FOOD FUN: Cheese Omakase, A Cheese Tasting Dinner - THE NIBBLE Blog
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FOOD FUN: Cheese Omakase, A Cheese Tasting Dinner

Like sushi? Like cheese? In honor of National Cheese Day, June 4th, combine them both.

We don’t mean the Philadelphia roll, the only mainstream sushi with cheese (Philadelphia cream cheese and smoked salmon, to be precise.

But last year, Rachel Freier, a cheese monger at Murray’s Cheese Bar in Greenwich Village, created a whimsical yet sophisticated 10-course cheese dinner—an omakase, as it were.

Inspired by an omakase she had recently enjoyed at a sushi restaurant, her 10-course tasting dinner did not seek to emulate sushi, although one course is an homage.

Here’s the cheese omakase menu, which is simple enough to copy at home:

  • Amuse Bouche: Milk punch made with chamomile, sweet vermouth and some sweet hay from Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont. It was inspired by a visit to the dairy, where, Freier said, “We sat on a hay bale inside a hay dryer just licking the air it smelled so good.”
  • First Course: A dish called Salting the Curd, made from squeaky fresh curds with fried curds (not shown in photo).
  • Salad Course: A goat cheese salad that featured St. Maure, a bloomy-rind goat cheese from France’s Loire Valley that Murray’s coats with ashes to help it ripen. Looking like a piece of pressed sushi, the rectangle of cheese sits atop a shiso leaf. Instead of soy sauce, there’s a vinaigrette made from pickled cherries and honey, and instead of wasabi, there are wasabi peas. Freier paired the course with a Loire Valley chenin blanc.
  • Pasta Course: Reverse ravioli, two squares squares of mozzarella (instead of pasta dough), filled with tomato sauce, garlic and basil. It was paired with lambrusco, a red wine from Italy (not shown).
  • Frisée aux Lardons With Poached Quail Egg: A spin on the classic, cubes of cheese rind (Spring Brook Reading raclette from Vermont; and Hollander, a sheep’s milk cheese from the French Pyrenees) standing in for the bacon lardons, along with some sautéed mushrooms.
  • Alpine Fondue: A blend of three mountain cheeses, Etivaz, Vacherin Fribourgeois and French raclette. Served with toast fingers and the cornichons, dates and julienned green apples.
  • Palate Cleanser: A shot of whey mixed with apple, ginger and spinach (not shown).
  • Main Course: A mini pot pie filled with Ardrahan, a washed-rind cow’s milk cheese from Ireland. Pungent washed rind cheeses are meaty and brothy (some call them stinky) and should be paired with a hearty wine: In this case, Bordeaux.
  • Cheese & Fruit:Tarte tatin” with cheese; Norway’s national cheese, gjetost, with the apples and crust of the tarte tatin. Gjetost is a caramelized cheese, cooked from goat’s milk cream. It substituted for the caramelized apples of tarte tatin. This course was paired with Eden ice cider.
  • Dessert: Ice cream bon bon, a stilton center, enrobed in chocolate.
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    Cheese Omakase

    Cheese Sushi

    [1] Some of the courses in the omakase dinner (photo courtesy Murray’s Cheese). [2] A close up on the “sushi” course: Saint Maure cheese from France, the second item in the top photo (photo courtesy Chopsticks and Marrow).

     
    Here are close-up photos of the courses.
     
    MORE

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    Sushi Glossary: The Different Types Of Cheese

      




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