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Archive for August 13, 2016

TIP OF THE DAY: Fruit Salad With Fresh Cheese

Fruit Salad With Halloumi Cheese

Fruit Salad With Goat Cheese

Fruit Salad With Goat Cheese

[1] Watermelon and zucchini with grilled halloumi cheese. [2] Watermelon and strawberry salad with fresh goat cheese. [3] Fresh stone salad with feta. Photos courtesy Murray’s Cheese.

 

Make fruit salad even more delicious: Serve it with cheese.

Fruit and cheese are an ancient tradition. Today’s tip is for fruit salad with fresh cheese.
 
WHAT IS FRESH CHEESE?
 
Fresh cheese is aged for a few days or not at all. Ranging from creamy and spreadable (fromage blanc, ricotta), to soft and pliable (halloumi) to crumbly (goat cheese), if has no rind, which develops during the aging process.

During the cheesemaking process, the milk for fresh cheese is “ripened” with starter cultures, bacteria that convert the milk sugar (lactose) into lactic acid. This enables the milk to thicken.

Rennet is then added to further thicken the milk and create curds, rennet is then added . Once curds form, the liquid (whey) is drained away and what remains is turned into cheese.
Some suggestions from Murray’s Cheese, our favorite purveyor of great cheeses from the U.S. and around the world:

  • Milky: fresh goat cheese or ricotta
  • Grilled: Halloumi, grilled and paired with watermelon and cherry tomatoes on the vine.
  • Sweet & salty: feta with watermelon and oranges or stone fruits.
  • Fresh cheeses include:

  • Cheese curds
  • Cotija
  • Cottage cheese/pot cheese
  • Cream cheese
  • Farmer cheese
  • Fromage blanc
  • Goat cheese (chèvre)
  • Mozzarella
  • Oaxaca
  • Panela
  • Paneer
  • Quark
  • Queso fresco
  •  
    We’ll add two slightly aged cheeses to the mix:

  • Feta, a Greek cheese that is brined and lightly aged
  • Halloumi, a Greek cheese that can be unaged or aged, and holds its shape when grilled or fried
  •  
    The difference between cheese and other cultured milk products like sour cream and yogurt is rennet.

    Cheese is defined as made from curds, and rennet precipitates the curds from milk.

    Thus, while products like fromage blanc, quark and queso fresco look like sour cream and yogurt, the former are made with rennet. You may not be able to see the curds, but they’re there.

     
    READY TO MIX & MATCH?

    Any fruits will do, but pick the best of summer: berries, melons, stone fruits and/or tropical fruits.

    Pick up whatever looks best at the market, make fruit salad and serve it with a fresh cheese.

    Even better: Provide a plate of different cheeses and let guests add whatever they like.

    Whether for dessert, snack, or other course, consider serving the fruit salad and cheese with:

  • Flatbread (from Middle Eastern like lavash to Swedish flatbread like Wasa)
  • French croutons (toasted thin slices of baguette or ficelle)
  • Fruit bread (such as raisin bread) or cornbread
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    FOOD FUN: Filet Mignon “Sculpture” For National Filet Mignon Day

    Here’s some food fun for National Filet Mignon Day, August 13th:

    Instead of serving the meat flat on the plate, create a filet mignon “sculpture”: a commemoration of the tenderest cut of beef.

    In this example from Rue 57 restaurant in New York City, the filet is set against a mound of mashed potatoes, and surrounded by:

  • Jus
  • Pearl onions
  • Peas
  •  
    Two croutons (toasted baguette or ficelle slices) garnish the dish, but you can crown the mashed potatoes with sprig of chive, rosemary or thyme instead.

    You can tailor the dish any way you like. For example:

  • Serve the jus on the side.
  • Add mushrooms or other vegetables.
  •  
    CHECK OUT THE DIFFERENT BEEF CUTS IN OUR BEEF GLOSSARY.
     
    WHAT IS JUS?

    Jus, pronounced ZHOO, is the French word for juice. With meat or poultry, it refers to a thin gravy or sauce made from the meat juices.

    The fat is skimmed from the pan juices and the remaining stock is boiled into a sauce, adding water as desired.

    Some cooks use additional ingredients to add flavor; for example, brown or white sugar, garlic, herbs, onion, salt and pepper, soy sauce and/or Worcestershire sauce. Our mother was fond of Gravy Master.

    In France, it would be argued that such additions are not jus, but a more complex sauce.

     

    French Dip Sandwich

    [1] Honor filet mignon on its national holiday, August 13th (photo courtesy Rue 57). [2] The French Dip sandwich, roast beef on baguette with a side of jus for dipping. Here’s the recipe from One Perfect Bite.

     
    “Au jus” (owe-zhoo) is the French culinary term that describes serving the meat with its pan juices.
     
    CAN YOU NAME THE AMERICAN SANDWICH THAT IS SERVED AU JUS?

    In the U.S., jus is served as a side in a small bowl, with a French dip sandwich: a roast beef sandwich on a hero roll or baguette.

    Here’s how the French Dip originated: another happy accident.
     
    CHECK OUT THE DIFFERENT SANDWICH TYPES IN OUR SANDWICH GLOSSARY.

      

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    FOOD FUN: Getting Political With Snapple

    Through Election Day (November 8th), you can drink to your political party with Snapple TEAcision 2016.

    The new limited-edition flavors from Snapple include:

  • Blue Fruit Tea, a blend of blueberry and blackberry flavors
  • Red Fruit Tea, a blend of pomegranate, cherry and raspberry
  •  
    These “political” flavors follow on the heels of of the “patriotic” July 4th special edition, Oh Say Can You Tea, a black tea with strawberry flavor and a hint of mint.

    That flavor had this Snapple Real Fact on the back of the bottle cap: In Massachusetts, it’s illegal to dance to the National Anthem.

    What’s under the caps of Snapple TEAcision 2016?

    You’ll have to try them to find out!

    Stock up for election results-watching.

     

    Snapple TEAcision 2016

    Drink to your party with TEAcision 2016 (photo courtesy Snapple).

     

      

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