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01/09/2019

~ Buttery-Rich and Cream-Cheesy Copycat Boursin ~

IMG_7362Hospitality at-the-drop-of-a-hat -- it's the name-of-the-game friends, and no self-respecting cook gets caught without a block of semi-soft-, wedge of soft-, or a spreadable-cheese on-hand. Get out the cheese board, the corkscrew, and voila, instant hospitality.  A little effort and as little as thirty short minutes of spirited conversation (tick, tock) can build friendships that last a lifetime. Next to the port wine cheese, you'll find Boursin in my refrigerator -- both have relatively long shelf lives.  That said, given enough time and/or notice I make my own copycat versions*.

*Note:  Making a case for making your own port wine cheese and Boursin is easy:  In the case of both, sans the spices for the Boursin (which I have on hand all the time), you can make twice as much for half the price.  Example:  One wheel of store-bought Boursin costs almost $8.00.  I can make two wheels for slightly less than $4.00.  Suffice it to say, "it makes cents".

IMG_7355As the French say:  "Du pain, du vin, du Boursin."

6a0120a8551282970b022ad386a1bc200cBoursin is classified as a "specialty" cheese, but, I classify it as "party cheese" -- serve it at a party with crackers or toasts and people flock to it.  This cow's milk cheese has a creamy, buttery texture and a full flavor, similar to cream cheese, which makes it perfect to serve with wine or cocktails.  The Boursin brand is available in five flavors, (Garlic & Fine Herbs is my favorite). Whichever one you choose, there are two constants in each variety of Boursin:  garlic and peppercorns.  

Boursin was the creation of François Boursin in 1957, in Normandy.  It was "his take" on the French tradition of serving cheese with an assortment of minced, fresh herbs, which guests sprinkled atop the cheese to suit their own personal palate.  Here's one last bit of trivia about Boursin: When you are purchasing Boursin, if the package does not say "all natural Gournay cheese on it", it is not authentic Boursin.  It seems that "Gournay" is the word François Boursin picked (naming it after the town he grew up in) when he was required to declare its origin to customs officials.  The Boursin brand was first advertised on television in France and Britain using the slogan, "Du pain, du vin, du Boursin", meaning, "some bread, some wine, some Boursin".

Translates to:  "Some bread, some wine, some Boursin."

IMG_72968  ounces cream cheese, at room temperature, very soft (1 large package)

4  ounces salted butter, at room temperature, very soft (1 stick)

1  tablespoon dried herbs de Provence

1  teaspoon dehydrated, minced garlic

1  teaspoon dehydrated, minced onion

1/2  teaspoon granulated garlic powder

1/2  teaspoon granulated onion powder

1/2  teaspoon sea salt

1/2  teaspoon white pepper

IMG_7299 IMG_7299 IMG_7307 IMG_7307~Step 1.  Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and thoroughly stir them together -- there will be 1 1/2 total cups.  Cut and line two 3/4-cup ramekins with enough aluminum foil to overhang the sides by 1 1/2".  Fill both containers (full and level with the tippy top) with the Boursin.  Cover the ramekins with the overhanging foil and refrigerate 1-2 hours or overnight.

Note:  Boursin can be made 3-5 days in advance of serving and keeps nicely in the refrigerator for at least a week.  Remove from refrigerator about 1 hour prior to serving -- homemade Boursin softens, time wise and texturally, like butter softens (slightly-, semi-, very-soft and spreadable).

IMG_7315 IMG_7315 IMG_7315 IMG_7315 IMG_7315~Step 2.  Once Boursin has been removed from the refrigerator, loosen the foil from the top, then, use the foil as a handle to lift cheese from ramekin.  Peel back the foil.  Invert a small plate over the top, then invert the plate and Boursin to the upright position and remove the foil.  Continue to let cheese sit at room temperature until desired consistency is reached.

Cream cheese & butter + herbs & seasonings + 5 minutes:

IMG_7342Buttery-Rich and Cream-Cheesy Copycat Boursin:  Recipe yields 1 1/2 cups copycat Boursin cheese and two small wheels (similar in size to the store-bought wheels).

Special Equipment List:  spoon; 2, 3/4-cup-size ramekins; aluminum foil

IMG_7290Cook's Note: Mashed, smashed or whipped potatoes, made from Russets, reds or golds, skins on or skins off, baked in the oven, boiled on the stovetop or cooked in the microwave -- a case can be made, and a recipe developed, for each and every scenario, and, as long as the end justifies the means, the basic machinations for potato perfection is, for the most part, personal. ~ Buttery-Rich & Boursin-Cheesy Whipped Potatoes ~ are a personal favorite.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Copyright and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2019)

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