30 September, 2010

Bread, cheese and Beer

As soon as the leaves start to fall, I start to think of comfort food -- soups, stews, pasta, and lots of cheese.

As Jonathan Swift once said: "Bachelor's fare: Bread, cheese, and kisses."  He forgot the beer.  

The English favour a pub meal called a Ploughman's Lunch, basically composed of cheese (usually a thick piece of Cheddar, Stilton or other local cheese); pickle (or what we call "relish" in the US), bread, and butter. If you're really lucky, a green salad, an apple, celery, pickled onions, or pâté may join the cheese on the plate. The ensemble is washed down with a pint of (warm) beer.  Sheer bliss, if you can get over warm beer.

I Like things simple, so I've cut out the middleman -- I mix my cheese and beer, and spread them on my bread.

Cheddar Ale Spread

6 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (1½ lbs)
3 oz cream cheese, softened
4 Tbsp soft butter or margarine
3/4 cup ale or beer ( I like oatmeal stout, but any beer will do)
1 tsp dry mustard
¼ tsp crushed red pepper

Beat cheddar, cream cheese and butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer - or in food processor - until smooth. Gradually beat in ale, mustard and crushed red pepper.
Pack into stone crock(s) and cover tightly. Allow to "age" overnight.
Keeps well for several weeks and, packed into small crocks, makes a lovely hostess gift.

Yield: two 16 ounce crocks

1 comment:

  1. Nice to discover your blog, Tiger! And now I know what I'm having for lunch on Saturday. Mmmm.