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From Gwyneth’s newsletter – GOOP!

The Cheese Board

Okay, it may not be the healthiest of indulgences, but cheese, really beautiful, well-made cheese, has to be one of the best things on the planet. Give me a slice of Camembert over chocolate cake any day. Last week, my friend Katie, all too aware of my obsession, asked to be pointed in the right direction for serving cheese. I turned to the experts at my two meccas, La Fromagerie in London, and NYC’s Murray’s Cheese Shop, and asked them to come up with options for assembling the perfect cheese plate. Here are some options for the more adventurous, and one for the, well, less (but no less delicious).

Love,
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At La Fromagerie, Patricia Michelson’s one-of-a-kind food lover’s cheese and grocery store/paradise, the formula for a cheese board is built from cheeses from 5 different groups: Goat Cheese, Soft, Hard, Washed Rind and Blue. Generally, you want to eat the cheese in this order, going from mild to strong so that you can truly savor each kind.

Dale, who guided us through La Fromagerie’s Cheese Room, created two cheese boards—a classic, which makes for a great introductory board, and a more challenging board for those who are looking for a bit of an adventure.

Goat Cheese

Fresh, light cheeses made with goat’s milk.

Option 1: Selles Sur Cher“Strong goatiness.” It’s quite firm but still creamy. The ash covering counteracts the sharpness of the goat’s milk.

Option 2: Cendre de NiortA silky smooth cheese typically served on a leaf. It has incredible texture.

Soft Cheese

Think of French Brie, Camembert, English Wigmore or Waterloo.

Option 1: Brie de MeauxMushroomy and so creamy.

Option 2: WigmoreThis British soft cheese is from Berkshire and has a sweet milkiness to it.

Hard Cheese

This is a broad category that encompasses Cheddar, Parmiggiano, Pecorino, Manchego, Swiss and Gruyère.

Option 1: Comte d’EstiveA Gruyère-style cheese from France.

Option 2: CastelrossoAn aged Pecorino that has an herby flavor.

Washed Rind

These are cheeses that have been washed with alcohol—varying from cider to brandy. The process is called an “affinage,” and at La Fromagerie they continue to wash the cheeses in-store. These are generally stinky and very flavorful varieties.

Option 1: Epoisses AffineThis cheese is from Burgundy and is washed in brandy. Notice just how creamy it is when sliced.


Option 2: BachensteinerThis is a small production Austrian cheese. It is super punchy, creamy and very, very strong.

Blue

The strongest of the cheeses, with a tangy and sometimes even sweet flavor. Classic examples are French Roquefort and English Stilton.

Option 1: Roquefort PapillonIt’s organic and La Fromagerie carries the premium Papillon exclusively. (The picture is of their regular brand.)

Option 2: Zelu KoloriaFrom the Pays Basque region in France, this ewe’s milk cheese has an incredible flavor that changes on the palate the more you savor it.

La Fromagerie has its own line of crackers. The label on the box tells you exactly which cheeses they go best with, which is very handy. In addition, Dale gave us a list of solid cheese and food combinations for the summer.

  • Goat cheese + fresh cherries
  • Sweet hard cheeses + fresh figs
  • Cheddar + grapes or apples
  • Manchego + Quince Jelly

Cheese,” Patricia Michelson’s encyclopedic tome on the subject, is incredibly useful if you’re looking to learn more about individual varieties, pairings and recipes.

My Ideal Cheese Board

For the dinner I hosted for My Father’s DaughterMurray’s Cheese in New York created a cheese board of my favorite kinds of cheese. I love stinky cheeses and blues, so here’s what Amanda Parker at Murray’s put together:


Photography: Ellen Silverman

“Epoisses”

“Super stinky little rounds of French cheese, these are soft, gooey puddles of funk. They come to Murray’s washed in marc de bourgogne, a locally made spirit from Burgundy—distilled from the stems and grape mash leftover from the Burgundy winemaking process—and the fiery liquor is what eventually gives the cheeses their pungency. They’re rumored to be banned on the French subway system, that’s how strong they are! We take it a step further, and I wanted to highlight the Murray’s cave-aging process at the dinner—our ‘affineur,’ in charge of aging and ripening the cheeses in our caves downstairs, washes them again here in New York. They’re even better that way, and unique to us at Murray’s.”

“Scharfe Maxx”

“Another smelly cheese, this one’s a little firmer and nuttier than the Epoisses. It’s an Alpine style cheese, made in the great tradition of those famous Swiss cheeses like Gruyere and Emmentaler, but it’s got a bit more going for it. It’s firm and smooth, and basically melts in your mouth into a slightly sharp but rounded flavor reminiscent of caramelized onions.”

“Bonati Parmigiano-Reggiano”

“Parmesan is not Parmigiano is not Bonati Parmigiano Reggiano—not all Parm is created equal! These wheels are specially crafted by Giorgio Bonati in Parma, Emilia-Romagna, Italy. He’s a master cheesemaker, only making 2-3 wheels of Parmigiano a day—super small batches for a Parmigiano producer—which allows him to focus on the craftsmanship of the product and devote attention to flavor development as his cheese ages. He manages his own herd of fewer than 100 cows, which have a specialized diet of grass, herbs and hay from the region, and contribute again to that amazing flavor—dry but not too hard, crumbly, crystalline, fruity and grassy and nutty and sharp all at once. It’s really the best Parm ever, the King of Cheeses!”

“Bleu d’Auvergne”

“Since Gwyneth loves blues, we went for two. This Bleu d’Auvergne is a classic French blue, made in the Auvergne region of Southern France. It’s a milder, creamy blue, with some fruitiness and a bit of a peppery bite. One of the French AOC cheeses, we chose this to complement the stronger Gorgonzola (next).”

“Mountain Gorgonzola”

“Another classic blue—the spicier Gorgonzola Piccante, or Mountain Gorgonzola, from the Lombardy region of Northern Italy. It’s stronger than the Gorgonzola Dolce that many are familiar with, and firmer, drier—lots of blue veining. They say it’s Italy’s version of the French Roquefort. This one is dense but creamy in the mouthfeel, and definitely has a kick when you taste it—also great when tempered with a honey.

We also threw in Tom Cat Baguettes, a classic pairing for any cheese, Semolina Raisin Bread from Amy’s Bread, which is a lovely anise-y raisiny complement to some of the sweeter cheeses, and mixed olives, of course.”


Photography: Ellen Silverman

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My girlfriend, super-mom and super-woman, Elizabeth Barber, made delicious homemade burrito bowls and was nice enough to share the recipe with CorkStories! She made up most of the recipe as she went along (like a true chef),  and says it’s amazingly good. Note from the chef: “I didn’t have chipotle seasoning, which obviously means it wasn’t as spicy as the real Chipotle, but we hardly noticed. The recipe is for my typical order: rice, chicken, black beans, mild tomato salsa, lettuce, and a little cheese. Hope you enjoy!”

Wine recommendations for this dish from A Bottle or Two’s David Pustinger, are: *click the links to place your order on A Bottle or Two’s website.

  • Laxas Albarino – a Spanish white wine. Its grapes are fermented in stainless steel tanks, thus creating a light, citrusy wine that pairs nicely with lime flavors in this dish.
  • Abad Dom Bueno Mencia – $17 Presentation of butterscotch, seasoned spices, black cherry and tobacco. A dry Mencia with a full body. You may notice tastes of cinnamon, black mulberry and blackberry preserves. We suggest having this wine with risotto, port wine and glace reductions or pot roasted half racks. *notes from A Bottle or Two
  • Louro do Bolo GodelloAnother Spanish white grape, round and aromatic with flavors of lees, pineapple and lemon in the nose, as well as a bit of smokiness and oak spice.
  • Gazela RosePortuguese wine, $7 (winediva.ca describes this wine as having “a prickle of vivace bubble on the tongue…aromas of juicy cherry, red berries, vanilla and hints of peach pit…juicy, lively acidity to balance the sweetness. The bright peachy/berry flavours return on the palate with a zesty finish.”  Sounds yummy!

You can read more about A Bottle or Two’s online wine services in my column, “Vine + Table” featured in Cincy Chic

From Snooth.com

Chianti Wines
The Sommelier Says: These light red wines are bright and earthy, making them excellent choices for pairing with this recipe

Viognier Wines from California

The Sommelier Says: These medium bodied white wines are aromatic and fruity, which allows them to work well with this dish

Arneis Wines
The Sommelier Says: These white wines are aromatic and dry, allowing them to work well with this meal
Read more: http://www.snooth.com/wine-pairings/better-bean-burrito/#ixzz1F6eLfAth

HOMEMADE BURRITO BOWL RECIPE (by Elizabeth Barber – blog)
Cilantro-Lime Rice
1 box white rice
3 cups chicken stock
1 Tbsp. butter
3-5 dashes of lime juice
Chopped fresh cilantro
Cook rice according to package directions using chicken stock instead of water. Add butter, lime juice, and cilantro before serving.

Seasoned Black Beans
1 can black beans
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 clove chopped garlic
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. chopped fresh cilantro
Combine ingredients and simmer on low 30 minutes to one hour, stirring frequently.

Grilled Chicken
1 chicken breast
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Cut chicken into 1/2 inch pieces and season with salt, pepper, and cumin. Add olive oil to grill pan and cook chicken on high until no longer pink and slightly charred.

Homemade Salsa (Recipe courtesy of Ashley Barden)
4 cans diced tomatoes with green chilis
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 lime; squeezed
3 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
1 onion; chopped
1 small green pepper; chopped
Sugar to taste
Blend ingredients in food processor. Pulse about 15 times.

Shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese
Chopped Romaine Lettuce

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