It's no wonder that my favorite things to buy when I'm traveling are cheese-related. This cheese board from a small town in Puglia, called Ostuni, and I have yet to see another one that resembles it. I purchased something else while there, too, and its use is far less obvious than the cheese board's.
I try to be a good house guest, especially when invited to stay at a friend's country home in Italy for a month, free of charge, with my three children. When my host, originally from South Carolina, expressed her sadness at her inability to find one of our un-official state foods in her new home, you better believe I tried to make it happen. Here's how I made pimiento cheese, from ingredients we found in a regular grocery store in the Italian countryside.
Sometimes, if you're traveling, and always, if you're a cheese fiend, bringing your own cheese is the way to go.
Whether you're going to the beach or the woods where cheese selection might be spotty or you're visiting your hometown with nary a cheese shop in sight, you might want to take note of these notes on how best to transport your little gems. You might be surprised at just how far you can bring your cheese.
Last August, I spent a relaxing week vacationing on North Carolina's Outer Banks with a friend (and fellow personal chef) and our husbands. Away from our work kitchen and surrounded by fresh seafood and summer's best produce, cooking was a real joy instead of part of the daily grind. No complicated menus, no stress, just a week of straightforward, satisfying meals made from scratch. The vacation kitchen is where easy-to-memorize recipes like this classic blue cheese dressing really shine.
Summertime is all about easy entertaining and easier food: bountiful produce allows us to spend less time fussing in the kitchen and more time al fresco with friends. I'm all about quick recipes that produce big flavor, and these marinated mozzarella balls do just that. The best part? They get better the longer they sit, so make a triple batch and you'll always be ready for unannounced guests that come your way.
This week, a continued conversation about the best kind of cracker for cheese. Since I prefer serving cheese with bread, a cracker's got to carry a certain kind of special quality if I'm going that route. And these most certainly do. Surprisingly, though, I passed them by for years, not knowing exactly what they were all about.
There are many reasons to love a good frittata for lunch or dinner. First, they're quick and require little active cooking time. Second, you usually already have the ingredients on hand. Third, frittata leftovers make a great sandwich, and slices are portable for on-the-go breakfasting or snacking. When I think about what to fold into my frittata, cheese is the first point of consideration. Really, isn't cheese always the first point of consideration?
I'm a bit particular when it comes to crackers. I'm even more so when it comes to crackers with cheese. I tend to be an unequivocal supporter of plain bread alongside my wedges, and the less bread, the better. (It should be the cheese that shines, right?) But when I do go the way of a cracker, I have one go-to: