Dianne Bernsten from Baltimore was looking for a recipe for making pub cheese similar to one she remembers from the Hilltop Inn and Lounge in Bowie many years ago. She said she has tried several store-bought versions over the years and has not liked any.
The Web is full of pub cheese recipes, the majority of which start with processed cheese like Velveeta as a base, but a recipe for a homemade Irish cheddar and ale pub spread that I came across on the food blog sweetnicks.com looked tasty.
Blogger Cate O'Malley from Rockaway, N.J., said she adapted this recipe from one that was made during an Irish-themed cooking class she took a few years ago. She said this simple spread calls for basic ingredients you can keep on hand and is a great thing to whip up when you have last-minute company. The original recipe called for shaping the ingredients into a ball and rolling it in chopped fresh parsley and chives before serving. She said she skips that step and just mixes everything together and serves it in a bowl along with crackers. Whether you decide you want to get fancy and shape this into a ball or simply serve it as is, this spread is full of flavor.
Gerri Papp from South Bend, Ind., is looking for a French-style doughnut or beignet recipe. She said one she had one she liked that came from a women's magazine in the 1970s. It was a basic yeast dough that was cut into 2-inch squares before the final rising, cooked in hot oil until puffed and then sprinkled with powdered sugar before serving.
Elaine Marie Smith from Reisterstown is looking for a recipe for making creamed cucumbers like ones her mother used to serve. Unfortunately, she does not have her mother's recipe, but she remembers that she would peel the cucumbers and slice them very thin, allowing them to soak in salt water for 24 hours. Then they were drained and mixed with a creamed dressing that she thinks was made with mayonnaise and perhaps vinegar, but not sour cream.
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Irish cheddar-and-ale pub cheese
Makes: 1 medium-size cheese ball or about 2 cups spread.
2 1/2 cups shredded extra-sharp Irish Cheddar cheese¿
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard¿
2 tablespoons heavy cream¿
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup Irish ale (or any beer you have on hand)
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided¿
4 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, divided
In a food processor, combine cheddar, cream cheese, mustard, cream, cayenne and salt. Process 30 seconds. Add ale; process until smooth. Pulse in 2 tablespoons of the parsley and 2 tablespoons of the chives until just combined. Transfer to a bowl; cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
To serve: If desired, shape the chilled spread into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill at least 1 hour or until ready to serve. Just before serving, roll the ball in remaining chopped parsley and chives. Serve with crackers.
—Recipe adapted from Shop-Rite cooking class