Next weekend, one of my closest friends is getting married. A few days ago, the couple asked me and another friend who's a wine professional to organize a wine and cheese pairing for the welcome dinner. Last minute? Yep. Will I be able to taste the pairings beforehand? Nope. Even so, I'm not too worried. I've got some solid standbys that I've used in the past. Pairing anxiety? Not a chance.
We're spending some time this week with European food, and so I decided to inflict some serious pain by looking back on my photos from a month-long jaunt to Europe I took last summer, just to see what cheese-related lessons I could share. Or reshare. With hundreds of photos to choose from, I had a hard time picking, but here are my top five European cheese takeaways.
Stuffed fried squash blossoms are easy to make. Promise. If you don't mind frying, this is a 15-minute process from start to finish. Tops. There are also certain ways to ensure a most delicious outcome. And it mainly has to do with the cheese.
I told my mother it was family recipes week here at The Kitchn and together we pondered over what cheesy family recipe I could post. (I know, cue joke about all family recipes being cheesy.) She was adamant that I write about her standby grits recipe that's been in the family for years. She knew I'd hesitate, though, since the key ingredient is a cheese that I'd never typically plug. But it kind of makes the dish, so onward we go.
Last week, I wrote about some of my recent Canadian travels and cheese eating. Among the highlights was a piece of Sainte-Maure de Touraine, that long, ash-rinded goat cheese from the Loire Valley. It's only possible to find pasteurized versions in the States, because it's not aged over the 60 days required by law for a cheese made with raw milk.
So I snatched up a log when I saw it at the market, complete with "Au Lait Cru" on the label. But when I sliced into it, I was dismayed and surprised.
Last weekend, I visited friends in Toronto. Lucky for me, they live just next door to St. Lawrence Market, hailed by National Geographic as the number one food market in the world. So imagine my surprise when I found it left a lot to be desired when it came to cheese.
It's right around this time of year when I start making one of my favorite salads with my farmers market's harvest of young zucchini and squash. But there's one vital ingredient that really makes it sing. The secret to eating zucchini raw: mix it with cheese.
Lucky me. Just yesterday, I happened to bump into a friend with a supremely ripe wheel of Harbison, Jasper Hill Farm's newest cheese offering. I tasted the cheese for the first time about five months ago and have been meaning to write about it ever since, but there was something about this wheel in particular that made me realize that I couldn't wait one minute longer.
After wracking my brain and coming up a bit blank, I realized I should interpret this week's grilling theme much more literally. When speaking of cheese in terms of grilling, it only seems obvious to mention grilled cheese. But what about grilled grilled cheese? Today, which cheeses to use, what tricks will ensure a seriously successful sandwich, and why you should make the switch from griddle to grill.