I love to entertain. I’ll totally own it. I get such pleasure from opening my home (and a bottle of wine or three) up to great people for a mellow evening in on the couch. Sure dining out at a fancy restaurant is fun, but when was the last time you could do that under your favorite blanket with no shoes on? My point exactly.
Since the backbone of entertaining is to enjoy your company, I think it an essential part of my exercise as “host” to keep the food as fuss-free as possible. Until the much-anticipated day comes when my new dream kitchen is fabulous enough to spend the whole night in, I’d rather be in our comfy living room where all the action is. It goes without saying, then, that I keep a cache of easy-breezy nosh recipes up my sleeve.
One such fave is this amazing 5-minute, 5-ingredient feta dip that frequents my entertaining roster. Plattered up with some crackers or sliced veggies it’s a near-instant crowd pleaser and great way to enjoy cheese in a new way; it also pairs really well with most any wine or cocktail. You can even make it ahead of time (I know, the convenience is jaw-dropping). While my husband & I love the sharp saltiness that feta brings to this dip, if that’s not your thing then try out goat cheese or even cream cheese. Any leftovers even double as a great sandwich spread the next day. Look how much fancier you just got!
5-Minute, 5-Ingredient Feta Dip
1/2 cup honey
4 sprigs thyme, leaves removed and chopped
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more if you like it spicier)
1 8-ounce block feta, drained if in water, crumbled
2-4 tablespoons heavy cream or half-and-half
In a small pot over medium heat, combine the honey, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Bring the honey up to a boil and then remove from the heat and cover. Let infuse for at least 5 minutes and up to 2 hours.
While the honey is heating up, in the bowl of a food processor combine the feta with 2 tablespoons of the cream or half-and-half. Puree for 30 seconds until very smooth. If the mixture is dry, add some more cream a small splash at a time until it has a whipped, spreadable consistency.
Transfer the feta to a serving bowl and spoon the infused honey over top. Serve with your favorite crackers or sliced veggies.
Patrick W. Decker’s life revolves around food. Always has. Probably always will. As a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and past member of the culinary team on Rachael’s daytime talk show, he now works as a food stylist and producer in NYC by day, and a food writer and recipe developer at his home in New York’s Hudson Valley by night. You can see what he’s up to by following his latest twEATs on Twitter at@patrickwdecker or visiting his website at patrickwdecker.com.