Thursday, November 28, 2013

Chive and black garlic cream cheese spread

This is one of those recipes that's greater than the sum of its parts. And it's a perfect last-minute appetizer.

If you haven't tried it yet, black garlic is like ... uh ... garlic candy? Well, maybe not quite, but it's certainly not like garlic you know. It starts out as regular garlic, but then it's fermented. The cloves are actually black, and they're sticky, a little caramel-y, a tiny bit sweet, and much, much milder than regular garlic.

People will try this and say, "What's in it?" And when you tell them, they'll say, "No, really. What's in it?"

It's best made a couple hours ahead of time - or better yet, the day before. This gives the flavors a chance to mingle, and for the chives to mellow a bit.

Did I mention that black garlic is soft and sticky? Yeah, it is. It's a teeny bit hard to mince because it wants to stick to the knife. Although some of it will dissolve right into the cream cheese, you do want to mince it because some bits will stay whole.

Chive and Black Garlic Cream Cheese Spread

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon thinly sliced chives
2 cloves black garlic, minced.

Combine the cream cheese and milk in a small bowl, mashing until it is smooth. Add more milk, if needed, to bring it to a spreading consistency.

Add the chives and black garlic. Mix well to combine. Taste, and add more chives, if you prefer. Cover and refrigerate.

This is fine right after it's made, but I think it improves with a little time - like the next day. Stir again before serving. You can servethis chilled or at room temperature.

I received the black garlic from Frieda's Specialty Produce - it's like the wackiest CSA ever.