese and work from there. You can do more or less green onions, and if you're going hog-wild, you can just slice up the entire green onion. (It's your dip. You do what makes you happy.) I seed the jalapeno and slice out the veins; if you want your dip with some teeth in it, leave the veins in and/or add more jalapeno.
Wear latex gloves while you do the pepper or be prepared for some pain in the delicate parts of your body later, because capsaicin hangs around for a while.
As far as spices, you don't actually have to add anything other than salt and it will taste just fine, but if you want to get your game on, here are some of the things that I have tried, in various combinations and amounts, and that may or may not be in the final recipe: salt, black pepper, white pepper, cayenne, raw grated horseradish, prepared horseradish (not technically a spice, but you know what I mean), onion salt, onion powder, garlic salt, garlic powder, raw grated garlic, celery salt.
The dip at the restaurant has a creamy taste (not technically a taste, but you know what I mean) with a tiny bit of a bite to it. It's actually kind of delicate, with no one flavor predominating, other than it's good (not technically a flavor, but you know what I mean).