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) 

Cows in Repose on Veldhuizen Family Farm. Dublin, TX