Fake It ‘Til You Make It
What’s the deal with the price gouging at the grocery store? Makes a girl get all huffy and work on a recipe for homemade majesty to save some bucks.
You’ve probably seen/had boursin before, a creamy fresh cheese spiked with herbs and a healthy shot of pepper. The cheese, created in Normandy, is a delicious treat on crackers and bread, and a perennial party pleaser. Problem is the stuff runs about $5-6 for a mere 5 oz. I could warrant spending that much on a fancier cheese, but on something in the aisle next to the Rondele? Forget it.
My childhood church put out a cookbook back when I was a kiddie, and one of the recipes in there was a Homemade Boursin. A combination of dried herbs, cream cheese and butter, it was close enough to the original stuff that I couldn’t see a reason to spend the money on the real stuff.
I don’t really know where the original recipe’s gone, but I’ve been making this version for years – a spicier alternative with both white and black pepper and a shot of chopped garlic. I also make it with half the fat by using Neufchatel and SmartBalance spread in lieu of butter and cream cheese (you can certainly go full fat if you’d like, though). The whole mess is whipped up in the food processor in mere seconds, and I then get to watch as it’s systematically devoured at parties. The best kind of recipe of all
To my vegan friends, I’ve made this with Tofutti and vegan margarine before and it is absolutely as good as the vegetarian version. Definitely give it a try – your dairy consuming buddies won’t know the difference.
Boursin (for Fakers)
8 oz. of neufchatel (or other cream cheese), softened
4 tbs. of Smart Balance spread (or butter), softened
1 1/2 tbs. of dried herbs (oregano, thyme, rosemary, tarragon – I just use Herbes de Provence and call it a day)
1/2 tsp. of white pepper
1/2 tbs. of black pepper
1/2 tsp. of salt
2 cl. of garlic, minced
Mix all ingredients well (or blend in a food processor). Serve with crusty bread, toasts or crackers.