Monday, November 16, 2009
Liptauer Cheese Spread - Blue Monday
This may look familiar. It is Arva castle and from its highest parapet there is a view of Lipto, home of Liptauer cheese spread. It's also the site where the old vampire film Nosferatu was filmed.
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I know that early exposure helps us develop an affinity for certain foods. It's the only plausible explanation for my love of Central European food. I had my first taste of Liptauer cheese at the age of 4 and we've had an improbable love affair ever since. Lipto is a fresh Hungarian cheese that's made with sheep's milk. It has a very soft consistency, but it's so mild that it's almost flavorless. That's taken care of by the addition of herbs and seeds and spices that are used to flavor the food of the region. A little paprika, a few capers and a spoonful of caraway seeds help move the bland to "bingo." When we lived in Chicago, Lipto cheese was just a bus ride away. It became harder to find in the suburbs of New Jersey and I haven't been able to find it at all where we now live. This cheese spread is popular in Slovakia and Italy , where it's called Spuma di formaggio all'ungherese, as well as in Austria and Hungary. It's almost effortless to make and it's wonderful for those occasions where beer is the beverage of choice. Liptauer cheese spread can be made with any soft cheese. Cottage cheese, cream cheese, quark, and soft goat or sheep cheese are all great substitutes for Lipto. The cheese is mixed with sour cream, butter, and finely chopped onions. Spices like ground paprika, fresh parsley, and bruised caraway seeds are added to the mix along with mustard and anchovies. The cheese is served with crackers or dark breads such as rye or pumpernickel. Some folks serve it with vegetables and others use it to stuff vegetables. All in all, it's an amazingly versatile spread. If you add two or three extra tablespoons of sour cream to the mix, it becomes a dip that's not at all bad with chips or pretzels. Liptauer takes 10 minutes to assemble, but it's flavor improves if it's allowed to sit for a few hours before serving. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. Here's the recipe.
Liptauer Cheese Spread...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
8 oz. of Lipto or cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup soft butter, softened
3 tablespoons sour cream
2 mashed anchovy fillets or 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 teaspoon capers
1 tablespoon finely minced onion
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1-1/2 teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds smashed or bruised to release flavor
1/2 teaspoon salt
1) Combine cream cheese, butter, sour cream and anchovies in a small bowl. Mix well to combine.
2) Add capers, minced onions, mustard, paprika, caraway seeds and salt. Mix well.
3) Form a smooth mound. Make slight indentations in mound using tines of a fork. Sprinkle with paprika.
4) Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Garnish as desired. Yield 1-3/4 cups.
You might also want to try:
Choosy Beggars - Spinach and White Bean Dip
Grow.Cook.Eat. - Baba Ganoush
The Perfect Pantry - Herbed Cheese Spread
This post is being linked to:
Smiling Sally - Blue Monday