|Lyonnaise Garlic & Herb Cheese with Fougasse|
I live in a pretty sophisticated area... we are only an hour 1/2 outside of New York City, but I could not find fromage blanc anywhere... and there was no way I was substituting ricotta cheese for it. I find ricotta flavorless and the thought of eating it raw just turned me off. I decide instead to try three different cheeses with the herbs and see which one was the tastiest mixture. I bought: organic sour cream, creme fraiche, and chèvre (goat cheese) for this experiment.
I really planned to make this cheese dip myself, but my daughter got bored and begged to make it. So, I had her mix all the ingredients, other than the cheese in our mini-food processor. Then she divided up the seasoning between the three cheeses and incorporated them with a spatula.
We had froze a loaf of the olive fougasse. I thawed that out in the oven, and we cut up some vegetables for dipping. I was most curious about the radishes Dorie recommended to dip. I have never used radishes for dipping and they were a big hit. The sharpness of their flavor really complemented the herb mixture.
My entire family, plus my 19 year old nephew, who has been staying with us on and off since he got out of school this semester, tried all three dips with bread and vegetables. My nephew liked the sour cream mixture the best primarily because of it's smooth texture and tangy after taste. The rest of us preferred the taste of the goat cheese spread. It reminded us more of Boursin. Though we had to agree with my nephew that the smooth texture of the sour cream dip was nicer on the palate. The creme fraiche was too buttery, these herbs really needed a sour or sharp flavored cheese to bring out their taste. I would not recommend using creme fraiche.
Lyonnaise Garlic & Herb Cheese is very nice spread that most people would probably enjoy at a party... it would be eaten, but not commented on... the flavors just didn't stand out as anything terribly special.