Saturday, November 5, 2011

Wine and Apps

Top to bottom: Bean, Formage, Blue
Well tonight was a movie night at the boy's karate school. A group of my friends who have their children in the school decided to take this opportunity to go out. However, as movie night started at 4 (and it's closest to my house) we decided to have some wine here before we went to dinner. I think it irresponsible (much less bad manners as a host) to serve alcohol with out some sort of food to go with it. I made a white bean dip, formage fort, blue cheese and chive spread for the savory options. To accompany them, I had some crackers, herbed flatbread crisps, pita triangles and marinated olives. I also made a marscipone and honey spread to put on some thin crisp coconut cookies. I choose what I did because I had almost everything on hand. I knew I needed to restrain myself because I tend to make too much and I didn't want to spoil our dinner. I started with the formage fort. I hadn't made it before but have always wanted to. On the show I saw it made, it was said to be a way to use all those little remnants of cheese in your fridge. I liked it, but I would have liked it to be a bit more spreadable. I made it early and then did the "refrigerate for 2 hours" option in the recipe. I liked the consistency better when it was first made. There were two cheeses I had leftovers of (blue and marscipone) that I thought would overpower or get lost in the formage fort. One of the most delicious things on the planet is marscipone and honey so all I needed to get for that was some thin crispy cracker like cookie. I saw some that fit the bill in coconut. (another of the most delicious things on the planet:). For the blue cheese, I was thinking I needed something creamy to dilute its powerful flavor. I was thinking sour cream but that would be a salad dressing. I looked at the cream cheeses and decided on a chive flavored one. As for the white bean dip, it's a favorite, simple and we always have the ingredients on hand. I decided to make the bean dip spicy hence the addition of roasted red pepper. It's not usually in there.

Fromage Fort
1 lb left-over cheese*,at room temperature
1/4 c  dry white wine
3 T  unsalted butter,softened
2 T  fresh parsley leaves
1    small clove garlic
[Note: Prep Time:10 minInactive Prep Time:--Cook Time:--Level: You
may use any left-over cheese you wish, such as Cheddar, Parmesan,
Provolone, Fontina, Mozzarella, Camembert, or St. Andre. Make sure that
you use a combination that is not too salty. ]
Remove any rinds from hard cheeses. Grate hard cheeses and cut others
into 1/2-inch cubes. Place cheese, wine, butter, herbs, and garlic in a
food processor and blend until smooth, approximately 2 minutes. Serve
immediately or refrigerate for at least 1 hour for a firmer consistency.
This can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

White Bean Dip
 2 cn of cannellini beans [white kidney beans] drained and rinsed
2 ea of garlic,put through a press or minced fine
Olive oil
Salt
A Splash of Lemon Juice
[Note: variation: add a teaspoon of anchovy paste]
1.In a food processor add the beans and garlic and process
2.While it is still running drizzle the oil until it reaches a dip like
consistency
3.Season it with salt and taste.  Adjust salt as needed.  Add hot sauce
instead of pepper if desired
4.Serve with crackers and baguettes

You can add on to this depending on the flavors you want.  Tonight I added a 1/4 of a roasted red pepper and a large dollop of sriracha

Marscipone and Honey

Mix marscipone cheese and honey in a 3:1 ratio.  Blend well

Blue Cheese and Chive Spread

4 oz Chive Cream Cheese (homemade is preferred)
2 Tbsp Blue Cheese
1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter (softened)

Mix ingredients well.

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