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How to Flavor Soft Cheese
Soft cheeses are some of the simplest, and will probably be the first cheeses you make. However, simple doesn’t mean boring! Soft cheese can be an amazing party treat, a delicious appetizer or lunch, and can even be used for dessert. With a little salt, some seasonal or dried herbs, or a drizzle of honey, you can turn simple soft cheese into everyone’s favorite. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Basil and tomato cheese: Mold your cheese into the shape of a log, using your hands or one of our molds. Slice into rounds and add fresh basil leaves and tomato slices. Drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of sea salt, and serve with toasted sourdough bread.
Tarragon and chive cheese: Roughly chop a few sprigs of fresh tarragon and a handful of chives. Add to cheese and mix. Serve on top of chicken with roasted green beans and a glass of chilled white wine for a romantic summer dinner.
Cheese and shellfish dip: Add shrimp, crab, or chopped clams (drained, if canned) to cheese. Serve in a pretty bowl with crackers, cocktail sauce, and lemon wedges.
Spinach dip: Mix cheese with chopped spinach, minced garlic, and a few tablespoons of sour cream or cultured buttermilk. Melt in a low oven or crockpot and serve with celery and carrot sticks. Or use as a filling for stuffed mushrooms.
Easy cheese dessert: Place a wedge of soft cheese on a plate, and surround with fresh or frozen berries. Drizzle with honey or maple syrup for a fabulous, low-carb, protein-rich end to any meal.
Vinegar cheese “pancakes”: Mix 1/2 pound of freshly drained vinegar cheese (e.g., queso blanco) with two eggs, and a little sea salt. Press into patties and fry in butter for breakfast. Serve with fruit.
Spicy cheese: Add diced jalapenos, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin, and some chopped cilantro. Use as a topping for tacos or a filling for enchiladas.
Veggie cheese: Finely dice carrots, celery, parsley, and sweet onions and mix with cheese. Spread inside bell pepper wedges, or use as a topping for scrambled eggs.
Horseradish cheese: Add up to a tablespoon of grated horseradish root to soft cheese. Serve a scoop on top of steak or prime rib.
Soft cheeses are also great in grilled cheese sandwiches, as icing for carrot cake, on bagels, as an omelet filling, or topped with homemade jam. Let your imagination run wild! Add soft cheese to anything that could use a little extra body and creaminess. Try it on pasta or spaghetti squash, as a topping for grilled summer veggies, or as a filling for cream puffs or cannoli. Above all, remember to have fun and experiment! In time, soft cheese might just become one of your favorite ingredients.