Friday, November 9, 2018

Potkäse or loosely translated, Potted Cheese.

You ever find a forgotten piece of cheese sitting abandoned, lonely and dried out in your fridge?  Maybe the last little piece of that really expensive Havarti, you didn't keep wrapped properly and it dried out,  (I'm looking at me for this one).

I did that this past weekend, don't know how I did it, but the result was a piece of leathery looking dried out Havarti.  Which had been a really good tasting Havarti, rich and full of character.
At least until I managed to torture it by letting air get to it. sigh.

So I dug deep into my memories and remembered Mom taking the last little heel of cheese, the one that somehow didn't get eaten or wrapped properly (me again), and adding just one more item, resuscitating that piece of cheese and turning it into a totally different meal.
Potkäse (potted cheese)

I'm told you can actually add more cheese and more booze to this and keep it going, but in our house we ate it all. 

The measurements on this are not exact by any means.    It depends on how much cheese you have and how much you tortured it,  sorry, I mean, how dried out it became.

This is best made with a strong flavored cheese, one which is not full of mold.  Apart from Blue Cheese of course.  And blue cheese does work well in this as well.

 Do not use a soft cheese which became moldy, throw it out.  You don't need to get sick. 

Now for the magical ingredient.   Akvavit, or Aquavit or however you wish to spell it.   You can also use a Rum or Whisky or a good fortified wine such as Port or Madiera.  You can even use a good liqueur as well. 

So many choices, and now I'm seriously thinking of letting that last piece of cheddar dry out so I can try making it with some Creme de Cassis.
I'm sold, I'm doing it.

Now, once you've grated the cheese or chunked it up or cut it into little thin pieces, you pour the booze over top.  Just enough to cover it.
Potkäse (potted cheese)
  Put it into a glass jar with a tight fitting lid, and place it into the fridge.  Let it stay in there for a week, letting it out every day for a quick stir, then back into the fridge.  By the end of the week, the milk proteins in the cheese will have started to break down and the whole jar will become spreadable.

I cheated and grated my Havarti on a microplane, I wanted to break it down fast.  And then I ate half of it right away.
Cheese for Potkäse (potted cheese)
My cheese, my rules.
However, I did place the remainder in a little jar and let it rest in fridge, for a week.   Stirring it every day of course.

2 oz. finely grated aged Havarti cheese (dried out to leather)
1 oz. or more Aquavit - Taffel or Linie works well.

Stir together and place into a small glass jar and put into fridge.  Stir once a day and leave for at least a week, adding more Aquavit if needed.   The cheese will break down as it sits.  Add more cheese and Aquavit as desired.  Can keep for a long time, the flavor will get stronger and stronger.

To serve:  Spread on rye bread or rye crisp crackers.   or
Add a little heavy cream to the cheese and serve in a 'pot'.  

This can also be made with Rum, Whiskey, fortified wines or liqueurs.   

This batch may not last the week, I keep tasting it.

Sidsel Munkholm - Author
Sidsel Munkholm - Author

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

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