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.
e a confession to make: I am not a native Oregonian. I spent the first 20 years of my life living in a tiny Midwest town, Towanda, Illinois. That being said, the winters there can be extreme, as can the driving conditions.
The land is flat in Illinois and made up mostly of farmland. The wind can be brutal and this often leads to very hazardous and icy road conditions.
Rock salt is often used to clear the roads. This is not the most efficient product to use, as approximately 30 percent of it bounces off the road. It’s also expensive and it rusts out the undercarriages of vehicles.
In Wisconsin, they are trying a new product. Actually, a byproduct of the cheesemaking process: whey. Whey, or cheese brine, is a derivative of certain soft cheeses, such as fresh mozzarella and provolone. These cheeses are placed in a salt-water solution to quickly boost the salt content of the cheese.
Cheesemakers there end up with so much whey that they spend thousand of dollars each year to dispose of it at wastewater treatment plants. Now, instead of tossing it, they’ll use it another whey!
We carry several Wisconsin cheeses at your Market Cheese Shop, so pick up some cheese and show your support this innovative idea.
I think this is an excellent solution and whey cool!
Every fall, my extended family gets together for a Thanksgiving potluck. My parents always cook the turkey, and the rest of the family contributes a dish to complete the feast. I really enjoy looking for nontraditional ideas and new takes on traditional dishes, as well. This year, I decided to bring a Three Cheese Corn Pudding. Try this at home, to add to your traditional feast!
Three Cheese Corn Pudding
2 tsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
4 cups corn, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup flour
1 cup half and half
1/4 cup Gouda cheese, grated
1/4 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
1/2 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Pre-heat oven to 350°. Heat olive oil in a sauté pan until hot, and add the garlic and onion; sauté until the onion just starts to brown. Add the corn, and sauté another 2-3 min. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and flour until smooth. Stir in the half and half. Add the cooled corn mixture to the egg mixture. Fold in all the cheeses, and add salt and pepper. Sprinkle the top with a small dusting of nutmeg. Pour into a greased 8-in x 8-in dish, and place in the oven. Bake until mixture is set, about 40 min. Remove from the oven, and let rest. Serve warm.
We are proud to introduce our new French-style Market of Choice Charcuterie line handmade in Eugene! The man responsible for these excellent products is Bill Hatch, a longtime Eugene resident and one of our most talented chefs. Bill is very passionate about what he does, the traditional techniques he employs during the process and, of course, the result, which is a clean, high-quality product.
Bill grew up in S.W. Missouri and has always had an interest in food. He worked in restaurants throughout high school and college before traveling west, landing in Oregon to pursue a master's degree in creative writing and literature.
He joined the staff at Cafe Zenon in the mid ‘80s and rose to the rank of executive chef and co-owner. While at Zenon, he indulged his interest in charcuterie (a branch of cooking devoted to prepared meats). After selling his share in Cafe Zenon, Bill spoke with several people who worked for Market of Choice and decided to apply.
Bill now devotes his time to handcrafting specialty pâtés, using traditional French methods. Charcuterie was a way to preserve meat before refrigeration but now is produced for the pure pleasure of enjoying the flavors derived from the preservation process.
Ingredient quality and a strict adherence to traditional cooking methods is what sets our products apart from the many other commercial pâtés available, Bill says. Whenever possible, he uses local and regionally sourced, natural meats that are hormone- and antibiotic-free. Market of Choice is fortunate to employ this local gem.
Current Charcuterie offerings include:
- Chicken Liver Pâté
- Country Pâté
- Duck & Morel Mousse
- Duck Rillettes
To learn more about our Market of Choice Charcuterie line, click here.
I always get really excited this time of year, as the weather changes and fall approaches. This is when we start searching for new products to bring in for the season and the holidays. We have picked up quite a few new items, but what I am really jazzed about is all of the specialty Italian pastas we now have in stock. I decided to do some research and product demos at home to become familiar with our new items, and I have been really happy with the results. So far, this is my favorite recipe, and it incorporates a customer’s suggestion to combine roasted vegetables with one of our new pastas. I hope you will give it a go; it is really simple and so delicious!
Pappardelle Pasta With Balsamic-Roasted Vegetables
1 lb bag of Pappardelle pasta or pasta of your choice
2 carrots, cut into ½" pieces
10 mushrooms, cut into 1" pieces
2 sweet potatoes, cut into 1" pieces
1 bell pepper, cut into 1” pieces
1 shallot, cut into 1" pieces
1 small onion, cut into ½” pieces
8 Brussels sprouts, halved
10 broccoli florets
10 cauliflower florets
3 T olive oil
2-3 T balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
Heat oven to 375°. Grease a 9x13" casserole dish with olive oil and place chopped vegetables into the dish as a single layer. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast veggies for 30 min. Remove from the oven and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Stir and put back in the oven for another 30 min. Meanwhile, prepare the pasta according to the package directions. Remove the veggies from the oven and serve atop the pasta.
To mix things up, try adding these:
Parmesan or pecorino cheese
Pancetta or prosciutto
Fresh basil or oregano
Red chili flakes or ghost pepper sea salt
Summer is finally here and it is time for fresh veggies and herbs; this means tomatoes and basil to me! I tend to assume that most of our customers are aware that we stretch fresh mozzarella year round at the Willamette Market of Choice.
What you may not know is HOW MUCH we stretch in the summer months compared to the colder parts of the year. During the fall, winter and early spring, we stretch approximately 15-20 pounds of cheese a WEEK. During the summer months, production will increase to 15-20 pounds A DAY! It is really incredible to watch it fly out the door.
Usually we pull ten pounds in the morning and ten pounds in the evening. Our fresh mozzarella has a wonderfully clean, milky flavor and a tender texture. It doesn't get fresher than this. We purchase the mozzarella curd in ten-pound bags from BelGioioso Cheese in Wisconsin. BelGioioso has been producing Italian-style cheese since 1979. There are currently seven state-of-the-art facilities that handle the process from start to finish in and around the Green Bay area. We are pleased to assure you that they only use milk that is hormone and antibiotic free for their products. Fresh mozzarella is a great cheese for summertime fare such as cold pasta salads, grilled pizza and caprese salad. Here is a recipe that I enjoy and hope you do too!
Fresh Mozzarella Pockets
16 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into 1 ½" chunks
15-20 fresh basil leaves
30 sheets wonton wrappers
1 egg + 1 T water for egg wash
1 c olive oil
1 c warm tomato sauce, your preference
Drain the mozzarella on a paper towel. Wash and dry the basil and cut into thin strips (chiffonade). Whisk the egg and water together. Place a chunk of mozzarella and a sprinkle of basil on top of a wonton sheet. Brush around the inside edges of the wonton with the egg wash and fold in half. Brush around the seams again and fold edges in, let rest about 1 min to seal.
Heat the oil in a lrg pan until it reaches 350°. Place the pockets in the pan and cook until golden brown, approx. 1 min per side. Drain cooked pockets on paper towels then sprinkle with cheese of your choice (Pecorino Romano, Parmesan, etc.), if desired. Serve immediately with the warm sauce and enjoy.
There are many ways you could modify this recipe by swapping out the basil for other veggies, tomato or artichoke pesto, olive tapenade, etc. Anything that sounds good to you, give it a try and experiment.
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