Monthly Archives: November 2009

Links du Fromage


Sassy Radish's Homemade Ricotta

I’m super excited for this week’s “Links du Fromage” because they promise more and more links to come. The important conversations that journalists and bloggers are having about the trails and tribulations of small-production dairies and the copious amount of new cheese books being published suggests that more cheese love, knowledge, and awareness will be shared in the future. Furthermore, we’re seeing highly visible media figures, like Martha Stewart, focus on United States cheesemakers who, like Jasper Hill and Thistle Milk Farm, are once again bringing the United States dairy industry into the limelight. We’re going to have a cheese-fabulous future, I can taste it!

Feel free to share your own insights and links in the comment section, don’t miss the recipes below, and be sure to check back here in the upcoming weeks for some exciting things, such as a book giveway and interview one of the writers in the books mentioned below (so excited!). More cheese please.


An abundance of cheese stories, memoirs and focuses are hitting the bookstores and they’re going to charm your socks off, says Publisher Weekly. And I’m going to host a book giveway for one of them!

Dairyman Dino Giacomazzi explains why direct government dairy subsidies that take cheese from Food Banks and leaves farmers with money is a load of ____*#.

Dairy prices climbing and farmers finally feeling things looking up-discussions at Capital Press Ag Website

Not to be missed, a discussion of French cheese named after body parts at Chezloulou.

Signed by the Prez himself, an Obama Cheesehead hat is coming to Ebay, at CheeseUnderground.


Savory Olive Gruyere cake at Chezloulou.

Homemade ricotta cheese at SassyRadish.

Homemade marscapone at Forging Fromage.

Gouda Ice Cream: What Not to Do

Gouda ice cream

Gouda ice cream

Inspired months ago by titillating 140-character cheese and dessert discussions on twitter, Pastry Chef Plinio Sandalio of Houston’s Textile restaurant and I decided to collaborate on a gouda ice cream post. That is, he volunteered to supply a recipe and I would make it to the best of my dessert abilities.

Because cheese ice cream recipes on the net had been whispering sweet nothings to me for months, when I heard that I could have one of Plinio’s creations in my own  little, cheese-ripened hands, I said yes. Instantly.

Without further ado, here is a definitive list about what not to do when an outstanding pastry chef gifts you with the keys to a gouda ice cream palace, then, Plino’s five-star recipe.

goudaicecream1 copy

Gouda ice cream base

Gouda Ice Cream: What  Not to Do

1. Don’t worry about that the last time you used your ice cream maker, you weren’t sure if it was working properly. It was your grandmother’s. Of course it works.

Noord Hollander aged gouda

Noord Hollander aged gouda

2. Forget that the pastry chef told you he used a 3 yr old gouda and buy a 4 yr old cow’s milk gouda instead. Oops. A little intense. And don’t think about using a goat’s milk gouda, which would have lent a tangy, lively character to the sweet ice cream. Who needs a pesky flavor layer?

3. Depend upon your old strainer to extract the salty, caramelly gouda chunks from the custard base. Screw using a restaurant-quality chinois, cheese cloth, or butter muslin fabric. Everyone loves a chunky cheese ice cream. Yes?

4. Ignore the directions on the ice cream maker to freeze the results for at least an hour before consuming. It’s much more fun when the dessert melts before it arrives to your mouth. You gotta catch it dripping off the spoon that way, works off all that cream!

Gouda Ice Cream

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups milk

2 cups heavy cream

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1/2 tsp salt

pinch xanthan gum

12 oz aged gouda

Whisk all together in a large sauce pan and heat slowly over low heat. Do not boil. Continue cooking on low until the custard base is thick enough to lightly coat a wooden spoon. Remove from heat.

Blend mixture in a food processor or blender until very smooth. Strain through a fine chinois, or with a sieve lined with butter muslin to remove all chunks.

Chill completley.

Freeze according to ice cream maker’s instructions.


* I didn’t have time to play around with the recipe much, but because the flavor of aged gouda is so strong, all 12 oz isn’t really needed. You might be able to get by with only 6 or eight ounces. Let me know!

* Please leave updates on this post if you try this or variations of the recipe. I’d love to know how things went!


Kirstin and Andrea's Test Services

Kreativ Bloggers: Seven Things


One of my favorite French and cheese-focused bloggers, Chez Loulou, was given a Kreativ Blogger award, and she passed it on to me! In so doing, she named me as one of the seven bloggers that should answer the Kreativ Blogger Award question. My assignment: name seven things that others may not know about me, and then name seven bloggers who I would like to do the same. Thank you Chez LouLou!

Seven Things

– All the food in my earthquake kit has expired.

– First cheesemaker I visited: Rouge et Noir, Sonoma.

– Despite Legally Blonde II and Sweet Home Alabama, I will always respect Reese Witherspoon because of the movie Freeway.

– I do not have a favorite cheese.

– I researched U.S. funerary rites while at UC Berkeley and did my ethnography in funeral homes and crematoriums.

– I worked with Redman’s father while completing my culinary externship in New York. He did not teach me everything I know.

– I planted my own garden for the first time this year.

I pass on the Kreative Blogger Award to some of my favorite bloggers:

Stephanie at Wasabimon.

Alexandra at Alexandra Cooks.

Olga at SassyRadish.

Zen at Zen Can Cook.

Jessika at Olde Sow Farm and Creamery

Jeanne at Cheese Underground.

Kate at Straight Outta Chocolate.

Halloumi: Cyprus Cheese “Crunchy Like a Bug”

Mikey Loves Halloumi

Mikey Loves Halloumi

Because it is so rare that a 3 1/2 year-old professes a love for cheese that’s not pre-sliced and wrapped in plastic, or shaped like a stick and stringy, when Little Mikey wanted to share his halloumi adoration with “It’s Not You, It’s Brie,” I said I’d happily create a space for his musings.

Mikey’s favorite cheese, halloumi, is a firm and fresh mixed-milk cheese (bless these holy creations) made from sheep and goat’s milk in the beautiful island of Cyprus. Vibrant, lightly salty, tangy, and nutty, its versatile and approachable flavor makes it a happy pairing for many dishes.

Baked Halloumi

Baked Halloumi

Although this cheese is firm enough to be sliced and eaten by the hand, haloumi’s texture makes it most popular served grilled, seared, or baked. Unlike nearly any other cheese on the market, it doesn’t spread, melt or become stringy with heated. If Mikey’s adoration is telling, this also makes halloumi one of the best party tricks around. Forget the clown. Get the cheese.

Without further ado, Mikey’s thoughts on halloumi (an interview conducted by his parents):

On why he favors the cheese:

“Its good. I love it for breakfast. I like how it squishes in my mouth. It looks like a black bug. It’s crunchy. it reminds me of pot-stickers. I like to eat it with hot stuff, like chicken, omelette, or [here he pauses] hot chocolate! mmmmmmm…..”

On what it smells like:

(Condescendingly) “Cheese.”

Last thoughts on his beloved:

“I don’t think other children will like halloumi. I don’t know why I like it.”

Here are some other of my favorite halloumi ideas and recipes on the web:

Grilled Halloumi with Sauteed Green Beans Recipe, 101 Cookbooks

Baked Halloumi with Honey & Thyme Recipe, A Wee Bit of Cooking

A Company that Sells Handmade Halloumi (I’ve tried it, it’s awesome)

Making Halloumi at Home with Alessandra Zecchini

What cheese does your child like to eat?