Saturday, December 31, 2011

Cheesy Collard Green Wontons with Black Eyed Pea Relish

What can I say… I’m a sucker for traditions, especially when food is involved. Eating collard greens and black eye peas on New Year’s Day is said to bring good luck and wealth.

This recipe is a fun twist on the traditional Southern dish. From the south or not, people usually turn their noses up at collard greens. Add some SarVecchio and mozzarella to the recipe and you will be welcomed at any party! Enjoy & cheers to a prosperous 2012!

Collard Green Wontons

1 head collard greens
3 strips peppered bacon
2 bay leafs
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1/3 cup half and half
4 oz SarVecchio Parmesan, finely grated (about 1 cup)
1 ball fresh mozzarella, diced to small cubes
3 dashes Cholula
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil
1 package medium wonton wrappers

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add bacon and 2 tablespoons butter. Allow bacon to cook for 5 minutes or so. Meanwhile, wash collard greens thoroughly. Cut out the thick stem in the center of the leaves. Stack leaves, roll up and slice into 1 inch thick strips. Add greens to pot. Cook at medium heat, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender, about 45 minutes. Remove collard greens from broth and transfer to a strainer. Press juices out, set aside. Discard bacon and bay leaves. I know, throwing bacon away makes me sad too.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a small sauce pan. Caramelize the sweet onion. Remove from heat, add milk and cheese to pan. Reserve some SarVecchio to top wontons. Combine this mixture with the collard greens in a mixing bowl. Add Cholula, salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a muffin tin with olive oil. Place wonton wrappers in muffin tin, forming bowls. Brown wonton wrappers only for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, scoop one heaping teaspoon of collard green mixture in wonton bowls. Top with SarVecchio and bake for 10 additional minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

* Yields 3 dozen wontons

Black Eye Pea Relish

1 16oz can black eyed peas
1/2 cup Cipollini onions in balsamic vinegar, diced (found in the olive bar)
1 yellow pepper, diced
Oregano, basil, parsley, salt and pepper to taste

Heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a medium sauce pan. Add yellow pepper and spices. Cook just until tender, I like them more on the al dente side. Add onions and peas, cook until heated through. Serve with wontons.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

This Week's Warehouse Tasting: The Year in Review

The past year has been good to the Dairymaids. We got an AC unit, a bright orange awning and shelves of beer and wine. We started cooking more and threw some excellent parties. We also celebrated our fifth birthday and we couldn't be more happy and grateful. We hope you'll come by and see us on this last week of 2011 to say hello and pick up any cheeses for the New Year's parties you're going to. Cheers to an equally amazing 2012! We have to make it count before the Mayan calendar runs out.

This week on the plate, we have some Mountaineer from Meadow Creek Dairy in Virginia. It's similar to Comté or a cave-aged Gruyere in its firm texture and caramel-rich nuttiness. Rick and Helen ensure that their Jersey cows get the best grass by using rotational grazing methods that keep the land and the cows well-nourished.

We'll also have the lovely, soft-ripened Sofia from Capriole in northern Kentucky. The dense, fudgey cheese has a layer of delicate vegetable ash and a white, bloomy rind. The plate's big finish will come from Bayley Hazen Blue, a bold American Stilton from Vermont. We're all about big finishes this weekend.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

This Week's Warehouse Tasting: Blue, Blue (Cheese) Christmas

Only two days from Christmas, your friendly Dairymaid elves will be toiling in the cheese fridge, readying you for the holidays. It doesn't smell quite like the Keebler tree, but such is the nature of working with a food sometimes described as "barnyard-y." That's right, we're open this Friday and Saturday for our usual tastings.

Come for the Teahive, stay for the Rogue River Blue. Teahive is Beehive Company's newest addition, rubbed with a blend of black tea and pure bergamot oil. The soothing qualities of tea and bergamot combine to produce a creamy cheddar with rich fragrances of orange blossom. If you're doubtful, remember that you didn't sound convinced about the Barely Buzzed before you tried it, either.

The Rogue River Blue is a great celebration cheese because all parties require alcohol, and the grape leaves  around this creamy blue have been soaked in pear brandy. The leaves keep the cheese moist and creamy while imparting a flavor both sweet and woodsy. Also on the plate will be San Andreas, a sheep milk cheese from California, and Truffle Tremor. Come by to grab any last minute gift boxes and say Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ginger Snap Sandwiches with Chevre Frosting

Every year I receive a wonderfully tacky metal tin of fudge and divinity from my Aunt in the mail. You may have a family member that sends you a similar cavity-gram. It’s a love-hate relationship.

With all this beautiful cheese at our disposal, it’s time we go beyond Crisco and corn syrup! These Ginger Snap Sandwiches are unique, but still festive. When filled with chevre frosting, they take on the texture of a whoopie pie. Enjoy with some hot cider and you just might find yourself chiming in as the family quotes A Christmas Story.

3/4 cup natural vegan shortening from palm oil
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
1 egg
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 whole nutmeg, about 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated
1/2 cup natural turbinado sugar

4 oz Pure Luck Chevre
4 oz cream cheese
1 cup confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large mixing bowl, beat together shortening, brown sugar and molasses, gently beat in the egg; set aside. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger,
cinnamon and nutmeg. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, stirring carefully to fully combine. Dough will be fairly stiff. Shape dough into teaspoon balls and coat top in turbinado sugar. Transfer to baking sheet, arranging 1 inch apart. Bake 8 - 10 minutes. Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. When cookies are completely cool, frost and assemble sandwiches. Store in an air tight container.

For frosting: Cream cheese and chevre should be at room temperature. Combine cream cheese, chevre, confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth. Adding zested lemon or a spot of honey is great too.

* Yields: 2 dozen sandwiches

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

This Week's Warehouse Tasting: Sharing is Caring Edition

Overheard in the Dairymaids warehouse: "I was considering hoarding them, but probably should share." The identity of the speaker shall remain a mystery, but she was referring to a secret stash of Rush Creek Reserve, which is "among the best things I've ever tasted" and reminiscent of well-done bacon. The cheese is inspired by the French Vacherin Mont d'Or and wrapped in spruce bark before being aged for 60s days. The paste is silky and easily eaten with a spoon--that's right, bacon by spoon! It's like space food but actually tastes good. The catch is that we only have 20 in stock, so show up early to claim one.

This weekend happens to be our Big Cheese holiday celebration so we'll have a number of other impressive occasion cheeses including Caveman Blue, Tarantaise, Dunbarton Blue and Cremont, a mixed cow and goat milk double-cream. As usual, we have a selection of beer and wine to go with your cheese plus all the hazelnuts, olives, cornichons and chocolates a gluttonous person with impeccable taste a person could ask for. Be the big cheese and stock up for your parties and presents.

If you're looking for a gift box, we have five different combinations (and beautiful handmade boxes) to choose from, or you can swing by this weekend to put one together yourself. Bonus: We'll be open on Sunday from 10am-2pm. See you then!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

St. Jorge Gnocchi Soufflés

American chefs are riffing on this Italian classic far beyond its humble beginnings. And I’m happy they are, because scratch-made gnocchi seems a little daunting at first. Watching youtube videos will glean very little tips for success.

No worries though, this recipe does not require fancy tools or dying anything with squid ink. St. Jorge Gnocchi Soufflés are matched up with my personal favorite: SarVecchio Parmesan and the versatile: Matos St. George. Be fearless and have fun!

6 Soufflé or gratin dishes (4 oz)
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
3/4 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 oz SarVecchio Parmesan, finely grated (1 cup)
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 oz Matos St. George, thinly sliced
White truffle oil

Sift flour into a large mixing bowl. In a 3-quart heavy saucepan, bring milk and butter just to a boil, stirring until butter is melted. Reduce heat, when mixture is at a simmer add flour all at once. Keep on low heat and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon, until mixture forms a ball in the center of pan, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in SarVecchio Parmesan, salt, nutmeg and garlic. Add eggs 1 at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition until mixture is smooth. Transfer dough to pastry bag. If you do not have a pastry bag, use a large zip-loc bag with a 1/2 in hole cut.

Center oven rack and preheat to 375.

Working in batches, pipe 1/2-inch lengths of dough directly into a 6-quart pot of boiling salted water. Use a paring knife or kitchen scissors to cut off dough at tip. Cook gnocchi until they rise to surface, carefully transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl of ice water to stop cooking. When all gnocchi are cooked and cooled, drain well in a colander.

Divide cream among individual dishes and arrange gnocchi in 1 layer over cream. Top with thinly shaved Matos St. George. I use a vegetable peeler; I’ve never been a fan of cheese planes. Place dishes in a shallow baking pan and bake until golden and bubbling, 18 to 20 minutes. Turn oven to broil the last 2 to 3 minutes to brown. 

Drizzle a dash of truffle oil over baked soufflés and serve immediately. Enjoy with sautéed collard greens and baked fish.

* Want to learn more about gnocchi, or soufflé, or how to even pronounce it? On Food and Cooking is a riveting source for any food lover. Fallen soufflé will rise again!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

This Week's Warehouse Tasting: The Vintage Edition

When a food or brand of watch gets a special designation like "deluxe," "reserve" or "a la mode," you know you're in for a super treat. The Granbury Gold Vintage is a cheese on another level. Dave and Matt Eagle age batches of Granbury for over six months to get to the Vintage's firmer texture and bolder flavor. With their high-quality milk and distinct methods, the Eagles have made Granbury into something unique and delicious: a smooth-textured cheese with the slightest Swiss-y funk, similar to a Raclette.

Similarly, the Pleasant Ridge Reserve Uplands is also an exceptional cheese. An Alpine-style cow's milk cheese from Wisconsin, this is an artisan American cheese that can hold its own against any European rival. In fact, it has twice been recognized as "Best in Show" by the American Cheese Society. Several big studios are looking to purchase the movie rights to the cheese.

Also on the tasting plate are Carmody, Tilston Point and Nancy's Hudson Valley Camembert. As for booze, because we're super into that now, we highly recommend the La Maialina Gertrude Toscana. Lovingly referred to by Dairymaids everywhere as "the pig wine" due to its adorable label, it's a lively blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Cheers to that.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Marinated Goat Feta

It’s that time of year, when one cannot enter any retail Mecca without fighting the droves of crazed shoppers. Not to mention the feeling of guilt if you don’t put at least 38 cents in the Salvation Army Red Kettle. Why not make gift giving easy and something that will make your friends and family salivate? The dairymaids have got you covered! This marinated goat feta recipe makes a superb gift and is perfect to take to a holiday party.

1 500 ml Mason jar
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz Pure Luck Goat Feta
3 cloves garlic, cut in half
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary

Make sure your jar is thoroughly cleaned. In the bottom of the jar, pour enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Take one portion of feta, pat dry and cut into three cubes. Add feta, garlic, peppercorns, crushed red pepper and rosemary. Add olive oil to fill the jar, be certain all of the cheese is covered. Seal jar tightly. Keep refrigerated. Use within 2 weeks.

Serve with toasted Slow Dough baguette, olives and cured meats, all of which is available at the warehouse!

* Also try using coriander seed, different colored peppercorns, thyme or sun dried tomatoes. Really, whatever your cheese-loving heart desires.

* Extra-virgin olive oil will solidify when it is refrigerated. When ready to serve, set jar out at room temperature for 20 minutes or so: it will be servable and pleasing to the eye once again.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

This Week's Warehouse Tasting: Winter Pairings Edition

Even though the holidays don't have quite as much shine as they did when we were young, there are certain things about the holidays that we always look forward to: the smell of Houston air below 65 degrees and apple cider. We like the peak season Gala blend, and the alcoholic kind as well. 

Now that we are fully stocked on beer and wine, we just so happen to have bottles of Leprechaun cider on hand. The founder of the company is a 22-year old Houston native who began his business before he was even old enough to drink. If self-doubt about your life's accomplishments didn't just inspire you to stake a swig of something, perhaps the dry, subtley sweet apple flavor will. 

To go with this delightful winter beverage, we recommend Buttermilk Blue Affinee from Wisconsin. The cheesemakers at Roth Kase aged this rindless blue over six months to enhance its complexity and intensity. We'll also have Marieke Cumin Gouda, which is likewise from Wisconsin. Midwesterners know how to enjoy both their cheese and their winters so we're emulating them this week. 

If you've melted any sandwiches recently--wait, of course you have--then perhaps the smoked habanero Cheddar from Beehive will appeal to you. Less well-suited to melting, but a wonderful substitute for Pecorino, the San Andreas is a farmstead sheeps milk cheese from California that will also be in stock. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Redneck Pie

Can you believe it’s our 5th birthday? To celebrate, we decided to skip the cake and enjoy a savory slice of Redneck Pie. It’s my version of Shepherd’s Pie with the Veldhuizen’s Redneck Cheddar lovingly melted on top, and it’s pretty darn good.

At the risk of sounding like the archetypal Betty Crocker commercial, this recipe is stupid simple and has a great shortcut for the modern Dairymaid on the go. Forgive me, but the holidays tend to be hectic.

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons ketchup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
6-8 oz Redneck Cheddar, shredded (about 1 cup)
1 16 oz package instant mashed potatoes

Generously salt and pepper the beef, onion, carrots, celery and garlic and cook in a large pan until done: no traces of pink and veggies tender. Stir in the ketchup and Worcestershire. While meat mixture is cooking prepare the instant mashed potatoes per the instructions. Spoon meat mixture into a round 2-quart casserole dish. Spoon potatoes on top in an even layer. Lastly, top with shredded cheese. Cover and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Turn the oven to broil, remove cover and brown cheese for about 5 minutes.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

This Week's Warehouse Tasting: The Birthday Sale Edition

We're getting excited for our 5th Birthday/Customer Appreciation sale this weekend! You may have seen the details on our newsletter, but just in case you missed it, we'll be bringing in a few exclusive cheeses including Hook's 15-year cheddar, truffle-studded Sottocenere, Rogue River Blue wrapped in brandy-soaked grape leaves and more Harbison. Yes, these cheeses are rather impressive but just look at us. We're an impressive bunch.

We'll also have all your Thanksgiving staples stocked, including Lucky Layla butter and Sarvecchio Parmesan. B.Y.O pumpkin. The Pure Luck classics will be available, including the chevre and Hopelessly Blue, but this will be the last batch of St. Maure for the season so alert your St. Maure-loving friends. You're probably already in a Google group for this, making that task a piece of cake.

And, because what is Thanksgiving without wine, we'll also be sampling some of our new stock. That's right, we now have actual booze at the ready. Dairymaids do not party without wine.

Sale details:
Fri., Nov. 18 (10am to 6:30pm) and Sat., Nov. 19 (10am to 4pm)
$5 off $25 purchase
$10 off $50 purchase
$20 off $100 purchase

*Discount does not apply to wine and beer purchases.*

Friday, November 11, 2011

Toasted Baby Caprino with Greens

Eating seasonally after Labor Day doesn't mean packing away the salad bowl with your white pants. Arm yourself with the right ingredients and you can create a toothsome salad that is hearty enough for a main course.

With warm salads you want to think contrasts. Earthy greens collide famously with the creamy, yet bold, Baby Caprino. The salad acts as the stage for what is basically a big, cheesy crouton. Please calm yourself.

2 leeks (white and pale green parts only), cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/3 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Unsalted butter
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 Baby Caprino, cut in 4 pieces, horizontally and then in half
4 slices Slow Dough baguette, about 1” thick, cut at an angle
Mixed greens (such as swiss chard, arugula, tat soi and baby spinach)
4 vine-ripened cocktail tomatoes, cut in quarters

Wash, pat dry, cut and toss leeks with a splash of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Sauté leeks in olive oil, over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Allow leeks to get just golden on the edges, avoid mushy at all costs. Remove from heat and add olive oil, mustard and balsamic vinegar directly to the pan and whisk until mixed well. Poor warm dressing over greens and toss with tomatoes. Watch your timing at this step. You can go from beautifully wilted to limp in a matter of moments. I dressed the salad just as the Baby Caprino was finished toasting.

Butter both sides of each baguette piece. Put a medallion of the Baby Caprino, rind facing up, on each baguette piece and place under the broiler until the cheese is soft and just bubbling. The rind and edges should be golden (about 2 to 3 minutes). Serve immediately over mixed greens and tomatoes.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

This Week's Warehouse Tasting: The Cheese Poetry Edition

A cheese by any other name would taste as sweet, but some cheesemakers are exceptionally talented at naming their products. We're talking Keats-level artistry here. Our cheese plate this weekend at the warehouse is going to be so pretty, a sunbeam has volunteered to shine down on it just for the tasting.

We have two new cheeses, the first being the Teahive (pictured). It's from Beehive Cheese Co. in Utah, purveyors of the Barely Buzzed and smoked habanero cheddar that was so popular two weeks ago. This particular cheddar is rubbed with a blend of black tea and bergamot oil, which results in a rich citrus fragrance.

Our other new cheese is the Truffle Tremor from California. The classic flavor of truffle meets the velvety perfection of a soft-ripened goat cheese for a snack that's earthy, elegant and sophisticated. It would be lovely with a glass of dry white wine.

Speaking of wine, we'll also be carrying Cowgirl Creamery's Pierce Point, which gets spritzed with Riesling before getting a roll in dried herbs.

If there isn't a cheese poem in there somewhere, well, we'll also accept a cheese rap. Submissions below, please.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Texas Gold Cheddar & Pale Ale Soup

The calendar says it is officially fall and surprisingly, it actually feels like fall. Bring on the comfort food please! 

This traditionally English recipe has a Texas twist. The Veldhuizens and Southern Star Brewery are together at last, in soup form. I hope you find yourself enjoying pints of ale and warm bowls of soup this weekend, with a little help from the Dairymaids, of course.

2 leeks (white and pale green parts only), cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 cup)
2 large carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 cup)
2 celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 cup)
1/2 yellow onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
2 teaspoons garlic, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
3/4 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups free-range chicken broth
12 oz Southern Star Pine Belt Pale Ale
1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Coleman’s dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 lb Texas Gold Cheddar, grated (4 cups)

Cook the leeks, carrots, celery, onion, garlic and bay leaf in 1/2 stick of butter in a large pot or saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Remove vegetables and puree in a food processor or blender. Melt remaining butter in the same pot; add flour and brown on low heat for 2 – 3 minutes. Return vegetables to pot. Add milk, broth, and beer while whisking and simmer on moderate heat for 5 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, and pepper. Add cheese by handfuls, stirring constantly, and cook until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes (do not boil). The whisk is your friend.

Serve with Slow Dough baguette and you may not even need a spoon (seriously, this soup is essentially a big batch of sauce).

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

This Week's Warehouse Tasting: Gouda Bonanza

What is your tolerance for cheese puns? Low? Probably low. Well, Dairymaids are people-pleasers above all so we'll refrain from unleashing the underutilized cache of them that we've been holding back for years despite having the perfect occasion: a Gouda tasting.

This weekend at the warehouse, we'll have a variety of succulent Goudas to sample including Marieke Gouda and its spiced cousin, the Marieke Cumin Gouda. They're both made in Wisconsin, aged 2-4 months on Dutch wooden shelves and have a nice caramel finish.

Our other Goudas include one from Sand Creek Farms here in Texas that is mild and creamy with a slight tang to keep things interesting, and one from Veldhuizen Farms that has been aged for 8 months (so significantly longer than the Marieke). Come on by and taste the rainbow.

We also have a fresh batch of Pure Luck chevre and St. Maure and we re-upped on Harbison, in case you missed it two weeks ago. Be Stilton my heart.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Greens Creek Gruyere Stuffed Pumpkin

This time of year you may find yourself doing unscrupulous things with pumpkins. I must admit, I carve goofy faces into a pumpkin every year. On the other hand, stuffing and baking a pumpkin will yield results that are actually sort of whimsical.

Locate your paring knife and get your hands on a nice chunk of Greens Creek Gruyere. This recipe may be easily modified and also makes a beautiful centerpiece.

* Thank you Charlotte for the suggestion to use Gruyere, the subtle nuttiness pairs wonderfully with pumpkin. Also, Nicole, thank you for the inspirational recipes! You ladies are rock stars of cheese purveying.

* Modified from Around My French Table

1 small baking pumpkin, about 3 lbs
4 oz stale bread, cut into 1/2 in cubes (day old Slow Dough baguette
is ideal)
4 oz Greens Creek Gruyère, cut into 1/2 in cubes
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
2 green onions, chopped finely
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
1/2 cup heavy cream
Ground sage
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Center rack in oven and preheat to 350. Line a baking sheet or
casserole dish with parchment paper. Using a carving or paring knife,
cut a cap out of the top of the pumpkin (think Halloween
Jack-o-Lantern). You want to cut off enough of the top to make it easy
for you to work inside the pumpkin. Clear away the seeds and strings
from the cap and from inside the pumpkin. Season the inside of the
pumpkin generously with salt and pepper, and place it on the baking
sheet or dish. You are ready to stuff. Mix the bread, cheese, garlic,
bacon, and herbs together and pack the mix into the pumpkin. The
pumpkin should be well filled, but not brimming. Stir the cream with a
pinch of all-spice, sage, salt and pepper and pour into the pumpkin.
You want the ingredients covered, but not swimming. Put the cap in
place and bake the pumpkin for 1 1/2 to 2 hours—or until everything
inside the pumpkin is bubbling and the flesh of the pumpkin is easily
pierced. Remove the cap in the last 20 minutes to allow the stuffing
to brown.

Spoon out portions of the filling, making sure to get ample amounts of
pumpkin. Serve over a creamy risotto or with a simple arugula salad.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

This Week's Warehouse Tasting: The Not for Sissies Edition

Yes, this cheese looks like a Petri dish. Yes, you must be brave! If it helps, Hook's Bloomin' Idiot only has a mild blue flavor to its white interior. The tastebud punch lies in the bloomy rind and there are rumors that consuming it restores youth. It's like the Sword in the Stone though, you have to be the chosen one for that part to work. Otherwise, it's just a delicious snack.

While your nerves are steeled, one of our most controversial cheeses, the Red Hawk, is back at the warehouse this weekend as well. This award-winning cheese is beloved by Dairymaids for its beefy flavor and sweet buttermilk finish, but its potency does have its detractors. Choose your side wisely because Red Hawk lovers will make for a solid team come the zombie apocalypse.

But before that inevitable day comes, you might as well enjoy yourself with some Hoja Santa, the beautiful rounds of goat cheese wrapped in herbaceous Hoja Santa leaves, and smoked habanero Cheddar from Beehive. We'll have both of those available this weekend too, but no bug spray. You'll have to deal with that apocalypse on your own.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Goat Feta and Bacon Guacamole

Greek and Mexican fare is ever popular in Houston’s culinary scene, but they are not often spotted in the same dish. Our goat feta from Pure Luck has a lovely herbaceous undertone that blends well in a hearty guacamole.

This creative, yet simple snack is sure to impress. I know there is a sense of pride attached to one’s guacamole recipe. Everyone loves their own guacamole! But the question we need to ask ourselves is: how could guacamole with goat feta and bacon be bad?

2 large Haas avocados
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1 Jalapeno, seeds removed and chopped 
2-3 Limes, squeezed
1 bunch cilantro
Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
Chili powder and crushed red pepper, to taste
A few generous dashes of Cholula hot sauce 
4 oz Pure Luck Goat Feta, crumbled
1/4 lb. thick cut bacon (please see the nice folks at Revival Market)
2 dozen yellow corn tortillas, cut in fourths for chips
2 cups of canola oil

Preheat oven to 375. Place bacon on a cookie sheet and lay fresh cilantro sprigs directly on top of uncooked bacon. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, flipping half way. Discard cilantro after baking and let bacon cool completely. Coarsely chop the cooked bacon. Combine avocado, onion, jalapeno, bacon, and feta. Add spices and hot sauce and squeeze fresh lime juice over all ingredients. Mix well and enjoy.

For homemade chips:
Heat oil over medium/high heat. Fry tortillas until golden brown. Strain on a paper towel lined plate and lightly salt. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

This Week's Warehouse Tasting: Falling For Cheese

Compared to the fading of peaches and the influx of root vegetables in the produce aisle these days, cheese isn't as obviously seasonal. But our tastes certainly are and the first gust of wintry promise has ignited a passion for hot chocolate and toasted cheese sandwiches within us. It's desperate, but it looks like you're wearing a scarf. No judgement.

Melting some Reading Raclette over potatoes sounds more appropriate now that we can do so while wearing thick socks at night. Have you been turned off by malodorous raclette in the past? This Vermont cheese from Spring Brook Farms was a regular at the Dairymaids last spring, and we definitely converted some haters with the crispy brown edges of a roasted wedge.

Harbison is back in stock at the warehouse this weekend, though in short supply. This bark wrapped, bloomy rind cheese with a woodsy, savory flavor practically is fall. And you get to sample the creamy paste with a tiny spoon--one of our favorite things about going out for ice cream.

We'll also have customer favorites Marieke Gouda, Nancy's Camembert and Cabot Clothbound Cheddar. If you're thinking about making some macaroni and cheese, ask us for some suggestions and we'll set you up right.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bosque Beer Burgers

This is the first week we are presenting recipes that will feature our beautiful Texas cheeses. With that being said, let's not forget about Bosque Blue!

Bosque (pronounced Boss-key) is a Dairymaid essential. It can certainly stand alone or be enjoyed with a generous drizzle of honey (we prefer local… just sayin'). But it made my mouth water when I imagined a burger studded with this golden morsel.

You’re in good company if you grill over flame year-round, but a little spice and heat is welcomed with a nip in the air.

I hope ya’ll enjoy this fall-inspired burger!

2 pounds lean ground sirloin
1/3 pound Bosque Blue, crumbled
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper, more or less to meet your taste
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium yellow onion
1-2 generous pinches of finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
6 oz beer (I used St. Arnold’s Amber)
Extra-virgin olive oil
4 Slow Dough Pretzel Buns
Bib or romaine lettuce, for topping
Sliced sweet bread and butter pickles, for topping

Preheat grill over medium-high heat. Place the meat in a bowl and add the crumbled cheese. Peel the onion and halve it. Grate about 3 to 4 tablespoons of onion directly over the meat into the bowl. Finely chop the remaining onion and reserve for topping. Add spices, garlic, parsley, Worcestershire and beer. Mix well. It’s best to just get in there and use your hands. Form 4 large patties. I like to use my thumb to make an indention in the center of the patty. A thinner center will prevent burger bulge. Drizzle a little olive oil over the burgers then grill about 4 minutes on each side for medium rare, 5 minutes on each side for medium and 6 to 7 minutes on each side for well done.

Serve patties on a lightly toasted pretzel bun and top with lettuce, pickles, and chopped raw onion. Slather bun tops with mayo or a grainy mustard if desired.

Yields: 4 hearty burgers

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

This Week's Warehouse Tasting

There have been many famous Sofias throughout history. Sofia Coppola has made many a fine film about young ladies lounging around in their underwear. Sofia Vergara is probably asked to lounge in front of a camera a lot because she's so good looking. But neither of these women has ever been described as "a lovely brick" with a "white bloomy rind," and for that they're grateful.

That distinction goes to Sofia the goat cheese from Capriole Dairy in Kentucky. It's hand-ladled into molds and layered with vegetable ash to very pretty effect. We'll have it this weekend at the warehouse.

Another lovely cheese in stock this week is the Tarentaise from Springbrook Farm in Vermont. It's styled after a Swiss or French Alpine cheese such as Gruyere or Comte and has a lemon yellow color thanks to grassfed cows.

Come for either of these or our stock of Dunbarton Blue, Matos St. Jorge or Pure Luck Feta. We're also regularly stocked up on pizza crusts now and highly recommend our recently acquired honey spread. To be enjoyed separately, of course.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

This Week's Warehouse Tasting: Down South Edition

Hey, y'all! This week's featured cheesemakers unintentionally ended up being mostly Southern. Must be all the Paula Deen we're watching.

Of course many great things come from the South, like sun tea and Beyonce, and the cheese is no exception. From Atlanta comes Sweet Grass Dairy's Green Hill, a Dairymaid regular. On their sustainable farm in Thomasville, the folks at Sweet Grass pasture feed their Jersey cows to get the milk that makes this incomparably smooth brie-style cheese.

As for Texas cheeses, we'll have Pure Luck Dairy's Hopelessly Blue and Veldhuizen Parmesan. The Parmesan is the Veldhuizens' biggest cheese in terms of flavor and perfect for grating over pasta or pairing with something sweet.

Our other goat cheese this week is the Old Kentucky Tomme from Capriole. It's 100% goat's milk and bears some relation to a Tomme de Savoie (quelle fancy!) with its natural-mold rind and earthy, mushroomy flavor.

This is our first week back at the Woodlands' farmers market and you'll find us there from 8am until noon. Here is a helpful map.

Aside from our weekly tastings, we have some other awesome stuff in the works including beer and wine licenses and five more cheese classes on the way. We'll let you know as soon as there's booze in the house.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

This Week's Warehouse Tasting: Family Matters

The family that eats cheese together stays together. This is such a widely accepted fact that scientists are now looking into whether gibbons and prairie voles do, in fact, eat cheese. Indeed, many of America's great cheeses are made by families as well.

The Giacomini family has been making Point Reyes cheese in California for over a decade. The Toma, modeled after classic Italian table cheese and in stock at the warehouse this weekend, is made with the dairy's own certified organic milk. It's semi-firm and straw colored, the subtle, sweet and grassy flavors great for snacking or melting.

Beehive Cheese was founded by brothers-in-law Tim Welsh and Pat Ford, a team that's proved to be good at pairing different flavors. This week we'll have their smoked Habanero cheddar that has a slow-to-surface sweet-to-hot flavor.

Of course, over at Pure Luck Dairy, the Nubian and Alpine goats are practically part of Amelia Sweethardt's family and we'll have lots of fresh chevre on hand.

Remember that wine bath cheese? We'll have Cowgirl Creamery's Pierce Point and Mozzarella Co.'s gooey, slightly tart Crescenza too.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

This Week's Warehouse Tasting: A Match Made in Heaven

Among planet earth's greatest food hybrids are the pluot (plum and apricot) and those jars that contain both peanut butter and jelly. Now joining the ranks of the Food Hybrid Elite Squad is the powerhouse combination of cheddar and blue, which you can experience in the form of our newest cheese, Dunbarton Blue. This Frankenstein's monster of a dairy product comes from Roelli in Wisconsin. Although natural rinded cheddar sometimes gets veining unintentionally, the Dunbarton is purposefully inoculated then pressed, which keeps the blue at a minimum and the flavors more approachable. Still, it's a very intense cheese and we're excited to have it at the warehouse for the first time this weekend.

We'll also be fully stocked on Hoja Santa, which is not technically a hybrid , but the combination of the herbaceous leaves and fresh goat cheese is pretty much perfection. Try heating these pretty little packages and serving with sundried tomatoes.

Also on deck: Marieke Gouda, Green's Creek Gruyere and CKC Farms Baby Blue. Hope to see you this weekend! And while we're busy hoping for things, I'd like to nominate naturally occurring chocolate cherries for earth's next hybrid food.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Charlotte's Cheese 101 Class

Being a Dairymaid is no easy task. There's a lot of training, wind sprints and God telling us we're special. A lot of the time, we're eating cheese. Yeah, your heart goes out to us.

But eating cheese is the best way to learn about cheese--convenient!--as students will soon discover in our upcoming Cheese 101 class, held here at the warehouse on September 22 and led by Charlotte, once voted Only Dairymaid that Looks Good in Braids and a Cowboy Hat (pictured right).

Students will blind taste a cheese at the beginning of class and try to describe it before Charlotte reviews the basics of cheese analysis: types of rinds, milk types, aroma, etc. Another cheese will get the blind treatment and we'll see if any of our descriptions have changed. Oh, and there will be beverage pairings!

Give us a call at the warehouse at 713-880-4800 to sign up for a spot! Class is $30 per person and starts at 6pm.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

This Week's Warehouse Tasting: Winds of Change

Bad for Good: the Very Best of Landaff.

The future's in the air, I can feel it everywhere -- blowing with the wind of change! The blessedly blustery weather over the past few days didn't just dry the back-of-the-knee sweat from every human, squirrel and bird in Houston for the first time in three months. It also blew a few completely new cheeses into the warehouse.

All the way from New Hampshire comes buttery yet tart Landaff. This smooth and meltable cheese with bright lemony notes was modeled after Duckett's Caerphilly, a cheese out of Somerset, England in the tradition of Welsh farmstead cheese. The Landaff is aged in the Cellars at Jasper Hill, which you might recall as being the source of Bayley Hazen Blue as well.

Also new to the plate, in a way, are the Nancy's Hudson Valley Camembert Squares. This creamy, soft-ripened cheese made from a combination of East Fresian ewe and cow milk has been in the shop before but now it's available in a miniature square format. They're perfect for leaving on a cute coworker's desk as a surprise or on-the-go snacking, just like Go-Gurt. Just kidding, we don't eat Go-Gurt on the go. We prefer to savor it.

Also in the line-up for this weekend: Veldhuizen Redneck Cheddar, Buttermilk Blue Affinee from Roth Kase and fresh burrata! And of course we're now open from 10am-6:30pm on Fridays and 10am-4pm on Saturdays.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

This Week's Warehouse Tasting: Labor Day Edition

History lesson of the day: Labor Day became a federal holiday back in 1894 when President Grover (aka Tha Grove) Cleveland was desperate to reconcile with the working class after some worker deaths and the Pullman strike.

Here in 2011, Labor Day seems to be having the similar effect of throwing us a bone just when the resultant brain boil of record breaking temperatures might make Do the Right Thing look like the Sandlot. But a day off, the final tomatoes of the season and maybe a belly full of cheese sound just right.

Things that like melting other than the chocolate chip cookie accidentally left in the car: Reading Raclette from Spring Brook Farm in Vermont. The solid form cheese features a mild interplay of salty and sweet but once melted, the crusty bits are toasty perfection.

For those sandwiches in front of the TV, we recommend some Sharpshooter Cheddar, the Veldhuizens' Texas Gold aged for an additional two years to give it that extra bite. We'll also have Carmody, the Italian-style table cheese from Bellwether Farm, and Mountain Gorgonzola all the way from Lombardy. It's robust, firm and pairs beautifully with honey.

Three cheers for Grover Cleveland!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

This Week's Warehouse Tasting

Some things in life are worth waiting for, and might even be made better because of it. First kisses, rain (sweet rain!) and new cheeses. This week, we'll have Asher Blue from Sweetgrass Dairy on the cheese plate for the first time ever. Made from raw cow milk, the dense, creamy paste is crumbly with an earthy, salty flavor.

Another thing we've been waiting for is our upcoming tasting with Saint Arnold taking place next Wednesday, August 31. The last one we had was in the winter, on what was maybe the coldest day of the year. This will pretty much be the opposite of that. Mitchell Whitley from the Mozzarella Company and Brock Wagner of Saint Arnold will drop some knowledge bombs on us as we sip cold beer and nosh on cheese. You can buy tickets here.

In the meantime, you'll be able to stock up on San Andreas, a California cheese modeled after Pecorino, Pure Luck chevre and CKC Farm's luxuriously creamy Baby Blue at the warehouse this weekend. Here's to no more drought!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

This Week's Warehouse Tasting: Riesling Bath Edition

You could call what happens to us at the bar every day at 5pm a Riesling bath and we have a valid reason for this. It is very hot outside.

One of our featured cheeses this week also enjoys a good wine bath (honestly, who wouldn't?). It's the Pierce Pt. from Cowgirl Creamery. It's made in California using organic whole Jersey milk from John Taverna's Chileno Valley Dairy. Then, the cheese is spritzed with organic white wine and coated in dried coastal herbs. This summer's mixture includes local field flowers, calendula, chamomile and Thai basil. Pierce Pt. is delicious: as the Cowgirls describe it, the cheese is "semi-firm yet creamy, complex yet never overpowering." Just like we like our men (that joke had to be made at some point).

We'll also have Green's Creek Gruyere, more Del Cielo from Pure Luck Dairy and the show-stopping blue, Tilston Point from Hook's Cheese.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

This Week's Warehouse Tasting: Cheese Meds

Earlier this week, I was sitting in my bedroom when one of those giant Houston tree roaches scuttled across the wall. I screamed, naturally, and leapt up to find my cat.

"Chairman Meow!" I cried, "Eat the roach!" I scooped her from the bed, jumped off it and my left foot landed with a crack. Now I have a contusion.

Anyways, I was pretty much immobile the rest of the night and the only thing that made me not feel crushing despondence over the state of my life was the round of Pure Luck Dairy's Del Cielo in my fridge and some downy, leftover Slow Dough cranberry walnut bread from the Saturday warehouse tasting. I ate all of it. True story.

The cheese is a creamy, Camembert-style and it's just now reaching the perfect softness. Even though it's delicate and light (nice for summer), it's still super flavorful. So thank you, Amelia Sweethardt, for curing my depression, if not my foot, with your cheese.

Goats produce a lot of milk in August, so we will have a full stock of Del Cielo for the tastings this weekend. We'll also have Mt. Tam, the buttery triple cream from Cowgirl Creamery in California and the coffee and lavender rubbed Barely Buzzed. Come say hi and cure what ails you with some delicious dairy.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

This Week's Warehouse Tasting

There's nothing wrong with eating cheese as-is, no cracker, standing in the kitchen at 2a.m. (this is something we tell ourselves, okay?) but of course the real fun is in sharing a pretty array of blues, fresh goat rounds and nutty Goudas at a party or experimenting with new cheese-laden recipes.

So thank goodness we have Nicole, aka "The Queso Queen," around the shop. This week we'll have fresh burrata in once again and Nicole made this beautiful video on how to make burrata and tomato salad for her blog entry "What is Burrata?". It's a super easy recipe, with everything fresh and light for summer, so definitely check it out.

This week, we'll also have a full stash of Carmody, the Italian table cheese from Bellwhether Farm, and one of my personal favorites, Nancy's Hudson Valley Camembert. Made with milk from a herd of East Fresian ewes, this cheese is buttery, savory and the main reason I even have friends.

While you're visiting, we also highly recommend Redwood Hill's California Crottin, made with 100% goat's milk, which measures up nicely to its French model. With age, it hardens and its flavor intensifies.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

This Week's Warehouse Tasting

We're nearing peak season for Texas goat milk and happily find ourselves awash in light, lovely cheeses that are great for summer. Did anyone read "awash in cheese" and think, nacho cheese bath?

Anyways, we just picked up a big, fresh batch of the much-sought-after Pure Luck Ste. Maure, which is inspired by the French cheese of the same name. Amelia's version is a little different, though. Whereas the French version is molded around a straw and gets firmer as it ages, Pure Luck's is straw-free and softens as it ripens. It's best when it is slightly oozy near the rind and still has a firm, chalky center.

If you're still with us after "oozy near the rind," we're also sneaking in a little bit of Italian cheese with black truffles. There isn't much, so if you're interested come by early! Favorites including the Sweetgrass Dairy Green Hill and Reading Raclette will also be available. See you this weekend!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

This Week's Warehouse Tasting: The Cheese Experiment edition

From the Cellars of Jasper Hill, comes the "The Conundrum Project." We hope you read that last sentence with movie announcer voice, because that's how we meant it--full of tense anticipation.

The folks at Jasper Hill are sending us some new cheeses they're making for the very first time, some named, many not, and they want our feedback. The first cheese we received to taste test is the Harbison, which you'll have a chance to sample on the plate this week. The bark around the bloomy rind lends a subtle herbal character and holds the delicate cheese in place. It has a creamy, spoonable paste and a nice balance between sweet and woodsy.

Other than the Harbison, we'll also have Marieke Gouda with cumin. If you love the plain version, you have to try this spiced version--pure snacking delight. As for Texas cheeses, we'll have the Veldhuizen Texas Gold Cheddar (typed God Cheddar at first and almost went with it!) and Baby Caprino from CKC Farm, which emulates soft-ripened goat cheeses owner Chrissy Omo found in Italy.

Friday, July 8, 2011

This Week's Warehouse Tasting

As of the summer solstice, the days have begun to get shorter but warehouse hours at the Dairymaids are only getting longer. Doors continue to be open from 10am-6:30pm on Fridays and 10am-4pm on Saturdays.

Now you have plenty of time to come snag some of Pure Luck Dairy's Del Cielo, pictured above. The stark white interior of this creamy, Camemebert-style round quickly ripens to a delectable ooze.

Another great cheese on the plate this week is the Buttermilk Blue Affinee from Roth Kase in Wisconsin. It's a rindless blue aged for over six
months to enhance its complexity and intensity. Creamy yet crumbly, it's versatile: great in a salad, great on the cheese board.

In addition, we'll also have Bellwether Pepato and Green's Creek Gruyere. We've regularly got macarons from Maisson Burdisso now, too, because this is a cheese world, but it wouldn't be nothing without a little dessert as well.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

This Week's Warehouse Tasting (July 4 Edition)

Patriotism can manifest itself in many forms. The man pictured above chose to show his love for his country through ancestral dress. Here at the Dairymaids, all of our cheeses are made domestically at small dairies. Come celebrate your July 4th weekend the Dairymaid way
--with all-American snacks!

This weekend we have a few special items: the SoCal burrata is back and in its honor, we'll also have Slow Dough pizza crusts for the first time ever. Maison Burdisso macarons will be in stock for another weekend (if French fries can be American, we humbly suggest these colorful treats get added to the national roster).

Cheeses include Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, the product of a partnership between Cabot Creamery and Jasper Hill Cellars. The muslin-wrapped cheddar wheels are made by Cabot, then aged in Jasper Hill's special cellars. The special attention during aging and high quality milk are evident in the smooth, yet complex flavors.

Our blue this week is the Caveman Blue, "from the domain of the Caveman," also known as the caves at Rogue Creamery. This delicious naturally-rinded, aged blue is deep yellow in color with the classic blue bite balanced by a smooth, vanilla-like flavor.

Extended hours continue--Friday 10am to 6:30pm and Saturday 10am to 4pm.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

This Week's Warehouse Tasting (New A.C. Edition!)

Bring it on, Houston summer! The Dairymaids' warehouse has just been installed with three new air conditioning units and it is practically sweater, mitten and snowball weather in here. We're even thinking of extending warehouse hours from now on and to start off the experiment, this Friday you can find the doors open from 10am to 6:30pm and from 10am to 4pm on Saturday.

Behind said doors, not only will you experience a blessed, artificial chill, but also some fantastic cheeses. We'll have Bosque Blue, Carmody and Barely Buzzed plus a few you might not see on the plate as often.

From Springbrook Farm in Vermont, the Tarentaise is styled after a Swiss or French Alpine cheese such as Gruyere or Comte. This cheese has a lovely lemon-yellow color--thanks to grass-feeding--a smooth texture, and nutty flavor. We'll also be featuring Mont St. Francis, a special treat from Capriole Dairy. It's a rare, washed-rind goat cheese and earthy with a slight funk.

As always, we'll have classic favorites including Pure Luck chevre, Texas Gold Cheddar and fresh mozzarella available on standby. All you need to do is ask for it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

This Week's Warehouse Tasting

As you can tell from this photo of the extremely strong Stuart Veldhuizen of Veldhuizen Cheese, dairy dads are the best. In their honor, we're featuring cheeses made by some amazing fathers--Pat at Beehive Cheese, Ben at Sand Creek and Stuart, who has 7(!) kids.

We can't think of a more dad (or grill) -friendly cheese than the Veldhuizen Redneck Cheddar. Stuart took his Texas Gold Cheddar and added Texas beer, St. Arnold's to be exact. The result is a subtle yeasty flavor that balances the cheddar tang. A drier-style of cheddar, it is rich in yellow color thanks to all the fresh green grasses the cows eat.

The folks at Beehive once again prove they're great at combining flavors (see: Barely Buzzed) with their Smoked Habanero Cheddar. This cheese makes you think you are sitting by a campfire. Lightly spiced with peppers, it has a slow-to-surface sweet-hot flavor.

At Sand Creek, Ben Godfrey lures us to the fridge late at night with his raw milk Gouda. Made from the Grade A Jersey milk of his small herd, the Gouda is buttery and mild with just enough tang to keep it interesting.

We'll also have fresh California burrata and Pure Luck chevre on the tasting plate, so please come by. We'll have gift boxes available for the big day and, as usual, if you're looking for something different, just ask!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

This Week's Warehouse Tasting

Sometimes, on a hot summer day, we long to be cold smoked like a plump, 4 oz. chevre log. Instead, we must settle for eating one. This week at the warehouse we have a fresh shipment of Westfield Farm's Hickory Smoked Capri. This cheese was awarded first place in its category for the past four American Cheese Society annual judgments and is great as a creamy cooking ingredient.

For the hickory-averse (we hear this is a genetic condition much like hating cilantro and being short), we have a line-up of other Diarymaid all-stars. We're bringing back Reading Raclette, the Vermont version of the famous Swiss cheese that's tasty both as a snacking cheese and melted. You can also sample the latest batch of Vintage Granbury Gold from Matt and David Eagle, differentiated from Granbury Gold by a firmer texture and bolder flavor.

All that and more this weekend. Hope to see you!

Friday, June 3, 2011

This Week's Warehouse Tasting

The one consolation of this June heat? This year's first batch of Pure Luck Dairy Del Cielo. It's not often in stock, but when it is this Camembert-style goat cheese round always impresses with its creaminess. This current batch is still young and only starting to cream around the edges but still delicious and amazing with the peaches that are in season right now.

We'll be offering that today at the warehouse alongside a fresh batch of burrata, San Andreas, a sheep milk cheese modeled after Pecorino, and Cabot Clothbound Cheddar.

Our blue cheese this weekend is Tilston Point. A delicious washed rind blue from Hook's Cheese Company in Mineral Point, Wisconsin. Tony and Julie Hook started making cheese in the 70s. After mastering Colby and Cheddar, they turned their attention to blues in the late 90's. With its washed rind, the Tilston has an earthy, funky flavor that makes a great counterpoint to the sharp fruity flavor.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

This Week's Warehouse Tasting

There are only a few things better than a three day weekend and those are free money and shoulder rubs from Brad Pitt. Of those options, Memorial Day is probably the most realistic thing we've got going for us so we're pulling out all the stops this week.

We've selected a variety of cheeses that we think would be good for picnics or as burger building material. Bosque burgers, anyone?

As for picnic cheeses, it doesn't get better than Mt. Tam from Cowgirl Creamery in San Francisco. The dairy's signature cheese is as buttery as it is elegant and a great sharing cheese since it's such a crowd pleaser.

For your sandwich needs, we're featuring two Texas blue cheeses: Pure Luck Dairy's Hopelessly Blue and the Veldhuizen's Bosque Blue. The Hopelessly is the milder of the two, but both would be fantastic with some caramelized onions on a juicy beef patty. We'll also have Paragon, a sharp, cheddar reminiscent cheese, and Scamorza, which are both delectable on a burger.

Hope to see you this week! As always, the warehouse doors will be open Friday 3pm-6:30pm and Saturday 10am-2pm.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

This Week's Warehouse Tasting

All our favorite television shows are winding down for the summer (farewell, Glee!) and the world is in turmoil. We need some cheese. Join us?

While we usually have the Pure Luck chevre on hand, this week we're featuring the dairy's version of St. Maure on the cheese plate. The curd is formed into a cylinder, then coated with ash and a white bloomy mold. Mild at the center but with a distinctive tang, St. Maure intensifies as it ages.

Funny story behind SarVecchio Parmesan: It was born when a group of laid-off Kraft cheesemakers decided to start a cheesemaking co-op in Wisconsin. The best domestic parmesan we've tasted, it is carefully aged until it reaches the right crumbly firmness and delicious nuanced flavor. The co-op has since been bought by a larger company, but the cheese quality remains.

You can also expect the Veldhuizen's Redneck Cheddar, a sheep milk blue and a few others. Hope to see you this weekend!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Speak Cheesy #2: Grilled Cheese at Grand Prize

Welcome to the Speak Cheesy! We plan on hosting a different cheese-related event every month and would love for you to join our little club. Last month we snacked on Raclette at 13 Celsius. This month--next Wednesday, in fact--we're hitting Grand Prize Bar in the Museum District to make grilled cheese sandwiches.

Choose between Granbury Gold with sliced tomatoes and basil or a triple cream Brie with blueberry sage jam, on challah or Harvest bread. Sandwiches are $6 a piece, the bartenders make some killer specialty cocktails (and open a cold beer with similar ease) and we'll be set up outside so everyone can mingle.

The details, in short:
Wednesday, May 25 8pm-10pm
1010 Banks St.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

This Week's Warehouse Tasting

You, too, could be enjoying this melted Swiss classic in your own home! Pictured left, Elizabeth is scraping some toasted Reading Raclette onto bread for an afternoon snack. We used this Vermont cheese at our recent Raclette event, and we'll be featuring it again this weekend at the warehouse. The last time we had it on our cheese plate, people seemed to really enjoy it not-melted but we'll be sure to talk toasting+serving methods with you if you're interested!

Bellwether Pepato, an Italian-style sheep milk cheese studded with peppercorns, will also make an appearance and it's delicious shaved over salad or pasta. We'll also have extra-rich, triple-cream Mt. Tam from Cowgirl Creamery on hand and suggest you BYOSW (Bring Your Own Sparkling Wine) because that makes the cheese divine.

Speaking of wine, now that it's approaching summer we've had a lot more people come by on Fridays for our makeshift happy hour. Feel free to bring lawn chairs, booze and snacks of your own to go with your cheese and spend some time with us in the evening!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Blue Heron Farm French Country Lunch

Warning: this post might induce cute overload. We celebrated May Day with Blue Heron, the goat dairy where we get our cajeta, by joining up for an outdoor lunch at their farm in Waller, Texas. Revival Market provided a delicious array of cured meats and pate and Slow Dough Bread Co. sent the baked goods. It was a beautiful afternoon and we got to cuddle a lot of baby goats. Check out some pictures below and sign up for our newsletter to hear about all our upcoming events!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

This Week's Warehouse Tasting

You know what's great for Mother's Day? Eating cheese in a bubble bath. What? We'd do it. This week we have cheeses both indulgent and pretty, perfect for gift giving.

You may remember the Sweetgrass Dairy Lumiere, a soft-ripened goat's milk cheese with French grapevine ash, from when we last had it around Valentine's Day. This creamy cheese is ideally paired with sparkling wine. It is a gorgeous dusted gray and white--not to mention it's heart-shaped.

The Capricious from Achadinha is another aged goat cheese and was named one of Saveur's 50 favorite cheeses from the U.S. back in 2005. We'll also be offering cut-to-order slices of Barely Buzzed rubbed with ground coffee and French lavender, which means you'll conveniently have flowers and cheese covered in one go. Burrata and Pure Luck Chevre are also in the house, so see you this Friday and Saturday!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

This Week's Warehouse Tasting

When the Veldhuizens first sent us the new cheese pictured on the left, Stuart gave us no clue as to what type of cheese it might be so we just had to plug in and taste it. Stuart likes to experiment from time to time and we're lucky he does because his curious nature leads to some delicious and unique product.

The mystery cheese, we're calling it Stuart's Special for now, will be on our tasting plate at the warehouse this week but we won't ruin the surprise for you by describing it. Come by Friday or Saturday to try it firsthand.

We'll also have a special batch of Marieke Gouda with cumin seeds in it and San Andreas, a sheep milk cheese modeled after Pecorino from Bellwether Farms.

Cows in Repose on Veldhuizen Family Farm. Dublin, TX