Wednesday, June 27, 2012

This Week's Tasting Plate: The New Cheese on the Block

We have a new Texas cheesemaker in the shop, so we hope you'll come make friends with the new kid. Straight out of Flower Mound, Texas, Latte Da Dairy is making aged goat cheeses that rock. Also, their goats are very cute. This week, we're featuring their version of the English-style Caerphilly. Originally made to replenish Welsh miners of their nutrients and salt, this goat's milk version maintains the original characteristics of Caerphilly. It is light colored and crumbly with a fresh, pleasing tang. 

We're also featuring our Whitewoods Farm jams and allow me to personally recommend combining the blueberry sage with a melted brie sandwich. It is the single best cheese sandwich I have ever laid hands on and these hands have touched a lot of cheese sandwiches. 

Of course, we'll also have Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, Hopelessly Blue and Marieke Gouda if that's more your sandwich speed. To each his own cheese.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

This Week's Tasting Plate: The Conundrum Project

Drumroll, please! Like any other cheesemonger/human, we like to think that the Dairymaids are unique snowflakes (ssh, Fight Club fans). But this week in particular, we know we'll have something special going on that no one else in Houston will have.

It's another cheese from the Jasper Hill Conundrum Project, where they send out experimental rounds to retail shops and we tell them what we think. Last time we participated, we got a shipment of Harbison. This time, it's a washed rind version of their Moses Sleeper. The original cheese is a bloomy rind cows milk with a buttery, creamy paste. After its experimental bath, the flavor moves from savory to flat out beefy.

We'll only have a limited amount of this cheese, so come out early for a taste! The plate will also be loaded up with Teahive, Sofia and Tilston Point--all delicious, if less mysterious. We can't all be Jessica Rabbit.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Savory French Toast with Chevre & Truffle Honey

If you have some bread that didn’t get gobbled up at your party last night, day old baguette is perfect for making French Toast. This savory take on the sweet classic is topped with fresh chevre and Tartuflanghe honey. No idea how to pronounce that, but this Acacia honey with white truffle is pretty special. See Charlotte for help with Italian if needed.

4 thick slices Slow Dough baguette
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
Kosher salt, a pinch or to taste
1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
Lucky Layla butter
Pure Luck Plain Chevre
Tartuflanghe truffle honey

Beat the eggs, milk, salt and herbes de Provence in shallow bowl. Soak both sides of bread in egg mixture just long enough to soften. Over medium/low heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a frying pan until foaming, but not browned. Cook the soaked bread on both sides until golden brown. Wipe pan clean and cook remaining slices, repeating steps above. Spread chevre on each slice and top with honey.

Monday, June 11, 2012

This Week's Tasting Plate: Beer cheese me, bartender

On the long list of things Dairymaids love, including cheese, beer, wine, fresh baked bread and irrelevant pop culture references, 2-in-1 treats ranks very high. Cheese + wine, wine + bread, wine + pop music YouTube videos and of course, beer + cheese, especially when the beer is in the cheese.

Here in Texas, we have the Veldhuizen’s Saint Arnold bathed Redneck Cheddar, which you are mostly likely familiar with if you’ve ever been to the shop. But this week we will also have an Oregon cheese called Pondhopper that utilizes Cascade hops from a local brewery. The dried flowers of the hop plant are usually used as a beer seasoning and the curds of cheese are also soaked in a mystery Oregon beer. The result is semi-firm and alternately sweet and salty.

Other cheeses on the plate this week include White Buck, Sarvecchio Parmesan and Grandbury Gold, which altogether are an entirely other combo-treat.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Smoked Scamorza & Green Chile Pesto Pizza

If you have sampled cheese with me, you may have noticed I like to talk about grilled pizza, a lot! I would like to share one of my absolute favorite recipes for your summer grilling pleasure.

Use Slow Dough’s handmade pizza crust for a lovely crunch that is perfectly thin. Pizza should never be over piled with toppings and should showcase the star ingredient; the cheese! This spicy pesto paired with Smoked Scamorza is rustic, simple and really, really good. Enjoy!

Slow Dough pizza crust
Terra Verde Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 roasted green chilies, seeds removed and chopped
(or use 2 cans roasted green chilies)
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
4 oz SarVecchio, about 1/2 cup coarsely grated
Crushed red pepper, to taste
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 ball Smoked Scamorza, sliced
Grilled chicken (optional)

* Yields enough pesto for 4 pizzas

Prepare grill. Roast whole green chilies over open flame until skin is black. Remove from grill and place in a sealed plastic bag to make the chilies sweat. If adding grilled chicken, prepare now and set aside for pizza. Once chilies are cool to touch, scrape off blacked part of the skin, remove seeds and chop. Place the chilies, cilantro, pumpkin seeds, and SarVecchio in a food processor. Add spices to taste. While processing, slowly add about 1/2 cup olive oil until you achieve a pesto consistency.

Brush pizza crust with olive oil on both sides. With grill at medium heat (about 350) grill both sides of crust before adding toppings just until slightly golden. Remove from grill, spread on pesto in a thin even layer and add slices of Scamorza and chicken. Grilled until cheese is melted and bubbly. Slice and serve.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

This Week's Tasting Plate: Rock of Cheeses

Working in cheese, you're exposed to a lot of interesting sensory experiences, the very honest descriptors used to identify them and some hilariously apt names. I've had my lips turn red and burn from a reaction to a cheese. "Barnyard-y" is a word thrown around a lot to describe a certain cheese odor. And bless the Veldhuizens for naming their beer-bathed cheese Redneck Cheddar.

But it wasn't until I heard about this Oregon semi-hard round named Rimrocker that the cheese world really came together for me. It's aged in a cave for 3-6 months. On the Tumalo Cheese website, it is photographed next to some rocks. It is tangy, made with both cow and goat milk and it is not messing around.

Come get your share this week at the Dairymaid shop, along with Smokey Blue, Birdville Reserve and Pure Luck feta.

Cows in Repose on Veldhuizen Family Farm. Dublin, TX