Cheese Archive

Friday, May 11, 2012

warm, crisp and a little melty salad croutons

warm, crisp and a little melty goat cheese salad crouton

Several years ago, my job required that I occasionally fly here and there for conferences and, oh, they were not fun. I know that many conferences today are wonderful events where wonderful people meet and expand their professional horizons but those for me were all about windowless conference rooms, buzzing fluorescent lights, and all hopes that I would be able to “get out!” and “see a new city!” dashed when I realized I would, in fact, need to file articles from my hotel room that night. On the lowest of these trips, I found myself gazing at a painfully unappetizing room service menu and came across an item called a “fried cheese collage” and this, I am sad to say, was the last straw.

two goat cheeses

“What is WRONG with this world?” I grumpily, nay, hangrily told my husband over the phone. “Fried cheese? Why does cheese need to be breaded and fried? Isn’t cheese lovely without breading? Without frying?”

grated and smashed

Continued after the jump »

Saturday, June 18, 2011

rich homemade ricotta

ricotta crostini, three simple ways

A few years ago, I made ricotta for the first time. I suspect a good lot of you just read that — the part where I made cheese/played cheesemaker/fiddled with curds and whey in my shoebox kitchen, not because I maybe forgot about a carton of milk for a few weeks in the back of the fridge and conducted an unintentional science project, but just for a good time — inched your cursor to the little X of your browser tab and navigated away. Clearly, this wasn’t the act of a sane person, though that does seem to be the theme this week. The thing is, a good amount of cheese that we eat — mozzarella, goat cheese, paneer, cottage cheese — come down to milk plus acid. What you do from there is your art. Except my first ricotta wasn’t particularly artful. It was a little dry and coarse. We spread it on pizza with jammy caramelized red onions and ate it happily, but it wasn’t the kind of ricotta you dream of. I moved on.

lemon juice for acidity
a thermometer helps

But then I fell in love with ricotta again. I discovered Salvatore Ricotta, made in small batches in Brooklyn, and frustratingly hard to find anywhere else as I want everyone in the world to have a taste just a couple months ago and I’m sure, years after everyone who pays attention, and sadly, for anyone around me who is not my equally ricotta-besotted husband, have spoken about little else since. [You've got to watch the video, okay?] I’ve never had ricotta like it; it’s nothing like the store bought stuff. This is very strained ricotta, almost whey-free, and it spreads almost like cream cheese but with a richness suggestive of whipped cream or crème fraîche. It’s not easily forgotten.

hard to see the curds at all

Continued after the jump »

Thursday, March 3, 2011

whole wheat goldfish crackers

a bowl of cheddar fish

My kid doesn’t like cheese. While this is in some ways a relief — I was dreading what seems to be the inevitable toddler mac-and-cheese habit, mostly because I would share it and lack his metabolism — it is in other ways disconcerting, as in, could this really be our child? Someone who doesn’t like cheese or sleeping late?

a block of orange cheese
shredded

But lo and behold, recently we were at the park and a kid was eating goldfish crackers and shared some with Jacob, who proceeded to go nuts for them. We decided not to tell him there was (a nominal amount of) cheese in there, in the same way that we don’t tell him what’s schmeared on his beloved whole wheat bagel or stuffed in those blintzes he enjoys. I mean, he’s going to eventually think we’re killjoys either way, no need to rush his disdain.

eyes and smiles

Continued after the jump »

Friday, October 15, 2010

apple and cheddar scones

apple and cheddar scones

This is pretty much October on a parchment-lined baking sheet. They want to be packed in a basket so they can go apple picking with you and to sneak in the car to join you for a leaf-peeping drive. They want to come to brunch with you and deserve to be served with warm apple cider, whether getting lost in a corn maze or searching for the best pumpkin to carve.

countertop
peeled
partially roasted apples

Have we spoken this week? If we have, I’ve probably gone on and on about them, about how I never really was into that whole apple-cheddar thing but these, these changed things. They’re absolutely fantastic. They’re from The Perfect Finish, which is a dessert cookbook by Bill Yosses, who is now the executive pastry chef at The White House (but not when he wrote this) and Melissa Clark, who I suspect you’re already quite fond of. When I first saw the recipe, I rejected it as fussy for making you roast apples (in one-sixteenths!) just to let a stand mixer bang them up. I snorted over how chefs always like to boast that their recipes are “fairly simple” for home cooks but then use weights measured to the one hundredth of a gram, fooling nobody.

sifted

Continued after the jump »

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

blue cheese scallion drop biscuits

blue cheese scallion drop biscuits

On Monday, I went foraging. Well, urban foraging, that is, at the Greenmarket. I set out to find these mythical local provisions that many of you have assured me now exist in New York City, things like ramps and aspargus and even strawberries and I’m now convinced that someone is playing a mighty joke on me.*

green onions
chopped green onions

But no matter, I found freshly grown scallions and maybe they don’t have the pearly pink skin of fresh rhubarb or the mysterious promise of morels, they might be waved off by fancier people than me as a ubiquitous circa-1970s garnish, but they make me happy. Part herb and part baby onion, recently from the ground they’re amplified, with more green freshness and more bite. I like ‘em raw, I like ‘em cooked, I like them instead of chives (which, amusingly, I found but they looked terrible; foiled again!) as a garnish and I like them especially in my biscuits.

crumbled blue cheese
adding the buttermilk

Continued after the jump »


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