Nov 26, 2009

Gourmet Gift Baskets


Cheese Boutique is brimming with Holiday goodies right now, and gift baskets of various sizes and themes can be found all throughout the store. Select a pre-made basket or have it custom-made with goodies for your foodies.

A perfect opportunity to view the baskets will be on December 5th for our pasta party with Via Allegro, enjoy the Christmas splendor (it's a big epicurean Gingerbread house) and sample some undoubtedly delicious authentic Italian pasta. I have a hunch cheese will be involved, too.

Nov 18, 2009

Get Neopolitan with Cheese B and Via Allegro


Saturday, December 5th, from 12-4pm:


Via Allegro Ristorante Chef Marco Zandona will be at Cheese Boutique, for a delicious showcasing of the fine pasta of Napoli.

Gragnano Pasta, a superb import exclusive to Cheese Boutique, will be expertly prepared for all to taste.


We have featured this unbeatable product in previous posts, and now we invite you to come and try it for yourself.

Nov 16, 2009

County Gourmet at Cheese Boutique

Thanks to all who attended County Gourmet on Saturday-- CheeseB was hopping, and we could not have asked for better weather!

Here are some photos from that afternoon:

Cheese-keeper Afrim Pristine

Fifth Town's Petra Cooper


Perched atop haybales, some of the wares from Funktional Art & Design:



Savouring the award-winning Cape Vessey paired with Norman Hardie's Pinot Noir, amongst other cheese samplings such as Counting Sheep, Isabella, Nettles Gone Wild, Wishing Tree, and more:
Fifth Town Founder and President Petra Cooper, and Fifth Town Sommelier/Chef Andrew Laliberte


Norman Hardie and Afrim Pristine.


Fifth Town cheese smoked by fragrant apple-wood


Chef Juan serves up the melted, smokey cheese, on crostini with a gherkin:




We don't know if this little cutie got to taste anything, but he seemed very excited to be there anyway:
Cheese Dog

Nov 13, 2009

Spotlight: Norman Hardie Wines

Tomorrow, from 12-4pm it's your chance to sample Norman Hardie wines at Cheese Boutique!

It's all part of our County Gourmet celebration... we bring Prince Edward County to Toronto and you get fine wine paired with great food (not to mention sunny, warm weather, according to the forecast).

Want an inside view to the winery? See a short movie "Community Harvest at Norman Hardie Winery" at Behind the Wine.

And on this blog there is a slideshow of gorgeous photographs of the harvest on location at the vineyard. Clearly a beautiful place-- sample its results in-store tomorrow afternoon. Hope to see you there!

Nov 12, 2009

Spotlight: Fifth Town Artisan Cheese

It's almost time for County Gourmet-- a celebration of Prince Edward County food and drink, this Saturday from 12-4pm.

We will be featuring Fifth Town Artisan Cheese, the county's renowned producer of several award-winning goat and sheep cheeses.

Their cheese Isabella was just named Grand Champion Goat Cheese at the Royal Winter Fair Cheese Competition 2009. Full details here.

Fifth Town describes Isabella as follows: Firm texture with a slight nuttiness and subtle goat cheese flavours accented nicely with slight briny notes.

Come and try it for yourself on Saturday-- there will be tastings of Isabella and other Fifth Town cheeses.

Nov 11, 2009

Crafted Dinner: Mt.Vesuvio Mac and Cheese

On Monday, in front of the Breakfast TV cameras, Chef Juan Salinas cooked up his "Mt. Vesuvio Mac and Cheese". It's a delicious take on the old classic. And everyone wanted the recipe-- we posted it, but now here is the elaborated version, with pictures and a variation or two.



I happened to have some of CheeseB's house-made breadcrumbs kicking around. This worked out very well--mixed thoroughly with a little melted butter it acquires a good crumbly texture for sprinkling on top. It browns perfectly during baking. I think it also protects that added layer of Mimolette underneath, as cheese can overcook easily.

Mimolette, described by CheeseB as follows:
An unpasteurized cow’s milk cheese from Normandy, France. It’s aged in-house for four
years and has a beautiful orange colour with a nice salty and nutty bite. This cheese was
a happy accident! The cheesemaker was trying to make a Dutch Gouda style cheese
but ended up making one of the better French offerings in the cheese elite.



I slowly mixed the finely grated cheese (grated in-store) directly into the flour/cream mixture, on low heat as it was thickening. The result was an intensely rich and flavourful sauce.



The Gragnano pasta is ideal, just be sure it is on the firmer side of al dente, as it will also cook more in the oven. I would recommend reserving some of its starchy water (1 cup or so ) from boiling, and mixing all that along with the cheese sauce and peppers. Put it into the baking dish and layer on more cheese, then top with breadcrumbs that have been mixed with a bit of melted butter.

I cooked it for about 2o minutes at 350 F, then gave it a few minutes of broiling until nicely browned on top.


A good cheese and quality pasta make all the difference here. And the Roland's Fire Roasted Red Peppers (with dill, garlic and a touch of oil) are among the best jarred variety I have tasted--good value, and great in this Mac and Cheese dish.

Here is the full original recipe:

Mt.Vesuvio Mac and Cheese
by in-house Chef, Juan Salinas
Yields 6 servings

Ingredients:

• 1 x 16 oz bag of Vesuvius Pasta (Pasta Di Gragnano brand*)
• 3 tbsp butter (Cheese Boutique’s fresh farm butter)
• 2tbsp all purpose flour
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 1 clove garlic, chopped
• 2 cups of whole milk or coffee cream
• 2 large roasted red pepper, chopped (Roland’s fire roasted red peppers)
• salt
• freshly cracked black pepper
• grated nutmeg to taste
• 1 cup of grated cheese Mimolette Cheese
• extra grated cheese mix for serving

(Bread Crumb topping optional: CheeseB's house-made breadcrumbs mixed with melted butter)

Directions:

1. Cook pasta in boiling, salted water according to package directions.
2. Sauté onion in butter in a large skillet for 3 to 4 minutes, add garlic and flour, then mix until blended.
3. Remove from heat, add milk and stir to dissolve lumps.
4. Return the skillet to medium-low heat and cook for 2 minutes, then set aside.
5. Drain pasta and toss with roasted peppers and cheese mix.
6. Adjust seasoning and add some extra cheese mix if desired. Transfer to a medium baking dish brushed with melted butter.
7. Sprinkle the top with extra grated cheese mix, brown the top under a broiler and serve.


* New Cheese Boutique import from Napoli, Italy


Nov 10, 2009

Nov 9, 2009

Breakfast Television at Cheese B!

Did you catch it live?

Breakfast Television's Jennifer Valentine was up early at Cheese Boutique. Segments included a 10 kilo Panetone...Cheese samplings and a pasta dish with a gourmet twist with Chef Juan.

Mt.Vesuvio Mac and Cheese
by in-house Chef, Juan Salinas
Yields 6 servings

Ingredients:

• 1 x 16 oz bag of Vesuvius Pasta (Pasta Di Gragnano brand*)
• 3 tbsp butter (Cheese Boutique’s fresh farm butter)
• 2tbsp all purpose flour
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 1 clove garlic, chopped
• 2 cups of whole milk or coffee cream
• 2 large roasted red pepper, chopped (Roland’s fire roasted red peppers)
• salt
• freshly cracked black pepper
• grated nutmeg to taste
• 1 cup of grated cheese Mimolette Cheese
• extra grated cheese mix for serving

Directions:

1. Cook pasta in boiling, salted water according to package directions.
2. Sauté onion in butter in a large skillet for 3 to 4 minutes, add garlic and flour, then mix until blended.
3. Remove from heat, add milk and stir to dissolve lumps.
4. Return the skillet to medium-low heat and cook for 2 minutes, then set aside.
5. Drain pasta and toss with roasted peppers and cheese mix.
6. Adjust seasoning and add some extra cheese mix if desired. Transfer to a medium baking dish brushed with melted butter.
7. Sprinkle the top with extra grated cheese mix, brown the top under a broiler and serve.

* New Cheese Boutique import from Napoli, Italy

Thanks to Jennifer and the BT morning crew!

Nov 5, 2009

A Cheese Boutique special event breakfast!



This Monday, November 9th, from 6am to 9am, you are invited to have a complimentary breakfast at Cheese Boutique. Attendees will be served a special release of a 10 kilo Panetone, with Monday Morning Mimosas! (Champagne and Orange Juice).

Breakfast Television's Jennifer Valentine will be broadcasting live, showcasing Cheese Boutique throughout the morning.

We'll be open as usual for the rest of the day.