Let’s Cook! Cheese Spread from The Land Grille Room
September 11, 2011
Not long ago, Miss Bonnie went digging through the Harem Archives and pulled out an old (circa 1986) Disney cookbook:
“Cooking with Mickey around our world: The MOST requested recipes from Walt Disney World and Disneyland”.
We read through the book with much interest… for the Disney fan it’s fun to note where the dishes originate from, as many are from restaurants (or events) that no longer exist (or at least in the form they were at the time). Examples include venues such as the Lake Buena Vista Club, the Papeete Bay Verandah, the Walt Disney World Shopping Village Seafood Festival, King Stefan’s Banquet Hall and The Land Grille Room (where today’s recipe hails from).
For the food fan, the recipes present and interesting look at what would be considered “gourmet” food of the day to most Americans. Yes, there are some recipes for familiar dishes like Fish ‘n Chips, Chili and Beans, Clam Chowder and Beef Stew, but most look to be dishes that many visitors to Disney may have never heard of, much less tried. Several classic “gourmet” recipes are there: Beef Wellington, Coq au Vin, Vichyssoise and the like. There are also many “ethnic” dishes (most seem to be semi-Asian-inspired from the Polynesian, but most are very far from being a treat for the discriminating diner… some “true foodies” often bemoan that many food items purported to be authentic or ethnic or the like at Disney are “dumbed down” for those guests with less adventurous or refined palates… well if you take a look at the offerings from a quarter-century ago and see how far the food at the parks has come…
There is essentially nothing in the way of an introduction to the volume, so there is no info as to if the recipes have been modified (other than the serving quantities of course) for the home cook, or if the ingredients are all really what was used at the restaurants at the time – with the reliance on items such as bouillon cubes, margarine and canned mushrooms throughout the book, let’s hope it’s the former…
That being said, there are many interesting recipes that still look good, or that with a little tweaking or modernizing should make something tasty come out of your kitchen. In the Eating (and Drinking) Around the World Kitchen South, Miss Bonnie and I tried a couple of the recipes, and we’ll share one of them here, so now, let’s cook!
Cheese Spread (from The Land Grille Room in the Land at EPCOT Center)
12 oz Cheddar Cheese (we used Sharp)
4 oz Crumbled Blue Cheese
8 oz Cream Cheese (we used Neufchatel)
1/3 cup Butter
1/4 cup Heavy Cream (we had Half & Half on hand, so we used that instead)
Dash of Tabasco (or other hot sauce)
1/8 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/8 tsp Paprika
Salt to taste
Bring all ingredients to room temperature before starting.
Cut the cheddar into roughly 1″ cubes. Put half the cheddar and half the blue into your trusty food processor and blend until fairly smooth.
Remove to a bowl and process the remaining cheddar and blue and remove to the same bowl.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the processor and blend until smooth.
Add the cheddar and blue back to the bowl of the processor with the other ingredients and process until all is smooth and incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. If needed add a little more of the cream to make a smooth, but still firm, mixture. Taste and adjust seasoning as you like (we used a bit more Worcestershire and hot sauce, as well as a little cayenne).
Put into a lovely serving bowl and serve as is, or cover and refrigerate until needed, but it’s best served at room temperature.
I think it was better the second day, so try and make a day or two ahead if possible. Taste and adjust seasonings again if needed.
There certainly is room to improvise on the basic recipe – if you like blue cheese, go a bit heavier on the quantity there – you could add a small amount of finely grated sweet onion – and if you want to go for the gusto, add some habaneros or serranos to the processor…
You could always turn this mixture into a cheese ball or log and roll in chopped pecans and/or parsley for serving.
This would also be great slightly melted atop a burger – you could even put a wad of this in between two thin burger patties, seal the edges and grill to make a cheese stuffed burger!
With football time now upon us, this spread would make a tasty addition to a viewing party or even taken along while tail-gating.
As usual, if you try this recipe please post your comments – see you soon!
Now with the appetizer cheese course behind us, it’s time to get back to the kitchen!