Guest Author - Jason Hodge
In my family we are definite fans of everything food. We love the textures, tastes, looks and feels of creative dishes. It's our passion and we thrive on discovering new innovations in the kitchens we frequent. Sometimes, however, life's life curtails the fun we could normally have creating our signature dishes, if it weren't for a practice of convenience we've adopted. We make certain sauces, spreads, dips and condiments ahead of time in order to significantly reduce our cooking time, so we can enjoy our favorite meals.
Here's one of the spreads we make to shortcut our cooking process. You'll need a skillet, a spatula, a food processor, a sterile glass, wide mouthed jar and an ice bath for this.
Herbed Veggie Cheese Spread
1 lb dairy-free cheese
1 tsp fresh dill weed
1 tsp fresh oregano
1 tsp fresh mint
1 tsp fresh parsey
1 clove crushed minced garlic
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp Veganaise
Sea Salt [to taste]
1. In your skillet combine the oil, fresh herbs and garlic over a medium heat, just enough to bring out their aromas. Let cool and take your spatula and scrape the contents into your processor.
2. In your processor add your Veganaise and pulse for a few seconds to make sure that the herbs are chopped but not blended. Make sure to scrape down the sides.
3. Then add your dairy-free cheese and pulse until smooth enough to spread.
4. Place in your jar, making sure there are no air pockets, cover and submerge in your ice bath until cold all the way through [I like to leave mine in for at least 30 minutes].
5. Place in the refrigerator and you're ready to go for when you need it.
This is a great inclusion, in your arsenal of convenient condiments, to have on hand for when you're in a pinch for time and you still want your food to taste like it was made by a chef. Keep in mind that this is very versatile. It can be used as a spread on crackers, veggies, mixed in with pasta, on bread ans sandwiches, in rich, creamy soups and stews, etc. Also remember, whatever your flavor fancies are, you can make the adjustment in your cheese spread recipe. You're not locked in with this recipe. There's no law that says you can only have one waiting at your beck and call in the fridge. You can have as many as your heart desires.
Just remember these key fundamentals:
You need your cheese source
Whatever you want it to taste like
Something to thin it out enough to make it spreadable that will complement its flavor
As always, it's been my pleasure sharing with you. Until next time...