Nora Singley's Recent Articles
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Cheese Review: Trader Joe’s Cinnamon Cheese
I don’t need much convincing to try a new cheese. When someone suggests something I’ve never heard of I generally add it to my “to try” list. But more often than not, I’m plagued by the same kind of forgetfulness that accompanies trips to the video store, when you can’t seem to remember the dozens of must-see titles that you swore you wouldn’t forget.
May 2, 2019
How Much Milk Makes One Pound of Cheese?
You may be surprised. And the answer might even help justify your spending a lot on really nice cheese; more raw material goes into making cheese than you think. Here’s betting that you’ll start appreciating each morsel just a little bit more. Get the answer, plus other cow, sheep, and goat milk musings, after the jump. 1 pound of cheese requires 10 pounds (or about 5 quarts) of cow or goat milk and about 6 pounds of sheep milk.
May 2, 2019
The Best Shape? Wagon Wheel Mac n’ Cheese
The other night, I was laid up with a bad kitchen injury and a dear friend offered to make me dinner. Little did I know that she’d inspire not only a cheese column but also the future of my mac n’ cheese making.My friend’s mac n’ cheese is actually her signature dish, so her skills are already pretty solid. A key element, of course, is high-quality cheese, of which she has a range of trusted picks.
May 2, 2019
A Worthy Replacement for Parm: Sartori SarVecchio
When it comes to cooking, it’s not unusual for Parmigiano Reggiano to factor disproportionately into your arsenal of recipes. Especially now, when everything seems to be gratin-ed, casserole-ed, or pudding-ed, anything that can act as a sub is more than welcome, especially if it comes with not only a lower price tag, but also an equally amazing taste.
May 2, 2019
For the Haters, Fourme D’Ambert: A Blue to Love
After last week’s post on cheeses that make you cringe, it was clear from some comments that one style of cheese has particular ability to inspire the heeby jeebies: blue cheese.And so, I thought a recommendation was necessary for a starter blue of sorts, one that’s very available and pretty reliable, if you can find it from a good producer. If you’re willing to take on the challenge to leave your old taste buds in the dust, the rewards have huge potential.
May 2, 2019
Overlooked, but Not Forgotten: In Praise of Fontina
I often look through my cheese drawer for cheese column inspiration. If it’s full, I’ve got a lot to draw on. But it’s often the same couple of cheeses that I’ve already written about, my absolute favorites or my personal staples.Last night, I scrounged around, and quickly overlooked a certain cheese that falls into both of those categories, convinced that I’d written about it before.
May 2, 2019
Stand Corrected: Gorgonzola, So Good!
For all of my talk — and sometimes preaching — about blue cheese, there’s one specific kind that I tend not to mention. I never buy or recommend this particular cheese, and I’ve thought for years that fact supported my bias against it.Needless to say, it never ceases to amaze me just how frequently a cheese epiphany crosses my path.The other day, a coworker bought a wedge of gorgonzola for a recipe she was testing.
May 2, 2019
A Guilty Pleasure (And Just In Time): Pepper Jack Cheese
I can’t be the only one.Every day, the crew at my (other) job is provided with a mid-afternoon snack. A couple of times a week, it’s a cheese platter: always the same, pretty unexciting collection of chunked and cubed cheddar, brie, dill havarti, and a peculiar marbled orange and white cheese. And in one corner, atop a leaf or two of curly kale garnish, is the Pepper Jack. Even presented in this totally unclassy way, I can never seem to resist it.
May 2, 2019
The Closest Cheese to Fudge: Gjetost
Say it: “Yay-toast.” Have you tried this cheese?It’s Norwegian, and although the name translates directly to “goat cheese,” chances are that this cheese tastes just about as far from any you’ve had before. Gjetost is as sweet as caramel, with the texture of a dense, buttery fudge. Until this week, I’d really only thought to use Gjetost as part of a dessert course.
May 2, 2019
The Uncanny Tastiness of Burrata: It’s That Good
Burrata means “buttered” in Italian. It’s that rich. What it really is, though, is fresh cheese at its best. At first glance, burrata resembles a ball of mozzarella. But upon further scrutiny, it’s clear that this round of cheese is softer, and indeed, when cut, has an interior that spills out, revealing soft, stringy curd and fresh cream. If you’re a lover of mozzarella, ricotta, or really anything that’s straight-up creamy, this cheese is so what you want.
May 2, 2019
The Best Grilled Cheese Sandwich: Courtesy of My Dad
Maybe I should have waited until Father’s Day to feature my dad and his particulars when it comes to a cheese-related topic, but considering our lunch theme this week, I thought this may be appropriate nonetheless.My dad doesn’t cook. At all. Except for one thing, which happens to be particularly satisfying at lunchtime: grilled cheese sandwiches.I follow this simple process, as written by my dad, which I happened to dig up recently during a big cleanup of my food files.
May 2, 2019
How To Eat Cheese for Dessert: A Trio for Your Cheese Plate
Might you be close-minded to the thought of cheese for dessert? People tend to be pretty split on the matter: either they’re on board, or they’re not. For us believers, there’s nothing better than ending a meal with a hunk of cheese and a sweet accompaniment. All that could improve the scenario would be a pour of some delicious dessert wine or sherry. If you’re a skeptic, though, you may need some more convincing.
May 2, 2019
Try This: Sheep and Goat Milk Goudas
First things first: Real goudas — that is, cheeses that are made in Holland, aged for years, and that taste sweet, nutty, and complex — are worth seeking out. They’re different than those red-wax, semi-soft pucks, often of the smoked variety. I’ve had the fortune of witnessing many people taste real gouda for the first time. These are very grateful people.
May 2, 2019
What Not To Pair: Cheese Pairings to Avoid
We talk a lot about what makes a great pairing when it comes to cheese, wine, and food. And since cheese is so rarely— really, too rarely, in our opinion— enjoyed just entirely on its own, it’s especially important to know what foods will heighten your experience of the cheeses you serve. Equally vital is knowing what not to do. (Oranges and carrots, for example, are just a preview of two things that just won’t make your cheese sing.
May 2, 2019
Change It Up: 10 New Ideas for Cheese Platters
How to serve cheese and what to serve with it is one of those never-ending cheese quandaries. Even if you’ve got your favorite standbys figured out — Quince paste! Honey! Marcona almonds! — you’re bound to become a little bored. And forget about serving the same cheese setup to the same guests. Time to switch it up. Here, 10 new ideas that will surely give your regular cheese accompaniments a run for their honey.
May 2, 2019
A Happy Accident: Cheese and the Microwave
Eating cheese at room temperature is one of those basic tenets of so-called “correct” cheese consumption. So last week, when faced with a puck of freezing cold cheese, and without the patience to wait an hour or two for it to come to room temperature, I had a brainstorm: Put the cheese in the microwave, on the defrost setting. Perhaps I needed to execute more restraint for the amount of time I set, because come to room temperature, it didn’t. But what resulted was far superior.
May 2, 2019
How the Pros Taste: The Cheese Trier
How’s a cheesemaker to know when a cheese is done aging, without breaking into the entire wheel? To ripen properly — never mind evenly — cheeses need to remain whole, so it’s pretty wasteful to remove an entire test slice for the sole purpose of tasting how it’s coming along.But cheesemaking isn’t guesswork, and sometimes it’s necessary to figure out what’s going on beneath the rind. Luckily, there’s a tool that does just this.
May 2, 2019
Seek It Out: Grana Padano
I’ve been proven wrong again. By myself.For some reason, I’ve always — for years — overlooked Grana Padano. I regarded it as a pedestrian, somewhat boring cheese. And maybe it’s because I likened it to a lesser version of Parmigiano Reggiano, which is a cheese that I’ve always felt gets too much attention, anyway.I’ve been just about as wrong as a cheesemonger can be.
May 2, 2019
Make This Now: Savory Cheese Pie Crust
I feel like I say this a lot, especially when it comes to cheese: I’ve been meaning to talk about something for a long time. This time, it’s about a certain cheesy pie crust, which can instantly enhance any savory hand pie, turnover, meat pie, galette, or rustic vegetable tart. I’ve even been tempted to use it in a sweet application. It’s just that good.
May 2, 2019
All You Ever Wanted to Know About Provolone
Yesterday, I looked in the dairy section of my workplace’s walk-in refrigerator, as I often do, for inspiration for this column. There sat a sad wedge of provolone, and I pulled it out, along with a small knife. Little by little, it began to disappear. (I use the passive voice here in order not to incriminate myself and my weakness for cheese — be it even the pathetic-looking leftovers.
May 2, 2019
Quick and Impressive: Gruyere and Hazelnut Crackers
When everything now seems to be made from scratch, or else, why oh why do people never make crackers? These are easy! Promise! And they’re surprisingly, gloriously un-cracker-like. They look pretty cute on a cheese board, too, all cheesy-colored and toasty-tasting.And while I’m not the biggest fan of serving crackers with cheese, somehow that all changes when the crackers are homemade. (And seriously addictive.
May 2, 2019
A Cheese-Worthy Recipe: Date and Cherry Nut Bread
My very, very favorite kind of bread to pair with cheese is one that’s studded with dried fruit and nuts. There’s something about the sweet-savory combination of elements in a loaf of this variety that’s versatile enough to match any type of cheese. And match it well, to boot.But so often, a good fruit and nut bread is either hard to find, or just not that great.So I figured it was about time to start making my own.
May 2, 2019
Homemade Gift Recipe: Red Onion & Golden Raisin Jam
I’ve been off of membrillo and honey for awhile now. They’re great for cheese because they’re downright tasty, but it’s been awhile since I’ve actually served them. I’m not a big dresser-upper of my cheese anyway, and often think that anything more than an excellent bread is extraneous. But if the condiment is a true cheese enhancer, I can be easily convinced otherwise.Consider me the ideal candidate to receive a gift of a jam like this.
May 2, 2019
3 Tips for Making the Cheesiest, Most Over-the-Top Mac ‘n’ Cheese of Your Life
Even though we’ve covered the topic of macaroni and cheese many, many times, the subject is somehow never overdone. (It’s just that tasty.)Two evenings ago, I came across the best I’ve had in recent memory, and it is numbered now among some of the most standout versions I’ve ever tasted. This particular incarnation had three unique elements that could make a difference in the way that you make your mac n’ cheese.
May 2, 2019
New On the Scene: Upland Cheese Company’s Rush Creek Reserve
Uplands Cheese Company, located in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, has been making one single cheese for just over ten years: the highly-celebrated Pleasant Ridge Reserve. It’s unequivocally delicious, and is the only cheese to have won “Best in Show” three times at the American Cheese Society’s annual competition. Both on paper and in your mouth, it’s near-perfect.But now, Uplands has something new.
May 2, 2019
Nacho Tips & Recipe: The Ultimate Nacho Cheese Sauce
A couple of years ago I developed a recipe for a nacho cheese sauce that I now use as a template for many an extrapolation on a theme, subbing in different spices and add-ins for variation. It is so, so good. But first, you have to understand that great nachos begin with an even better cheese sauce. This one starts with a bechamel and combines two cheeses, plus spices, fresh tomatoes, and beer.
May 2, 2019
Soup Base Recipe: Parmesan Stock
You probably know that Parmesan rinds give excellent flavor to soups. Take this concept one step further by boosting your chicken or vegetable stocks with the flavor of Parm, too. With the addition of rinds, you’ll get an incredible base for soups and stews that’s entirely unique from any standard stock. I’ve talked before about making a Parm broth; what follows is a recipe for something even more tasty.
May 2, 2019
An Old Unknown: Pata Cabra
This one’s an oldie but a goodie. It’s a cheese that’s been around for nearly 20 years, but for no good reason, remains relatively unknown. It’s delicious, and unique, too. It looks just about as unlike as any other cheese around, and its flavor—sharp, nearly sour, yet creamy—makes a statement, as well.Maybe one day it won’t need an introduction, but until then, allow me to humbly present Pata Cabra.
May 2, 2019
All the Colors of the Rainbow: Cheese Colors Explained
We all know that cheeses can come in various shades of colors. It’s actually kind of interesting to understand where these hues come from.And what you might not realize is that knowing a bit about a cheese’s color can inform your palate, as well. Herein, a cheat sheet divulging the why’s behind those oranges, whites, blues, and yellows.I remember growing up with a preference for white cheddar.
May 2, 2019
13 Cheeses Everyone Should Know
I was recently inspired by a Serious Eats roundup of the 13 cheeses they thought everyone should know. I took a quick glance at their list and then abruptly turned away. How many overlaps would there be if I compiled my own collection of must-have cheeses, I wondered? Surprisingly, only FOUR. Thanks to my shamefully pathetic memory, I quickly forgot all of what I saw on the Serious Eats list and promptly started my own. It took all of two minutes to compile.
May 2, 2019
Camembert Lover? Try This Goat Version: Redwood Hill Farm’s Camellia
I remember going to the farmer’s market in San Francisco long before it relocated to the Ferry Building, when it was still in a parking lot by the Embarcadero. Any San Francisco native will brag about this with an “I knew it when…” kind of nostalgia and pride.
May 2, 2019
Cheese & The Artichoke: Cheese Soufflé-Stuffed Artichokes from Martha Stewart
Both literally and figuratively, this cheese soufflé is over-the-top. Wouldn’t you prefer an edible vessel, too?Lucky me. For my full-time job, I was given the task to develop this recipe, the concept for which had kind of just come to Martha one day.I’d never heard of such a thing, and doing a quick Google search I saw nothing quite like it. Leave it to Martha to come up with something so cool and totally original.
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Fava Beans and Peas with Burrata
I think I’ve found my new go-to appetizer for the next couple of months. And based on the reaction it provoked on its debut last weekend, I don’t fear that it’ll get played out. This combination of creamy burrata, crisp toasts, and a mountain of fresh peas and fava beans is seriously tasty, and it seriously screams spring. The trick here is to get excellent burrata.
May 2, 2019
Black and Blue: My New Favorite Way to Serve Blue Cheese
The combination seems almost obvious now, but even after all these years working with cheese, I only came upon this last week. I’ve already started proselytizing about the merits of this duo, making a convert of a close friend. She served it to raving guests at her own dinner party over the weekend.When it comes to this quick and elegant way to serve blue cheese, it’s pretty easy to become a believer.Blue cheese and blackberries. It’s that simple.
May 2, 2019
5 Tips for Pairing Red Wine and Cheese
There’s a pretty great rule of thumb when it comes to pairing wine with cheese: stick with white wine. It’s safer because whites have significantly lower levels of tannin, and they’re often lighter in body, which complements rather than overwhelms the flavors in cheese.But what if you prefer red wine? Luckily, rules about pairing wine and cheese are meant to be broken. Following are a few tips for choosing the best red for your wedge.This week, I called in for backup.
May 2, 2019
New York’s Best Ricotta: Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria
Every so often, great food memories live unrealistically in your mind: sometimes the recollection of a meal can be more vibrant than the experience actually was in reality. I feared this would be the case with the ricotta at Manhattan’s Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria, as there was no way that a ricotta redux could meet my inflated expectations after my first visit.The fact that this ricotta stars in this week’s column makes it pretty clear how this story ends.
May 2, 2019
A Nifty, Crispy Cheese Garnish: Frico
Frico. Think of it as a cross between a crouton and a cracker. In 100% cheese form. What could be bad about that?(Absolutely nothing.)Frico is an Italian thing. It’s basically a crispy wafer of cheese, or a cheese crisp. Leave it to those genius Italians to come up with something that makes everything taste better, with such little effort.But what you don’t typically see is frico as a garnish, as seen here, for mac n’ cheese.
May 2, 2019
Try This: Roast Grapes for Cheese Platters
Perhaps it’s because cheese is so often side-by-side with wine, but grapes always seem to be the most reliable fruit fare to throw on a cheese platter. Trouble is, a grape bunch isn’t the most inspired of additions to a spread of cheese. Update your grape mojo with this elegant and seriously tasty recipe for roasted grapes. It’ll take you less than 40 minutes start to finish, and the result is as equally satisfying as an accompaniment to cheese as on its own.
May 2, 2019
Find This Cheese Now: Jasper Hill Farm’s Harbison
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.
May 2, 2019
No-Cook Summer Recipe: Crostini with Zucchini Squash and Feta
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.
May 2, 2019
A Small Cheese Mystery Solved: Saint-Maure Goat Cheese
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.
May 2, 2019
Classic Family Recipe: Creamy Cheesy Grits with Green Chiles
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.
May 2, 2019
Summer Recipe: Three Cheese-Stuffed Squash Blossoms
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’ve been doing a lot of entertaining this summer. But nothing’s been met with more ooh’s than these ahh-inducing stuffed blossoms. They’re really that good. There’s a lot about this recipe that’s delicious.
May 2, 2019
The Best Things I Learned About Cheese in Europe: 5 European Cheese Lessons
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.1. Eat cheese plain. Eating cheese without bread is the best way to appreciate cheese.
May 2, 2019
Petaluma, California’s Excellent New Dairy: Weirauch Creamery
A few days ago, my mother took me by the wrist and led me towards the Weirauch Farm & Creamery stand at the Healdsburg, California, farmers’ market. All of their offerings are delicious, but one in particular blew me away: Carabiner.Weirauch (pronounced “why-rok” or “vhy-rowk”, meaning sacred-smoke or incense in German) Creamery has only been making cheese for a year. It’s impressive to be turning out such delicious wheels as a one-year-old.
May 2, 2019
Got Quince? Make Quince Paste! (Membrillo)
My neighbor’s tree is brimming with quince. Membrillo, a Spanish quince paste, is one of my go-to mates for cheese. And so yesterday, I decided to make some. I spotted this bountiful sight of a quince-laden tree outside my sister’s window last week. Every day since, the vision has been taunting me with the prospect of homemade membrillo. With just a few pulls on the apple picker, I scored a hefty bounty and got to work. Still wasn’t that much work, though!
May 2, 2019
Turned Off to Blue Cheese? Cambozola’s Your Ticket
Blue cheese must be my favorite food group about which to proselytize. And I mean food group in full seriousness. Anyone who either loves or hates the stuff would consider it a class unto itself, with such particular ability to polarize cheese eaters.To me, it’s the most satisfying thing to convert a non-believer. I’ve made suggestions before about blues to try if it’s just not your thing, but never before have I felt as confident in a gateway blue as this one.
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower & Cabbage Pasta with Fried Capers and Cheddar
The other night, contemplating how best to discuss cheese within the confines of our pasta-themed week at The Kitchn, I envisioned a cheddar-laden dish. Forget the parm or the pecorino, I thought. How would cheddar be in pasta? The answer, I can assure you, is worthy of a writeup. As is the recipe, which makes cheddar sing. Pasta and parm go together so seamlessly, it seems silly to even question using any other cheese as a finisher.
May 2, 2019