Earlier this summer, we met up with a couple friends and their kids at Right Proper, a not-so-new brewery in Shaw. They've got a great selection of beers brewed onsite, plenty of high chairs, and a passable food menu. Still, it's a perfect spot for Sunday with little ones, whose grabbing and clapping are rivaled, if not bested, by the laughter and occasional shouts from beer-drinkin' grown-ups.
Strangely, the best thing on the table wasn't beer: it was a spicy feta spread, which was eaten -- okay, the plate licked clean -- before our second round of beers had even been ordered. We briefly contemplated ordering a second round of feta spread, too, but we had burgers and grilled cheeses and fried pickles to get through, so we held back. Silly us.
The next weekend, as we sat around contemplating another afternoon of beers and $10 feta spread, I decided to take matters into my own hands.
I had half a block of the Whole Foods brand feta in the fridge, which is both good and cheap. To make the spread, I broke up the feta and dribbled some cream into the bowl, mashing the mixture with a fork until smooth. I stirred in a bit more cream, then finished things off with a couple spoonfuls of the homemade apricot-habanero hot sauce that I don't use nearly often enough.
The spread became a staple nearly immediately. I've had it on tomato sandwiches, on avocado toast, layered with smoky eggplant, under fried squash blossoms, in omelettes, and on its own with toasted pita chips, should I keep going? I have even served the spread on slices of baguette alongside a pile of dressed greens and called it dinner, and no one complained. Now you can skip the $10 restaurant version, too.
Spicy Creamed Feta Spread
inspired by an appetizer at Right Proper Brewery
5 oz. feta cheese
1/4 cup milk or cream
Sriracha, Cholula, or another hot sauce
Crumble feta in a medium bowl and mash with a fork until no chunks remain. Drizzle in milk/cream one tablespoon at a time, mashing and stirring as you go, until feta is smooth and creamy. You'll need less milk if aiming for a stiff spread, and more if you want the consistency of a dip.
Add chile sauce a couple teaspoons at a time, stirring to incorporate and tasting as you go, until spread has reached your ideal spice level.
- simply, with bread/toast points/pita/pita chips, as a dip
- with carrots/cucumbers/green beans/other dipping vegetables
- spread on a sandwich with tomato, avocado, roasted eggplant, roasted squash, etc
- scooped over a big bowl of farro/wheatberries with roasted veg, to be mixed at the table
- hollow out a couple small tomatoes, put a spoonful of the feta inside, top with bread crumbs and a drizzle of olive oil, and roast until hot and bubbly
- inside an omelette
- dozens of other possibilities
- a spoon.