alder's pub cheese with potato bread chips

prep time:  tbd
cook time:  tbd
servings:  2 1/2 cups

1/2 loaf sliced potato bread, cursts removed
melted butter
sea salt
1 bottle red wine
5 cloves garlic - peeled
2 large shallots - peeled
2 thyme branches
1 bay leaf
1 whole clove
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon red miso paste
2/3 cup whole milk
6 ounces cream cheese - at room temperature
2 1/4 cups aged cheddar - coarsely grated
pistachio nuts - chopped

1.  preheat the oven to 200 degrees.  place a slice of bread on a clean surface and use a rolling pin to flatten it as thinly as possible.  brush both sides of the bread with butter and sprinkle lightly with salt.  repeat with remaining bread slices.  spread flattened slices out on baking sheet.  bake until golden and crisp, about 4 hours.

2.  meanwhile, in a large pot over medium heat, combine the wine, garlic, shallots, thyme bay leaf and clove.  bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the wine has almost evaporated, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.  strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl.  use a rubber spatula to press on the solids and extract additional liquid.  whisk in mustard and miso.  cool to room temperature. 

3.  place a medium bowl in a freezer to chill.  meanwhile, in a food processor, combine 1/3 cup of the wine mixture (save or discard the remainder), milk, cream cheese and cheddar.  run until the mixture is fairly smooth, stop to scrape down the sides occasionally.

4.  scrape the mixture into a medium-sized pot.  cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 150 degrees on an instant read thermometer and the cheese is melted, 8 - 10 minutes.  pour mixture into the chilled bowl and whisk to cool.  chill in the refrigerator until very cold, at least 4 hours.

5.  serve pub cheese in a bowl with the potato bread chips alongside.  garnish cheese with pistachio nuts.

- new your times, october 2013

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