I used to buy an herbed cheese called Boursin. It’s good. It’s got great herby flavor, and is nice and spreadable on crackers. It also mixes well with other cheeses.
Back when I catered, Boursin was prohibitively expensive to include in a cheese platter, being that I had to buy retail. So once when I wanted something similar for a catering gig, I got the idea to duplicate it, with great results.
I can’t tell you how much less expensive it is to make your own “Boursin” because I’ve never calculated it, but even more important than the economic aspect, the taste and texture are so much improved.
I wrote down a recipe of what I did once, just so I could share it with my daughters, but the truth is, you really don’t need a recipe. It has a cream cheese base, but you can also add feta or goat cheese for a zingier flavor. The rest is garlic and herbs. For me, I like a mixture of fresh and dried herbs. And I always include parsley.
So see what you think.
1 – 8 ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
6 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
2 ounces sweet butter, at room temperature
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 – 4″ stem rosemary, leaves removed, finely chopped (optional)
Coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup fresh, chopped parsley
Place the cream cheese, goat cheese, butter and garlic in the jar of a food processor and process until smooth. It’s important to make sure the garlic is completely blended in.
Then add the thyme, oregano, rosemary, if you’re using it, and the black pepper and pulse until incorporated. Add the parsley last, and only pulse until is evenly distributed. If you over process the cheese with the parsley, your cheese will become green, which is only good for St. Patrick’s Day.
Line a small bowl or other mold with plastic wrap.
Add the cheese and smooth the top. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
To serve, unmold the cheese by placing it upside down on your serving platter and let it come to room temperature.
Then remove the plastic and smooth out any wrinkles with a knife blade. This spreadable cheese is really good on bread and plain crackers.
note: I include a half a stick of sweet butter if I’m going to create a mold with the cheese. If you’re going to keep the soft cheese in a serving bowl, you can omit the butter. By the way, one stick of butter is 4 ounces in the U.S., and 1/2 stick of butter equals 2 ounces or 56.7 grams according to this great converter I found!
another note: Think about all of the ways you change change up this recipe using the same base. You can definitely change the herbs – think about making a garlic pepper variety, or one using Herbes de Provence… Or, you can add pesto, or pieces of sun-dried tomato….