Showing posts with label recipe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label recipe. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hello all. As you may have noticed I haven't been posting as much lately. I am doing a sort of cheese cleanse in preparation for the ACS. What does this mean? It means that I am heading towards a cheese overload in a week. I've got to get myself ready. I want each cheese I taste to be exciting and "new"!

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
Bring the mixture to a boil.
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
Slice the peaches and apricots and put them in a bowl with the blueberries.
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)
Wisk together the dry ingredients.
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.
While the fruit cake is cooling, make the fromage blanc mixture:
  • 4oz Rollingstone fromage blanc
  • leftover finely chopped mint
Wisk the fromage blanc so it looks like thickened whipped cream.
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.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Revisiting a Cheese

So this past December I made a post about the Bourbon Chocolate Torta from Capriole in Indiana. Don't remember it? Here it is again.

When I was in culinary school I would often pick products to use that I didn't care for. Why? Because you have to think outside of yourself when you talk about food. Just because I think that shrimp is the work of the devil doesn't mean that everyone thinks that.

Well, I took my culinary training, and combined it with my love of cheese, and my desire to make more dirty dishes and voila! I present to you Bourbon Chocolate Torta Cheesecake!

For the topping I made a little mascarpone icing. Now this blog is NOT a recipe blog, but when I come across something cheesy and delicious I feel it it would be reckless for me not to tell you about it. So, if you want to make this here's a recipe for you. You should be able to get one 9" springform pan cheesecake:

For the Crust:

The go to is usually graham crackers, but I like experimenting with different crusts. Sometime I use grahams, sometimes ginger snaps, sometimes no crust at all. If you are going crustless you're going to have to do this in a waterbath. For all your crust needs I would recommend looking in the Joy of Cooking. They're experts. I'm just a wench. I'll tell you that I looked through my cupboards, and all I had were chocolate wafer cookies, and that's what I used (sans butter). It added a fudgey consistency that I really like.

The Filling:

You should have an oven at about 350 F. Now, only you know if your oven is calibrated. If your oven runs hot use 325 F or so, if your oven runs cold raise your temperature a bit.

  • 1# cream cheese
  • 3/4 # Bourbon Chocolate Torta-purchased from your local cheese shop of course!
  • 1/2t vanilla extract
  • 1 c sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  1. Take the cream cheese and goat cheese and using your paddle attachment on your mixer combine the two cheeses until you have a homogeneous mixture.
  2. Add the vanilla extract
  3. Scrape down the edges of the mixing bowl
  4. Add your sugar slowly while the mixer is going
  5. Scrape down the edges of the mixing bowl
  6. Add your eggs one at a time until well incorporated
  7. Scrape down the edges of the mixing bowl. If you have any lumps (that aren't pecans or raisins) run the mixer a little bit more until the mixture is smooth.
  8. Do Not Clean the Mixing Bowl-yet

Pour this into your crust and bake this in your 350F oven for about 50 minutes. I have a bit of a wonky oven, so I rotate my cheesecake 180 degrees halfway through baking time.

When is the cheesecake done?/How long will this take?

I will give you the answer made famous by my first culinary instructor: "It's going to take as long as it takes until it's done"*. 50 minutes is a ballpark. Not etched in stone.

Now, even though it has an end tag of "cake" cheesecake is really more of a pudding. Putting a toothpick in the middle is not going to give you an accurate description of where you're at in the baking process. Instead, tap the pan a bit. The edges should be firm and the center should be a little jiggly like jello. Your cheesecake is now done.

Turn the oven off and let it hang out in the residual heat for 10 minutes or so. Then, take it out and put in on a cooling rack until completely cool. Once cool, cover it up and put it in the fridge. Ideally you want to have that delicious dessert sit for 24 hours, but if you're impatient like me, 6 hours or so will be enough.


Do what you want. Ice it, don't ice it. It's your decision. Here's what I did for mine

Using the same mixing bowl that probably has a little bit of cheesecake batter left on it, I(using a rubber spatula) mixed everything together until it tasted 'just right'. and then when the cheesecake was cooled I put the icing on, covered it up and refrigerated it.

I find I must now say that while I find the Bourbon Chocolate Torta a bit too sweet on it's own and filled with malarkey, it is a great cheese to bake with. It makes a ridiculously good cheesecake. Yum!

*Chef Bob Long was my first chef instructor at NECI. He always pushed me to do my best and whenever I got stressed out or frustrated would be quick to remind me that what we do, while important, is food not brain surgery. Chef Bob died last year and while I am sad at his passing, I feel joy in knowing that I'm the type of person I am today, both on a culinary level and a personal one in part to the teachings of Chef Bob.