Monthly Archives: April 2014

Gorgonzola Blue Cheese Ice Cream and Baked Honey Roasted Pear

blue cheese ice cream and pear

Inspired by Gordon Ramsay and Chef Lippe at www.floridacheeseclub.com

Ingredients

4 egg yolks

½ cup sugar (caster if you can find it)

2 1/3 cups cream

¼ pound Gorgonzola Cheese

 

Directions

Heat cream until almost boiling in small saucepan

While cream is heating, whisk egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy

Stir egg and sugar mixture into cream on low heat, stir until thick and coating the back of a spoon.

Crumble gorgonzola and stir to melt. Start with ½ of the cheese and taste it, add more until the taste hits you as “marvelous”

Freeze overnight.

Serve on warm oven roasted pears with some strong flavored honey.

3 ripe pears cut in half

2 tablespoons butter

½ cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons brown sugar

Directions

Cut pears in half and remove core (use a melon baller). In a cast iron skillet add butter, honey, vanilla, brown sugar and salt. Let it come to a gentle boil stirring continuously (about 2 minutes on med heat).  Add the pears cut side down.  Give them a shake and let them simmer on stove for about 2 minutes.  Turn the pears over and transfer to oven. Bake for 12 minutes at 450 until the pears are soft and the sauce has caramelized.

Remove from oven add a scoop of gorgonzola ice cream and enjoy!

 

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Filed under Artisan Cheese, Gorgonzola Blue Cheese, Gorgonzola Blue Cheese Ice Cream, Honey Roasted Pears with gorgonzola blue ice cream

Cheese and Wine Pairing….Where do I start?

wineandcheese

Wine and cheese are similar in that both are fermented, complex and rich in history. When it comes to pairing wine and cheese together everyone has their own idea of what goes together.  Just as every major start needs a supporting cast of characters. So does your cheese.  So how do you know when you’ve happened upon a perfect pair?  Just as wine can be made with different grapes, cheese can be made with milk from different animals.  Where the grapes are grown and how they are cultivated will be reflected in the taste. Just as where the animals live and what they eat will be reflected in the taste of the cheese. So an English Cheddar will not taste the same as an American Cheddar.  Here are our cheat sheet notes for the beginner.

First of all, you have to know what to look for, or rather what to taste.  In a great pairing, you’ll find that the cheese elevates the wine, and vice versa. Their collision should bring out new intricacies and nuances in each other. And in the best pairings of all, you’ll find truth in a magical equation, that 1 + 1 actually equals 3. Look for a third, flavor that arises seemingly out of nowhere. It’s your most obvious clue to a successful, compatible marriage of two different elements.

FIND HARMONY

Evaluate the four major components of wine: tannin, alcohol, acidity, and sugar, and do your best to balance them with the intensity of the cheese you’d like to pair it with. Consider:

  • Mouth feel: How do the wine and cheese harmonize in your mouth? Perhaps the creaminess of an oaky white works well with an equally creamy cheese? An austere, not-too-fruity red may work nicely with a lean, not-too-salty mountain cheese.
  • Weight: Goat cheeses,  have a pleasant lightness to them, while sheep milk cheeses carry a bit more heft because they have a higher fat content. Consider how bold a statement the cheese makes on its own and balance that with an appropriate alcohol level in the wine.
  • Acidity: Fresh cheeses and younger wines tend to have more acidity, just by nature of their freshness, and so they make good friends. Aged cheese and older wines have mellowed, and will tend to harmonize more easily with each other. Imagine the unlikely marriage between a fresh mozzarella and a Barolo from the 80’s. You want neither element to overpower the other.

FIND HARMONY IN OPPOSITION

Opposites attract. Think about the effect of the salty/sweet combination of salted caramel or chili pepper and chocolate. We look to this same tenet of pairing when constructing a wine and cheese match, too. Try:

  • Stinky washed rind cheeses like Teleggio or the more local Grayson from Meadowcreedk Dairy with off-dry whites like a German Riesling. A Kabinett or Spatlese would be your best choices.
  • Strong, peppery blues with sweet dessert wines. It’s the classic example of opposites attract.

CLASSIC COMBINATIONS

Mint and Chocolate, tomatoes and basil these are all traditional food pairings. In the same way that we often draw upon these go-to combinations, we have some standby wine and cheese pairings, as well.

  • Goat cheese and Sauvignon Blanc
  • Uber-rich triple creams like Pierre Robert or Nocetto di Capra with sparkling wine or Champagne. Part of the reason why these two marry so well together is because they have polar opposite textures. (Think about the opposites attract concept when considering mouth feel.) The light bubbles in the wine work to wash away the richness of the cheese.
  • Port and cheddar.  But make sure it’s a traditional, preferably cloth-bound English or English-style cheddar.

REGIONAL PAIRINGS

What grows together goes together. It’s not a bad idea to take a look at pairings that have historical roots. Some great ones to stand by:

  • Parmigiano Reggiano and Lambrusco, both from Emilia-Romania. Just try it. Trust us.
  • Funky Spanish sheep milk cheeses like Spain’s Quesi Sudado and sherry.  Don’t underestimate the pairing ability of sherry. Its savory, nutty quality works wonders with other nutty cheeses. Try it with Mahon, and Manchego, or a mountain cheese like Gruyere.
  • Sancerre and lightly aged goat cheeses like Chevrot or Chabichou du Poitou from the Loire Valley. Or if you want a regional riff, try an unoaked Sauvignon Blanc from California and the phenomenal French-style goat cheeses like Coupole or Bonne Bouche from Vermont.
  • Epoisses and Burgundy. Burgundian monks did it, why not you?
  • Comte or Vacherin Mont D’Or with oxidized whites from the same region, the Jura.

STICK WITH WHITES

Tannins that inherently live in most red wines combat the natural protein living in cheese, resulting in a match that’s too often either bitter, astringent, or, at the very least, unpleasant. Red wines are also generally lower in acidity, which makes them harder to pair. Acidity (which refers to the bright, refreshing quality in a wine) balances the fat in cheese, so reach for a white if you’re unfamiliar with the red you’re considering.

We hope this gets you started!  Don’t be afraid to be creative! In the end it is what your taste buds crave, and we have seen some pretty crazy matches.  What are your favorite pairings?  Check out our face book page at https://www.facebook.com/FloridaCheeseClub or our blog at https://cheflippe.wordpress.com/  for more ideas along with recipes for your gourmet cheese.

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Filed under Artisan Cheese, cheese and wine pairing, Cheese wine and olives, Chef Lippe

Midnight Moon

midnight moon 1

A goat’s milk gouda-style cheese, made in Holland for Cypress Grove Creamery.  Aged over a year, this is not your traditional goat’s milk cheese.  When you open the wheel it smells sweet. It is creamy with the little crunchy crystals, nutty and brown buttery up front with a silky caramel finish and it just melts in your mouth.  Serve with a lemon flavored cracker with Greek Olives.

This cheese is great for any cheese board and most people will not guess that it is a goat cheese.  Some have called it cheese porn and once you try it you are hooked. It is the cheese that you will wake up in the middle of the night craving only to find that the kids ate the last of it.  No worries we ship! Florida Cheese Club

Paired with the Aquinas Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, Syrah, Sweet Sherry, Belgian Dark, Stout and Trippel.

Cheese Type: Gouda

Milk Type: Goat

Rennet: Vegetarian

Age: 12 months

Origin: Holland

 

 

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Danish Blue Cheese, figs and Serrano Ham!

blue cheese fig and serrano

Danish Blue (also known as Danablu) is a strong, blue veined cheese. This semi-soft creamery cheese is typically drum or block shaped and has a white to yellowish, slightly moist, edible rind. Made from cow’s milk, it has a fat content of 25–30% (50–60% in dry matter) and is aged for eight to twelve weeks.

Before ageing, copper wires or rods are used to pierce the formed  curds to distribute the mold (Penicillium roqueforti) evenly through the cheese. The holes can still be seen when the finished wheel is cut open.

Danish Blue was invented early in the 20th century by a Danish cheese maker named Marius Boel with the intention of emulating a Roquefort style cheese. Danish Blue has a milder flavor characterized by a sharp, salty taste.

Danish Blue is often served crumbled on salads or as a dessert cheese with fruit. In Denmark, it is often served on bread or biscuits.

Danish Blue and Esrom are the only two Danish cheeses that are PGI marked by the EU, meaning that they may only be produced in Denmark from Danish milk and at approved dairies that produce the cheeses according to the specifications laid down.

Wine to Pair with Danish Blue

Cabernet Sauvignon, often referred to as the “King of Red Wine Grapes,” originally from Bordeaux, with a substantial foothold in California’s wine races, has the privilege of being the world’s most sought after red wine. Cabernet Sauvignon grapes tend to favor warmer climates and are often an ideal wine for aging, with 5-10 years being optimal for the maturation process to peak. Because Cabs take a bit longer to reach maturation, allowing their flavors to mellow, they are ideal candidates for blending with other grapes, primarily Merlot. This blending softens the Cabernet, adding appealing fruit tones, without sacrificing its innate character.

Cheese Type: Blue

Milk Type: cow

Rennet: vegetarian-friendly

Age: 8+ weeks

Origin: Denmark

bleu-cheese-stuffed-figs-recipe

Baked figs with Danish blue cheese & Serrano Ham

Slice the figs in half, make a small indent with the back of a teaspoon then place a small amount of blue cheese (marble size) and top with a piece of prosciutto. Arrange on a baking tray and roast in a hot oven, about 425F for 8-10 minutes, but keep an eye on them! You want the Serrano to be browning and the cheese and fig to melt together nicely, you don’t want them to over bake so they end up a jammy mess on the bottom of the tray. Let them cool down slightly so your guests don’t burn their mouths and then watch them disappear in an instant.

 

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Filed under Artisan Cheese, Blue Cheese, Danish Blue Cheese, figs, Serrano Ham

Banon Cheese

banon village

It is rumored that Emperor Antoninus Pius who died in 161BC, died from eating too much Banon Cheese.

What makes this unpasteurized  goat cheese so special you ask?  It is the way they make it and it has been made this way for a very long time.   The cheese was first made by a couple in the village of Puimichel near the town of Banon in the region of Alpes-de-Haute Provence.

The unpressed curd is placed in an earthenware jar and seasoned with salt and pepper and doused with vinegar and eau de vie, a clear fruit brandy then left to ferment. The cheese will last for years becoming stronger with time.The cheese when young taste sour and chalky, but let it age and you have a little piece of heaven. After a few weeks the young cheese is wrapped in chestnut leaves to continue the ageing process.

How can you tell a good Banon Cheese? By the color of the leaves. Dark green or brown are the best.  It is very soft and creamy with a fruity and slightly nutty taste and a pungent aroma. The taste and texture change with age.  The rumor says that if you taste this cheese during the month of May while in France at the Banon Cheese festival you will forever yearn to return to Banon.

You can be certain when purchasing Banon cheese from France that you will always get a similar product. The French, who awarded Banon the AOC, or term of controlled origin in the 2000s, regulates the production of the cheese. This means that only certain cheese meeting the French standards for the production of Banon cheese, may be called so. The French regulate all aspects of how, where and when Banon can be produced and labeled within their country.

The word Banon is pronounced ban-awh. The final n as in many French words is not pronounced. You may also find Banon cheese called Banon à la feuille, translated as cheese of the leaf or cheese with a sheet. It is sold in small rounds that are traditionally wrapped with chestnut or grape leaves to enhance the flavor of the cheese and keep it moist, which hastens the production of molds adding even more flavor as the cheese ages. As it ages, the cheese becomes more creamy in texture and richer in flavor, providing a somewhat fruity tasting cheese. Banon cheese is usually served as an hors d’oeuvre or with fruit and wine.  Pair with Chenin Blanc or a Bordeaux.

 

Cheese Type: soft

Milk Type: goat

Rennet: animal

Age: 3 weeks

Origin: Bannon

Region: France

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Fiore Sardo

pecorino and honey

Fiore Sardo is a Fiore Sardo DOP (awarded in 1991)is said to have originated during the Bronze Age.  Per the DOP Standards, this cheese is made with milk sourced from a single flock of local Sardinian sheep.  The cheese is briefly brined and then lightly smoked before aging for 6 months. After aging for 6 months the cheese has a natural golden-yellow rind. Upon slicing the paste reveals a compact, dense, slightly grainy, straw yellow color.  It is wonderfully rich in flavor with caramel sweetness, salty tang and a hint of fruit.  Fiore Sardo is a hard dry cheese that is sharp and savory and just the slightest of shavings will bring your pasta dish alive.  Drizzle with your favorite honey add walnuts and you have a great snack.  The spicy flavor intensifies with aging. Goes well in your favorite pesto recipe, mixed with Arborio rice or soup.

Pairs young Fiore Sardo cheese with young red wines such as Cannonau di Sardegna DOC and the more mature Sardo with Malvasia di Bosa or Moscato di Sorso Sennori or a crisp white wine. Visit our web site to order yours.

Cheese Type: Hard

Milk Type: Sheep Raw

Rennet: animal

Age: 6 months

Origin: Italy

Region: Sardegna

pesto

Fresh Basil and Walnut Pesto

1 cup fresh basil leaves (we like the flowers too)

2 cloves garlic

3 tablespoons walnuts

1/3 cup grated Fiore Sardo

1/3 cup olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

Roast Walnuts in a pan on medium heat. Let cool

Add Basil and garlic to food processor

Add Fiore Sardo, walnuts, salt and pepper, and olive oil

Process to desired thickness.

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Filed under Artisan Cheese, Cheese, Chef Lippe, Fiore Sardo

Taste of Spain

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Filed under Artisan Cheese, boquerones, chorizo, Flamenco, ngria, paella, Spanish Food, Tapas, Taste Spain!