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.
If you’ve been to any Market of Choice cheese shop, you know that we carry countless domestic and imported cheeses. But what you may have overlooked is the wide variety of products that can be served with cheese. Here, I’ve provided a cheat sheet that should help you get started on the path to cheese enlightenment. Be sure to try out a few at your first spring gathering!
For serving with fresh cow, sheep or goat cheeses:
- Ritrovo's Kalamata and Truffle Tapenade, Italy.
- Rose City Pepperhead's Pomegranate Pizazz and Chillin' Cherry Pepper Jelly, Oregon.
- Ritrovo's Orange Mousse Preserve, Italy.
- Oregon Growers and Shipper's Red Raspberry Preserves, Oregon.
For serving with Brie And Camembert:
- Mt. Viko's Glazed and Roasted Figs, Greece.
- Dalmatia's Ficoco (fig and cocoa) Spread, Croatia.
- Mitica's Apple or Fig Paste, Spain.
- Oregon Growers and Shipper's Strawberry Balsamic Paste, Oregon.
For serving with aged cheese:
- Matiz Espana's Quince Paste, Spain.
- K.K. Keller Import's Basque Hot Pepper Honey, France.
- Ritrovo's Quince Jam, Italy.
- La Vecchia Dispensa's Cherries Compote With Balsamic Vinegar, Italy.
For serving with blue veined cheese:
- Ritrovo's Truffle Honey, Italy.
- Krebsbach Fine Food's Shibui Balsamic Reduction, Oregon.
- Oregon Growers and Shipper's Black Cherry Preserves, Oregon.
- Boat Street Pickle's Pickled Raisins, Washington.
There are no steadfast rules, so experiment and enjoy!
With the arrival of spring this month, now is the time to enjoy the last of winter’s heavier, comfort foods. One of my all-time favorites is beer cheese soup. As a nod to Ireland and St. Patrick's Day, I would like to bring attention to some of our tastiest and best-selling Irish cheeses. The majority of our Irish cheese comes from Kerrygold, which was established in 1961 by the Irish Dairy Board and sells a premier line of dairy products made in Ireland. Any of these would be excellent to use in the following soup recipe.
• Dubliner – a robust aged cow's milk cheese with a texture similar to cheddar
• Ivernia – an extra-aged, sharp cow's milk cheese suitable for grating over salad or soup.
• Aged Cheddar – a pasteurized cow's milk cheese with a full-bodied, rich flavor
Beer Cheese Soup
Makes 6-8 Servings
2 c onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1,12 oz btl beer (see suggestions, below)
4 c chicken stock
½ c all-purpose flour
2 c of 2% milk, divided
1¼ c shredded sharp cheese (5-6 oz)
¼ black pepper
Coat a large pot with cooking spray and heat over med-high heat. Add onion and sauté approx.. 4 min. Add garlic, sauté for one min more. Stir in beer and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 min or until onion is tender.
Place the beer mixture and 1 c chicken broth in a blender. Remove the center of the blender lid to let steam escape and secure lid. Place a towel over the lid opening to avoid splatters and blend until smooth. Return mixture to pot and stir in remaining 3 c chicken broth. Reduce the heat and simmer 10 min.
Spoon flour into a dry measuring cup and level with a knife. Combine flour and 1 c of milk in a separate bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the flour mixture and the remaining 1 c of milk to the soup pot and cook 12 min until thickened. Remove from heat and slowly stir in cheese until smooth. Add pepper before serving.
- Wexford Irish Style Cream Ale-England
- Pelican Pub Brewery's Riptide Red Ale-Oregon
- Ninkasi's Renew Ale, Irish Style Red Ale-Oregon
Fondue is Swiss in origin and was first eaten by the herders in the Alps who had an abundance of cheese, bread and wine in their diet. The nobles were introduced to it by way of their servants and they, in turn, served it to their guests who were visiting from nearby countries. The French gastronome Jean Brillat Savarin is credited with introducing fondue to the world during the years he spent in the U.S. during the French revolution.
The French version of fondue differs from the traditional Swiss style, in that it uses butter and cream in addition to the traditional ingredients, which include, Emmentaler, Appenzeller, Gruyère and white wine. It became a well-known dish in America after World War II with the return of soldiers to America and when the Swiss Alps became a tourist destination. Easy to prepare, fondue is a fun dish to be enjoyed with friends and family. Here are two fondue recipes that are a different take on the Swiss classic.
Aged Cheddar Fondue
1 lb aged cheddar, grated
½ lb young gouda, grated
2 T flour
2 c dark beer
1 t lemon juice
1 t Dijon mustard
½ t black pepper
½ t salt
fresh apples, sliced
crusty bread, cubed
Toss cheese and flour together in a large bowl and set aside. Combine remaining ingredients in fondue pot or saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Start adding the cheese slowly, stirring constantly until smooth. Cook over med heat until all the cheese is melted. Serve with apples, ham and bread.
Goat Cheese Fondue
1 garlic clove, cut in half
½ c dry white wine
1 T lemon juice
1½ lb goat cheddar or goat gouda, diced for easy melting
1 T cornstarch
½ t chili powder
2 T tarragon (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
crusty bread, cubed
fresh apples or pears, sliced
Rub each half of the garlic clove on the inside of the fondue pot or saucepan, then discard the cloves. Pour wine and lemon juice into pot and cook over med heat until the wine is warm, but not boiling. Reduce to low heat and add cheese a handful at a time while stirring frequently. Add remaining ingredients and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with bread, vegetables and fruit.
Parmigiano-Reggiano is a raw cow's milk cheese that has been produced in Italy since the Middle Ages. It can be eaten by itself or used for grating on pasta, soup or salad. Parm-Reg is one of our cheese shop’s best-selling and most loved cheeses. And it is one of the most imitated products in the world. What many do not realize is that the rind of this cheese is a natural one and therefore edible, although you must use it differently than the softer cheese it encases.
The next time you have a piece of this cheese, save the rind! They freeze very well for later use, and there are several ways you can use them to add flavor to your dishes. Add them to stock, pasta sauce or a pot of beans, as you would a bay leaf and remove the rind from the dish before serving. And by all means, eat the gooey rind when your dish is done. Here’s a wonderful, creamy pasta dish to try:
Pasta ala Parmigiano Reggiano Rind
1 Parmigiano Reggiano rind, about 2x4, ¼” thick
1 pt whole milk or heavy cream
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 c reserved pasta water
4 T butter
1 c grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 lb dried pasta or 2 lb fresh egg noodles
Kosher salt for pasta water
Heat water in large pasta pot. In a separate skillet, cook garlic slowly in olive oil until tender; do not brown. Add cream and rind to skillet. Turn up the heat until the cream bubbles and foams, then reduce heat to maintain a low simmer. If it gets extremely thick, remove from heat. Once the water comes to a boil, add a small handful of kosher salt, stir and add pasta. Cook until just short of al dente. Reserve one cup of water before straining pasta.
Add pasta to skillet. Turn up the heat slightly, and ladle small amounts of reserved the pasta water to the skillet as you stir, maintaining a creamy sauce. Add butter and stir. When pasta is al dente, add half of the shredded cheese and stir. Check a noodle for doneness and add salt, if needed. Remove from heat and use tongs to place pasta onto plates. Sprinkle remaining cheese atop pasta and serve.
• cooked chicken, diced
• roasted tomatoes
• roasted red peppers
• blanched vegetables
This is an easy appetizer that will wow your guest!
Puff Pastry Wrapped Brie
1-8 oz sheet of puff pastry, thawed
1-8 oz round of brie-style cheese
1 T water
Preheat oven to 400°. Unfold puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and place the cheese round in the center of the sheet. Fold the pastry over the cheese to fully cover. Trim any excess pastry and press to seal. Reserve the excess pastry for decoration.
Beat egg and water in a small bowl. Brush the seam of the pastry with egg mixture. Place seam side down onto baking sheet. Decorate the top with cut-out pastry scraps, if desired. Brush with egg mixture.
Bake for 25 min or until golden brown. Let stand for 20 min and serve.
Variations: If you are wanting something fancier than a plain baked brie, try slicing the brie horizontally through the middle and adding one of these flavor combinations!
• fresh, minced garlic and herbs
• crumbled blue cheese and dried cranberries
• chopped nuts and a drizzle of honey
• thinly sliced apples with cinnamon and sugar
Page 4 of 6
Cheese Blog Menu
Willamette Cheese Blog List