Category Archives: Artisan Cheese

Hot Asiago and Spinach Dip

Asiago Spinach Dip



8 ounces cream cheese softened

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 sour cream

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 cups grated asiago cheese

1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

1 1/2 cups chopped fresh baby spinach


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream and garlic in a mixing bowl.  Add asiago, parsley and spinach into mixture.  Spread into the bottom of an 8 x 10 baking dish and bake until golden brown 20 to 25 minutes.

Add some pita chips and a Syrah or Rioja and you have a great light summer dinner.


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Walnut Pasta with Pecorino Sardo

pasta with walnuts and pecorino

Walnut Pasta with Pecorino Sardo


1 box of linguine pasta

¼ cup pine nuts

½ cup walnuts

2 Tablespoons breadcrumbs

2 Tablespoons olive oil


2 ½ cups milk or cream

2 ounces Pecorino Sardo grated/shredded

Walnuts for garnish


Cook the pasta al dente in salted water.

Toast pine nuts in a dry skillet.

Mix pine nuts, walnuts, breadcrumbs, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a food processor.

Bring the milk / cream to a boil, pour in the nut mix and stir it together.

Mix the walnut sauce with the freshly boiled paste.

Serve garnished with grated pecorino cheese and crushed walnuts.

Tips: using cream gives a smoother result, and because of the fat, the cream brings out the taste so the dish becomes full of flavor (you can use cream with 5% fat and it will still be super good).

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Halloumi This Summer Anyone?


Halloumi originated in Cyprus and has been made since the Medieval Byzantine period (AD 395 – 1191).  A firm, slightly springy white cheese from Cyprus, traditionally made with sheep’s’ milk, mass produced versions often uses cows’ milk. In texture, halloumi is similar to a firm mozzarella, making it a popular ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking. It has a strong salty flavor, when preserved in brine.  Halloumi will keep in the refridgerator for many months if left unopened or frozen for up to a year.  It can be eaten straight from the packet, but some chefs recommend soaking it in buttermilk for a day or two to give it a richer, less salty flavor.  Halloumi has a very high melting point, so it is perfect for grilling it without it melting.  There is no need to bread or flour the cheese before frying, and you don’t even need to use oil in the pan. The cheese browns naturally from the sugar in the brine and keeps it shape.  Halloumi is often flavored with dried mint, which goes perfect with grilled peaches and red peppers during the summer months. Some of our favorite ways of eating Halloumi are listed below. Visit us this summer for your taste.  Florida Cheese Club or Fratello Sole

Fried Halloumi with broiled cherry tomatoes and watermelon.

Arugula Apple and Halloumi Salad

Grilled Halloumi with Rosemary Grape Relish on crostini’s

Grilled Halloumi and grilled Meyer Lemons with greens

Grilled Halloumi with Kiwi, navel orange sections, capers and honey

Grilled Halloumi, grilled eggplant and pesto burgers

Grilled Halloumi with caramelized fennel

Grilled Halloumi with green olives and cannellini beans

Grilled Halloumi, beetroot and pumpkin seeds with lemon salad


Fried Halloumi with Pear and Spiced Dates.


  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom (only black seeds from within the green pod)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 dates, cut in half and pits removed
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¾ pound halloumi cheese cut into 8 slices
  • 1 pear, quartered, seeded and sliced into 8 pieces
  • 3 tablespoons ouzo


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. In a small sauté pan, big enough to hold the dates, mix the lemon juice, lemon zest, and brown sugar and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the brown sugar melts. Add the spices and dates and cook until the dates soften a little, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and set the mixture aside,

3. Heat a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Arrange the cheese slice in the skillet, being careful not to overlap or crowd them. Brown the cheese, about 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown on each side. Transfer to a heavy gratin or baking dish, placing the halloumi slices side by side.

4. Using the same sauté pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium-high heat and then add the pears. Brown the pears for 4 to 5 minutes on one side. Remove the pears from the pan and add them to the baking pan with the halloumi. Spoon a date onto each piece of halloumi and place the pan in the oven until it gets hot and the cheese gets a little softer. 6 to 8 minutes.

5. Remove the pan from the oven, place it on the table, and without waiting, add the ouzo to the pan and carefully ignite it. Stand back when you light the dish, as the flames can reach 5 inches. The fire will bum off the alcohol, and after about a minute, it will leave the sweet flavor of the ouzo.

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Filed under Artisan Cheese, Cheese, Chef Lippe, Grilled Cheese, Halloumi, Spicy dates pears and Halloumi

Gorgonzola Blue Cheese Ice Cream and Baked Honey Roasted Pear

blue cheese ice cream and pear

Inspired by Gordon Ramsay and Chef Lippe at


4 egg yolks

½ cup sugar (caster if you can find it)

2 1/3 cups cream

¼ pound Gorgonzola Cheese



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


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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Cheese and Wine Pairing….Where do I start?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 or our blog at  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


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