Garlic Stuffed Gouda

One 10 oz, round of Gouda cheese
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. softened butter or margarine
2 tbsp. red or white wine
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tbsp. chopped fresh chives, or 1 tsp dried chives
Crackers or vegetable sticks

Allow cheese to come to room temperature. Meanwhile, roast garlic: oil a small ovenproof dish; place garlic cloves in dish with 2 tbs water. Cover dish. Roast in 330F oven for 45 minutes, or till garlic is very tender Cool.

Peel off red covering from cheese; discard. With a sharp knife, cut a 3-inch circle on one of the flat sides of the cheese; remove. Hollow out cheese with a melon bailer or grapefruit knife, making a shell that is about 1/4 inch thick at the sides, and 1/2 inch thick at the base. Finely shred cheese that was removed. Place in blender or small food processor with butter, wine, and pepper. Slit garlic cloves; squeeze out contents into blender. Cover blender; mix briefly till combined.

Spoon mixture into the cheese shell, mounding it over the top. Sprinkle with chives. Cover and refrigerate till 1 hour before serving; then allow to come to room temperature. Serve with crackers or vegetable sticks.

Makes about 6 appetizer servings.

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Cajun Country -- New Iberia, Louisiana