Thursday, October 16, 2014

Truffle Cranberry Grilled Ciabatta

Truffle Cranberry Grilled Ciabatta

A dairymaid's favorite game is Name that Pairing. We love coming up with hair brained combinations. Give us a hard to find beer and we'll find its best mate, although it may not be easy. In fact, there are times when we are required to try new things at 10 am. Meet my recent discovery: truffle gouda, dried cranberries, and Prosciutto Americano, all on Slow Dough's finest. I like to call it a "snaccident".

1 Slow Dough Ciabatta
2 tablespoons Calivirgin Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 lb Truffle Gouda, grated
4 oz dried cranberries
1 package Prosciutto Americano

Cut ciabatta into 2 inch slices, then cut each slice in half. Brush liberally with evoo. Top with truffle gouda, grill or broil on high until bubbly and golden. Top with cranberries and prosciutto. Serve with a barley wine or saison.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

New home for our Dairymaid Diary

Looking for the latest cheese recipes from the Houston Dairymaids? Look no further - we've moved all of our posts to our new home: http://www.houstondairymaids.com/diary/

Friday, October 10, 2014

Teahive Dessert Risotto

Teahive Dessert Risotto

To our faithful readers: firstly, thank you. It makes me happy to know someone out there is making these things that I put my heart into. Also, these recipes are for you guys, but my weekly inserts have challenged me and taught me a lot. I'm happy to do it. If you have met me in the cheese shop, I'm the huge dork whose eyes light up when you mention dinner plans. Any how, I would never in my life, entertain the idea of making a dessert risotto, but here it is. And it's good you guys. It's sort of a classic, Italian take on rice pudding. By cooking the rice risotto style, you slowly release the starch, creating a silky end product.

2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons Lucky Layla Golden Butter
2 vanilla beans
1 1/2 cups jasmine rice
1/4 cup vinho verde
4 cups Mill King Whole Milk
4 oz Teahive, grated
4 oz Taza Vanilla Chocolate Mexicano
Seasonal fruit for garnish

In a large pot, on low heat, melt butter. Score down the length of the vanilla pods and remove the seeds by scraping a knife down the inside of each half, add to the butter. Then add rice and sugar, cook for about 1 minute, stirring to toast the rice. Turn the heat up to medium and add the wine, continue to stir until cooked off. Add the milk by half cup intervals, adding more as it absorbs, like cooking risotto. Simmer for about 30 minutes, stir often. Rice is done when al dente. Add more milk if needed. Remove from heat, add teahive (grate Teahive with rind intact to incorporate the tea and bergamot), then stir to combine. Garnish with lots of Taza chocolate and fresh seasonal fruit.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Curry Mac Topped with Hazelnut Roasted Broccoli

Curry Mac Topped with Hazelnut Roasted Broccoli

It's been a good while since I posted a mac n cheese recipe. Not to say that I have been abstaining from making/eating this wonderful dish, because I have. I'm always looking for new, creative variations. When we got Tavola's curry pasta in the shop, I experienced a text book light bulb moment. Since vegetables are important, I topped this mac with spicy and nutty roasted broccoli. Would you believe my toddler ate it? 

For mac: 
2 cups Tavola Curry Pasta
2 cups Mill King Whole Milk
2 tablespoons Lucky Layla Golden Butter
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 generous dash of nutmeg, freshly grated
1 cup Wagon Wheel, shredded

For broccoli: 
1 lb broccoli
2 tablespoons Freddy Guys Hazelnut Oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper 
1/3 cup Freddy Guys Dry Roasted Hazelnuts, chopped fine 

Directions:
Combine milk, Tavola pasta, salt, butter, curry and nutmeg in a large pot. Over medium heat, slowly bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. You want to keep the macaroni from sticking and allow the milk to come to a boil very slowly. Once mixture comes to a simmer, turn heat to low. Continue stirring frequently. Cook for 30 minutes or until milk has fully absorbed. If macaroni is not done to your liking, add a little more milk and continue to cook. When milk has absorbed, stir in cheese to combine evenly.

Heat oven to 425. While mac is simmering, prepare broccoli. Trim broccoli stalks and cut the florets into bite size pieces. Toss broccoli with the hazelnut oil, kosher salt, red pepper and chopped hazelnuts. Roast broccoli just until tender, about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven, serve on top of mac.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Red Rock Herb Biscotti

Red Rock Herb Biscotti

If you're new to the biscotti making business, you will be happy to know that making biscotti is easier than making chocolate chip cookies. My first thought was how else do you enjoy biscotti, besides dunking it in your cappuccino? These savory treats are still pretty good with coffee, but delightful dipped into a crisp, off-dry wine or fine tea. Triple baked for the perfect crunch and studded with an American original, Red Rock. 

2 eggs
1 cup grated Red Rock
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped

Directions:
Heat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Process eggs and grated Red Rock in a food processor until yellow and thick, for about 1 minute. In a separate bowl, whisk dry ingredients and herbs. Add dry ingredients to egg/cheese mixture and pulse three or four times, just to incorporate until crumbly. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead it until it holds together. Shape the dough into a log, transfer to the prepared baking sheet and gently flatten. Bake until lightly golden and is firm to the touch, about 25 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, then cut on the bias into half-inch slices. Lay the biscotti flat on the baking sheet and bake until crisp and toasted, 15 minutes; turn and toast the other side for another 10 to 15 minutes. Cool completely before serving.

*Yields: about 16 biscotti

Friday, September 19, 2014

Cremont & Sour Cherry Croissants

Cremont & Sour Cherry Croissants

Cremont from Vermont Creamery is one of our showstoppers. It's namesake, "cream of Vermont" is only fitting. It's no secret, this double-cream pairs beautifully with our Sour Cherry Preserves. In fact, it's Dairymaid, Shannon's favorite combination. I had a vision to put this duo in breakfast pastry form. After a few failed experiments, these delightful croissants were born. Admittedly, making homemade croissants can be a little daunting, but this classic pastry was on my baking bucket list. After my 3rd attempt, I was happy with the results. To learn how to make bread, you must make make bread. 

1 recipe Croissant Dough 1 egg + 1 teaspoon water (for egg wash)

Directions: 
Prepare dough recipe above. To form the croissants: divide the dough in half and place one half in the fridge while working with the other half. You should see the layers of butter and folds. Roll out the one half of the pastry on a lightly floured work surface into a 9x18 rectangle. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife cut the dough in half lengthwise, so you have (2) 9x9 squares. Then cut each square into 6 rectangles, 12 total. Roll out the other half of the pastry that you set aside in the fridge and repeat the steps/cuts above. You will have 24 rectangles total. To divide Cremont, cut into quarters, then cut each quarter into 3 pieces. Place a generous teaspoon of sour cherry preserves and a piece of Cremont onto 12 rectangles. Whisk egg with water, then brush the edges to make a "seal" around each rectangle and top with the other 12 rectangles. Use a fork to stamp/seal the edges together. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet 2 inches apart, cover with a towel and set in a warm place to rise for 1 hour. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 425. Lightly brush the tops with egg wash. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool and enjoy. 

*Makes 1 dozen large croissants

Friday, September 12, 2014

Homemade Fennel Pollen BBQ Sauce

Homemade Fennel Pollen BBQ Sauce

Texans love their bbq and we are down right snobby when it comes to bbq sauce. For me, it happened when I moved to Austin, Texas. I found myself waiting in lines that wrapped around buildings and required lawn chairs. Hours of patiently waiting, while forced to smell the sweet aroma in the air and panicking when you hear a rumor that they're out of ribs. Maybe the secret is in the sauce. I'm almost hesitant to divulge my bbq sauce recipe, but it's too good not to share. The Californian fennel pollen and Texas honey are the secret ingredients in this nectar of the gods. You too can turn your nose up at that cheap bottled, store bought stuff. 

2 tablespoons Lucky Layla Golden Butter
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup Native Nectar Wild Texas Guajillo Honey
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup Organic Raw Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar 
1 teaspoon Colman's mustard powder
1 teaspoon Pollen Ranch Fennel Pollen
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Melt butter in medium pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add ketchup, honey, brown sugar, vinegar, and spices, stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Transfer sauce to a food processor or use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. Let cool to room temperature, transfer to a jar and store in refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Spinach & Lemon Ossau-Iraty Risotto


It's fair to say that cheesemongers never find themselves in a "risotto rut". It's a dish that lends itself to creativity and the Dairymaids basically have a library of cheese to make countless adaptations from. This variation is the perfect risotto to end the Summer with - ultra creaminess and not heavy. I used Ossau-Iraty, a French sheeps milk cheese, that is surprisingly a delightful melter. Now one could argue that making risotto is labor intensive. Sometimes taking your time in the kitchen is a welcomed change. After a week of play doh, pirates and adventures in potty training, come 6pm on Friday, I'm ready to burry myself in the kitchen. I fear my husband is on to me.

3 cups spinach
2 tablespoons Calivirgin Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup Arborio Rice
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped 
1/3 cup dry white wine
4 cups Homemade Broth
1/4 lb Ossau-Iraty, grated
1 large lemon, juice and zest

Heat a pot over medium heat and add evoo and onion. Cook until onions are fragrant and translucent. Stir in the rice and toast for about a minute, then add the wine. Once the wine has evaporated, add the broth, one 1/2 cup ladle at a time. Stir the rice constantly and add another ladle of broth once the previous addition has been absorbed. Continue this process until you have no more broth or risotto is done to your liking. While rice is cooking, blanch the spinach in boiling salted water for 30 seconds and then submerge in an ice bath to keep the color bright. Transfer spinach to a food processor and blend until smooth, set aside. When risotto is done, remove from heat and add lemon juice, grated Ossau-Iraty and pureed spinach. Garnish with lemon zest. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Shaved Brussels Sprouts SarVecchio Salad

Shaved Brussel Sprout SarVecchio Salad

A mandolin is one of the best culinary tricks to keep up your sleeve. With this wonderful tool, you can present food like the professionals. This dish consists of just a few simple ingredients. I ALWAYS have SarVecchio on hand, because it's the perfect cheese to finish a dish with. By thinly shaving the brussels sprouts, it sort of hides the fact that you're eating brussels sprouts. Feel free to toast the pinenuts, but I like them raw. This versatile side pairs well with just about anything.

1 lb Brussels Sprouts
about 1/2 cup Pinenuts
1/4 lb SarVecchio 
1 Lemon, juice and zest
Calivirgin Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Using a mandolin, shave brussels sprouts. Place in a bowl, add pinenuts and toss with lemon and a light drizzle of evoo. Season with salt and pepper to taste and finish with finely grated SarVecchio.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Hoja Santa Strudels


Hoja Santa Strudles

All the Dairymaids have a special place in their hearts for Hoja Santa. Firstly, it's made by hand in Deep Ellum/Dallas by the Godmother of Texas cheese. We would be perfectly happy skipping the cake and putting a birthday candle in one of theses beauties. Hoja Santa is delicate, yet decadent. And it's already gift wrapped. If you can control yourself to not devour it all alone, hopefully this fresh goat cheese can make it's way to these incredible little pastries.

1 Hoja Santa 
Alfonzo Olives (about 1/2 cup chopped)
Sun-dried tomatoes in oil (about 1/2 cup chopped)
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg + 1 teaspoon water (for egg wash)

Directions:
Heat oven to 425. Lay out some parchment to thaw puff pastry on and use as a work surface. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Remove meat from olives, discarding the pits and chop. Chop sun-dried tomatoes, mix with olives. Slice Hoja Santa into quarters, then cut each quarter into 5 pieces, keeping Hoja Santa leaf intact. Use a sharp pairing knife to slice the pastry sheet in half lengthwise, then the opposite direction into 5 strips around 2 inches wide, 10 strips total per pastry sheet. Top the center of puff pastry with a teaspoon of olive/sun-dried tomato mix and a piece of Hoja Santa, then fold one side over the top. Use a little egg wash on the inside of the strip to "glue" it together. Gently press to seal. Flip over, crease side down and place on prepared sheet pan. Repeat and space the finished pastries 1 inch apart on the pan. Use your sharp pairing knife and cut three slits on the top of each strudel; you don’t have to cut all the way through, just make a slit. Using the pastry brush, lightly coat the top and down the sides with egg wash. Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden and puffed. Remove and let cool. Serve warm and consume day of.

*Makes 20 mini-strudels

Friday, August 15, 2014

Sandia de Tejas Cornbread Crepes

Sandia de Tejas Cornbread Crepes

Skeptical about a Texas inspired crepe? Well, have you ever heard of a little town called Paris, Texas? How about London, Texas or Dublin, Texas? My point being; Texas is big and it's a cornucopia of food culture. Basically, I made a southern version of a crepe by thinning out cornbread batter. It's buttery, it has a nice crunch and it's welded together with the Summer seasonal from Eagle Mountain Dairy, Sandia de Tejas. This sandia hatch laced gouda from the father/son team is perfectly spicy. Top with some cilantro, a fried egg and call it breakfast.

1 cup yellow corn meal
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 farm fresh egg
2 cups Mill King Whole Milk, or more
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Lucky Layla Golden Butter
1/2 lb Sandia de Tejas, grated

Directions:
Combine dry ingredients with a whisk, set aside. Whisk egg with milk and mix with dry ingredients until smooth. You may need to add more milk, you want the consistency of pancake batter. Lastly, add vegetable oil, stir to combine. Heat a seasoned cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add a dollop of butter to coat skillet. Pour a thin layer of cornbread batter into skillet, about pancake size. Cook until top begins to bubble. Flip and cook until just lightly browned on the other side. Top omelet with a generous bit of cheese, fold over and cook just until cheese begins to melt.

*Yields 8 crepes. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Roasted Pepper & Chiriboga Bisque


For some kids, eating blue cheese is worse than going to the dentist. When I was expecting a baby, I read a book about the differences between American parents and French parents... I became determined to not raise a picky eater. I'm not going to deny my son a good ol' fashioned PB&J, but he will eat blue cheese. With the addition of creme fraiche and Chiriboga Blue, this roasted pepper bisque is undeniably creamy. I'm pretty sure the French disguise vegetables with cheese. Plus, food should be fun. Dipping some warm, crusty baguette into this soup will take you back to your metal lunch box days and blowing bubbles into your milk.

4 large or 8 small mixed peppers (I used green, purple and mostly red)
4 tablespoons Lucky Layla Golden Butter 
1 large onion, chopped
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
4 cups Homemade Broth
1 7.5 oz package Bellwether Crème Fraîche
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1/2 lb Chiriboga Blue
1 Slow Dough baguette

Heat oven to 400. Arrange peppers on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Roast until soft and nicely browned all over, turning peppers to roast evenly, for about an hour. Remove peppers from the oven and immediately transfer to a large zip top bag. Allow to steam until cool to the touch. Gently pull out stem and core, remove skin and seeds, then set aside. Melt butter in a large pot, add onions and potatoes, lightly salt and cook over medium heat until soft and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Add the broth and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add peppers and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add creme fraiche and 1/4 lb of Chiriboga, stir to combine. Puree with an emersion blender until smooth and velvety. Garnish with remaining Chiriboga and fresh cracked pepper. Serve with a toasted baguette.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Vanilla Yogurt Fig Cake


I believe the heart of a home is the kitchen. Everyone gathers in the kitchen, it's where all the best smells and laughs happen. My mom and I love cooking together. We swear like sailors, drink wine and do bad impressions of Julia Child. It warms my soul. This simple, yet beautiful fig cake takes me back to Summer vacation, cooking with several generations of Southern women. It's made with rich sheep milk yogurt from Bellwether Farms and Summer figs from Utility Research Garden. Easily, one of the prettiest things I've ever made and light as a cloud.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons Lucky Layla Golden Butter, room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1 farm fresh egg
1 lemon, zested
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup Bellwether Vanilla Yogurt
1 pint Utility Research Garden figs, cut in half
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375. Butter your favorite pie dish and set aside. Whisk flour, baking powder, and baking soda together, set aside. In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and continue to beat until mixed. Mix in zest and vanilla, beat until smooth. Set your mixer on the lowest setting and add flour mixture in batches, alternating with yogurt and beginning and ending with flour. Pour batter into prepared pie dish and spread evenly. Arrange figs on top, face up, and push them into the batter. Sprinkle figs with turbinado sugar. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes. Let cool and serve.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Summer Onion Soup

Summer Onion Soup

French onion soup and Summer time don't really coincide. That is until I was given a bountiful onion harvest. The Dairymaids appreciate a good challenge, so we're gonna bend the rules a little. To make a more summery version of this classic, just make it lighter and brighter. I’ve swapped the veal stock out for my homemade cheese bits broth and picked a fruitier wine in lieu of sherry. Throw a lemon in the mix and it's prefect for warm Summer nights. Don't get me wrong, you will do some amount of sweating getting this on the table, because it's hot in the kitchen. Still, this Summer onion soup is light enough that you'll have room to make a Snowball run later.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 generous pinches dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup Arca Nova Vinho Verde
3 cups Homemade Broth
4 thick slices Slow Dough Baguette
1/4 lb Alpha Tolman, shredded

Directions:
Heat a deep pot over medium high heat, add oil and butter. Add onions, season with salt, pepper and thyme. Cook onions for about 20 - 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender, sweet and caramel colored. Add bay leaf and vinho verde to the pot to deglaze. Add broth and bring to a boil. Arrange 4 small, deep soup bowls or crocks on a rimmed cookie sheet. Preheat broiler to high. Once soup reaches a boil, ladle it into bowls. Float baguette slices on soup and top with a mound of cheese. Place cookie sheet with soup bowls under broiler until cheese melts and bubbles. Serve with a simple salad.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Red White and Blue Lucky Layla Yogurt Pops

Red, White and Blue Lucky Layla Yogurt Pops

I love Fourth of July for all its quaint pleasures. Families come together to celebrate our independence, grill copious amounts of meat and make things go boom. It's also my husband's birthday, and if you have had the pleasure of meeting this fire cracker, it's only fitting that he way born on this day. He grew up thinking the brilliant display of fireworks were for him on his birthday. My beloved husband also assumed that if you were born on Fourth of July, you automatically got into heaven. Makes sense right? These patriotic popsicles are made with Lucky Layla Yogurt and are just as sweet as my hubby. 

1 Lucky Layla Mango or Plain Yogurt
1 Lucky Layla Blueberry or Blackberry Yogurt
1 Lucky Layla Strawberry Yogurt
1 handfull each of blackberries and strawberries, chopped into small pieces 

I used this popsicle mold, but you can use just about anything. Mix a little blueberry/blackberry yogurt with chopped blackberries and pour into each mold 1/3 full for your first layer. Use mango or plain yogurt for your middle layer, filling 2/3 full. For your last layer, mix a little strawberry yogurt with chopped strawberry and pour into each mold. Allow popsicles to set over night and enjoy. 

*Makes about 10 popsicles depending on your mold.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tavola Pasta with Kale & Marcona Almond Pesto

Tavola Pasta with Kale & Marcona Almond Pesto

This may not be a surprise to you, but the Dairymaid demographic mainly consists of women that like to talk about food. We have a few "dairydudes" to kill spiders and stuff like that, but for the most part, it's just us chickens. We don't gab about celebrity gossip or hair/makeup. When we're not talking about cheese, we're usually talking about Game of Thrones and how we like to eat kale. Our new Marcona Almonds from California are way more affordable than pine nuts and coupled with kale, makes an awesome pesto. Prepare your favorite Tavola and toss. 

2-3 cloves of garlic
1/2 lemon, zest and juice
1/2 bunch of kale, stems removed and chopped
a few sprigs of fresh herbs (I used parsley and mint)
1/4 cup Terra Verde Estate Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil (use more as needed) 
1/3 cup California Marcona Almonds
freshly ground pepper and sea salt, to taste
Tavola pasta

Put the kale, herbs, garlic, lemon zest and juice, sarvecchio, almonds, salt, pepper and about half of the oil in a food processor and blend. Add the rest of the evoo slowly, until the pesto is fully blended. I left mine a little crunchy. Cook pasta according to directions, toss in pesto and serve.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Purple Potato & Pecorino Torte

Purple Potato & Pecorino Torte

You may have noticed that your Utility Research Garden farm share has been pretty heavy lately. Make your way through the gorgeous Summer greens and in the bottom of the bag you will find a lot of purple potatoes and onions. And I do mean a lot. I made 5 jars of onion jam and I still didn't put a dent in the mountain of onions. The purple potatoes have been turned into purple gnocchi, purple gratins and purple potato chips. So, like I said, a lot. I'll stop complaining about my first world problems and tell you about this pretty purple Torte I made. I carefully layered all the delicious local veggies I could get my hands on and topped each layer with grated Pecorino Toscano. This Torte is a verdant kaleidoscope and it does what a Summer dish is supposed to: tastes good, but protects the waistline. More purple recipes to follow.  

Lucky Layla Golden Butter
1 lb purple potatoes, not peeled, sliced thin
2 leeks, white and pale green parts only, chopped
4 red onions, sliced thin 
1/2 bunch kale, coarsely chopped
1/4 lb Pecorino Toscano, grated
1 tablespoon fresh herbs of your liking, chopped (I used basil and thyme from my garden)
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Terra Verde Estate Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil
green onions, for garnish

Directions:
Heat oven to 375 and butter a 9 inch cake pan. Saute onion and leeks in butter until fragrant and translucent. Add kale in the same pan and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Set aside. Use a mandolin to slice potatoes. Layer potatoes in concentric circles in bottom of prepared pan, overlapping slightly. Top with 1/2 of kale/onion mixture. Drizzle with a little evoo, top with grated Pecorino and season with salt, pepper and herbs. Repeat layers in this order (potato, kale, cheese, potato) so you'll have 2 layers of kale and 3 layers of potato. Cover pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered until tortes begin to brown and potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes longer. Cut into wedges and garnish with green onions.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Preserving Texas Blackberries

Preserving Texas Blackberries

I have very fond memories of walking home from school and stopping to pick blackberries. I wore my purple Converse high tops for the occasion. My daily handfull of blackberries would rarely make it home. On the weekends, my brother and I would fill buckets and my aunt would come up with delicious ways to preserve them. She made a cobbler that the family still talks about! Here are a few ideas of my own to preserve all those beautiful Texas blackberries.

Texas Tempranillo Blackberry Syrup:

3 cups Utility Research Garden Blackberries
1/2 cup Duchman Tempranillo
1 cup sugar

Directions:
Wash berries and place in a medium pot. Crush berries with a potato masher, add wine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 5 mixtures, stirring occasionally. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve, discard berries and seeds. Return strained juice to pot, bring to a boil and add sugar. Continue a moderate boil, uncovered for 20 - 30 minutes, until syrup consistency is achieved. Stir often to prevent sticking. Transfer hot syrup to sanitized half pint jar, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Keeps for 3 weeks refrigerated. If processing, use boiling water canning method.

Texas Blackberry Honey Butter:

Directions:
1/2 cup Lucky Layla Golden Butter, room temp
1 handfull Utility Research Garden Blackberries (about one dozen berries)
2 tablespoons Native Nectar Wild Texas Guajillo Honey

Reserve a few whole berries to add in later. In a food processor combine berries and honey until smooth. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve, discard seeds. Beat softened butter until light and fluffy. Add blackberry mixture, beat on low until combined. Coarsely chop reserved berries and gently fold into butter. Transfer to sanitized half pint jar, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Refridgerate for 2 weeks or freeze up to 3 months.

*Both recipes yield 1 half pint jar

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Quinoa Salad with Mozzarella and Drunken Raisins

Quinoa Salad with Mozzarella and Drunken Raisins

Perhaps your calendar is looking extra packed with all kinds of graduations, baby showers and birthdays. When asked to bring a dish, you can politely decline or you can BAAARING IT. I'm guilty of this overly competitive attitude that my dish will be the most talked about and highly praised. I'm also a mosquito magnet and I'm pretty sure that's why people invite me to bar-b-ques. The Dairymaids can help you become a super awesome party guest... start with this simple quinoa salad. Everyone will be asking you things like "what is quinoa" or "how exactly does a raisin get drunk?". You'll be the hit of the party! In the case that it has already been BAAAROUGHTEN, you better grab a bottle of wine for your host. 

(yes, I am aware this reference is wildly out of date)  

1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup Homemade Broth
a few springs of fresh thyme
1/2 ball fresh mozzarella from The Mozzarella Co., cubed
rainbow carrots, chopped
Terra Verde Estate Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil
For Drunken Raisins:
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dry white wine
zest from 1 lemon

Toss raisins in lemon zest and transfer to a clean jar. Bring wine to a boil, then pour over raisins. Let cool, cover and refrigerate. Allow to marinate at least 30 minutes and keep for up to one month.

Bring quinoa and broth to a boil, Lower heat and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes, or until broth is absorbed. Allow quinoa to cool. Add thyme, mozz, as much carrots as you like, raisins and light drizzle of evoo. Toss to combine and serve cold.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Savory Crescenza Pancakes

Savory Crescenza Pancakes

There's something so comforting about a big stack of pancakes, but I'm rarely in the mood for all that sugar in the morning. When I do indulge, it's usually in the form of a donut. These savory pancakes are packed with cauliflower puree and creamy crescenza. Gently fold in a beaten egg white to make the lightest and fluffiest pancakes you will ever have. The texture is divine and you get an occasional melted, gooey bite of crescenza. No need to drown 'em in syrup, a drizzle of creme fraiche on top is all you need. 

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 generous pinch sea salt

7 oz or 1 package Bellwether Crescenza
1 cup Mill King Whole Milk 
1 farm fresh egg, separated
1/2 cup cauliflower puree

Steam cauliflower until soft. Process in a food processor until pureed, set aside. Cut crescenza into little pieces. Mix crescenza, milk, and egg yolk until smooth. Stir in the cauliflower. In a separate bowl, beat the egg white until stiff peaks form. Sift dry ingredients. Add the crescenza/milk mixture to the dry ingredients, and stir to combine. Gently fold the egg white into batter with a spatula. To cook, warm a griddle or pan over medium heat, melt a bit of butter, then pour a little batter (about 1/4 - 1/3 cup) onto the pan for each pancake, working in batches. Cook slowly, until pancakes are nice and golden on both sides, flipping when first side is done.

*Makes 1 dozen medium pancakes

Friday, May 23, 2014

Schmuggler Salmon Pie


When it comes to Alpine styles, I have a few requirements: (1) nutty (2) slightly funky (3) the name contains at least one umlaut. There's a Swiss import on the plate this week that covers 2 out of three. No umlaut, but you can visit the cheese maker's website and give Google translate a try. Schmuggler is aged about six months with repeated washings, until rich and robust. Appropriately named Schmuggler, because it's German friends were trying to smuggle wheels... I can see why. I topped a traditional fish pie with some and twice baked it to golden perfection. Give it a try if you're feeling European. Feel free to modify with your favorite seasonal ingredients.

8 oz Wild Salmon fillet
1 large shallot, minced
1/2 lb Utility Research Garden red potatoes
2 tablespoons Lucky Layla Golden Butter, plus more to butter pie dish
4 oz Schmuggler, grated
1 pinch Pollen Ranch Dill Pollen
Sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

Peel and boil potatoes until soft. Meanwhile, roast salmon until rare - medium rare, at 425 for 7 - 10 minutes. When potatoes and salmon are done, mash potatoes, flake salmon and mix with butter, salt, pepper and dill pollen. Divide mixture into two 8 oz oven safe ramekins. Top with cheese and bake at 350 for an additional 20 - 30 minutes.

*Serves 2

Friday, May 16, 2014

One Pot Pasta Verde

One Pot Pasta Verde

Grab anything green in your garden or farm share, one big pot and a little heavy cream, then prepare to be amazed. Top it off with the best domestic parmesan known to dairyman. Seriously, have you tried SarVecchio? It's rubbed with olive oil for 20 months, it's buttery and it's the perfect cheese to finish a dish. In case of cheese emergency, we have some on hand at all times. 

1 tablespoon Terra Verde Estate Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 shallot, chopped
1 pinch of crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon chopped capers 
1 cup chopped kale 
1/2 cup green cauliflower
1/2 lb spaghetti
2 cups homemade broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
Sea salt, to taste 
Fresh cracked pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon chopped chives
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley
1/4 lb SarVecchio, grated 

In a large pot, heat evoo. Add garlic, leeks and shallot, cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are softened. Add the capers, kale and cauliflower and cook until kale is wilted and cauliflower is al dente. Finally add crushed red pepper, herbs, salt, spaghetti, stock, cream and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender and a nice sauce forms, about 10 - 15 minutes. Stir in SarVecchio. Garnish with extra cheese, parsley and chives. 

*Serves 3 

Suggested pairing: Arca Nova Vinho Verde 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Lavender & Fennel Pollen Chevre Mousse


My mom has a drawer that serves as a catch all for bad middle school pictures, cheesy poems and homemade Mother's Day cards. I actually love that she keeps everything in this terribly unorganized drawer, I call it the anti-scrapbook. These days, instead of gifting macaroni art, my mom and I bond over cheese. On the Mother's Day cheese board this year is: Mt. Tam, Chiriboga Blue and this light and fluffy Chevre Mousse for dessert. (hopefully my mom is not reading this because I totally just spoiled the surprise). 

4 oz Pure Luck Plain Chevre
1/2 teaspoon dried lavender
1/2 teaspoon Pollen Ranch Fennel Pollen 
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 tablespoon Native Nectar Wild Texas Guajillo Honey
6 oz heavy whipping cream

Allow chevre to soften and place in a mixing bowl. Stir in lavender, fennel pollen and honey. In a separate chilled bowl, beat cream with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the chevre mixture. Cover and chill for at least one hour. Serve with your favorite crostini or shamelessly eat with a spoon. Garnish with a little lavender and a drizzle of honey. 

*Yields 2 servings, each perfect to share

Suggested pairing: Domaine de Balandran Rose Les Mugues

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Cookies for Mom

Need a little inspiration for a special Mother's Day gift? You cannot go wrong with these Dairymaid tested recipes. Cookies and cheese, together at last! If you don't have time to bake, relax... we have gift boxes and a variety of chocolate too.














Friday, May 2, 2014

Kashmiri Inspired Poutine


Poutine has been making an appearance on menus across Houston and I suspect it has something to do with the delicious cheddar cheese curds from Mill King Dairy. Poutine (pronounced 'peu-tin') is a massive heap of comfort food, native to Quebec and is commonly served roadside or in pubs after a night of drinking. The basic makeup is: fries, cheese curds and brown gravy. Well I decided to leap across the pond to India for inspiration... because Houston is not a homogenized "melting pot". Houston is a lot like poutine - individual ingredients that work together to make one amazing dish.  

For beet slaw:
About 1/4 head purple cabbage, shaved
3 - 4 beets, roasted and grated
1/4 cup Terra Verde Estate Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Brownwood Farms Famous Kream Mustard
1 - 2 teaspoons sugar
1 - 2 pinches toasted caraway seeds

For Curry Gravy:
2 tablespoons Terra Verde Estate Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 teaspoon ginger paste
2 teaspoons Karachi spice
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup coconut oil

1 lb homemade sweet potato fries or use 1 package Alexia Spicy Sweet Potato Fries
8 oz Mill King Dairy Cheese Curds
Fresh cilantro and mint, for garnish

For curry gravy: heat evoo and cook onion until translucent and golden. Add garlic and ginger, cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and spices, cook for an additional 10 minutes. Add water and coconut oil and simmer for 30 minutes until sauce is reduced. For beet slaw: trim and peel beets. Wrap in foil packet and roast at 400 for 30 - 45 minutes. Let cool and grate. Thinly shave purple cabbage. For slaw dressing: whisk evoo, apple cider vinegar, mustard, sugar and caraway seeds. Toss grated beets and cabbage in dressing, set aside. To assemble poutine: plate desired serving of fries, then slaw, then gravy. Top with curds and fresh mint and cilantro.

Suggested pairing: Ice cold Peroni or your favorite lager

*Makes 4 servings (1 serving = a generous appetizer to share or a substantial entree for 1) 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Dairymaid Baklava

If it's wrong to layer baklava with triple cream, I don't wanna be right.
I will say this take on baklava is more "pc" than "Baracklava". Despite the addition of Mt. Tam, most of you may take one look at the directions and opt to go buy some at your favorite coffee shop instead. Really, it's pretty simple. I turned to The Dairymaids' baking guru, Shannon to gain a little confidence. Her advice - just be gentle with the phyllo. If I can do it while keeping a toddler entertained, anyone can. And I know it's hard to resist the still warm baklava, right after you pour liquid crack over it, but it has to set. Please enjoy after at least an hour.


1/2 cup Freddy Guys Hazelnuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup Spanish Marcona Almonds, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
20 sheets of phyllo dough
1 cup Lucky Layla Golden Butter, melted
1/2 round of Cowgirl Creamery Mt. Tam, rind removed and softened
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup Native Nectar Wild Texas Guajillo Honey

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350. Combine nuts and cinnamon, set aside. Line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment and brush with butter. Layer 5 sheets of phyllo dough in baking dish, brushing with butter between each layer. Sprinkle an even layer of the nut mixture over phyllo. Layer 5 more sheets of phyllo brushed with butter. Dot this layer with pieces of Mt. Tam, then layer 5 more sheets of phyllo brushed with butter. Sprinkle another even layer of nut mixture over phyllo and finish by layering the remaining 5 sheets of phyllo and butter. Cut diagonal strips into baklava, each way, creating a diamond pattern. Bake for about 1 hour or until golden brown. While baklava bakes, combine sugar, honey and vanilla extract in a small saucepan and bring to a boil until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Remove baklava from oven and pour honey mixture evenly over baklava, top with remaining nut mixture. Allow to set for at least one hour.

Friday, April 18, 2014

His & Hers Breakfast Crostini

His & Hers Breakfast Crostini

Men and women are different. Sometimes it seems we aren't meant to be on the same planet. I have quite a long list of idiosyncrasies that my husband tolerates with a smile (mostly). I may never understand how or why he reads technology magazines and watches boring documentaries from the 60's. So we have our quirks... One thing we both recognize is the importance of breakfast. This make your own breakfast crostini bar will not solve all of life's problems, but it will cure breakfast boredom. Since we're not about gender discrimination, the savory bacon and Hook's 5 Year Cheddar is for her. The harmonious blend of honey, thyme and pepper in June's Joy, paired with strawberries, satiates his sweet tooth. Or pick your favorite cheese and accompaniment. Happy wife, happy life. 

For toppings: 
Crispy bacon
1/3 lb Hook's 5 Year Cheddar
Fresh strawberries
Slow Dough Baguette
Smoked paprika

Slice baguette at an angle, brush with olive oil and season with salt and smoked paprika. Grill or toast baguette until crisp and golden. Pile on the toppings and enjoy. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Tarentaise & Roasted Endive Potato Salad

Tarentaise & Roasted Endive Potato Salad

During picnic and barbeque season potato salad is a hot topic. Everyone likes their own recipe. I'm insulted when someone brings the store bought tub-o-potato salad to a picnic. Seriously, Miracle Whip is just plain offensive. The only logical way to solve this argument is through friendly competition. Potato salad competitions are real and taken very serious. To judge fairly and unbiased, you have to break it into 3 categories: Classic Deli, German Style and Creative. I once made a sardine and saltine potato salad, so I guess my style resides in the creative camp. It was gross. This recipe, however, is a blue ribbon.

2 heads Belgian endive
6 red potatoes, not peeled, cut into uniform bite size pieces
1/2 cup Spring Brook Tarentaise, coarsely grated
1/4 cup green onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence
Terra Verde Estate Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Terra Verde Traditional Balsamic Vinegar
Coarse sea salt and fresh cracked pepper 

Heat oven to 400. Remove any bruised or wilted outer leaves on the endive. Cut each head of endive in half lengthwise, leaving the root end intact. Drizzle evoo and balsamic over each piece of endive, place on a baking sheet cut side up, season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss potatoes in a generous amount of evoo to evenly coat. Season with salt, pepper and herbs de provence. Transfer potatoes to baking sheet with endive and roast together for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Toss potatoes in sour cream and mix in the cheese and onions. Season with more salt and pepper if desired. Serve warm and top with endive. Add crispy bacon if you're into that sorta thing.   

*Makes a perfect side for 4

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Cheese Plate Close Up: Spring Brook Tarentaise

     
photo courtesy of Spring Brook Farm
Tarentaise is a favorite. This raw cow's milk cheese is modeled after a cheese made in the Tarentaise region of the French Alps. The folks at Spring Brook adapted the French recipe to use on their 1000 acre Vermont farm.  

With the milk from their own herd of Jersey cows, they make Tarentaise using traditional methods. During the five or more months of its aging, Tarentaise is repeatedly washed and turned. The result is a dense, firm paste with delicate flavors of brown butter and roasted nuts. 

Spring Brook Farm doubles as a charitable enterprise called Farms for City Kids. Cheese sales support their mission of educating city kids about sustainable agriculture by inviting them to come to the farm and participate in daily activities. Great cheese and a great idea!

Every week at Dairymaids we select six cheeses to include in our free cheese tasting. Whenever we are open, we are tasting cheese. On Wednesdays, we sample a wine, cider or beer as well and all wine and beer is 10% off. Our hours are Tuesday thru Friday 10 to 6, Saturday 10 to 4, and Sunday 11 to 4.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Homemade Broth using Farm Veggies & Cheese Bits


Let's talk broth. Making it is time consuming. Do you need 8 hours and a chicken carcass to make a broth that is risotto worthy? Despite the fact that making broth yourself is the right thing to do, most cooks reach for the can, bury the guilt, then hide the can and hope no one notices. There are worse sins. This broth uses leftover hard cheese ends and pieces of natural rinds, that would otherwise become a science experiment in your fridge. Throw in some farm share veggies, a few herbs and simmer for a mere 45 minutes. It fills your house with a smell that is just magical and you get a rich broth that is economic, versatile and vegetarian.

6 cups Houston's finest tap water
2 tablespoons Lucky Layla Golden Butter 
5 green onions, roots trimmed and cut in half 
1 or 2 handfuls of baby rainbow carrots 
Ribs & stems from kale/chard/greens   
(I used veggies from this week's CSA, but you can use anything in your garden/fridge) 
3 gloves garlic 
3 Bay leaves
a few sprigs Fresh thyme 
1 tablespoon black peppercorns 
1/2 tablespoon coarse sea salt 
8 oz leftover cheese bits/rinds 
(I used Sarvecchio, Sand Creek Colby and Tarentaise rinds) 

In a large pot, melt butter. Add veggies, herbs and cheese bits, cook until fragrant, stirring constantly so cheese doesn't scorch. Add water and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove solids and strain broth with a fine mesh strainer. Transfer to a large container and allow to cool. Can be stored in the fridge for 3 days or in the freezer for 3 months.

*Makes 4 cups of broth

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Oregonzola Shrimp Bake

Truth be told, when I started as a Dairymaid 3 years ago, I didn't really like blue cheese. Sure, I could dunk veggies and greasy chicken wings in something that resembled blue cheese, but I had qualms with a real blue. I actually had a nightmare about Bosque Blue. Now I love them. We carry several "life changing" cheeses, for the blue novice. This dish was inspired by my new found love and it's drowning in butter, so that's cool. Serve over baked spaghetti squash, pasta or toasted baguette.

Oregonzola Shrimp Bake

1 lb shrimp (about 15), peeled
2 tablespoons Lucky Layla Golden Butter 
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 tablespoon mined garlic
1 generous dash crushed red pepper 
1 generous dash Pollen Ranch Dill Pollen
2 lemons, juice and zest from 1, plus 1 for garnish 
1/4 lb Oregonzola 

Heat oven to 450. Toss shrimp in seasonings, garlic and lemon. In an oven-proof baking dish, slightly melt butter for just a minute or two. Add shrimp and slices of lemon to dish and bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven and top with crumbles of Oregonzola. 

*generous servings for 2 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Green Eggs & Ham


My dad raised me right, I grew up on Dr. Seuss and Rock n' Roll. Sam I Am and Cat in the Hat were usually sung to the tune of the Rolling Stones or AC/DC. Perhaps my dad's parenting style was unconventional, but I think I turned out alright. This breakfast dish is the culinary version of my childhood Dr. Seuss remixes. Comfort food meets nostalgia. It's a great way to start the day. 

6 farm fresh eggs
1 bunch kale, rinsed and chopped 
SarVecchio, grated for garnish 
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste

1 loaf Slow Dough Cranberry Walnut Bread, sliced 
1 Granny Smith apple, sliced thin
1/3 lb Holey Cow, sliced thin

For green eggs: heat evoo over medium heat and cook kale until just wilted and bright green. Whisk eggs with salt and pepper and scramble with sautéed kale. Garnish with grated SarVecchio. For ham: layer apple slices and Holey Cow on each slice of bread. Toast until cheese is melted and bread is golden. Top with a few slices of prosciutto. 

*Serves 4

Thursday, March 20, 2014

New On the Tasting Plate: Baetje Farms' Bloomsdale

photo courtesy of Baetje Farms
   
We are happy to welcome a new state to our line-up: Missouri! Baetje Farms is a farmstead goat dairy in the town of Bloomsdale in southeast Missouri. Cheesemakers Veronica and Steve Baetje (pronounced BAY-gee) strive to raise their goats in the best possible environment with the healthiest diet, even spoiling them with warm herbal tea in winter.

Their happy goats provide them with great milk for cheesemaking. Bloomsdale, named for their town, is their signature cheese. Patterned after a French Valencay, Bloomsdale is in the shape of a pyramid with a flattened top. Dusted with ash as per tradition, it ripens from the outside in, getting gooey and more piquant as time goes by. An elegant cheese, Bloomsdale was won multiple ACS and World Cheese Awards.

We'll be tasting it this week until it runs out. Come on by!

Every week at Dairymaids we select six cheeses to include in our free cheese tasting. Whenever we are open, we are tasting cheese. On Wednesdays, we sample a wine, cider or beer as well and all wine and beer is 10% off. Our hours are Tuesday thru Friday 10 to 6, Saturday 10 to 4, and Sunday 11 to 4. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Colby Beet Burger

Colby Beet Burger

As a cook and a cheese monger, I live by one simple rule: every ingredient matters. Sand Creek Farm is one of our beloved Texas cheese makers that shares this principle. They take special care with ingredients and it shows in this batch of Colby. It's super savory and reminiscent of a sharp cheddar. Ingredients are pretty important when it comes to alternative burgers too. I know you're thinking, why don't you just eat a beef burger? Are you a rabbit? Well, the Dairymaids appreciate a good challenge. This vegetarian burger will surprise you. Even Ron Swanson might enjoy it, but probably not.

1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup cooked lentils
1 cup shredded beets
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
3/4 cup Sand Creek Colby, grated (1/3 lb)
3 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 farm fresh egg
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon Pollen Ranch Fennel Pollen
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 generous pinch of sea salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Terra Verde Estate Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6 burger buns of your liking
Seasonal sprouts and greens, for topping
Pure Luck Chevre, for spreading on bun

Directions:
Put brown rice, lentils, and shredded beets in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse until the mixture comes together, but still has texture. It should look like ground meat. Transfer to a large bowl and add the bread crumbs, onion, garlic, egg, cheese and seasonings. Use your hands to mix well. Form 6 patties and chill for 30 minutes. Drizzle evoo into a pan over medium-high heat and cook the patties for about 12 minutes, flipping once. The burgers should be charred at the edges and heated through. Serve on toasted buns with a generous spread of Pure Luck Chevre. 

*Yields 6 burgers

Tasting Plate Close Up: Rogue Smokey Blue


Oregon grows 99% of America's hazelnut crop. The first commercial hazelnut trees were planted there a little over 100 years ago. Blue cheese is also an Oregon staple thanks to the Rogue Creamery, which first started producing blue in 1954.

The innovative cheesemakers at Rouge have combined these two Oregon points of pride by cold-smoking their blue over hazelnut shells.

Rogue's Smokey Blue is sharp, but not overly strong, with rich, nutty undertones from the smoking. Savory and sweet, it tastes like candied bacon.

Not surprisingly, Smokey Blue pairs beautifully with hazelnuts (we have delicious ones). Creamy and crumbly, it also makes a great addition to a salad or topping to a grilled steak.

It's on the tasting plate this week. Stop by the shop to try it!

Every week at Dairymaids we select six cheeses to include in our free cheese tasting. Whenever we are open, we are tasting cheese. On Wednesdays, we sample a wine, cider or beer as well and all wine and beer is 10% off. Our hours are Tuesday thru Friday 10 to 6, Saturday 10 to 4, and Sunday 11 to 4. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Pure Luck Chevre Blueberry Marmalade Muffins

Pure Luck Chevre is back! Is it just me or did the kidding season seem to last extra long this year? At any rate, I'm happy to be faced with a different predicament: how to enjoy this wonderful cheese. It's such a versatile and delicious product it's seriously good on anything and is loved by all. Even the hippest of hipsters can't deny Pure Luck Chevre. Make a batch of these chevre filled muffins this weekend for the perfect brunch. But beware, brunch brings out a melting pot of morning people that say things like "Sunday Funday" or "Selfie" or "Brunch is the most important meal of the day" or "hashtag". #thingsthathipsterssay 

Pure Luck Chevre Blueberry Marmalade Muffins

Pure Luck Chevre Blueberry Marmalade Muffins

5 oz Lucky Layla Golden Butter, room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3 farm fresh eggs
1 teaspoon bourbon vanilla extract
1 and 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Mill King whole milk
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup marmalade
Pure Luck Chevre
1 lemon, zested
Native Nectar Wild Texas Guajillo honey

Directions:
Line muffins tins with cupcake liners. Heat oven to 350.
 Combine chevre, a drizzle of honey and lemon zest in a small bowl. Set aside. Cream butter, and sugars until light and fluffy.
 Mix dry ingredients together and whisk to combine. Alternate adding dry ingredients and milk to creamed sugar mix.
 Dust blueberries with a little flour to lightly coat (to prevent them from sinking to the bottom). Gently fold in blueberries and marmalade. Spoon half the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Add 1 generous teaspoon of the reserved cheese filling to the center of each muffin, and cover with the remaining batter. Bake for 22 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Watch them disappear.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Tasting Plate Close Up: Pure Luck Chevre

photo by Kerrisa Treanor
Dairymaid life during kidding season can be a little sad. Not only are we deprived of Pure Luck, but we have to give the same disappointing report to customers all day long: "not yet." Cute pictures of newborn goats give us some solace, but not enough.

Well, we're putting those chevre-free days behind us: Pure Luck is back! We picked up the first batch from the farm last week. So far only the chevre is available. Feta should be ready soon, followed by Ste. Maure and Hopelessly Bleu. We can't wait!

Chevre tends to disappear quickly, but if yours makes it all the way home to your kitchen, Kerrisa has put together some great recipes. Check out her Mint and Chevre Couscous, Chevre Crostini with Bacon Relish, and Lemon Zest Pasta with Pesto and Chevre.

If you haven't tried it yet, now is a great time. Stop by the shop where we'll be tasting it out all week!

Every week at Dairymaids we select six cheeses to include in our free cheese tasting. Whenever we are open, we are tasting cheese. On Wednesdays, we sample a wine, cider or beer as well and all wine and beer is 10% off. Our hours are Tuesday thru Friday 10 to 6, Saturday 10 to 4, and Sunday 11 to 4. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Tasting Plate Close Up: Little Boy Blue

Sheep's milk and blue belong together. The bright fruity flavors that tend to come forward in sheep's blues are unique and wonderful. No surprise that the first blue, Roquefort, was a sheep's milk cheese. How else could they sell those initial brave souls on moldy cheese?

Little Boy Blue is a rindless Wisconsin blue with two identities. At Hook's Cheese Company, where it is made, they call it Little Boy Blue. At Hidden Springs Creamery, where the milk comes from, it is known as Bohemian Blue. The Hooks and the Jensens (owners of Hidden Springs) formed this arrangement to make the most of the Hooks' blue-making skills and the Jensens' great milk. Located in southwestern Wisconsin, the Jensens' farm has ample lush pasture for their herd of 250 East Friesan and Lacaune crosses.

Little Boy has a drier, crumblier texture than a typical Roquefort. Whereas Roquefort can often taste too salty to me, Little Boy is well-balanced with pronounced sweetness.

Every week, we do a free tasting of six different cheeses at our shop. We taste every day we are open, which is every day except Monday. This week, Little Boy is our featured blue. Come by the shop to taste it!

Friday, February 28, 2014

The Dairy Mary

In honor of the tiki gods, we're featuring a tasty libation for the fellow cheese snob. I don't claim to be a mixologist, but I have paid my dues behind a bar (and on a bar stool). I have poured countless pints and shook many rounds of hangover inducing shots to pay my way through art school. After some experimenting and daytime inebriation, I think I developed a pretty mean Bloody Mary recipe, appropriately named "The Dairy Mary".

Speaking of cocktails... we are so excited for former Dairymaid, Elizabeth and her newest endeavor - Lei Low Bar opening today! Please stop by for a drink and tell them we said hello.

The Dairy Mary

For garnish:
Fresh lime wedge
Saucisson Sec, thick slices cut on the bias
Pickled rainbow carrots (recipe here)
2-3 sprigs flat leaf parsley

Fried Pimento Balls:
Zapp's Hotter N Hot Jalapeno Chips, crushed
Words and Food Pimento Cheese
1 Farm fresh egg
Canola oil
bamboo skewers

Dairy Mary ingredients (for one serving):
5 oz tomato juice
2 oz Tito's Vodka
1 splash of Urbock Smokebeer
1 splash of Worcestershire sauce
1 splash of Cholula hot sauce
1 splash of olive juice
1 fresh lime, squeezed
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste

For fried pimento balls: form tablespoon size balls with pimento. Dip in whisked egg, then roll in crushed chips. Freeze pimento balls for one hour. Heat oil to high, about 375 and fried balls for 1-2 minutes, until golden. Strain on a paper towel and set aside.

For Dairy Mary: fill a pint glass with ice. Pour in the tomato juice and add the above remaining ingredients. Mix using roll technique: gently pour all contents into an empty glass, then return to original glass, do this a few times. Skewer your favorite garnishes on bamboo skewer, place in glass and serve.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Tasting Plate Close Up: Little Mountain

When we visited Roelli Cheese last summer in Shullsburg, Wisconsin, Chris Roelli gave us a taste of one of his newest cheeses, Little Mountain. Rich, nutty, and smooth, it was one of the few cheeses I carried home with me.

Little Mountain falls into the category of cooked, pressed, Alpine-style cheeses. These cheeses characteristically have an elastic paste dotted with holes, or "eyes." Regular washings of brine encourage the development of a thick natural rind and deep flavors.

Wisconsin cheesemakers have shown great skill with this style of cheese: Roth Kase's Grand Cru Gruyere Surchoix and Uplands Cheese's celebrated Pleasant Ridge Reserve are two examples. Chris Roelli differentiated his Alpine-style by looking to Appenzeller as his model. Aged six months, the paste is smooth and springy with yeasty, fruity and nutty flavors. 

Demand for Little Mountain currently exceeds supply, especially since it was honored with a Third Place award at the 2013 ACS. We were able to coax 2 wheels from Chris around the holidays. Five more arrived recently. I don't think they'll be here long. Come by to try it!

Spicy Texan Soyrizo Flatbread


There's a saying that young kids use today. I believe it goes something like "aint nobody got time for that". It has become a widely understood mantra, because life is in fact busy. Don't feel bad if you don't have time to make flatbread from scratch, use store bought naan instead. Should you catch yourself reciting these words, you may feel slightly empowered and your lunch will be ready faster.

Side note: please allow me to explain what Soyrizo is, in case you're not familiar. Take that bright orange grease, tube stuff and take away the guilt. Feel free to use chorizo if you don't have vegetarian tendencies like I do. Soyrizo is not husband approved.

For flatbread:
3 cups unbleached flour, plus more for dusting
Fine sea salt
1 envelope (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
3 tablespoons Terra Verde Estate Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil

For toppings: 
1 package Soyrizo
1/2 lb Mill King Spicy Texan Cheese Curds, chopped 
1/2 yellow onion, chopped 
3-4 rainbow carrots, chopped
2 tablespoons Terra Verde Estate Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 avocado, sliced
Fresh cilantro, for garnish

Directions:
For flatbread dough: process flour and 2 teaspoons salt in a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook until thoroughly incorporated, 1 minute. Put the yeast in another bowl. Whisk in 1/4 cup warm water, then 2 tablespoons of the oil. Let rest until the liquid begins to foam, about 10 minutes, then pour this mixture into the center of the flour. Mix the flour and yeast solution until incorporated. Add 3/4 cup warm water to the flour and mix again until the dough pulls together in a single, unified mass. Turn the mass out onto a lightly floured surface and begin to knead the dough by working it with the heel of your hand. Push outward and pull the inside edge over the top. Repeat the process to create a smooth ball of dough, that's not sticky. Brush a clean, stainless-steel bowl with the remaining tablespoon oil and put the ball of dough in the bowl. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise at room temperature until it has doubled in size, about 2 hours. When the dough has risen, divide it in half and shape into balls, then pat into an oval shape. Use a pizza stone or cookie sheet dusted with flour. Bake at 425 for 25-30 minutes, until golden and crusty. While flatbread is baking, prepare your toppings. Cook onions and carrots in evoo until tender, add soyrizo to heat through and combine flavors. Brush finished flatbread with a little evoo. Spread a layer of soyrizo mixture. Top with cheese curds. Broil for 15 minutes until cheese is melted and edges are more golden. Garnish with avocado and cilantro. Slice and serve. 

*Yields: 2 large flatbreads, about 4 servings

Cows in Repose on Veldhuizen Family Farm. Dublin, TX