Tag Archives: Parmigiano Reggiano

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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Parmigiano Reggiano Vacche Rosse

red cow

As part of the slow food movement it gives me great pleasure to share with you this wonderful cheese and its history.  It’s about this lovely cow that was almost lost to us and how it has been reinvigorated.

Up until the post WWII era, the Reggiana was the main breed of cow in the province of Reggio Emilia. This beautiful cow had the most striking red coat. But sadly it did not produce as much milk as its black and white cousins.  By the last 1980’s there were only a few of these cows left. However, during the last few years Fanticini family has brought this breed of cow back from the brink of disaster. In their family dairy in Villa Sabbione they use the milk of the Reggiana to make Parmigiano Reggiano of yesteryear.  It has a higher butterfat content and contains more proteins. This combination allow for a longer period of aging. Its unique nutty, fruity, grassy flavor is richer than most Reggianos and its texture is creamier.

The Vacche Rosse (Red Cow) is made from 100% grass fed, unpasteurized cow’s milk. Most Parmigiano Reggiano’s are made from 80% grass fed cow’s milk. The farm only makes 2000 wheels per year so most Italian reserve this cheese for special dishes or eat it chunked and drizzled with thick expensive Balsamico.

This cheese carries several marks very proudly on its shell. This cheese is certified that no GMO was used in the feed, no methods to force the production were used and the animals were given a high level of attention.  This is cheese at its best!


vache Rossa Parm

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Asparagus and Cheese Dip

asparagus dip

For those moms who can’t get their kids to eat healthy food this is a great dip made with fresh Asparagus, parmesan cheese and almonds.  Serve over a colorful pasta or with vegetable sticks. Asparagus has a lot of nutritional values, the potassium in it can lower your blood pressure and It’s also rich in soluble fiber to help lower blood cholesterol levels.

Ingredients:

1 bunch of asparagus, cut into pieces and cooked

2 cloves of garlic

¼ cup almonds toasted

1 cup parmesan cheese

1 pinch of garlic roasted sea salt

½ cup sour cream

½ cup cream cheese

Directions:

Cook asparagus in boiling water until crisp-tender about 3 minutes. Remove asparagus from water and dry.

Once asparagus is cooled transfer to food processor, add garlic, almonds, cheeses, salt and pepper and sour cream. Blend until pesto consistency.

This is a tasty creamy preparation that does well as a dip for parties or used as a topping instead of pesto.  It can also be baked at 350 until bubbly and served hot.

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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

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Parmigiano Reggiano Flower Crisps filled with Creamy Goat Cheese and Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

By Chef Lippe

flower cheese cups

 

Ingredients: 

2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon, plus 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup blanched almonds, slivered or sliced
14 flower cheese crisps
1 – 12 ounce net weight jar of roasted red peppers, drained and patted dry
1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf Italian parsley, plus 14 leaves for decoration
1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (or Parmesan)
salt and pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons basil pesto
4 ounces creamy goat cheese or cream cheese

Supplies Needed:

aluminum foil
baking sheet
3 ¾” flower cookie cutter
mini muffin pan
food processor or blender
disposable pastry bag or zip top bag

Instructions:

Place a small piece of aluminum foil on a baking sheet. Set two garlic cloves on foil. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil. Wrap up foil around garlic and place in oven. Turn oven on to 350 degrees. Roast for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Cut off the ends off each garlic clove and squeeze out the roasted garlic. Dispose of the outer paper like peel. Set aside.

Spread almonds on the baking sheet and place in oven to roast until golden brown for 5-7 minutes, stirring them half way through. Keep a close eye on the almonds so they don’t burn. Allow to cool.

To make the flower shaped cups:

Turn a mini muffin pan upside down. Use a flower shaped cookie cutter to shape shredded parmigiano reggiano cheese into flowers. Bake at 325 for 10 minutes.

Drape the flowers over the mini muffin cups, as soon as you remove them from oven Allow to cool, then remove them from the muffin pans.

While the flower cups are baking, make the roasted red pepper pesto:

Combine roasted red peppers, roasted garlic, toasted almonds, chopped flat leaf Italian parsley, lemon juice, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in the bowl of a food processor or blender.  Pulse until well blended but not smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
To create your appetizers:

Spoon a heaping teaspoon of creamy goat cheese or cream cheese into the bottom of each flower cup. Press it down into the cup using the back of your spoon. Press one parsley leaf into the cheese in each cup, allowing the leaf to jut out from the side of the cup. Spoon a heaping teaspoon of the roasted red pepper into each cup. Spoon the basil pesto into a disposable pastry bag or zip top bag. Cut off the tip. Pipe a small dot of pesto into the center of each flower cup.

Your appetizers are ready to serve.
A few notes about this recipe:

You can make the roasted red pepper pesto several days ahead of time if you store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Do not refrigerate filled cups as they will get soggy.

These pretty flowers could also be made using roasted yellow peppers which would look lovely on the table at a bridal shower or ladies lunch.

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Filed under Artisan Cheese, Cheese Crisps, Chef Lippe, Food, goat cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano, recipes, Roasted Red Pepper pesto

Pasta Roses with Serrano Ham for Valentines Day

By Chef Lippe

Hand Made Roses for all the loves of my life!

pasta roses 2

The Recipe 

Freshly made pasta in wide rectangles as for lasagne

About 1 cup bechamel sauce (1 ounce flour, 1 ounce butter, 1 cup milk, salt, optional nutmeg ,  1 and a half ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano)

10 ounces Serrano Ham

10 ounces Fontinalla cheese in thinnest possible slices

2 tbsp. butter

optional: ¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano to sprinkle on top


Directions

To make the Besciamella with Zucchini Puree:

  • Trim ends off washed zucchini then chop or slice roughly.
  • Bring a small pan of cold water to the boil, salt when the water is boiling and then tip in the zucchini and cook till tender
  • Strain out and immediately refresh in very cold water. Drain, place in a deep beaker and whizz till smooth using an immersion blender. Set aside.
  • Place the milk to heat in a small sauce pan while in another pan you cook the butter and flour, whisking them together to make the base.
  • When the milk comes to the boil take both pans off the heat and pour all the milk at once onto the base, whisking hard with a large whisk to blend the two into a smooth and lump free white sauce. Should lump forms don’t worry, just strain the white sauce through a sieve.
  • Season with salt or if you prefer with plenty of freshly grated nutmeg and about ¼ cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

To pre-cook the Pasta:

  • Prepare a wide shallow pan into which you place cold milk to come about an inch high.
  • Cook just 2 or 3 pasta pieces at a time in salted boiling water to which you have added a little oil, for 2/3 minutes if the pasta is freshly made. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in the pan with the milk to stop the cooking. Then take out, let the milk drip off and place to dry on clean tea towels on your work surface. Turn them over to dry both sides

pasta roses 1

To fill and assemble the Rosette:

  • Prepare a buttered baking dish and pre-heat the oven to 90 °.
  • Spread a thin layer of béchamel on the pasta pieces, then sprinkle with grated P-R. cheese and place ham and cheese slices on top
  • Roll up each in piece into a cylinder and cut into two or three even sized rolls between 1 inch and 2 inches high.
  • Place them close together cut side up in the buttered baking dish continuing the process till it is full – if you have space left use crumpled balls of cooking foil to fill in the space and keep the rolls upright.
  • I like to use kitchen scissors to nick the rolls in a few places and pulls out pasta “petals” turning them down a little so they stay “open” during baking.
  • Melt 2 tbsp butter and drizzle this over the top of the roses, or to save calories, simply brush the tops with milk using a pastry brush or a couple of rolled up sheets of strong kitchen paper. You can also sprinkle with extra just-grated Reggiano if you like.
  • Bake at 90° for about 30 minutes or till the top of the roses is crisp and golden then serve placing vertically or horizontally on individual plates as you prefer.

Variations: Leave the vegetables out altogether for the traditional recipe or use alternative vegetables, in a puree as above or simply placed on top of the ham.  According to what is in season, cooked mushrooms, asparagus, leeks, fennel, artichokes, blanched Swiss Chard leaves all work well..

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Filed under Artisan pasta, Fontinalla, Food, Parmigiano Reggiano, Pasta, Pasta Roses, recipes, Serrano Ham