Friday, May 31, 2013

Elote Quesadillas

Elote Quesadillas

As a born and raised Texan, I spent many a Saturday in the scorching heat, bargaining at flea markets. Where else can you get a personalized belt buckle, car speakers and a puppy? Of course, a trip to the flea market would not be complete without enjoying some Elote. This unpretentious, Mexican street food is grilled, then brushed with mayo and sprinkled with queso fresco and chili powder.

That spicy and savory treat inspired me to make these Elote Quesadillas. I used Pure Luck's creamy goat feta and smokey Scamorza, mixed with traditional Elote ingredients. Enjoy with an ice cold beer or Mexican coke. 

8 oz Goat Feta
1 ball Scamorza
2 ears corn with husks on
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon coarse ground pepper, or to taste  
2 tablespoons mayonaise 
12 small flour tortillas 
Lucky Layla Butter, room temperature 

Heat oven to 350. With husks still on, roast corn in oven for 30 minutes. Let cool to touch, remove husks and cut kernels off the cob. Transfer corn to a mixing bowl. Add crumbled feta, grated Scamorza, chili powder, pepper and mayo. Mix to combine. Butter one side of each tortilla. Sandwich the corn and cheese mixture between tortillas. Heat a cast iron or non-stick skillet to medium-high heat. Cook quesadillas until golden brown on both sides and cheese is melted. Slice and serve. 

* Yields 6 personal size quesadillas 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Fried Pogue Mahone Pickles

Fried Pickles

Among breakfast tacos and drive-thru beer barns, fried pickles are one of my favorite things in the world! As a young art student, I riddled the UH campus with neon green pickle stickers, so yeah, I'm kind of obsessed. You can imagine my excitement when we started carrying pickles. Pogue Mahone Pickles in Austin, Texas are making fresh and crisp pickles by hand. If you're of Irish decent, you know what "pogue mahone" means...  I guess that's what I was trying to say with my pickle sticker graffiti?

You can use day old Slow Dough baguette or ciabatta to make your bread crumbs or go with the plain, store bought variety if you're pressed for time. Dill and lemon zest added to the breading make these fried pickles bright and flavorful. Where is the cheese you (Nicole) might ask? This salty treat pairs well with Redneck Cheddar or creamy Pure Luck Chevre. Serve with homemade blue cheese dressing.

16 oz jar Pogue Mahone Dill and Garlic Pickles
2 eggs
2 cups bread crumbs
1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
1 lemon, zested
1 tablespoon chili powder, or to taste
1 tablespoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Canola oil

Heat canola oil in a large pot over high heat. Oil should be at least 2 inches deep in the pot. Whisk eggs and set aside. Mix bread crumbs with remaining ingredients. Pat pickles dry with paper towels. The more dry they are, the better the dredge will stick. Coat each pickle spear in egg, then crumbs. No need to double coat. Carefully place pickles in oil, working in batches and cook for 1 - 2 minutes until golden brown. Strain on a plate lined with butcher paper or paper towels. Serve hot.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Baked Green Hill

Baked Brie

Traditionally, a baked brie is wrapped in pastry or phyllo dough, but I'm a bit of a purist. Green Hill is such a beautiful cheese, it doesn't need much dressing up. Pair it with ingredients that really showcase the cheese and bake it, that's it. It's a very simple recipe that yields very impressive results. I hope the Sweet Grass Dairy family and their happy Jersey cows will aprove.

1 round Green Hill
Fig preserves or honey
Fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 Slow Dough baguette, toasted and sliced

Heat oven to 350. Line a glass pie dish with parchment paper. Place the cheese round on the dish and top with preserves or your favorite honey. Lastly, top with fresh rosemary. Bake for about 10 minutes. Some cheese may bubble out and the preserves or honey will be nice and caramelized on top. Serve warm out of the oven with toasted baguette. So much of the flavor is in the bloomy rind, I encourage you to eat every last bit!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Spring Has Sprung: Spring Cheeses and Rosé Wines

Spring Cheese and Rosé Wines
A selection of rosés at Houston Dairymaids

Now it might be a shock to some of you, but I'm fairly opinionated. And I like to share my opinions. Loudly. And until this year, I was not a fan of rosé wine. Probably because up until now, the only pink hued drink I'd had started with Boone's and ended with Farm.

Let me proclaim to the world just how wrong I was. I WAS SO VERY WRONG! Rosé wine might just be my new favorite drink. And I don't even care who thinks I'm a sissy for enjoying it. Because rosé is so crisp and fresh, with deep complexity ranging from floral to citrus notes. In short, it's just plain delicious. As the weather gets hotter, we all need something cool and refreshing, and not everyone can sip mint juleps on the veranda all day. If you can't spend the day recovering from a bourbon hangover, let rosé be your go-to drink this summer.

And as an added bonus? It goes great with cheese, especially spring cheeses. Try it with some chèvre or something light and nutty like parmesan.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Homemade Infused Butters for Mom

Infused Butters

As always, the Dairymaids got your back on Mother's Day. Every year, my mom insists that she already has everything she needs. And let's face it, mom does not want anything in the tchotchke department, unless she actually collects porcelain kitties. Come by the warehouse and see us - we have countless ideas, like fabulous Lucky Layla butter, that you can flavor by hand.

Infused or compound butters are so easy to make and the possibilities are endless. Little mason jars make for a lovely presentation and are easy to gift. Plus, they will melt mom's heart like... butter. (sorry)

Bourbon and Vanilla Bean Butter

1 cup Lucky Layla butter, at room temperature
1 vanilla pod, beans scraped out
2 tablespoons bourbon

Garlic and Herb Butter

1 cup Lucky Layla butter, at room temperature
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
1 lemon, zested

Chiriboga Blue Butter

1/2 cup Lucky Layla butter, at room temperature
4 oz Chiriboga Blue, at room temperature

Add ingredients to butter and whip to combine using a hand mixer. Transfer to an 8 ounce jar.

* Keep refrigerated for one month or frozen for 3 months

Friday, May 3, 2013

Holey Cow Cheese Puffs

Cheese Puffs

When I think "cheese puff" my mind goes to the quintessential road snack of choice; cheesy poofs. This recipe is kind of like Cheetos' classy French cousin, without all of the unwanted, neon orange residue.

Made with Central Coast Creamery's Holey Cow, these cheese puffs are pillowy and creamy when you bite into them. They are great to pass during cocktail hour and pair beautifully with oysters and an oaky Chardonnay. Like Cheetos, they are also fun to throw at your friends.

1 cup water
6 tablespoons Lucky Layla butter
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup all purpose flour, plus more for baking sheets
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 eggs
6 oz Holey Cow, or 1 cup grated
Fresh rosemary

Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 425. Butter and flour 2 large baking sheets. Combine water, butter, a dash of paprika, salt, and pepper in a medium pot; bring to boil over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup flour and stir vigorously with wooden spoon until mixture forms a smooth ball and a film forms on the bottom of the pot, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Beat in mustard and then eggs 1 at a time. Prepare yourself for an arm workout! Lastly, mix in grated cheese.

Drop batter by heaping teaspoonfuls onto prepared sheets, spacing about 1 1/2 inches apart; bake 15 - 17 minutes total. After about 10 minutes, reverse position of baking sheets and bake until puffs are golden brown, about 5 - 7 minutes longer. Garnish with fresh chopped rosemary and paprika, serve warm.

* Revised from Bon Appétit

Cows in Repose on Veldhuizen Family Farm. Dublin, TX