Monthly Archives: May 2012

Goat’s Milk Morbier: Le Jeune Autize

Le jeune Autize

Le Jeune Autize

I like Morbier. It’s pretty. It has a line of ash through the center. It has an orange rind. And it’s funky.

But goat’s milk morbier? That’s a whole another story.

The original morbier was made in the Franche-Comté region of France from cow’s milk. Story has it that cheesemakers created it because they had leftover curds from making Comté. Comté is a huge cheese. When cheesemakers had leftover curds from making full Comté batches, but not quite enough to make a large wheel, they have to figure out something to do with all that delicious nutrient-packed lushness. What to do with the curds? Put some ash on it.

At the end of the day, cheesemakers started to put those curds into small cheese wheel molds. Then they’d put ash over the curds to form a barrier so a rind couldn’t form overnight, with plans of adding the next day’s leftover curds on top of the ash (little fun fact- ash also helps the center of a cheese ripen by altering its pH level). The next morning they’d repeat the curding. After the next batch of Comté goodness was done, they’d put the leftover curds on top of the ash. And voila, a new cheese is formed! Making cheese this way now is very unusual- most morbier is made in large make rooms or factories from milk that is entirely intended to go into morbier.

The taste of the original? Semi-firm, silky, sweet, pretty darn funky, meaty.

The taste of goat’s milk morbier? Semi-firm, silky, sweet, a tad funky, and lively. A little lemony.

A slice of the Loire beauty.

A slice of the Loire beauty.

So…. you’ve heard that the French are a tad traditional, right?

Well, off in the Pays de la Loire on the Atlantic coast of France a cheesemaker decided to play around. He created a goat’s milk cheese that looked almost exactly like Morbier, except whiter (because goats’ milk chees-i-fies in a whiter color than cow’s milk- I blame the lower butterfat). Then, he took it to Affineur Rodolphe le Meunier (the cheese MOF in the Loire Valley) to age. His name for it? Goat’s milk morbier.

But knowing that the French are die hard food traidtionalists, Meunier advised him not to name it goat’s milk morbier, “No one would buy it!” So they named it after the tiny river nearby- Le Jeune Autize. So you didn’t hear it’s goat’s milk morbier here.

Check this beauty out if you see it new you. A very delicous twist on a famed classic. And while you’re at it, try the original. It’s it’s too funky for you (give it time, give it time), no fear, it’ll make one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches you’ll have in your life.

I loooove it with apricots. Because, you know, it’s spring.

Cheese & Wine Classes for June: Spring Fever

Cheese school employees get snacks too.

Cheese school employees get snacks too.

Next week I’ll kick off a cheese series that will feature three of my favorite finds I’ve been snacking on lately. But, before that, I want to make sure you know about some upcoming classes I’m teaching in June. Because I’d love to see you there!

GlassesCheeseSchool (1 of 1)

In honor of the cheesiness that has already come and the deliciousness that is yet to happen, I’m including some pics of a recent cheese class I  taught at the Cheese School of San Francisco. The topic – Spring Sparklers. Just some of our favorite pairings from the Spring Sparklers class: Harley Farms Monet with Sommariva Prosecco, Vermont Butter & Cheese Bonne Bouche and NV Bailly-Lapierre Cremant de Bourgogne, Meadow Creek’s Grayson and German Gilabert Brut Rosat

A favorite rosé Cava from Catalonia, Spain - great pairing with aged cheeses.

A favorite rosé Cava from Catalonia, Spain - great pairing with aged cheeses.

Cheese... and kombucha.

Barinaga Ranch Baserri, Bleating Heart's Fat Bottom Girl- Cali sheep's milk (and kombucha stopping by to say hello).

Hope to see you soon!

UPCOMING CLASSES:

Shepherds, Transhumance and Volcanoes: Mountain Cheeses & Wines, 18 Reasons, San Francisco, June 5th

Despite treacherous climbs and threats of volcanic eruption, people have been making cheese and wine on some of the most mountainous and volcanic regions around the world for centuries. And not just because the views are picturesque.

Cheese and wine educator Kirstin Jackson, who’s publishing a book on cheese called “It’s Not You, It’s Brie: Unwrapping America’s Unique Culture of Cheese” this November, will reveal who, why, and how people craft some of the finest cheeses and wines around on uneven or even dangerous ground.

The cheeses will be vibrant, the wines will be weird, and the class will be delicious.

Armenian preserved walnuts. Loves sheep milk cheeses.

Armenian preserved walnuts. Loves sheep milk cheeses.

Summer Cheese & Wine, Cheese School of San Francisco , June 20th

In summer, foodie daydreams linger on sunshine, fabulous cheese, and thirst-quenching wines. ‘It’s Not You, It’s Brie,’ blogger and oenophile Kirstin Jackson will lead you in a fantasy tasting of summer’s best. Think fresh and just ripe cheeses and light, fun wines. You’ll find some pairings to inspire your summer gatherings.

One of the two awesome owners of the Cheese School of SF, the lovely Kiri Fisher.

One of the two awesome owners of the Cheese School of SF, the lovely Kiri Fisher.

Fresh fruit for the plates.

Fresh fruit for the plates.

Also, am very happy to announce that I’ll be co-teaching a beer & cheese pairing class with the AMAZING Nicole Erny soon. Check her out- the only female master ciccrone in the country, and 1 of 4 in the world. By the way, she’s not even 30. Keep posted. I’ll announce the class here. Summer and fall classes coming soon…..

New York: Feeling the Dairy Love

Milk & Glitter: Prospect Park Market Day

Milk & Glitter: Prospect Park with a 5 & 9 year old.

Well folks, I’m fresh back from a visit to New York. And once again after a visit to one of my favorite cities in the world, I’m surprised that I feel refreshed. I always thought beach vacations, long afternoons spent reading at French cafes, and camping were the things that were supposed to refresh, and that New York, with its crazy hours, constant foot traffic, and millions of things to do all at once, would always exhaust. Yet I feel revived. Of course it may have to do with the fact that I was visiting rather than actually living in the city.

Fetas from around the world at Brighton Bazaar Eastern European market, Coney Island

Fetas from around the world at Brighton Bazaar Eastern European market, Coney Island

Anyhow, I had a hell of a time. Seeing my wonderful friends, experiencing the cheese culture and industry, walking around admiring the blossoms around Central Park (this was the first time I was in New York at spring- oh la la!), and eating and drinking at some of my favorite places replenished my soul as stealthily as it diminished my wallet. It was all worth it. I miss it already.

Brooklyn Dogwood

Brooklyn Dogwood

Here’s a little photo diary of my time in Manhattan and Brooklyn. First time using my IPhone camera on a trip!

Our "sad puppy" face.

Our "sad puppy" face.

Hanging out with Hannah, 5, and Claire, 9. My favorite girls in Brooklyn (Claire’s glittery shoes above).

I was super happy to go to the Edible Manhattan Good Dairy event while visiting (thanks, Lucy’s Whey!). The event was delicious, sold out, and in true Manhattan fashion, had door men.

The hot ticket.

The hot ticket- Good Dairy.

The fabulous Lucy's Whey girls at Good Dairy, Grace and Amy

The fabulous Lucy's Whey girls at Good Dairy, Grace and Amy

Momofuku Cereal Milk, Good Dairy

Momofuku Cereal Milk, Good Dairy

Andy Marcelli of Marcelli Family Abruzzo Cheese & Eataly

Andy Marcelli of Marcelli Family Abruzzo Cheese & Eataly

Milk Punch with local bourbon, Good Dairy

Milk Punch with local whiskey, Good Dairy

Across the Pond with cornichon, Lucy's Whey, Good Dairy

Across the Pond with cornichon, Lucy's Whey, Good Dairy

The New York Diary Princess with the Murray's folk, Good Dairy

The New York Diary Princess with the Murray's folk, Good Dairy

I was also in town for a cheesemonger meet-up. I got to see all the NYC dairy folk I know, like the lovely Murray’s Chef Fromager Tia Keenan, more of Grace and Amy, more of Andy, and … many, many others. We gathered in the Beecher’s basement and feasted on fried cheese curds and cheeses that are hard-to-come-by on the west coast.

Beecher's Selections: Ascutney Mountain, Cato Corner Brigit's, Jasper Hill Moses Sleeper

Beecher's Selections: Ascutney Mountain, Cato Corner Brigit's, Jasper Hill Moses Sleeper

Then I hit up some other events that weren’t related to cheese, like a normal person (it wasn’t difficult, there was always gelato, great coffee with cream, or something deliciously distracting like bone marrow nearby).

CindySherman (1 of 1)

At the Cindy Sherman show, SO not being used as a decoy so my friend could take a pic of Chuck Close behind me.

Prune- I've been wanting to go to this place since my NYC culinary externship in 1999.

Prune- I've been wanting to go to this place since my NYC culinary externship in 1999. The bone marrow, not the salad, was mine.

St John the Divine (1 of 1)

St John the Divine visit

Ricotta almond gelato at Eataly

Ricotta almond gelato at Eataly
Meeting my awesome editor for the first time at Café Henri in the west village

Meeting my awesome editor for the first time at Café Henri in the west village

Hannah's Boots (1 of 1)

Hannah (age 5) has better boots than I do. This is her second pair.

Maybe I’ll come up with a list of dairy things to do while in the city one of these days. In the meantime, have fun creating your own!

What do you like to do while in New York?

Ham & Dijion Grilled Cheese with Compound Butter and….. Apricot Browned Butter Granola

It’s recipe time again. I am one of eight bloggers to have been asked (hired) to create recipes involving my second favorite dairy product ever after cheese- butter. We all know that cheese is #1 on this blog, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that the main reason I include bread in my life is to serve as a vehicle for my butter. I am also a butter freak.
Anyhow, I’ll be creating 2-4 new recipes for the Go Bold with Butter blog every month, and I’ll share them here. Check out the rest of the blogger recipes too- there are some awesome ones. I’ll post the ones that include cheese on this blog and then link to others that don’t (so there won’t be too much non-cheese cross pollination). We’ll get you your cheese recipe fix again. I’m actually pretty excited about this- I love creating recipes, and this gives me the perfect opportunity to do more of it.
Grilled.......

Ham & dijion grilled cheese with tarragon compound butter

It’s recipe time again. As I divulged in my last recipe post, I am one of eight bloggers to have been hired through a partnership between Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board and America’s Dairy Farmers to create recipes involving my second favorite dairy product ever after cheese- butter. We all know that cheese is #1 on this blog, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that the main reason I include bread in my life is to serve as a vehicle for my butter. I am a butter freak.
Anyhow, I’m creating 2-4 new recipes for the Go Bold with Butter blog every month, and I’ll share them here too. Check out the rest of the blogger recipes- there are some awesome ones. I’ll post the ones that I’ve created  that include cheese on this blog and then link to others that don’t (so there won’t be too much non-cheese cross pollination, in case there are tender dairy hearts reading).
Here goes:
Ham & Dijion Grilled Cheese with Compound Butter
I’d never turn down a grilled cheese sandwich for lack of innovation. In its most fulfilling, basic, loving incarnation, bells and whistles would just get in the way. Sometimes all you want is a heck of a lot of melted cheese between two incredibly buttery pieces of toasted bread.
Other times, you want a little extra oomph with your cheese. When I want to move beyond my childhood favorite’s most basic delicious form, I involve ham, Dijon mustard and herb butter.
Pick a good ham- maybe applewood smoked, maybe just a basic cure, but choose one with few preservatives. The Dijon can be whole-grain or smooth, whatever your tastes dictates, and the herbs should always be fresh. If you can’t find tarragon, substitute chervil or sage. Keep any leftover compound butter for future cooking- adding a dab of it to finished sauces or pastas is a simple way to enhance a dish.
Recipe
Grilled Cheese with Herbed Butter, Dijon and Ham
Serves 4
Herbed butter
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
½ teaspoon ground pepper
Grilled Cheese
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
8 pieces Italian or French batard bread, sliced ½ inch thick
8 ounces grated Gruyere-style cheese
8 ounces thinly sliced ham
2 teaspoons room temperature butter
salt to taste
Mix the butter, herbs and pepper together in a small bowl until blended well. Set aside.
Butter one side of four pieces of bread lightly with the herb butter. Spread a teaspoon of Dijon over one side of the remaining slices of unbuttered bread. Each sandwich will get one buttered slice and one Dijon slice. Portion out the cheese, 2 ounces per sandwich. Put 1 ounce of grated cheese over each sandwich’s buttered slice and 1 ounce over the Dijon slice. Then, put two ounces of ham over whichever slice you’d like, then close the sandwich so the ham is in the middle.
Lightly butter the outside of the sandwich slices with the herb butter, being sure to cover all the way to the crusty edges of the bread.
Melt 1 teaspoon butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Place the sandwiches in the pan and press down firmly with a spatula. Reduce heat to low and sprinkle the sandwiches lightly with salt. Flip when the first side is golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add another teaspoon of butter to the pan, and repeat with the second side. The sandwich is ready when both pieces of bread are golden brown and the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.
Apricot Browned Butter Granola

Apricot Browned Butter Granola

Apricot Brown Butter Granola: