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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Cheese/Yogurt/Dairy

TIP OF THE DAY: Tex-Mex Queso Dip

queso-dip-kraft-230

A classic queso dip. Photo courtesy Kraft
Foods.

 

Unlike turkey for Thanksgiving or ham and lamb for Easter, there are no “traditional” Cinco de Mayo foods. Anything Mexican or Tex-Mex goes.

What is a regional holiday in Mexico commemorates the 1862 victory of a small and poorly-equipped Mexican militia led by General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin over the much larger French army at The Battle Of Puebla. It temporarily stopped the French invasion of the country.

Cinco de Mayo is actually a bigger event in the U.S., thanks to promotions from Mexican restaurants and Americans’ love of Mexican food.

If you don’t want to go all-out, you can have salsa, chips and a Margarita or a Mexican beer at home. Or, make a warm, creamy queso dip (queso is the Mexican word for cheese), also known as chile con queso.

 
According to Bobby McGee of Jardine’s, our favorite fine salsa producer, queso dip is a Tex-Mex invention of the 20th century. It can take the form of a spread or a warm dip with tortilla chips.

Cheese has always been a costly ingredient. To stretch the cheese, some clever cook added chopped vegetables.

In the best recipes, a semisoft cheese is melted into a smooth mixture with, for example, sour cream and/or butter for a smooth texture and cornstarch for body. Chopped vegetables or salsa are added for “stretch” and flavor.

Shortcut recipes mix a block of Velveeta or American cheese with a can of Ro-Tel Tomatoes & Diced Green Chilies. Instead of processed cheeses like these—or buying supermarket brands made with them—whip up your own, more flavorful, queso dip with asadero, Cheddar or Jack cheese.

Asadero is a semisoft cheese often used for melting: a smooth, yellow cheese reminiscent of Provolone, with a bit of zest and tang. It’s often sliced or shredded to use for quesadillas or other sandwiches, and it’s a favorite for nachos and queso dips.

Check out the different types of Mexican cheeses.

Here’s a recipe adapted from The Homesick Texan Cookbook by Michelle of BrownEyedBaker.com:

 

RECIPE: QUESO DIP

Ingredients For 2 Cups

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 serrano chiles, seeds and stems removed, diced
  • 1 jalapeño chile, seeds and stems removed, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk or half-and-half
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained (about 1 cup)
  • 12 ounces cheddar cheese, grated (about 3 cups)
  • 12 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated (about 3 cups)
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  •  
    Plus

  • Tortilla chips, raw vegetables or hot flour tortillas for dipping
  •  

    chile-con-queso-browneyedbaker-230

    A delicious, from-scratch queso dip. Photo courtesy BrownEyedBaker.com.

     
    Preparation

    1. MELT the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, serrano chiles and jalapeño; cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.

    2. WHISK the flour into the pan and cook for about 30 seconds. Slowly pour the milk into the pan while whisking, and continue to cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce has thickens, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and tomatoes.

    3. REDUCE the heat to low, and add the grated cheeses a ¼ cup at a time, stirring after each addition, until it is completely melted. Repeat until all of the cheese has been added. Stir in the sour cream until completely combined. Serve immediately with tortilla chips. Leftover queso can be refrigerated for up to 5 days, and reheated when you’re ready to serve.

      

    Comments

    EASTER: Pink, White & Green Deviled Eggs

    Make these gorgeous pink deviled eggs ahead of time for easy holiday entertaining: They’re perfect for Easter brunch or snacking.

    You can make all of the eggs pink, half pink/half white, or tint some pickle brine light green for a tricolor selection.

    Mix and match your toppings from the list in the recipe or whatever else appeals to you.

    Prep time is 20 minutes.

    RECIPE: PICKLED PINK DEVILED EGGS

    Ingredients For 20 egg halves

  • 12 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill or chives
  •  

    Pickled deviled eggs in Easter colors. Photo and recipe courtesy American Egg Board.

     

    For The Marinade

  • 1 jar (16 ounces) beets
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  •  
    Garnishes

  • Capers & chives
  • Crab meat & fresh dill
  • Diced red bell peppers and flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • Small cooked shrimp & chives
  • Smoked salmon
  • Steamed asparagus tips
  • Sweet pickles, sliced jalapeños or pickled jalapeños
  •  

    aunt-nellies-beets-sliced-jar-230

    You only need the beet liquid, so enjoy the
    beets in a salad, on a sandwich (instead of
    tomato) or as a side. Photo courtesy Aunt
    Nellie’s.

     

    Preparation

    Deviled eggs can be made up to 12 hours ahead. Refrigerate them, covered.

    1. CUT eggs lengthwise in half. Remove yolks to medium bowl. Reserve 20 white halves; finely chop remaining 4 white halves.

    2. MASH yolks with fork. Add finely chopped whites, mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper; mix well. Add dill; mix well. Cover and refrigerate.

    3. DRAIN beets, reserving juice (about 2/3 cup). Set beets aside for another use. Combine beet juice, water and vinegar. Arrange egg whites cut side down in shallow container. Pour beet mixture over eggs. Cover tightly. Refrigerate at least several hours or overnight, turning occasionally.

    If you want two or three colors, divide the eggs among the beet brine, plain pickle brine and tinted pickle brine. If using brine, you don’t need the water and vinegar.

    4. REMOVE purple egg whites from beet mixture, pat dry with paper towels. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of yolk mixture into each reserved egg white half. Garnish as desired.

     
    RECIPE TIPS

  • Don’t use the freshest eggs. Very fresh eggs can be difficult to peel. To ensure easily peeled eggs, buy and refrigerate them a week to 10 days in advance of cooking. This brief “breather” allows the eggs time to take in air, which helps separate the membranes from the shell.
  • Easier peeling technique. Hard-boiled eggs are easiest to peel right after cooling. Cooling causes the egg to contract slightly in the shell. To peel a hard-boiled egg, gently tap it on the countertop until shell is finely crackled all over. Roll the egg between your hands to loosen the shell. Starting peeling at the large end, holding the egg under cold running water to help ease the shell off.
  • Easy mixing and filling method. Combine the filling ingredients in a 1-quart plastic food-storage bag. Press out the air and seal the bag. Press and roll the bag with your hands until the mixture is well blended. Push the filling toward bottom corner of bag. Snip off about a 1/2-inch of corner. Squeeze the filling from bag into the egg whites.
  • Picnic or tailgate tip. Prepare the filling in a plastic bag, as above. Transport the whites and yolk mixture separately in a cooler. Fill the eggs on the spot, pressing filling out of snipped corner of bag.

      

  • Comments

    RECIPE: Curried Egg Salad

    curried-egg-salad-louisemellor-safeeggs-230

    Curried egg salad on toast. Photo courtesy
    Louise Mellor | SafeEggs.com.

     

    To mark the end of National Egg Salad Week, we made a delicious curried egg salad recipe.

    And we did it the easy way, purchasing pre-cooked and peeled hard boiled eggs from Trader Joe’s.

    While we were at it, we picked up some pre-grilled chicken breasts across the aisle, and made a batch of curried chicken salad as well. We did some blending, and decided that we preferred egg salad and chicken salad separately, rather than combined.

    A different on a traditional favorite, this curried egg salad is fresh and invigorating. The recipe is by Louise Mellor for SafeEggs.com.

    Find more egg recipes at SafeEggs.com.

    CURRIED EGG SALAD RECIPE

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 6 hard-boiled eggs
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 1 cup baby arugula
  •  
    Preparation

    1. CUT hard boiled eggs into small dice.

    2. COMBINE the eggs with the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and stir well to combine.

    3. FOLD in arugula and serve salad on whole wheat bread or with crackers.

     

    EGG MYTHS

    Davidson’s Safest Eggs are whole raw eggs that have been pasteurized in the shell, using special equipment. Pasteurization kills the salmonella, as does cooking unpasteurized eggs.

    We go out of our way to find Davidson’s Safest Eggs when we’re making Caesar salad, mousse, steak tartare and other recipes that require raw eggs that are not cooked—not to mention making raw cake batter and cookie dough safe enough to enjoy.

    Many people believe different myths about egg safety. Here, Davidson’s puts them to rest:

  • Myth: If the shell of a fresh egg is smooth and un-cracked, it’s safe to eat raw. Nope! Even the most perfect-looking fresh egg can harbor Salmonella germs inside. If the egg has a crack, even a hairline, bacteria from the environment can enter them.
  • Myth: If you wash eggs before use, they’ll be safe. Nope! That’s because the Salmonella bacteria, if present, are usually inside the egg. The microbes come from the reproductive tract of the hen and are passed to the inside of the egg before it hits the nest.
  •  

    trader-joes-package-elvirakalviste-230

    All peeled and ready to eat. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

  • Myth: You can pasteurize fresh eggs at home in the microwave. Nope! A brand like Safest Choice uses a patented process based on extensive scientific development and precision controls. Per the FDA, the equipment to pasteurize eggs isn’t available for home use, and it is not possible to pasteurize shell eggs at home without cooking the contents of the egg.
  • Myth: Organic eggs and brown eggs are safe from Salmonella. While organic eggs come from better fed, better cared for hens, they can still harbor salmonella. The color of the shells is determined by the breed of the hen, and likewise has no impact on safety.
  • Myth: Eggs from a local farm are safer than those from the grocery store. Nope! Chickens harbor Salmonella bacteria, and even eggs from the best family farms can harbor salmonella. Rodents, feed, flies, water, dust and other birds can deliver Salmonella to even the best-cared-for hens.
  • Myth: Generally, eggs that can make you sick will smell or taste “off.” Nope! The bacteria that cause spoilage and “off” aromas and flavors are different from those that cause foodborne illness. Salmonella bacteria in an egg can’t be seen, smelled or tasted.
  • Myth: Salmonella is only in the yolks of raw eggs. If you eat only the raw egg whites, you’re O.K. Nope. While the Salmonella is usually in the yolk, you can’t rule their presence in the egg white.
  • Myth: Egg pasteurization destroys nutrients. Nope! The all-natural water bath pasteurization process does not change the nutritional value of an ordinary egg in any way.
  •   

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Truffle Cheese

    A good truffle cheese is a knockout. It you’re going to serve one cheese for a special occasion, this is it.

    There are different truffle cheeses from the U.S., France, Italy, and elsewhere. Some deliver the aromatic, spectacular truffle aroma and flavor you’re looking for. Others don’t, the black flecks of truffle seemingly there like the black flecks in vanilla ice cream—for appearance, not for taste.

    That’s because some truffles have little or no flavor and aroma, and not all producers use the more flavorful truffles. If you can taste before you buy, do so. More about truffles.)
     
    TYPES OF TRUFFLE CHEESE

    Truffle cheeses are aromatic cheeses that have been flavored with bits of fresh truffles and sometimes with truffle oil, when the truffles themselves are not particularly flavorful. They can be made from any milk, in soft, semi-soft or semi-hard styles.

    These cheeses are available in the U.S.:

  • Boschetto al Tartufo: a mild, semi-soft Italian cheese made with a blend of cow’s and sheep’s milk and white truffles. Nice. The names means truffles from the woods.
  •  

    truffle-tremor-beauty

    Truffle Tremor. Photo courtesy Cypress Grove.

  • Fromager d’Affinois: from France, this variety of fromager d’affinois, a Brie-like double-crème cow’s milk cheese, is a beautiful blend of the creamy cheese with the subtle earthiness of the truffles. The black truffles are from Périgord—the best truffles in the world. It is a seasonal product that is in store for the holidays from October to January and then again in March (for Easter). You can find it in most gourmet/specialty stores, Whole Foods Markets, Trader Joe’s (as a unit size under their label called the Truffle Brie) and some Costco stores.
  • Moliterno Black Truffle Pecorino: A Sardinian raw sheep’s milk cheese covered with black truffle paste. Unlike most truffle cheese, the truffle paste is infused after the cheese has been aged, creating veins of truffle that permeates the entire paste. Once cut, the dark paste oozes out of the crevices of the cheese. It makes a great cheese course with a big, earthy Italian red wine.
  •  

    truffle-cheese-assortment-ig-230

    Truffle cheese assortment from iGourmet. Serve it with hearty red wine: It’s a party!

     
  • Perlagrigia Sottocenere: a semi-soft Italian cheese originally from Venice, made from raw cow’s milk and slices of truffles. It is then rubbed with herbs and spices (cinnamon, cloves, coriander, fennel, licorice, nutmeg) and aged in an ash rind, a Venetian technique to preserve the cheese over a long period without losing flavor. The ash is also used to convey subtle flavors into the cheese, with a variety of spices mixed with the ash.with flavors of coated on to the rind. The name means “under ash.”
  • Truffle Gouda: a mild Dutch Gouda (cow’s milk, semihard) sprinkled with black truffles, the mildness of the cheese lets the flavor of the truffles shine through.
  • Truffle Tremor: from Cypress Grove Chevre of California, this soft, creamy goat’s milk cheese filled with Italian black summer truffles.is one of our favorites. What could make goat cheese better than truffles? Enjoyable any time, try it for dessert with a glass of Port.
  •  

  • Truffle and Salt Cheddar: From Idaho’s Ballard Family Dairy and Cheese, this aged, pasteurized Cheddar (cow’s milk) is flavored with black truffle salt. As a result, it isn’t as truffle-redolent as cheeses that use actual truffles, but it is a lovely expression of artisan Cheddar.
  •  
    You can get a truffle cheese assortment—five of the cheeses above—from iGourmet. It’s a special treat that will be long remembered.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Green Cheese For St. Patrick’s Day

    basiron-green-pesto-close-ig-230sq

    Basiron Pesto Rosso has an Italian name, is
    made in Holland and is perfect for St.
    Patrick’s Day. Photo courtesy Atalanta Corp.

     

    The perfect cheese for St. Patrick’s Day is made in Holland, but that shouldn’t stop you from having a great time with it.

    Of course, there are plenty of Irish-made cheeses available, and we love them all. But you can’t beat Basiron Pesto Verde for bringing on the green.

    Basiron Pesto Verde (green pesto), a Gouda-style cheese, is made from pasteurized cow’s milk and vegetarian rennet. Your local cheesemonger may carry it; or you can get it online.

  • Breakfast: Green cheese grits or a cheese omelet
  • Lunch: Green grilled cheese, ham and cheese, etc.
  • Happy Hour: With a beer (make it an Irish beer) or a glass of fruity red wine
  • Dinner or Snack: On a cheese plate with these other Irish cheeses
  • Dinner: Gouda fondue; shredded over pasta, potatoes, rice or vegetables; stuffed chicken breast
  •  

    YUMMY & MORE

    The flavor is of classic, creamy Gouda-style cheese blended with basil-garlic pesto. A beautifully balanced (and extremely addictive) nibbling cheese, Pesto Rosso can also strut its stuff at Christmas or any occasion requiring a “wow.”

    Basiron Pesto Verde is one of a group of fine cheeses made by The cheese is made by Veldhuyzen Kaas, a family business founded in 1884. The Basiron line includes

  • Hot Chili
  • Marmelade (a European spelling)
  • Pesto Rosso (a vivid orange for Halloween or Thanksgiving, with
    tomato pesto)
  • Pesto Verde
  • Sweet Pepper
  • Truffle
  • Wasabi-flavored
  •  

    cahill-farm-cheddar-ig-230

    An Irish head-turner: Cahill Cheddar soaked in elderberry wine, porter and Irish whiskey (no color). Photo courtesy Cahill Farms.

     
     
    DO YOU KNOW GOUDA?

    Here’s all you need to know about Gouda cheese, named after the town of Gouda, in the South Holland region of The Netherlands.

    How Do You Pronounce Gouda?

    Most Americans pronounce it “GOO-duh.” But the Dutch might not understand your request. The name of this cheese is pronounced variously as “GAOW-duh” or “HOW-duh” (with the Dutch guttural “ch” sound).

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Red Lentil Soup, Other Greek Yogurt Delights & Aleppo Pepper

    Choabani

    Red lentil soup is golden and glorious. Photo
    by Marcus Nilsson | Chobani.

     

    What do you do after your start-up Greek-style yogurt brand becomes the number one brand in the country?

    You continue to share your love of your homeland’s foods by opening a café.

    Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya moved to New York from his native Turkey and couldn’t find thick yogurt as widely available as it was back home. The rest is yogurt history; now, hopefully, the other wonderful yogurt-based foods at his Chobani Soho café* will find as many fans.

    The current café is a revision of the initial concept, which focused on yogurt with savory or sweet toppings†. They’re still on the menu, not joined by soups and simits—the bagel-like, sesame-topped street food of Turkey, available with a variety of fillings.

    We’re a sucker for a simit—we had our first one just a year ago when a simit sandwich shop opened on our block.

    Chobani Soho’s simits include “Bagel + Cream Cheese” (the cream cheese is actually labne, also spelled labneh, and called “Lebanese cream cheese”; Seasonal Preserves + Labne, Smoked Salmom + Herbed Labne; Spiced Chicken + Pomegranate Onion; and Tomato + Olive Tapenade.

     

    We were invited to a media reception where we got to taste everything, all of it terrific. But for us, the star on the menu is the red lentil soup—easy to make, and so luscious and comforting that you’ll be making it again and again. Thanks to Chobani for sharing the recipe.

     
    *The cafe is located at 150 Prince Street at West Broadway in New York City; 1.646.998.3800.

    † SWEET CREATIONS: Blueberry + Power, Fig + Walnut, Fresh Fruit + Granola, Peanut Butter + Jelly, Pistachio + Chocolate, Toasted Coconut + Pineapple. SAVORY CREATIONS: Hummus + Za’atar, Mango + Avocado, Pomegranate + Caramelized Onion (our favorite!) Red Pepper Harissa + Feta, Zucchini Pesto + Tomato.

    RECIPE: CHOBANI RED LENTIL SOUP

    Red lentils (which range in color from yellow to orange to red) are sweeter than the green lentils typically used in American lentil soup, and the brown lentils used elsewhere.

    Ingredients

  • 3 cups lentils
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon salt
  • Pinch Aleppo pepper‡
  • 4 quarts water
  • 4 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup plain 2% Chobani Greek yogurt
  •  
    ‡A substitute for Aleppo pepper is 4 parts sweet paprika and 1 part cayenne. See the section below on Aleppo pepper.

     

    Preparation

    1. PLACE lentils in a strainer and rinse under cold water.

    2. COMBINE all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 25 minutes.

    3. ADD yogurt. Use an immersion blender to blend until smooth.

    4. COOL in an ice bath and then refrigerate. Reheat before serving. Blend with immersion blender after reheating to eliminate lumps and smooth out soup.

    5. MAKE garnish: Melt ¼ pound butter in a small sauce pan until foaming. Add ½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper and remove from heat. Drizzle ½ teaspoon (for an 8-ounce portion) or ¾ teaspoon (for a 12-ounce portion). Keep butter warm and garnish with a spoon of Aleppo pepper butter before serving.

     

    Choabani

    Simit, the “Turkish bagel,” ready to meet thick labne. Photo by Marcus Nilsson | Chobani.

    WHAT IS ALEPPO PEPPER?

    Also called halab pepper, halaby pepper, Near Eastern pepper and Syrian red pepper flakes, Aleppo pepper hales from Turkey and northern Syria. The town of Aleppo, a famous food mecca, is located in Syria near the Turkish border.

    Aleppo pepper is used to add heat and pungency to Middle Eastern dishes. It is not a berry, like peppercorns, but a moderately hot red chile that is sun-dried, seeded and crushed. (Ever since someone in the crew of Christopher Columbus came across a chile in the New World and called it “pepper,” the confusion has endured. Here’s the scoop on pepper, here’s the story on chiles.)

    The Aleppo chile’s high oil content provides a deep, rich aroma, somewhere between coffee and smoke; it has been compared to the ancho chile. It has fruity notes with mild, cumin-like undertones. It can be compared to—but is much more flavorful, complex, and less harsh than—that generic pizza staple, crushed red pepper.

    USES FOR ALEPPO PEPPER

    The moderate heat of Aleppo pepper is used:

  • With proteins: fish stews, roast chicken, grilled meats (including kabobs)
  • In veggie dishes: rice pilaf, simmered beans and lentils, to add kick to green salads (it’s delicious with yogurt and cucumbers or melon and mint salad)
  • As an attractive red garnish: on deviled eggs (or with any eggs), on potato, chicken, tuna and pasta salads
  • In any Mediterranean dish: tagines and couscous, for example
  • In classic American dishes: chili, pizza, soup, stews
  • As an everyday seasoning: add the flakes to olive oil to infuse for a vinaigrette, marinade, rub or for sautéing
  •  
    If you can’t find Aleppo pepper locally, you can buy it online. When you empty your jar of crushed red pepper flakes, replace it with Aleppo.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: French Cheeses With American Meals

    fourme-d-ambert-murrays-230

    A beautiful blue: fourme d’ambert is made
    from pasteurized cow’s milk in Auvergne.
    Each wheel is formed from unpressed curds
    inoculated with a less spicy blue mold than
    that of its cousin, Roquefort. Photo courtesy
    Murray’s Cheese.

     

    We have friends who are French cheese snobs. They grew up on it, they love it, and they only vary their choice when in need of Parmigiano-Reggiano for pasta or risotto.

    So we wondered what we would do without the Cheddar, cream cheese, mozzarella, ricotta and other standards in the American diet. We gave the experts at Cheeses Of France a long list of favorite American recipes with cheese, and asked them to “Frenchify” it.

    The recommendations are below. Before jumping in, we have an editorial note:

    Each publication creates its own “style sheet”—a consistent set of editing choices from the options available, such as p.m. versus pm and farmers market versus farmers’ market or farmer’s market. THE NIBBLE chooses to capitalize proper names, such as American cheese versus american cheese and Champagne versus champagne. Raclette is not the name of a place (it means “to scrape”) and chevre means “goat,” so they normally would not be capitalized under our conventions. Brie and Morbier are villages on France, so we typically would capitalize them.

     
    But when we looked at the lengthy list below, we decided that consistency made more sense. So we’ve decided use the lower case for all of the cheeses.

    Now, on to the cheese. If we’ve left out any of your favorite cheesy dishes, let us know. And if you haven’t heard of particular cheeses, great: The voyage of discovery starts here.

    And these wonderful cheeses are not just for recipes: They belong on your cheese plate as well!
     
    SO MUCH GREAT FRENCH CHEESE TO SUBSTITUTE

  • Breakfast Cheese On Bagel/Toast: brie, fromager d’affinois or the whipped cheese laita
  • Cheese Balls: comté trois comtois, des domes, fourme d’ambert, livradois, raclette
  • Cheese Biscuits: comté trois comtois (a.k.a. les 3 comptois)
  • Cheeseburger: abondance, beaufort, blue cheese (fourme d’ambert, bleu d’auvergne), cantal, comté, morbier, munster, raclette
  • Cheesecake: laita
  • Cheese Omelet: comté, fromager d’affinois with garlic and herbs or with truffles, young cantal (although any cheese could go into an omelet)
  • Cheese Dog: montboissier, morbier, raclette
  • Cheese Fries: melting cheese such as raclette, hard cheese such as comté, emmental, morbier
  •  

  • Cheese Sauce: blue cheese, fourme d’ambert
  • Cheese Straws: cantal, munster
  • Cottage Cheese and Fruit Salad: laita
  • Fondue: comté, emmental, tome de montagne
  • Fried Cheese: emmental, montboissier, morbier, raclette, tome de savoie
  • Grating: cantal, comté jeune, emmental
  • Ham & Cheese: brie, comté, fromager d’affinois (any variety), morbier, petit cantal, raclette, tome de savoie
  • Macaroni & Cheese: hard cheese—beaufort, cantal, comté
  • Macaroni & Cheese: semisoft cheese—morbier, montboissier, raclette
  • Mashed Potatoes: comté, laita, montboissier, morbier, raclette
  • Nachos: morbier, raclette
  • Pierogi/Ravioli: bleu d’auvergne, comté, emmental
  • Pizza: blue cheese—bleu d’auvergne, fourme d’ambert
  •  

    Morbier

    Morbier is a mild French cow’s milk cheese that is easily recognized by the dark vein of vegetable ash streaking through its middle. Photo courtesy Artisanal Cheese.

  • Pasta: grated hard cheese—abondance, beaufort, comté
  • Pasta: semi soft cheese—morbier, raclette
  • Pasta: blue cheese—bleu d’auvergne, fourme d’ambert
  • Risotto: grated hard cheese such as abondance, beaufort, comté; semisoft cheese such as raclette
  • Salad (Mild Cheese): hard cheese like cantal or comté
  • Salad (Strong Cheese): cubes of blue cheese—fourme d’ambert, bleu d’auvergne
  • Scones & Muffins: abondance, cantal, comté, emmental
  • Stuffed Chicken Breast: bleu d’auvergne, comté, fourme d’ambert, raclette
  • Stuffed Mushrooms: bleu d’auvergne, comté or mix (for topping, the melt under the grill)
  • Soup: cantal, comté
  • Tuna Melt: comté, morbier, raclette
  •  
    Hungry yet? We’re off to make an omelet with one of our new discoveries, fromager d’affinois aux truffes. It was around for the holidays and we loaded up. It will be back again for Easter.

    Look for it in gourmet/specialty food stores, Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s (theirs is called “truffle brie”) and some Costcos. If you love truffles, don’t miss it!

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Decorated Goat Cheese Logs

    Goat cheese logs: plain, green and
    pink-themed. Photo courtesy Vermont
    Creamery.

     

    You can take a plain log of goat cheese and decorate it for any special occasion. We’ve included suggestions for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween and Christmas below. But you don’t need an official holiday—just friends and family who’d appreciate the treat.

    You can serve the log on a cheese board, slice it to top salads, serve for brunch with toast and bagels, top brown rice or other whole grains, etc., etc., etc.

    When selecting the goat cheese, look for logs that are firmer than the rest. Very creamy logs are hard to roll.

    Decide on your custom herb-spice mix, and choose a “base” herb or spice for rolling the entire log, plus an “accent” (or accents) to sprinkle on. The herbs and spices mentioned below are only suggestions. Browse the spice racks, dried fruit and vegetable mixes, nuts, seeds, etc. to see what inspires you.

    For example, you might want a touch of chili flakes, but don’t want to enrobe the entire log in them.

    Minced fresh herbs provide better green color (and fresher flavor) than dried herbs.

     
    RECIPE: HOLIDAY GOAT CHEESE LOGS

    Ingredients (Select A Custom Mix)

  • Valentine’s Day: chili flakes, minced dried cherries or cranberries, paprika, pink peppercorns
  • St. Patrick’s Day: bright green fresh herbs, green peppercorns, pepitas
  • Halloween: turmeric and cracked black peppercorns
  • Christmas: green herbs, green peppercorns, pink or red peppercorns
  •  
    Plus:

  • Goat cheese log
  •  
    Preparation

    1. FREEZE goat cheese logs for 20 minutes prior to rolling (longer if needed), to firm them up.

    2. ASSEMBLE herbs and spices. Line a cutting board or baking pan with wax paper.

    3. ROLL the log in the “base” herb or spice. Sprinkle with the accents. Then roll a piece of wax paper around the log, gently pressing the herbs and spices into the log.

    4. REFRIGERATE until ready to use.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: 28 Fondue Recipes For National Fondue Month

    Fondue-230

    Dip anything you like, including chicken
    cubes. Photo courtesy DairyMax.

     

    February is National Fondue Month, a fitting dish for Super Bowl Sunday, Valentine’s Day and the other 26 days of February. There are 28 recipes are below.

    For an overview of fondue, how to cook it and what to dip into it, the history of fondue and more, check out our main cheese fondue article. Head here for chocolate fondue.
     
    CHEESE FONDUE RECIPES

  • Apple Lovers Fondue: Blend 1 cup apple chutney (or to taste) to Cheddar, fondue.
  • Americana Fondue: Melt Vermont Cheddar, Monterey Jack and Maytag Blue cheeses with white wine.
  • Bar Boy Fondue: Melt Cheddar cheese and beer. Be sure to have pretzels and sausage to dip.
  • Blue Fondue: Melt Gruyère, Emmenthaler and Gorgonzola with white wine. Use Roquefort instead of Gorgonzola for stronger blue cheese flavor. If you’re an uber-blue fan, you can use Emmenthaler, Gorgonzola and Roquefort instead of the Gruyère.
  •  

  • California Fondue: goat cheese, Gruyère or other Swiss-style cheese, sundried tomatoes, black olives and fennel pollen.
  • Caraway Fondue: Melt white Cheddar and American muenster with white wine. Season with caraway seeds.
  • Classic Fondue: Melt Gruyère and Emmenthaler with white wine and Kirschwasser (cherry brandy). Season with a garlic clove.
  • Cheddar Fondue: Melt aged sharp Cheddar and Emmenthaler cheeses with beer. Season with fresh black pepper a garlic clove. Be sure to serve fruit along with other dippers.
  • Croque Monsieur: Croque monsieur is a classic French sandwich of ham and Gruyère, grilled to toasty perfection. Add a small dice of ham to Gruyère fondue and toast the bread cubes.
  • Dutch Fondue: While not a true Kaas Doop (there’s no milk to dilute the strength of the cheese), melt Gouda with some beer and brandy, juggling the proportions of the alcohols to your preference. Season with fresh-grated nutmeg.
  • Exotic Fondue: This fondue is made from the exotic-flavored cheese of your choice. It could be Rogue Creamery’s Chocolate Stout Cheddar, the Cheddar With Thai Curry from Coombe Castle of England, or your favorite truffle cheese.
  • Goat Cheese Fondue: Melt goat Cheddar and Jack cheeses with white wine. Season with chopped Portabella mushrooms. (Several companies make goat Cheddar; at least one, Meyenberg, makes several different types of goat Jack.)
  • Italian Fondue: Melt Fontina and Taleggio cheeses. Mix in 1 cup of crushed tomatoes (canned or aseptic boxed tomatoes are better than fresh tomatoes for this recipe). Season with chopped fresh basil and garlic.
  • Nacho Fondue: Mix a cup of salsa (or to taste) with a blend of Cheddar and Gruyère. Anything from mild to hot salsa will do; peach salsa adds sweetness. If you like the heat, add diced jalapeños; and of course, add tortilla chips to the dippers.
  •  

  • Onion Lovers Fondue: Stir a cup of caramelized onions into classic Gruyère fondue. Add green onions to the mix of vegetable dippers.
  • Pesto Fondue: Melt Gruyère and Emmenthaler cheeses with white wine. Season with basil pesto (or, if you’re adventurous, one of the numerous flavored pestos from our Best Pestos article).
  • Philly Cheesecake Fondue: Add diced cubes of steak to a Cheddar fondue.
  • Port & Stilton Fondue: These British classics combine, along with chunks of pear; white Port substitutes for conventional white wine. For a crunchy touch, use raw pear; for a softer touch, lightly poach the pear.
  • Pungent Fondue: Use your favorite “stinky cheese.” You can start with a highly aromatic but mild cheese like Taleggio.
  • Raclette: Raclette is a Swiss cheese conventionally served shaved from the wheel, on a plate with bread, cornichons and pickled onions. You can also melt it in a fondue pot and serve it with its traditional garnishes.
  •  

    fondue-emmi-roth-230

    Classic fondue. Photo courtesy Emmi Roth USA.

  • Royal Fondue: Blend Gruyère, Emmenthaler, Brie and Roquefort with white wine. This “royal” blend features the “king” and “queen” of cheeses, Roquefort and Brie. Season with a garlic clove and some lemon juice.
  • Shepherd’s Fondue: Melt your favorite sheep’s milk cheese (we use Roncal) with some fresh herbs.
  • “South of the Border” Fondue: You have a few options here. (a) Aged Sharp Cheddar and Emmenthaler cheeses with salsa (a cooked, shelf stable salsa is better than a watery fresh salsa—read the difference). (b) For more chile heat, blend Aged Sharp Cheddar and Emmenthaler cheeses with your choice of chopped ancho, jalapeño or smoky chipotle chiles). (c) For built-in heat, melt Cabot’s Chipotle Cheddar or Habanero Cheddar cheese, or other chile-based cheese. Use beer as your cooking liquid in all recipes. See our Chile Glossary for information about the different types of chiles.
  • Smoky Fondue: Melt smoked Cheddar with beer. Serve with smoked chicken, smoked sausage, steamed vegetables and pretzels.
  • Spanish Fondue: Melt Manchego cheese with sherry.
  • Swiss Cheese Fondue: Gruyère and Emmenthaler cheeses with a dry white wine base. Garlic, Kirschwasser and an array of other spices.
  • Triple Crème Fondue: Blend a triple crème Brie, St. André or Explorateur cheese and Gorgonzola Dolce, a sweeter, creamier version of mountain Gorgonzola. If you don’t like Gorgonzola, make a Brie and St. André or Explorateur blend and be prepared to go over the top. Drinking Champagne or other sparkling wine may help take the edge off. Fruit, bread and more delicate dippers pair better with this recipe than do heavier items like sausage.
  • Wild Mushroom Fondue: Blend Gruyère and Emmenthaler with chopped, sautéed morels, porcinis or other wild mushrooms (see our Mushroom Glossary).
  •  
    COMING TOMORROW: Dessert Fondue

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Uses For Egg Whites

    It must be “egg day” at THE NIBBLE: We just finished an article on the new pullet eggs (“farmer’s eggs”) from Fresh Direct. And now, some suggestions for leftover egg whites.

    More than a few recipes require just the yolk of the egg: custard (including crème brûlée), egg nog, hollandaise sauce, Key lime pie, mayonnaise and pudding, to name a few.

    So what do you do with the leftover whites?

    It’s easy enough to combine them with whole eggs in a scramble or an omelet. You can also toss them into soup that you’re heating, to create the ribbon effect in Chinese egg drop soup. The extra egg white adds more protein, for just 17 calories (per large egg white). You can add one or two extra whites to cake batter.

    But here’s a list we got from About.com years ago, and continue to build on.
     
    Uses For 1 Egg White

  • Add To Frittatas, Omelets Or Scrambles
  • Soufflés (an extra 1-2 whites add to height and volume)
  • Sugared Nuts
  •  

    Add extra egg whites to a regular frittata or omelet. Photo courtesy DeLallo.com.

     
    Uses For 2 Egg Whites

  • Cake Frostings (buttercream, seven-minute frosting and marshmallow frosting)
  • Coconut Macaroons
  • Egg Drop Soup
  • Marshmallows
  •  
    Uses For 3 Egg Whites

  • Egg White Omelet (add spinach and herbs)
  • Lemon Meringue Pie
  • Meringue Cookies
  • Nougat
  •  

    Make meringues: delicious, crunchy,
    cholesterol-free cookies. Photo courtesy
    American Egg Board.

     

    More Egg Whites

  • Angel Food Cake or White Cake
  • Baked Alaska
  • Meringue Topping For Pies/Tarts
  • Pavlovas (meringue cups to hold custard, fruit curd, fresh fruit, mousse, whipped cream, etc.)
  •  
    But what if your goal is to make meringues or angel food cake, and you have leftover yolks?

    That’s another article. Stay tuned.

     

      

    Comments

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