Obatzda: Doing You a Solid

No sooner had I posted a promise of “Into the Deep Chowder” than mere hours later Mr. Mackerelsnapper was musing aloud about the delicious Bavarian cheese spread we had at a local brewing company at the beginning of the month. “What was it called? O-something? O-whats-da?” I of course had already started researching recipes for obatzda, a beer garden cheese spread served with dipping vegetables and pretzels. Since it’s served cold, it makes a perfect Little Flowers night meal, because all I’ll have to do is warm up some homemade pretzels, put out the crudite, and let the masses serve themselves. Well, Second Shift of Kid is under age 3, so she’ll probably get something that doesn’t contain so much soft cheese…

Obatzda is basically solid fondue. So if you like fondue but don’t want to buy a fondue pot or stand over a double-boiler and hope for the best, I beg you–try obatzda. Again, here’s something I’ve kludged together from so many sources that I can’t even figure out which part came from where anymore. Camembert usually gets used in place of brie, but I couldn’t find camembert, so here we are. Also, this is a non-alcoholic version. Usually the apple cider is beer, but since it won’t cook out, I’m not going to serve it to the kids. Apple cider it is.

The original restaurant version we tried had bacon in it, and that’s how we talked our older kids into eating–and liking–it. We can’t rely on that trick pony on Fridays. Where most picky kids want things bland and beige, ours want things strongly-flavored. That’s where the bleu cheese comes in. I’m leaving the second tablespoon of bleu visible to them to entice them to actually eat it.

Obatzda Cheese Spread

1 T of small sweet onion, minced
2 T c apple cider
1/4 c butter, cubed
15 oz wheel of brie, de-rinded and cubed
6 oz cream cheese (the Philadelphia type)
3 garlic cloves, peeled (or 1 T garlic paste)
2 T sweet paprika
2 T bleu cheese crumbles, divided
1 T chopped chives (garnish)
1 T chopped parsley (garnish)
Veggies for dipping and Soft Pretzels (see below)

Slice onion and place in a microwave steamer; steam for 3 minutes on high (or place in a bowl with enough water to cover and microwave for 3 minutes, then drain). Place onion in large bowl of food processor fitted with chopping blade. Pour apple cider over onion to cool it, then add butter, brie, cream cheese, garlic, paprika and one tablespoon of bleu cheese crumbles. Pulse to process until spread reaches a smooth, creamy consistency. Pour into a dish with a lid and refrigerate at least 12 hours or up to 4 days. Before serving, garnish with remaining bleu cheese, chives & parsley and serve with veggies, soft pretzels, and apple slices.

I’m making this two days ahead of time so I have tomorrow to make the first step of the pretzels (see below). I already taste-tested the mixture (somebody has to, right?), and… yum. Yum indeed.

We use the Soft Pretzel recipe from Favorite Recipes from Quilters . This time I’m going to make the dough tomorrow, roll them out, skip the brining, and par-bake them. Then I’ll stick them in the freezer, and come Friday night, just brush them with egg & milk wash, sprinkle them with pretzel salt, pop them in the oven so they’re hot and fresh, right after Little Flowers is done and the Mackerelsnapper family is ready to eat. Enjoy!

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About Erin McCole Cupp
Erin McCole Cupp is a wife, mother, and lay Dominican who lives with her family of vertebrates somewhere out in the middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania. Her short writing has appeared in Canticle Magazine, The Catholic Standard and Times, Parents, The Philadelphia City Paper, The White Shoe Irregular, Outer Darkness Magazine, and the newsletter of her children’s playgroup. She is a contributor to CatholicMom.com and has been a guest blogger for the Catholic Writers Guild. Her other professional experiences include acting, costuming, youth ministry, international scholar advising, and waiting tables. When Erin is not writing, cooking or parenting, she can be found reading, singing a bit too loudly, sewing for people she loves, gardening in spite of herself, or dragging loved ones to visitors centers at tourist spots around the country. Find out more about her novels and other projects at erinmccolecupp.com .

3 Responses to Obatzda: Doing You a Solid

  1. Pingback: Countdown to The Lent 2012 Challenge « Mrs. Mackerelsnapper, OP

  2. Pingback: T-minus 5 days: The Lent 2012 Schedule « Mrs. Mackerelsnapper, OP

  3. Pingback: A Festival of Firegrilled Flatbread « Mrs. Mackerelsnapper, OP

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