This is based on a French cheese spread called Frommage Fort. If you look around you will see all kinds of recipes for this. Most of them have dry white wine in with the cheese, and the alcohol does help bring things together, but you can use water and it works.
- About a pound of cheese, any kinds you want, with rinds removed, at room temperature
- ¼ to ½ cup dry white wine, room temperature
- 2 to 4 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 1 or 2 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- A few drops of hot sauce
- Other seasonings and flavorings (ideas below)
Basically, you just cut the cheeses up into ½ to 1 inch pieces, or grate hard cheeses like Parmesan, and throw them in the food processor. Put the minimum amounts of the wine and butter in, and the garlic. Run the food processor for a minute or two, until everything is smooth. Add parsley, hot sauce, and any other seasonings you want. Taste. Now, adjust the flavorings and texture, adding more butter and liquid if it isn't smooth enough (it will firm up in the refrigerator as well). The flavors mellow out as time goes on, but if they seem too harsh, add a little sweetener, or a little more butter. See How to Balance Flavors in Your Cooking
Store in a covered container in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature.
Ideas for Variations
Mustard-Caraway - Add 1 teaspoon of mustard and 2 teaspoons caraway seeds.
Herb - Add ¼ cup of chives or dill and a chopped green onion (scallion).
Pimento - Add a small jar of pimentos.
Maple Brandy Pecan - I know this sounds weird, but it is good! I discovered it by accident when I was trying pecans in the spread and I saw a recipe that included brandy. It was a little strong, so I added a drizzle of sugar-free maple-flavored syrup. Yum!
I have also heard of adding olives and/or tomatoes.
Nutritional Information: The carbohydrates are negligible. Most cheeses have less than one gram of carb per ounce. The ones that have the most, about a gram per ounce, are the hard cheeses like Parmesan, and the part-skim cheeses, such as some mozzarellas. Protein Information On Cheeses (and other protein foods)
Diana Rattray, About's Guide to Southern Cuisine, also has lots of recipes for cheese spreads.