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.

Cows in Repose on Veldhuizen Family Farm. Dublin, TX