August 29, 2011

 

I thought I came to France to indulge in macarons, éclairs and everything sweet. Instead, I had a summer romance with herbed cheese spread.

In the states, the most common brand of herbed cheese spread is Boursin, a small, soft white wheel wrapped in light, pleated foil. It’s usually near the deli and around 6 dollars. It’s branded as special here, but in France, it’s just normal. It’s as readily available as wine. It’s everywhere.

Picture little tiny bricks of Boursin at every meal, waiting to be smeared on a piece of bread. It was my butter all summer. I’d have one piece for breakfast and two at lunch and dinner. That’s a lot of herbed cheese spread.

And that’s a lot of bread.

Fortunately, I lived in a village on the side of a mountain. Just to get to food was a StairMaster adventure. It was a magical place. I could eat whatever I wanted and I walked it all off.

When I came back to the states, I didn’t walk anywhere. I drove my car. Yet, my addiction for herbed cheese did not change. Suddenly, those daily pieces of bread with cheese became dangerous.

I realized it’s not the bread that I crave. It’s the cheese spread. I needed to find a new pairing. I tried lots of things. Crackers, pita, wheat bagels. Nothing tasted right. It’s like not all the flavors of cheese spread are activated unless it’s on a baguette.

But then I came across this recipe for Almond-Stuffed Chicken—and Boursin.

Chicken?

Oh, yeah, chicken.

I have a new vessel for my cheese. And, in the states, it’s back to being a once-in-a-while thing—not a daily addiction.

The experience is still there though in this dish. The almonds give it a crunch that remind me of the hard crust on a day-old baguette.

I get my French fix without loading up on the bread that I don’t need.

 

Try other recipes with cheese spread:

Pasta with Ham and Herbed Cheese

Roast Turkey with Sage and Orange Gravy

Tomato-Basil Soup

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