When I saw this Pub Spread was on the menu for a cooking class I took a few weeks ago, I was in. A few years ago, I discovered a Pub Cheese Spread that Trader Joe’s sells and it quickly became an every-once-in-awhile addiction. At just under four dollars, the little tub of whipped creamy cheddar cheese is the perfect accompaniment for a stack of Wheat Thins. Our local grocery store sells the same Pub Cheese as well now, for two dollars more. Go figure.
There were four recipes made and tasted during the Irish-themed cooking class that night, and this one was my favorite, followed closely by the Guinness Beef Stew. I actually like this better than the Trader Joe’s spread and from a cost standpoint, it’s cheaper for way more.
The recipe calls for shaping the cheese into a ball shape and then rolling it in the chopped fresh parsley and chives. We didn’t do that in class, and I didn’t do it when I made it this weekend either. I just mixed it all together and set it out in a bowl along with a basket of crackers. We’re pretty low-maintenance here.
Using basic ingredients you can easily keep on hand, and might even have already, it’s a great thing to whip up when you have last minute company coming. Or even if you don’t. Simple. No fuss. Full-on flavor. No excuses not to make this one.
I just can’t believe how big she’s getting.
Homemade Irish Cheddar and Ale Pub Spread
Recipe courtesy of Shop Rite cooking class
2-1/2 cups shredded extra-sharp Irish Cheddar cheese
1 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon sea sealt
1/4 cup Irish ale (I honestly used whatever beer I had on hand)
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
4 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, divided (I used scallions)
In a food processor (I used a big bowl and mixed by hand), 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 (we didn’t in class, ate right away, and it was fine).
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.