Thursday, June 24, 2010

Andrew Jackson Cheddar Cheese Bread

In 1835, a New York farmer presented Andrew Jackson with a gigantic wheel of cheddar cheese. Weighing more than 1,400 pounds, it was four feet in diameter and stood nearly three feet high. Jackson let the gift sit, aging, for two years in the vestibule (lobby) of the White House.

A few weeks before leaving office, he invited the public to a reception in honor of George Washington’s birthday. According to newspaper accounts, more than 10,000 well-wishers swarmed to the White House, hoping to get a glimpse of the departing president – and a piece of the cheese!

When the last guests finally left, all that remained of the cheese were the pieces that had been ground into the carpet, smudged across the walls, and smeared on the satin couches and curtains.

This recipe for Cheddar Cheese Bread is packed with calories but is a great addition at large social gatherings and is VERY easy to make, even at the last minute!

1 pound shredded sharp cheddar cheese
½ pound Mozzarella cheese
½ cup chopped green onion
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sour cream
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 stick unsalted butter, softened to the point of being slightly melted
1 large loaf of French or Italian bread

In a large bowl, mix together the cheeses and the green onion. Stir in the mayonnaise and sour cream. In a separate small bowl, blend the butter and garlic until smooth. Add the butter mixture to the cheese mixture.

Preheat broiler. Slice loaf of bread in half horizontally and lay crust side down on an ungreased cookie sheet. Spread cheese mixture over the bread. Place under the broiler until nicely browned, about 4-5 minutes.

Remove from broiler and let sit until cool enough to handle, about 5 minutes. Slice the bread with a bread knife and enjoy!

Credit: Jackson's Great Cheese Levee, painting by Benjamin Perley Poole (1886)