The Joy of Cheesemaking (Skyhorse Publishing, 2011), by Jody M. Farnham and Marc Druart, offers easy-to-understand instructions for how to make cheese. Beautifully illustrated with gorgeous photographs, this comprehensive guide includes a basic overview of cheese manufacturing and aging, from the raw ingredients to the final product. The clear guidance and convenient glossary allow the reader to learn all about cheese, from creating to choosing it, as well as pairing it with the right wines. The following excerpt comes from chapter 2, “Milk Composition and Seasonality.”
You can purchase this book at the GRIT store: The Joy of Cheesemaking.
To ward off the winter blues, try making this savory, rich potato dish with your favorite local Blue cheese. Ours is from the family farm of Bonnieview in the heart of Vermont’s lush Green Mountains. The layered look of a tower of cheesy goodness can be achieved by cutting the cooled potatoes with a baker’s biscuit cutter. Serves 8–10
3 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes,
peeled and thinly sliced
1 1/2 C heavy cream
1 C whole milk
3 T flour
6 oz crumbled Blue cheese (Mossend Blue)
2 tsp kosher salt
1 T ground black pepper
4–5 sprigs of fresh thyme
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Butter bottom of a 12x16 baking dish (brownie or lasagna size).
Combine cream, milk, flour, salt, and pepper in a large bowl, mixing well. Add potato slices and mix well. Let soak for 12–15 minutes.
Layer the potato slices in the baking pan, placing crumbled Blue cheese between layers. Pour cream mixture over potatoes; push down so potatoes are all covered with sauce. Cover with aluminum foil,
Place in oven and bake, approx. 1 hour or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife.
Uncover pan and approximately cook about 15 minutes longer until potatoes are allow to brown.
Cool for at least 1 hour before cutting into squares. Optional cut; use a round biscuit cutter for a mini potato tower (as seen in the Image Gallery).
Reheat just before serving.
You will likely be serving this dish with the red meat of your choice, so a Cabernet Sauvignon would be a delightful choice.
Cabs range from medium-bodied to full-bodied and are characterized by their high tannin content, which serves to provide structure and will stand up well to this rich potato dish. Try a McManis Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2005.
Hard apple cider has balanced flavors and substantial complexity. A perfect trifecta of sweetness, acidity, and tannin characteristics, needed to balance the fats in this cheesy dish.
The drink is full-bodied, so it isn’t overpowered by the cream and Blue cheese. Try Woodchuck Draft Cider (Middlebury, Vermont), Farnum Hill Ciders (New Hampshire), or Wyder’s Cider (Northern California).
This excerpt has been reprinted with permission from The Joy of Cheesemaking: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding, Making, and Eating Fine Cheese, published by Skyhorse Publishing, 2011. Buy this book from our store: The Joy of Cheesemaking.
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