WORDS – for cheese lovers only

A bit about cheesecheese2

Cheese making (and eating) is believed to date back as far as 8000 BC.

Calling someone “THE BIG CHEESE” originally referred to the wealthiest, who could afford full wheels of cheese.

Most cheese is made from cow, sheep, or goat’s milk, but there is a farm in Sweden that makes moose cheese!

As soon as a cheese wheel is cut, the aging process stops, so the cut cheese does not get better with age.  Buy only what you will consume in a few days for the freshest-tasting cheese.

While you can safely cut mould off the outside of a hard cheese, any fresh cheese with mould on it should be thrown out. An ammonia (a by-product of the cheese-making process) smell does not necessarily mean the cheese is spoiled.  Taste the cheese to make sure it is still fresh.

Hard cheeses are pressed during the cheese making process to remove as much moisture as possible.  For this reason they keep much longer than soft cheeses.

Fresh cheeses such as ricotta, burrata, and cottage cheese should not have much of an aroma – if they have a strong smell, they are likely spoiled.  These should be kept for a maximum of 7-10 days.

Proper Storing: store soft cheese in waxed paper, and be sure to press the paper right against the runny part of the cheese (known as the “paste”).  This allows moisture to evaporate, but maintains the humidity in the cheese.  Then place the wrapped cheese in a loose plastic bag or in plastic wrap.  Cheese is a living and breathing thing, so it needs air.  Cheese paper is specifically made to maintain partial air and moisture, but waxed or parchment paper will also do the trick.

As cheese sits, its moisture collects at the bottom.  Soft cheeses should be turned over every few days to distribute the moisture and oil content.

 A TUROPHILE is a connoisseur of cheese. It can also be for a lover of cheese, therefore I am a Turophile.

I love them hard & soft!
I love them both hard & soft!

 

simply satisfying – gourmet Mac and Cheese

cheese1First off…let’s just talk about good cheese in general. There are so many great varieties. Just when you think you’ve tried them all…there’s a new kid on the block (or cheeseboard).  Today I sampled a bunch of Beecher’s Handmade Cheese at Pike Place Market in Seattle.  So good that I decided to do a whole blog dedicated to only cheese….but then decided I’d post a recipe of a gourmet version of Macaroni and Cheese instead.

Making Curd Cheese
You can watch them making Curd Cheese

cheese2

Sometimes you just want a good old Mac’ n Cheese.  This one has a little bite to it and the croutons provide a crispy topping. 

To make croutons – 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, 4 slices white bread, cut into ½ inch squares, kosher salt, 21 seasoning salute (or something similar). In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add bread; stir until golden. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and season with a pinch of salt & seasoning.  Set aside.

cheese5Recipe

Unsalted butter, for greasing pan

2 cups elbow pasta

8 ounces each – Monterey Jack, Cheddar and Manchego (or you can use Colby) cheese, all shredded.

2 tsp. all-purpose flour

¼ tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. ground black pepper

½ tsp. cayenne pepper

½ tsp. dry mustard

1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

¼ sour cream

1 large egg, beaten

¼ cup grated sweet onion

1 ½ cups half & half

Preheat oven to 350F.  Butter a 9” x 13” baking dish.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta until almost al dente; drain, then return pasta to pot.  In a medium bowl, combine all three cheeses.  Then mix 2/3 of the cheese with pasta.  Set aside. In a large bowl combine flour, salt, black pepper, cayenne, mustard, nutmeg, sour cream, egg, onion and the half & half.  Pour over pasta and mix.

Transfer to baking dish and scatter remaining cheese over top.  Bake uncovered until just beginning to brown, about 35 minutes.  Top with croutons and bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes more.  Let sit 15 minutes before serving.  Makes approx. 10 servings.

TIP: you can also use store bought croutons and just crumble them in place of the homemade ones.cheese3Check out our Food Board for more fabulous recipes on PINterest at: https://www.pinterest.com/intrigueimports/foodsavour-taste-flavor-relish-palate-enjoyment/