Sunday, January 13, 2008
On one of his most brilliant episodes, Alton Brown makes a quick dip in the food processor with loads of different kinds of cheese and garlic. I'd never felt I had an adequate variety of cheese in small portions to warrant making the dip, until this past weekend. Post-holiday, our cheese drawer was overflowing! After weeding out the inedible ones, I had a nice mix of little bits.
Alton instructs using around a pound of cheese and to either shred hard cheeses or cut semi-firm cheeses into one inch cubes. I don't own a kitchen scale and am relatively bad with judging both height and distance, so who's to know if I actually used a pound of cheese.
To the cheese in the food processor add 1/4 cup of white wine, 2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped, and 1 tablespoon of butter. Pulse to get the mixture going, then puree until creamy. Because my cheeses were mostly firm or grated cheeses, I needed to use 1/4 cup more wine to achieve the right consistency. If you add brie or cream cheese to your mixture, you'll probably be fine with just the 1/4 cup.
I tasted the mixture at this point and thought the wine was overpowering. I was disappointed but thought I could spruce it up with some black pepper and red pepper flakes. This toned down the winy-ness with a little heat and tasted much better.
Finally, I removed some of the plain cheese dip and set it aside. To the remaining cheese in the food processor, I added about 8 basil leaves, roughly chopped, and pureed. I only did this because I had some leftover basil from attempting red curry chicken the other night, but it was a nice addition to the cheese dip.