3/31/10

Coeur `a la Creme

When it comes to a quick cheese and cracker appetizer it's easy to simply slice some cheese, surround a mound of crackers on a try and call it 'done'. However, if you have time, the extra work involved in making something like this 'cheese' spread for a cracker is well worth it.

With Easter coming up this Sunday, many people are looking for something 'special' to serve at their holiday gatherings. This is one of those. I put this particular recipe into my files last Spring - I hope you add it to yours as well!


Coeur a la Creme

1 (32-ounce) carton plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup port or other sweet red wine
2 tablespoons grated fresh yellow onion
1 (8-ounce) tub nonfat cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) tub reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1 (1-ounce) package dry ranch-flavored salad dressing mix
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
Fresh herbs, such as chives, oregano, basil

Place a colander in a 2-quart glass measure or bowl. Line colander with 4 layers of cheesecloth, letting cheesecloth hang over the edge of colander. Spoon the yogurt into colander. Cover loosely with plastic wrap; refrigerate 12 hours. Spoon drained yogurt into a bowl, and set aside; discard cheesecloth and liquid.

Moisten another 3 layers of cheesecloth in wine; squeeze excess wine from cheesecloth until barely damp, reserving 2 tablespoons of wine. Line a 4-cup gelatin mold or heart-shaped cake pan with the dampened cheesecloth, letting cheesecloth hang over edge of mold, and set aside.

Combine reserved 2 tablespoons of wine, grated onion, cream cheeses, and salad dressing mix in a large bowl; beat at low speed of a mixer until smooth. Stir in drained yogurt; set aside.

Sprinkle gelatin over water in a small saucepan; let stand 1 minute. Cook over low heat, stirring until gelatin dissolves. Remove from heat; let cool slightly. Stir 2 tablespoons yogurt mixture into gelatin mixture with a wire whisk. Add gelatin mixture to remaining yogurt mixture, stirring well.

Spoon yogurt mixture into prepared mold. Fold cheesecloth over top of yogurt mixture, and chill up to 24 hours (mixture will get a rubbery texture if chilled more than 24 hours).

To serve, unfold cheesecloth, and invert mold onto a serving plate; discard cheesecloth. Garnish with fresh herbs, if desired. Serve with lahvosh or crackers.
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