I should have been a skier. And not only a skier, but a skier who lives in Chamonix, France, or in the beautiful Dolomites of northern Italy. I love ski suits, I love hot toddies, and mostly, I’m always ready for après ski spreads.
I recently discovered a book called Alpine Cooking, by Meredith Erickson. In it she shares “recipes and stories from Europe’s grand mountaintops.”
Look at these stunning photos from the book.
The recipes are from France, Italy, Austria, and Switzerland. The one I chose to make out of all of the tantalizingly cheesy recipes in the book is Liptauer, a spiced cheese spread, because I’ve never had it before!
The recipe uses quark, but I substituted fromage blanc. I’ve even seen cottage cheese in liptauer recipes, so I don’t think quark is a strict ingredient.
The author recommends that this spread is served with whole-wheat bread.
She also recommends a glass (or two) of crisp Gruner Veltliner as an accompaniment. I’m happy to oblige.
All I know, is that Liptauer is really really good.
Spiced Cheese Spread
145 g or 5 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
200 g or 7 ounces quark
3 tablespoons creme fraiche
1/4 yellow onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon drained brined capers
3 anchovies, minced
10 gherkins, diced
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
In a medium bowl, using a fork or a small whisk, ship the butter until smooth, then add the quark and creme fraiche, stirring until smooth again.
Stir in the onion, capers, anchovies and pickles.
Finally, adjusting amounts as desired, add in the sour cream, mustard, caraway seeds, paprika, salt, pepper, chives, and parsley.
I am personally not terribly fond of caraway seeds, so my addition was more like 1/2 teaspoon. Plus I chopped the seeds a bit.
Transfer the mixture to a crock or glass jar for serving.
Serve at room temperature.
Oddly enough, the caraway seeds fit perfectly into this spread. That surprised me!
For interest, I used half sweet paprika and half smoked paprika, and it was perfect.