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

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

Friday, February 14, 2014

Sweet & Savory Sarvecchio Cookies

Dear dudes,

Please spare your sweet girlfriend the typical store bought card or lame, long stem chocolate covered strawberries. No loving woman should endure an awkward and overly crowded dinner. Instead, she should be spoiled with rich gifts of cheese. Make her something nice and homemade. See recipe to follow.

The Dairymaids

P.S. Happy Valentine's Day

Sweet & Savory Sarvecchio Cookies with Hazelnuts and Sea Salt

1 cup Lucky Layla Golden Butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 lb SarVecchio, 1 cup grated
4 tablespoons Freddy Guys Roasted Hazelnuts, chopped fine
1 teaspoon coarse salt salt
1 tablespoon Terra Verde Estate Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil
American Spoon Black Mission Fig Conserve, to garnish

Using an electric mixer, beat butter in a medium bowl on low speed until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Add powdered sugar, pepper, and kosher salt. Reduce speed to medium and beat, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, until light and fluffy, 4-5 minutes. Add flour and cheese. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat mixture just until dough comes together. Wrap dough in plastic and flatten into a rectangle. Chill until firm, at least 2 hours. May be made 5 days ahead. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before rolling out.

Heat to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle about 1/4" thick. Cut into rectangles or use a cookie cutter of your choice. Arrange cookies on baking sheet 1" apart. Brush cookies with evoo, then sprinkle with hazelnuts and a pinch of sea salt. Bake until cookies are golden brown (flecks of cheese will be darker), about 20 minutes. Let cool on sheets for at least 10 minutes. Serve with a generous spread of fig conserve.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Cheese Plate Close Up: Barely Buzzed

Playful, striking, and delicious, Barely Buzzed belongs on your Valentine's Day cheese board. 

Barely Buzzed starts out like any other cheddar at Beehive Cheese Company in Utah. After a day, however, the cheesemakers give it a special rub of  "Beehive Blend" espresso and French lavender. As the cheese ages, this rub brings out diverse flavors both sweet and savory. Think butterscotch, nuts, and caramel.

Barely Buzzed is the brainchild of the two brothers-in-law, Pat and Tim, who run Beehive Cheese. Tim's brother owns a coffee-roasting company in Colorado. Eying a surplus of coffee in their shop one day, Tim had the bright idea to create a rub. They say the addition of lavender was the key tweak. The lavender is so subtle you might not even know it's there, but it brings out the brightness and tang in the smooth cheese.

Beehive Cheese is set at the mouth of Weber Canyon in gorgeous northern Utah. They source their milk form one dairy 10 miles away that raises Jerseys and Holsteins.   
We encourage you to try it, and, yes, we recommend eating the rind! We'll be sampling it in the shop all this week.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Creamy Cauliflower Mash

It was bitter sweet when farmer David stopped selling his veggies at the farmers markets. Utility Research Garden is now focusing on delivering their farm shares directly to families and local chefs. In case you need another excuse to visit the Dairymaids, you can pick up a share at the shop. In this week's bounty, I received the first cauliflower of the season. I couldn't bring myself to cook it without photographing this beauty first. This one's for you, Edward Weston.

...the pepper is beginning to show signs of strain, and tonight should grace a salad. It has been suggested that I am a cannibal to eat my models. (referring to his famous photo "Pepper #30")

- Edward Weston 


Creamy Cauliflower Mash

I added in a handful of grated Landaff to make the mash luscious and buttery. This New Hampshire Caerphilly is on the tasting plate this week and I have been describing it as "butter disguised as cheese". It's pretty amazing. 

1 head cauliflower
1/2 cup Mill King whole milk, or more if needed
2 tablespoons Lucky Layla Golden Butter
4 oz Landaff, grated
salt and pepper to taste

Clean and trim the cauliflower, breaking it into medium sized pieces. Steam until just al dente. Strain steam water and return cauliflower to the same pot. Add 1/4 cup of milk and 1 tablespoon of butter. Continue cooking cauliflower in milk, over low heat for 10 - 15 minutes, stirring occasionaly. You want the milk to reduce and the cauliflower to be super soft. Transfer cauliflower to a blender or food processor along with the cheese, remaining milk and butter. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

*Makes a perfect side dish for 2

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Close Up on this Week's Tasting Plate: Bellwether Farms Pepato

Photo Courtesy of Bellwether Farms
Whenever we have Pepato on the tasting plate we marvel at it. One of us always ends up declaring, "this is one of my favorite cheeses." Usually, it's me. An aged raw sheep's milk cheese studded with black peppercorns, Pepato is full of surprises. The texture is slightly crumbly, but with a smooth mouthfeel. The flavor is buttery and sweet with intriguing notes of blueberry, citrus, and, of course, black pepper.  

The Callahans make Pepato on their farm in Sonoma County. Cindy Callahan started Bellwether Farms in 1986. Her son Liam later joined the dairy as cheesemaker. Theirs was the first licensed sheep dairy in the state of California.

When first making aged cheese, they attempted to emulate Italian pecorino. With time, and multiple trips to Tuscany, they adapted the Italian recipe to highlight the unique characteristics of their milk.

Their sheep are East Friesians, a great dairy breed. Even so, they produce much less milk than a goat or cow would; on average less than a half gallon per day. What the milk lacks in quantity, it makes up for in richness and flavor. The sheep graze on green pasture year-round, supplemented by grain and alfalfa. 
photo courtesy of Bellwether Farms
Aged for at least 2 months, and usually closer to 4 months, Pepato wheels have a natural rind and weigh about 3 to 4 pounds each. 

Visit us this week and we'll taste it with you!

Cows in Repose on Veldhuizen Family Farm. Dublin, TX