Category Archives: Cheese

Parmigiano Reggiano La Traversetolese “White Gold”

La Traversetolese logo

Known as the “king of cheese” there are more than one kind of Parmigiano Reggiano.  For example there is Parmigiano Regiano Solo Di Bruna made with milk from the Brown Apline Swiss cows, or Parmigiano Regiano Vacche Rosse made from the milk of the Regiano cow. Italy has 33 PDO cheeses and the La Traversetolese has a history dating back to the mid-13th century.  To be a PDO cheese the cows must eat at least 75% of their feed from the region, along with several other regulations, one is the sound the cheese makes when you strike it.

This version of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is produced from the cream of raw milk skimmed from the evening milking and whole milk from the morning milking. The color of the crust is straw color with branding that identifies the month and year made and the dairy.  The paste is hard with a color ranging from a light cream (pale straw) to a darker yellow (straw).  The structure of the cheese is hard with “crunchies” which are amino acids that are formed by proteolysis (the breaking down of proteins).  The crunchy bits facilitate in the digestion of the cheese making this an excellent cheese for young children and the elderly, it is rich in bioavailable calcium, absent of lactose and low in cholesterol.

La Traversetolese also known as “White Gold” takes its name from the village where the dairy was founded. The Cooperative has 73 farmers supplying milk for the 20,000 wheels made each year. The milk comes from cows that graze in the mountains, where they eat a particular mountain grass and flax.  Its rich taste pairs well with white wines.

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Gourmet 4 cheese Mac and Cheese with Serrano Ham

Macaroni-and-Cheese-with-serrano

Total Time 1 hour and 15 minutes (Cook time 50 minutes) Serves 6

Ingredients

6 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup flour

4 cups milk, warm

1 teaspoon dry mustard

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or hot sauce to taste

Salt to taste

Dash Worcestershire Sauce

8 oz shredded Amish cheddar

8 oz shredded Asiago

4 oz shredded BellaVitano Balsamic

1 pound macaroni of your choice, cooked al dente

1 stack crumbled butter cracker (Ritz like)

2 oz shaved Serrano ham lightly fried and crumbled

2 oz Parmigiano Reggiano crumbled for topping

Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt butter in large sauce pan over medium heat.  Add flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Whisk in the warm milk and bring to a boil, continue to whisk constantly. The mixture will thicken as the heat increases. Continue to whisk while adding the dry mustard, nutmeg, cayenne, salt and Worcestershire. Stir in the cheddar, Asiago, Bellavitano and stir until it is melted.

Pour cheese sauce over noodles and add to a 3 quart casserole dish.

Sprinkle top with cracker crumbs, Serrano crumbs and Parmigiano crumbles. Bake for 35 minutes.

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Filed under Amish Cheese, Artisan Cheese, Asiago, Balsamic Cheddar, Cheese, Macaroni and cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano, Serrano Ham

Gran Bu Tartlet

gran bu tartlet

 

Gran Bu is a raw milk buffalo cheese from Lombardia Italy that is made in the canestrato style (aged in wicker baskets).  The flavor is delicate and milky with a sweet finish and the scent is of fresh butter.

The cheese is made at Quattro Portoni Dairy (Translated Four Gates) and is named after the 13th century gates into their moat-encircled town of Cologno al Serio. The Cheese Markers are bothers Alfio and Bruno.  With a herd of 1000 water buffalo on the farm with 270 of them being milked for cheese at the current time they make over 15 kinds of fresh cheese, semi-mature and seasoned from their herd of buffaloes. Visit us at Florida Cheese Club for all your cheeses.

Pair with white wine

Cheese Type: Hard

Milk Type: Buffalo Raw

Rennet: animal

Age: 8 months

Origin: Italy

Region: Lombardia

Tartlet Granbù 

Ingredients:

1/4 pound leeks

1/4 pound White Potatoes

1/4 pound Granbù

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon breadcrumbs

Filo sheet

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt

White pepper

Preparation

Slice the leeks into thin slices and put them to simmer in a pan with 2 tablespoons of water, 2 tablespoons of butter, salt and white pepper and simmer until the liquid is almost gone.  Thinly slice the potatoes, soak in cold water to remove some of their starch, dry and toss in the pan of leeks for 3-4 minutes with olive oil and salt.

Butter the ramekins, add a little extra butter on bottom and then line ramekin with filo sheets and build the tart starting alternating potatoes with leeks and cheese to create 3-4 layers. Once complete sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake at 350 ° F for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and accompanied with warm appetizers or main courses of meat.

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Halloumi This Summer Anyone?

Sizzling-Haloumi-with-Roasted-Tomatoes-and-Asparagus-Cara-Lyons-of-Caras-Cravings

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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

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 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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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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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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