Sunday, February 26, 2012

Grilled Cheese Duo with Seasonal Soup

Nothing beats a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich dipped in a delicious soup on a chilly day. Since I’m not in the soup or bread making business, I went with the store bought variety. Wholefoods’ Rustic Italian is awesome for grilled cheese. Inspired by Go Texan Day, I came up with the genius notion of grilled cheese on corn bread with candied jalapeños. These flavors paired great with ginger carrot soup.

As you know, the Dairymaids are often contemplating their next mind boggling grilled cheese creation. Please take the liberty to come by the warehouse for your ingredients and come up with your own melted masterpiece! We would love to hear about your grilled cheese ideas. Submit below.

* Modify to serve as many as needed

Unsalted sweet cream butter
Fresh Italian sandwich bread
Fresh sweet corn bread
Vine ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
Candied jalapeño
Green’s Creek Gruyere
Texas Gold Cheddar
Sand Creek Gouda
Cashew Ginger Carrot Soup

Cut two slices of cornbread. Generously butter one side of each slice of both breads. Using a cheese cutter or plane, thinly slice each of your cheeses, enough for each cheese to make one layer on the bread. On the Italian bread, layer the Gruyere, Gouda and tomatoes. Salt and pepper the tomatoes. On the cornbread, layer the cheddar and jalapeños.

Toast sandwiches, butter side down on a griddle over medium heat until golden and cheese is melted. Serve with soup of your choice.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

This Week's Warehouse Tasting: Winners Circle Edition

It's our firm belief that cheese is its own reward. It's also true that the warehouse is chock full of cheeses that have won awards and wheels that haven't yet had their moment in the spotlight but will one day get the recognition they deserve, just like Blade Runner. It was the Veldhuizen cheese that won the top prize in its category at the rodeo's Best Bites competition last weekend (you might have heard) so we're featuring them at the warehouse tasting this weekend. 

Connie and Stuart brought out the Texas Gold Cheddar, Paragon and Sharpshooter at the rodeo and it was the latter that earned the prize. The marigold colored cheddar is simply the Texas Gold aged an extra long time, giving it a sharper flavor and more crumbly texture. 

In addition to those cheeses, we'll also have a beautiful goat milk tomme-style cheese called Julianna, Reading Raclette and Pt. Reyes Blue. We're all winners here. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Veldhuizen Cheese Won at the Rodeo Best Bites Competition

Last night, we joined the Veldhuizens at the Rodeo Uncorked and Best Bites Competition where hundreds of restaurants and wines showcased to a sold out crowd inside Reliant. We got to rub elbows with chefs and drink from petite wine glasses, making us feel very big league. Seriously, our hands felt oversized on those tiny stems. 

Stuart and Connie Veldhuizen came out to personally serve samples of their Paragon, Texas Gold Cheddar and Sharpshooter and ultimately accept the first place award in the Bread/Cheese/Dessert category. We were very excited, as you can see.

Thanks to all of you who came by the booth to say hi! Come by the warehouse any weekend for a taste of the winning cheeses--the Paragon and Texas Gold are always on our rain or shine list.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

This Week's Warehouse Tasting: Are You Experienced Edition

I'll tell you one thing, the reason people love Jimi Hendrix and "Purple Haze" must not have anything to do with the lyrics. I was going to maim them anyways, by subbing in cheese related words, so it's probably for the best. Purple Haze is also a goat milk cheese, you see, and it's made at Cypress Grove in California. Lavender and fennel pollen are folded into the creamy rounds and the combination is intriguing but not overpowering. 

If interesting herb mixtures in your cheese is your thing, then you'll be pleased to hear that we'll also have Cowgirl Creamery's seasonal cheese Devil's Gulch. It's a Jersey cow milk brie dusted with sweet and spicy red pepper flakes. If you're more of a purist or Willie Nelson fan, then we'll also have two Texas selections including a Havarti from Sand Creek Farm and Texas Gold Cheddar from the Veldhuizens. Though if we had to, we'd bet on Willie having some affection for Purple Haze himself.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Blood Orange, Beet and Chevre Salad

Don't get me wrong, I like flowers and hearts and candy, but when it comes to Valentine's Day I tend to subscribe to the darker side. I once celebrated Valentine's Day by hosting a 3-D screening of My Bloody Valentine. Regardless, I wanted to create a recipe that’s not overly sentimental, but still romantic.   

Most girls will gladly accept cheese in lieu of flowers. Pure Luck Chevre is such a rich and versatile goat cheese, it would be a shame not to have some on hand this Valentine’s Day. Plus, crumbled Chevre is fantastic in salads. If you’re flying solo this year, there is absolutely no shame in enjoying this salad with a big bad grilled cheese and a romantic comedy. I’m not speaking from experience or anything.

* Serves 2

2 small red beets, tops trimmed, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 small fennel bulb, stalks removed and quartered
1 generous pinch dried thyme
1/4 small red onion, very thinly sliced
4 oz Pure Luck Chevre, crumbled
Mixed greens (such as swiss chard, arugula, tat soi and baby spinach)
1 blood orange
1/2 fresh lemon, squeezed
1/2 fresh lime squeezed
Extra-virgin olive
Balsamic vinegar
White wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper and coarse sea salt, to taste
1/4 cup loosely packed, fresh cilantro leaves

For beets and fennel: Preheat oven to 400. Wash and prepare beets and fennel as directed above. Place in a bowl, add enough olive oil and balsamic to lightly cover, add thyme, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Transfer to a foil lined baking sheet. Roast for 35 – 45 minutes or until beets are tender when pierced with a fork.

While beets and fennel are cooking, prepare the rest of the salad. To peel the orange. use a serrated knife to cut the top and bottom of the peel off first. Then cut all peel and pith from the sides so only the flesh remains. Do not discard peels. Slice blood orange into 4 rounds and set aside. Thinly slice red onion and set aside.

For vinaigrette: squeeze lemon and lime halves into a medium bowl, remove any seeds. Use a few peels from your blood orange that have a bit of flesh and squeeze into the bowl with juice. Add to citrus mix: 2 teaspoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar, salt and pepper and torn cilantro leaves. Whisk to combine. Add or decrease ingredients to suit your taste, I just eye ball and sample as I whisk.

Wash mixed greens and place a generous handful or two in each bowl. Add warm beets and fennel, red onion slices and desired amount of vinaigrette; toss to coat. Top with crumbled chevre and two orange slices per serving. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

This Week's Warehouse Tasting: XOXO Edition

A lot of people are talking about aphrodisiacs this time of year. Something about February makes you want to eat oysters or something, we guess.

We don't know anything about that, but we do know about cheese, and we have a particularly decadent line-up for Valentine's Day this week. First up, is the truffle-studded Sottocenere with an ashed rind mixed with nutmeg, coriander, licorice, cloves and fennel. We know that every kiss begins with Kay, but they don't call truffles "Earth's black diamond" for nothing.

The most adorable thing in the warehouse, and it's a tough competition given the cuteness of your average Dairymaid, will be the heart-shaped Nancy's Hudson Valley Camembert. We had this in stock last year, and the creamy, cow-sheep milk blend cheese went over like gangbusters as gifts. Also special for the holiday is the Chocolate Capri Log from Westfield Farms. This chocolate-tinged goat cheese is beautiful with strawberries and champagne, and fun to use in baking.

We'll also have Cremont, Sand Creek Colby and Pure Luck Chevre. For those of you who snagged tickets to our Valentine's Day Saint Arnold tasting, we can't wait to see you there!

Friday, February 3, 2012

This Week's Warehouse Tasting: Games to Play Edition

What is love? Baby, don't hurt me. I think it might be beer and cheese. We don't know how romantic you find football, but there's a lot coming up this week for lovers of cheese and beer. 

For the love of the game, we've got a couple perfect Super Bowl cheeses. Bayley Hazen Blue would work well on your blue cheese burgers, the Marieke Gouda melts perfectly for your nacho, macaroni and cheese and dipping needs. Then there's the Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, which is savory and delicious just as a snack. If you're just in it for the commercials and half-time show, maybe try the Mt. Tam from Cowgirl Creamery, one of our favorite triple-creams. 

Next Tuesday night, which just so happens to be Valentine's Day, we're teaming up with Saint Arnold once again for a cheese, beer and chocolate tasting. Bring a date, a bunch of friends or come on down with your own bad self and the Dairymaids will be your date. Tickets are $25 per person and the party starts at 6pm. 

And in honor of this great and sacred holiday, we'd like to take a moment to say we love you all. Are we being cheesy?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Little Boy Blue Buffalo Sliders

For 46 years Americans have been celebrating a special day that is not actually a national holiday, but is seriously considered to be one by sports nuts alike. A day we can effortlessly clog our arteries, watch hours of playback while screaming at the top of your lungs, drink beer until our bellies bulge AND get away with it! That's right, Super Bowl Sunday is here! While our Texans didn't go all the way, they came darn close and we can still commemorate with cheese.

This game day treat has a nice array of textures and flavors. Spicy and sweet, savory and bold, crunchy and creamy. The sliders are topped with crumbles of Hook's Little Boy Blue, an award winning sheeps milk blue. I highly recommend washing it all down with a St. Arnold's Elissa IPA. It's also a quick and easy recipe so you won't miss your favorite commercial.

If you can recite all 45 winners by memory you can call in "sick" on Monday. You've earned it.

1 small rotisserie chicken, pulled and shredded
3/4 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 small head purple cabbage, finely shredded
1/2 small head green cabbage, finely shredded
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon celery salt
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
4 oz Little Boy Blue, crumbled
Salt and pepper to taste
12 King’s Hawaiian Honey Wheat Rolls

For slaw dressing; whisk mayo, sugar, celery salt and vinegar until smooth. Combine cabbage, celery and onion in a large bowl. Add dressing, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

In a large sauce pan cook butter and hot sauce over low heat until butter is melted. Stir to combine. Add shredded chicken and cook until heated through.

Split the Hawaiian rolls in half and butter each half. To get those nice grill marks on the rolls, toast in the oven at 350 or on a griddle over medium heat until golden brown. To assemble sliders; pile chicken onto the bottom half of each roll, top with blue cheese, slaw and then top half of the roll. Spear with a toothpick if desired.

Cows in Repose on Veldhuizen Family Farm. Dublin, TX