Someone once described the store-bought, processed copies of homemade originals as “understudies” which, only on rare occasions, could come up to the standards of the genuine made-at-home article. Nevertheless, understudies are as essential in the kitchen as they are in the theater. For a cook they are time-savers, and the right understudies playing the right parts will play a positive role in the quality of the cooking in a kitchen. Every cook’s choice of time-savers will be her (or his) own. Prepared puff pastry, for example, is a regular understudy in the diplomatickitchen.
Here, however, is a recipe for a homemade original that is brief, easily accomplished and reliably good. It is a cheese spread that takes so little time to make that a store-bought version can be no more than a bit player in the role of time-saver.
Note: To print this recipe, or any other diplomatickitchen recipe, go to the bottom of the page, at the end of the post, and click on the icon: Print & PDF. You will have the option of printing in smaller text size and without photos.
A Timing Note: The cheese spread is aged for a week in the refrigerator and should be brought to room temperature before serving.
- 10 and 1/2 ounces of Edam Cheese, grated
- 5 Tablespoons (2 and 1/2 ounces) of Butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon of Sweet Hungarian Paprika, plus a little more to sprinkle over the top before serving: (Szegedi Paprika is very good, and, fortunately for cooks in the U.S., it is often available in American supermarkets.)
- 1 teaspoon of Coarse-Grained Dijon Mustard
- 1 Tablespoon, plus 1/8 teaspoon of Brandy
- 1 Tablespoon of Dry Sherry
- a Mixing Bowl
- a Mixer, standing or hand, is useful for mixing the cheese with the other ingredients
- Small Crocks, Ramekins or Serving Bowls in which to age and serve the cheese spread: The advantage of aging the cheese in small serving vessels is that you can take out only a small amount of cheese for any one occasion. The cheese keeps well and the rest may be reserved fresh for another time.
1. Put the grated Edam in a mixing bowl. Add the butter and mix it well into the cheese. (The mixture they form will be textured–not completely smooth.)
2. Add the paprika, Dijon mustard, brandy and sherry and mix well again.
3. Divide the mixture among small crocks, ramekins or bowls that may also be used for serving the cheese. Cover them with plastic wrap or squares of waxed paper fastened with rubber bands and refrigerate for 1 week to develop the spread’s flavour…
A Note: Sherry Brandy Edam Spread and Spicy Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Spread are served with Benne (Sesame) Seed Crackers and Homemade Wholewheat Crackers in the Lunch Menu: A Cold Winter’s Day Luncheon Menu Reminiscent of Sunny Climes.
A Second Note: Should the weather in your part of the world be warm and sunny at this time of year, this Edam cheese spread will be nice to take along on a picnic. The spread also goes well with this previous dk recipe: Pita Chips Herbed and Spiced.
An Invitation: You are invited to request suggestions from the diplomatickitchen for your own menus for any occasion by clicking on the feature ‘Ask and Tell’ here or in the Menu at the top of the page. Do you have a menu concept with a gap or two that wants filling…or perhaps you are an expat looking for ways to adapt your recipes to what is available in your temporary home…maybe you are just looking for a new way to use a familiar ingredient or would like suggestions on how to adjust quantities of a recipe from the diplomatickitchen for smaller or larger groups…Replies will be published in ‘Ask and Tell’ or sent by email if you prefer.
© Elizabeth Laeuchli, the diplomatickitchen, 2011-2012