Nov 28, 2008

Holiday Treats at Cheese Boutique

Panettones, cakes and cookies stacked high

Marzipan piggies in a row

Panettone and puppet

Assorted Joseph Schmidt truffles

Gourmet candy canes on display

The cheese of the season is the Vacherin Mont d'Or, just released from a 45 day bathing in the cheese cellar. It is a raw cow's milk A.O.C cheese made only with summer milk in the French Alps and only available for a short time.

Also available to order is the Prime Roast-- aged sixty days in-house.

We were hoping as well that this Christmas would see the grand un-barreling of the goat cheese (refer to this post) marinating in Malivoire all these months... we asked Afrim about it and he said that, well, it's not up to him to decide-- the cheese will tell him when its ready. And when it decides to be ready, rest assured, there will be a post about it!

Stay tuned for upcoming recipes... Happy Holidays from A Blog of Cheese!

Nov 24, 2008

Avgolemono Soup with Chicken and Orzo

This soup.... started as leftovers from a roast chicken dinner. The bones were turned into a stock, and stock is always useful to have kicking around for anything, but the challenge was-- how could I make this into a really delicious soup with the average assortment of ingredients I had in the kitchen?

Solution: Avgolemono, the Greek egg and lemon soup!

The egg, lemon and milk that constitute the base of this recipe turns a plain old chicken stock into something amazing. Using Orzo rather than the traditional rice was a great touch, as it has a very satisfying chew and slurpiness in the rich broth. (I used the yummy orzo mentioned in this post.)

Here is the recipe:

6 cups of chicken broth
3/4 cup orzo
1/2 to 1 cup milk (optional)
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. butter (optional-- but butter will make it taste even better. Especially Cheese B butter.)
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup (or so) lemon juice
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
lemon zest
pepper and salt

cooked chicken meat (I used leftovers from the roast)
red bell pepper

Start with sauteing the diced vegetables on low heat, meanwhile heat the stock and throw in the orzo, simmering until the pasta is al dente. Alternately you can add pre-cooked orzo shortly before serving to control its tendency to continuously expand. Reduce heat.
Add vegetables, meat, lemon zest, parsley, pepper and salt.
Combine the milk, yolks and cornstarch and whisk into the soup until it is thickened. Then stir in lemon juice and butter.

Garnish with a dollop of yogurt, a sprig of parsley, and a grating of pepper.
And there you go, a hearty bowlful of comfort!

Nov 13, 2008

The Provolone Procession

What's in the crate, you ask?

It's an 868 lb, 10 foot tall... Cheese! One of only four made in the world at any time in history.

An authentic Auricchio Provolone of finest quality... which Cheese B is now aging in the Vault for five years.

Waiting in the Vault until that day, sometime in 2013...

Nov 10, 2008

Beef Fillet Roll-Up and Mushroom Cream Sauce

Are you looking for a vegetarian, vegan, low-fat, high-fiber recipe?

Then I'm afraid this is not the post for you. This recipe involves rivers of cheese oozing out of meat wrapped around more meat, and topped with a rich creamy sauce.

Specifically, a tender Beef fillet surrounding plenty of grated Swiss Gruyere, slices of Prosciutto, diced portobello mushroom and a subtle mix of herbs. Cheese Boutique prepares this neat little package in-house for you to cook up at home.

I'm sure it would be great on its own, but I opted to make a mushroom cream sauce using the wild gourmet mushrooms that have been calling my eye from the produce section these past few weeks. Oh, and look, a pretty package of fresh green beans. I selected that as well-- beans are good.

The mushrooms, before:

The mushrooms after:

Fresh out of the oven:

A leetle garnish of parsley, and voila!


The Roll-Up

It was started with a quick pan-searing, top, bottom and sides in Cheese Boutique olive oil until browned, then I placed it in a small baking dish in a 375 F oven for about 15-20 minutes until the cheese (bubbling and oozing out) was melted all the way through.

As that cooked I prepared the Cream Sauce:

Begin with a simple velouté sauce. I had fresh vegetable and chicken stock on hand and used a little of both. That can stay on low heat to reduce while you get started on the rest.

1 cup "Chef's Exotic Mushroom Blend" (fresh, from Cheese B)
2-4 tbsp. sliced or diced shallots
2 tbsp. butter
splash of vinegar, wine or balsamic
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup velouté
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 to 2/3 of a cup of cream
sea salt
fresh ground pepper
(Remember, the measurements given here are an approximation)

I used the same pan that I seared the beef in... removing the little bit of cheese that fell out and retaining those nice caramelized meat flavours. Put it on medium heat and melt the butter.
Saute the shallots or red onion until soft, then add mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms just begin to brown.

Add a little balsamic or red wine vinegar to deglaze the pan, then add minced garlic and chopped fresh parsley and cook for a couple of minutes. Mix in the wine and velouté and stir on low heat while it all mingles and thickens. Add the cream and very gently allow it to simmer while stirring for a few minutes more.

The beans were gently steamed with carrot curls and topped with a drizzle of lemon juice.

And of course, don't forget to drink some of that red wine with your meal.

Coming soon: It's just about that time of year-- Christmas at Cheese Boutique! Stay tuned...