STILTON AND HAZELNUT SPREAD
½ pound Stilton, crumbled (about 2 cups) and softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
5 tablespoons tawny port or medium-dry sherry (Dry Sack is good), or to taste
1/3 cup chopped toasted and skinned hazelnuts plus additional for garnish if desired
melba toasts to accompany
1. In a food processor blend the Stilton, cream cheese, Port and salt and pepper to taste until the mixture is smooth, add the 1/3 cup hazelnuts and pulse the motor a few times, until the nuts are incorporated.
2. Transfer the spread to a crock or ramekin and chill it, covered, until it is firm. (The spread can be made 3 days in advance and kept covered and chilled.) Garnish with additional nuts and serve accompanied by melba toast.
NOTE: To toast and skin hazelnuts, preheat oven to 350*. In a baking pan toast the nuts in one layer in oven 10 to 15 minutes, or until they color lightly and the skins blister. Wrap the nuts in a kitchen towel and let them steam for 1 minute. Rub the nuts in the towel to remove as much of the skin as possible and cool.
adapted from The Best of Gourmet, 1993