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Willamette Cheese Steward Cassie Stockton knows cheese. Also a wealth of wisdom when it comes to the many other accompaniments found at your Market cheese shop, such as oils, vinegars, salts, fruits spreads, honey, crackers, nuts, pâtés and dried fruits, Cassie offers practical advice and insight for both the novice and culinarily gifted.

141212CassieStocktonWillametteBlog1141212CassieStocktonWillametteBlog2Cheddar cheese is the number one purchased cheese in the world. This comes as no surprise since it has been in production since the 12th century. Originating in the English village of Somerset, cheddar is now made all over the globe and can vary in age and texture, with flavor profiles ranging from mild to extra sharp.

Cheddar cheese is unique, due to a process called cheddaring; the curds are kneaded with salt, cut into cubes, then stacked and turned. We are happy to offer a wonderful selection of both domestic and imported cheddars at your Market Cheese Shop! Here’s a savory recipe that I love:

Cheddar Muffins with Kale
Makes 1 doz muffins

Ingredients:
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
6 T butter, melted
1 c milk
1 egg
1/2 c fresh green kale, finely chopped
1/8 c green onion, finely chopped
1 c sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, combine melted butter, milk, egg, kale, green onion and cheese; mix until evenly blended. Slowly stir in the flour mixture and form a batter. Spoon equal amounts of batter into each muffin cup. Bake approx. 35 min until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.

Enjoy!

141117WillametteBlogRaclette has been around since the 13th century when Europeans started melting this wonderful cheese. There are many gadgets to aid in the process, but they are not necessary. Here is an easy adaptation:

Ingredients
10 sm red or Yukon gold potatoes
1/2 lb Raclette cheese

Preheat oven to 450º. Peel potatoes and cut in half then boil in a large pot of water. Drain and cool.

Grease a 9x13" casserole dish. Slice cooled potatoes and arrange in flat layers covering the bottom of the casserole dish. Slice Raclette cheese thinly and arrange on top of the potatoes. Bake for 8-10 min until cheese is melted and bubbling.

Serve with white wine, cubed ham, cornichons, pearl or fresh onions, Dijon mustard, dark bread or hearty crackers.

I really love this time of year, when the seasons start shifting and the days become cooler. I recently harvested the remainder of my tomatoes and I’m planning to use them for one of my favorite snacks. I am using grape tomatoes, but any kind will do. This is a simple and delicious recipe that I hope you’ll enjoy.
 
Fresh Tomato CrostiniCrostini
2 c grape tomatoes, halved
1 t fresh thyme, chopped fine
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 T olive oil
sea salt and pepper
1 baguette, sliced into 1" wide slices
10 slices of cheese, your choice (I use goat cheddar; you could also use provolone, manchego or asiago)
 
Preheat oven to 350°. In a small bowl, toss tomatoes with thyme, vinegar and olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. On a baking sheet, arrange bread slices and toast in the oven 3-5 min. Remove from oven and flip bread slices over. Top evenly with the cheese then return to oven for 3-5 min, until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and arrange bread slices on a plate. Serve with tomato topping and enjoy!
 

One of the favorite parts of my job is talking to our customers about the recipes they are planning and bouncing ideas off one another. I helped a woman find some fresh goat cheese recently and asked her what she planned to use it for. The recipe she described to me was one I have not forgotten, and I wanted to share it with you!Peaches
 
Grilled Peaches with Chèvre
4 lg peaches, halved
4 oz plain fresh chèvre (goat cheese)
4 thin slices of proscuitto, diced
¼ c canola oil
4 T honey
 
Toss peach halves in oil to coat. Grill peaches cut-side down over medium heat for about four minutes. Turn peaches over and grill for another four minutes. Place two peach halves onto four plates. Crumble 1 oz of goat cheese over peaches on each plate. Evenly sprinkle proscuitto and drizzle honey over peaches.
 
Enjoy!

Mozzarella
Nothing says summer like a beautifully ripe tomato with fresh mozzarella. It’s a classic taste that always satisfies. Fresh mozzarella also makes pizza, panini and pasta salad extra special. Fotolia 42565622 Subscription XL

Goat Cheese
Fresh goat cheese (chèvre) is very versatile. Try it with sweet or savory recipes, such as:
  • Pizza
  • Quiche
  • Bruschetta
  • Cheesecakes
  • Crepes
 
Chèvre also pairs well with fruit and fruit preserves. Or try adding chopped fresh herbs for a nice spread.

Feta
Make this recipe as a tasty appetizer or afternoon snack. Feel free to top with anything that appeals to you.Fotolia 42114945 Subscription XL

Baked
Feta
8 oz slice of feta
1-2 t olive oil
¼ c chopped olives
¼ c chopped sundried tomatoes
1 pinch dried oregano
 
Preheat oven to 300°. Place feta in a glass baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Top with olives and tomatoes, then sprinkle with oregano. Bake uncovered approx. 10 to 15 min. Enjoy with pita bread, crackers or a baguette.
 
You can also enjoy feta with pasta, green salads, beets or watermelon. Or, try it on a burger for a twist.

Fotolia 62570382 Subscription XLRicotta
Ricotta presents endless possibilities. Try using it in your favorite cake or cookie recipe. It’s also delicious on bruschetta, pasta and pizza. Here is an easy dessert recipe to try.

Ricotta with Roasted Figs
8 mission figs, halved
1 T unsalted butter
3 T honey
1 pinch of cinnamon
1 pinch of kosher salt
16 oz ricotta
 
Preheat oven to 400°. Place figs, cut side up, in a glass baking dish. Melt butter over low heat in a small saucepan and stir in the honey, cinnamon and salt. Drizzle butter mixture over figs and roast in oven for 10 to 15 min, until figs are soft. Then, divide ricotta evenly (approx. ¼ c ea) into four dessert bowls and top with warm figs. Serves 4.
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