Customers are always asking me how I can work surrounded by so much cheese without taking it all home. Easy, I have only one rule about cheese. If it won't fit in the box, it can't come home. This rule applies to all cheeses except for Parmigiano-Reggiano and Cheddars. Those are exempt. They're staples. Like having beans and canned tuna in the cupboard, or mango sorbet in the freezer.
This is my magical cheese box of happiness and joy. To give you a better idea of size, it's the small box pictured here.
I have cut back on my cheese intake substantially. As of yesterday I am not allowed to bring home any more cheese. After work I went to take a look at the box. This is all I find.
Yup. I have two pieces of cheese to last me for a week. A piece of Ascutney Mountain and a dill chevre. This self-imposed rule is making me sad on the inside.
On the positive side, I've been coming up with interesting recipes and using up the cheese I have. I made a fruit cake with a goat cheese, and macaroni and cheese with a new friend. His name is Ogelshield and he's from Neal's Yard Dairy.
I put a big ol' dollop of the minted fromage blanc on top and waited. The cheese was from Rollingstone Chevre in Idaho. Yes, Idaho. They have goat cheese and it is fantastic!
I made a sort of upside down fruit cake and served it warm.
After about one minute, the fromage blanc started getting all melty, gooey, ooey. It looks a bit like ice cream, but so much better.*
There is a recipe of sort that I'll share with you.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 sprigs of mint
Let it cook until all the sugar is disolved but not colored. You're not making caramel, just syrup.
Cover it with cling film and set it aside.
- 1 pint whole peaches
- 1 pint whole apricots
- 1 pint blueberries
- 1 T (approximately) of mint-finely chopped
Add some to your taste of the still warm simple syrup to the bowl and toss the fruit to incorporate.
Add the fresh mint to taste.
Do not throw out any leftover simple syrup. Keep it in the fridge and use as a sweetener for ice tea or lemonade. It will keep for a very, very, very, very, very, long time.
Biscuit from the Joy of Cooking 1997 version:
- 2 c AP flour
- 2 1/2 t baking powder
- 1/2 t salt (although I only used 1/4t of kosher salt)
- 1 1/4c heavy cream
- 1t sugar (my addition)
Add the heavy cream and fold in just until the dry ingredients are moist.
To put it together:
- Put your fruit mixture on the bottom of your dish.
- With wet hands, pick up the biscuit dough and pat it out like a hamburger patty, and lay it on top of the fruit. Rolling pins don't give you the same control as using your hands.
- Continue doing this until all of the fruit is covered with biscuit dough.
- Pop into a 350 oven for about 30 minutes, or until the biscuit topping is golden brown.
- 4oz Rollingstone fromage blanc
- leftover finely chopped mint
Fold in the mint to taste
Serve warm and biscuit side down to show off the gorgeous colors of your concoction. Whenever I eat cobbler, I do it mostly for the biscuit so I made my topping pretty thick. I also didn't want to have it be a mint cake, so I added just enough mind to each step that I could barely taste it. The mint is the supporting actor, not the star. Keep that in mind. I think I may make this again for some friends tomorrow.
*To my Ma: I certainly do not mean to imply that fromage blanc is better than ice cream. You raised me better than that and you know it. I just thought it would be better for this application, and I was right.