Posts Tagged ‘Thyme & Again’

Cheesin’s Greetings!

Posted by Vanessa

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016
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Celebrating with Canadian cheese is one of the simplest ways I know to entertain during hectic holidays. Cheese is low maintenance and requires no time or fuss to prepare. It always presents well, but best of all, when chosen with care, is guaranteed to be the highlight of party conversations and special memories for years to come.  This month’s holiday issue of Savvy Cool Curds spotlights a selection of cheeses for easy entertaining.

2016 was another busy year for Canadian cheesemakers. With more events, competitions and awards, producers and tasty cheeses on the scene than ever, deciding on only a few will be the hardest chore you’ll have on your “to do” list.  Read on for holiday tips with Canadian Cheese and last minute gift ideas!

In your Savvy Cool Curds you will find…

…very special and hard-to-find artisan cheeses including:

Apprenti Sorcier 200g
Homecoming 200g
Milkhouse Tomme 200g
Muskoka Bliss 200g
Christmas Cheese Ball 200g


Looking for more awesome Canadian cheese for holiday entertaining?

Would you like more cheese from this month’s Savvy Cool Curds? Just call our Savvy Team & we’ll arrange a special shipment for you (if it is still available that is!).  Put us on speed dial – Savvy Cool Curds Hotline 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca

Cheers!
Vanessa & the Savvy Team

  

Cheesin’s Greetings
by Vanessa Simmons, Cheese Sommelier

Entertaining with Canadian artisan cheese is the easiest whey to add a cheesy element to your holiday plans this festive season. Give cheese as a hostess gift or for that hard to buy for name on your list, introduce a cheese course to your holiday meal either as a stunning appetizer to kick things off or as a lazy finish, or pull together a quick wine & cheese tasting as a cocktail party substitute.  Here are some of my quick tips:

Top Tips for Entertaining

1) Think of your audience

Who are you entertaining and for how long?  Will a meal or other snacks be served? When in doubt choose small soft wheels of cheese (buy a few to have on hand, they make wonderful hostess gifts too).

2) Be a Savvy shopper

Buy from a reputable cheese shop as close as possible to your celebration. Ask for a fresh cut wedge. In Ottawa, look for artisan cheeses at Serious Cheese, The Piggy Market, Thyme & Again, The Red Apron, Jacobson’s Gourmet Concepts, the Ottawa Bagelshop and throughout Ontario at fine grocery stores such as Farm Boy.

2) Mix & mingle

Consider taste, style and texture or region, milk type (cow, sheep, goat, buffalo) or category  (fresh, soft, semi-soft, washed, firm, hard, blue).  3 to 5 cheeses display well on a board or serve one stellar cheese as an appetizer or dessert. Buying cheeses that look different offers visual appeal.  5-10gms/cheese/person is a good rule of thumb.

3) Serve with star treatment

Serve at room temperature.  Offer one knife per cheese. Don’t cut up small pieces in advance.  Use an interesting wooden board, cross cut log, plate, slate or marble tiles or tiered trays for visual appeal.  Keep it simple so the cheese will shine.

4) Compliment your cheese

Serve specialty breads, gourmet crackers, fresh seasonal or dried fruits, figs, dates, raw or toasted nuts, olives, caramelized or pickled onions or milder charcuterie items as accompaniments.

5) Add wine or craft beer

In general beers and white wines pair best and more often with a wider variety of cheeses. Remember balance is key. For help on selecting wines & craft beers give our experts a call 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926)

6) Talk it up

What do you see, smell and taste?  Share your experience. Compare notes.  Conversations around the cheese board create lasting memories of your event.  Cheese has evolved from being solely an ingredient to the focal point of a party, as it’s the perfect food to bring people together.

7) Take time to enjoy every nibble

Slow down and savor each morsel.  The holidays are a special time of year to make merry with friends, family (and cheese!).  Take a break from hosting to enjoy yourself and the company of your guests.

 

Cheese Tasting Notes

Below are Vanessa’s tasting notes and photos for each cheese in your Savvy Cool Curds, along with additional tidbits of interesting information, suggested food pairings & recipes to try too!

Apprenti Sorcier

Maggie Paradis of La Fromagerie Les Folies Bergères is the wizard behind Apprenti Sorcier (translated as “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”), a soft, surface-ripened pasteurized mixed sheep and cow milk cheese sold in small wheels.

Tasting Notes: A thick, bright white bloomy rind and rich, runny, ivory paste produce wild mushroomy aromas mixed with buttery, finger-licking, salty flavours.

Suggested Pairing:  Have a loaf of crusty baguette on hand if your piece is ripe — you’ll need it to “mop up” until the cheese is all gone!  Top with chutneys, relishes, caramelized onions, cranberries, nuts, maple syrup or honey/rosemary for a quick appetizer.

Stonetown Cheese Homecoming

One of Ontario’s newest “cheeses on the scene”, Stonetown Cheese’s Homecoming is already making headlines as a finalist in the “Best New Cheese” category at the Canadian Cheese Awards and first prize at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair recently. I love the quote on their website “Life is great, cheese makes it better”. We wholeheartedly agree!

Tasting Notes: Homecoming is a semi-soft, washed rind, Swiss alpine style farmstead cheese. Made with fresh unpasteurized Holstein milk it has mild earthy flavor profile.

Suggested Pairing: Great as snacking or grilled cheese, pair with unoaked Chardonnay or Semillon.

 

Milkhouse Tomme

The hardworking team of Cait and Kyle White from Smiths Falls makes Milkhouse Tomme lovingly from their own flock of British Milk Sheep. They are proud to have full traceability from animal to market of their milk and their cheese.

Tasting Notes: Milkhouse Tomme is a beautiful, rustic raw sheep milk cheese with a natural rind styled after French Tomme de Savoie.  It’s a tasty package of richness, with a dense interior texture and herbal and grassy notes on the nose and palate.

Suggested Pairing: Great paired with Sauvignon Blanc or oaky Chardonnay and dolloped with a stone fruit (peach, apricot) preserve.

 

Muskoka Bliss

Muskoka Bliss is a seasonal cow milk cheese from Stonetown Cheese in St. Mary’s, Ontario. Gorgeous on a cheese plate for holiday entertaining. 

Tasting Notes:  Muskoka Bliss comes in an attractive package of dark eggplant colored wax. On the inside find mild, buttery milky flavors with a hint of cranberry fruit. 

Suggested Pairing:  Pair with a light red (Gamay or Pinot Noir) and fruit/nut crackers.

 

Maggie’s Cheese Ball

Maggie Paradis of La Fromagerie Les Folies Bergères makes these rare, seasonal cheese balls once a year. They’re a guaranteed sell out but we managed to secure some for our coveted Savvy Cool Curds subscribers.

Tasting Notes:  Maggie’s cheese ball is a combination of both local cow and goat’s milk mixed with a variety of ingredients to add zing and extra flavor such as lemon juice and scallions all rolled in crushed pecans for a gorgeous finish.

Suggested Pairing:  Enjoy on it’s own (even by yourself without sharing!) with a hearty sourdough bread or Parisian baguette.  Pair with a Cabernet Sauvignon or local brew for extra enjoyment.  Or, do as I do, eat it right off the spoon – it doesn’t last long in my house!

NOTE: you may see a crease of blue on the inside of the packaging…don’t despair, this is not mould, rather it is the extra pieces of CFAI approved cellophane (aka Saran Wrap) crunched tightly into the vacuumed pack bag!

Recipes to enjoy with the featured cheeses

With Apprenti Sorcier…

Baked Brie with Caramelized Onions
Recipe adapted & Photo Credit: Epicurious

Ingredients

2 Tbsp. (1/4 stick) butter
8 cups sliced onions (about 4 large)
1 Tbsp. minced fresh thyme
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tsp. sugar
1 8-inch-diameter 32- to 36-ounce Brie
2 baguettes, sliced

Method

Melt butter in heavy very large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, sauté until just tender, about 6 minutes. Add minced thyme, reduce heat to medium and cook until onions are golden, stirring often, about 25 minutes. Add garlic and sautée 2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup wine; stir until almost all liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle sugar over onions and sauté until soft and brown, about 10 minutes. Add remaining 1/4 cup wine; stir just until liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Unwrap Brie and place on a shallow small round baking dish (for presentation). Cut away only top rind of cheese, leaving rind on sides and bottom intact. Return to dish, rind side down. Place dish on baking sheet. Top Brie evenly with onion mixture. Bake until cheese just melts, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a platter. Surround with baguette slices.

 

 

With Stonetown cheeses…

Cheese Fondue for Two
Recipe & Photo Credit: Stonetowncheese.com

Ingredients

a loaf of French Bread
1/2 clove of garlic
160 g Grand Trunk, grated
160 g Wildwood, grated
80 g Homecoming, grated
2 tsp. cornstarch

Method

Cut French bread into 1″ cubes and set the table before you start heading the fondue.

Rub the caquelon (fondue pan) with half a clove of garlic, cut into small pieces and leave in the caquelon (fondue pan).

Mix Grand Trunk, Wildwood and Homecoming with cornstarch in caquelon (fondue pan), add wine and lemon juice.

With constant stirring, heat up until the cheese is melted and creamy. Add kirsch brandy (optional), season with pepper and nutmeg to taste.

Place the caquelon (fondue pan) over a small spirit burner to keep the fondue at boiling point.

Dip the bite size, cubed French bread into the fondue using a long handled fork.

Stir the fondue every time you dunk a piece of break so the fondue does not burn to the bottom of the caquelon (fondue pan).

 

With Milkhouse Tomme…

Tartiflette
Recipe & Photo Credit: Laura Robin – The Ottawa Citizen

Ingredients

6 medium potatoes
2 large red onions
2 to 4 cloves garlic
Dash olive oil
½ lb. bacon or pancetta
Dash Sherry or white wine (optional)
5 to 8 oz. Milkhouse Tomme, cut into small cubes
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
2 cups milk
1 cup 18% (half-and-half or light) cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Slice potatoes 1/4-inch (1-cm thick) and cook in boiling, salted water about 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain, set aside.

Slice the red onions 1/4-inch (1-cm) thick, lengthwise, from the root to the tip, and fry with chopped garlic and a dash of olive oil over medium heat until soft.

Roughly chop bacon or pancetta and add to pan with onions and garlic. Add a dash of sherry or white wine and scrape to deglaze pan. Simmer until bacon is cooked and onions are caramelized.

Layer half the sliced potatoes in a buttered 9-by-13-inch (23-by-35-cm) glass baking dish. Sprinkle half of the bacon-and-onion mixture over. Repeat both layers. Sprinkle cubed Tomme on top.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour, mix, and cook briefly, then gradually stir in milk and cream. Cook, stirring, until mixtures thickens and almost boils. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour sauce over potatoes and cheese in dish.

Bake uncovered on the middle rack of oven for 25 minutes, or until cheese is puffy and slightly golden and sauce is bubbling.

 

With Muskoka Bliss…

Brie, Cranberry and Pancetta Phyllo Bites
Recipe & Photo Credit: Popsugar.com

Ingredients

Coconut oil spray
1/2 pound pancetta, finely diced
1 roll of phyllo sheets, defrosted
1-pint cranberries
1/4-cup water
1/3-cup sugar
Pinch of cayenne pepper
5 ounces brie (substitute Muskoka Bliss)

Method

Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease three mini muffin tins with cooking spray. Cook pancetta until crisp.

Place one piece of phyllo dough on a flat surface. Spray with coconut oil. Place another sheet on top; repeat four more times for a total of six sheets. Spray top piece of dough with coconut oil. Using a pizza wheel, cut dough into 3-inch squares. Tuck into mini muffin tins. Repeat two more times until you have 36 shells.

Bake for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Reduce heat in oven down to 300°F.

For the cranberries: Place cranberries, water, sugar and pinch of cayenne in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer until the berries are reduced, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

Divide cheese into 36 even pieces. Place in bottom of each shell. Top with a little bit of cranberry sauce. Pop into the oven for five minutes or until cheese has melted.

Sprinkle with crispy pancetta.

 

Last Minute Cheese-y Gifts…

With only a few sleeps until Christmas, here are some easy ways to take care of those last minute presents for the “nice” cheese lovers on your list dreaming of a cheesey Christmas!

Personal-sized Raclette or fondue for two

A gift card from a local cheese monger or fine food shop

A selection of hand crafted jams, chutneys, jellies, preserves or charcuterie

A chunk of natural honeycomb to enjoy with Canadian cheese

Canadian Cheese A Guide by Kathy Guidi

A subscription to Savvy Cool Curdsof course!

A gift certificate to a Savvy Event to discover craft beers, artisan wines and Canadian cheese

Tickets to the Great Canadian Cheese Festival, Picton, June 3 & 4th, 2017, Canada’s biggest cheese show

A set of cheese knives

A handmade cutting board or live edge boards for serving

A Cheese Sommelier hosted in-home cheese tasting experience – call us on 613-SAVVYCO to get started!

A “cheesemaker for a day” experience at a local producer

A cheese journal to track tasting notes and favourites

Cheese paper for storing Canadian cheese

Local craft beer, artisan wine to go with cheese

 

Enjoy your Savvy Cool Curds!

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Where Vanessa fell in love with artisan cheese….

Posted by Vanessa

Monday, November 28th, 2016
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This month’s Savvy Cool Curds pays homage to my longtime cheesy friend, advisor and “mentor” Margaret Peters Morris, owner and cheesemaker of Glengarry Fine Cheese.  Located North of the 401 near Cornwall, Margaret & her team are a well-oiled machine, making delicious cheeses from the fresh milk of their Holsteins raised on the family farm across the street. Margaret is famous in North America, not only for her award-winning cheeses but also as an advisor to many budding cheesemakers, as well as an industry “go to” for cheesemaking equipment and supplies.

In your Savvy Cool Curds you will find…

… Very special and hard-to-find artisan cheeses including:
-Goat Gouda 200g
-Fleur en Lait 200g
-Lankaaster 200gglengarry-logo
-Nevis 250g
-Celtic Blue Reserve 200g 

Looking for more great Glengarry Fine Cheese?

Would you like more cheese from this month’s Savvy Cool Curds? Just call our Savvy Team & we’ll arrange a special shipment for you (if it is still available that is!). Put us on speed dial – Savvy Cool Curds Hotline 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca

Cheers!
Vanessa & the Savvy Team

Photos by Vanessa or Glengarry Fine Cheese unless noted. 

 

Introducing…
Glengarry Fine Cheese
by Vanessa Simmons, Cheese Sommelier

 

Margaret Peters Morris was one of the first cheesemakers I met as I discovered the awesome world of Canadian cheese nearly ten years ago. Glengarry held one of the only short cheesemaking courses in the area at a time when I was full of cheesy questions, eager to learn and anxious to get my hands on anything curd related! Her class was an eye opener and put to practice many of the concepts I had read & learned about (adding culture, cutting curd, draining whey) in my Canadian Artisan Cheese class at the time.

Margaret & fellow cheesemaker Wilma Klein-Swormink are well respected and truly lead what is an industry still in a young stage, especially in Ontario.  Canada needs more cheesemakers like Margaret who are vocal about competing on a world stage with our artisan cheese industry in a fragile state as the recent tabling of the EU free trade agreement that allows full & free access for the flood of European cheeses into the Canadian market.  Margaret has always pioneered the industry and rallied others, sharing her insights, thoughts & strategies on marketing and quality cheese production for how Canadian artisan cheesemakers can ensure success despite the challenging times that lay ahead.

 

An Award-Winning Legacy

Glengarry’s cheeses are a showcase provincial offering performing, competing, winning & being recognized on the world cheese stage at prestigious competitions such as the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix, the Canadian Cheese Awards, The American Cheese Society Competition, the Royal Winter Fair, and the Global Cheese Awards.

Margaret is a leader, literally leading and paving the “whey” for new ideas, processes, production methods & products.  She’s innovating and experimenting with new styles of cheese, or cheeses of varying milk types, pushing the envelope and constantly striving to improve, working towards the perfect product of best flavour, consistency and quality, to delight the consumer and her many fans.

 

Standing Out Among The Crowd

Canada alone has hundreds of cheeses.  Few stand out from the crowd, but each and every cheese from Glengarry has its own distinct character.

For example Celtic Blue (you have a piece in your parcel) is a made for the masses that either love, or want to ventureglengarry-team-picture to try a blue cheese.  It’s creamy goodness, with gaining boldness with age. As an educator, I am constantly striving to raise the awareness of our local artisan cheeses.  Celtic Blue is consistently my “go to” cheese when teaching about blues…. and has the highest rate of conversion in turning a non blue-cheese lover into a forever blue-cheese fan!

Lankaaster & Lankaaster Aged count among my top picks, personally and professionally. While many gouda-style cheeses are made, few are memorable & have a following like the Lankaaster cheeses for their buttery goodness as both a great snacking and cooking cheeses for all ages. For the first time ever, an Ontario cheese, Lankaaster Aged, took home best cheese in the world at the Global Cheese Awards, proving Canada has artisan products that rival and stack up to, and surpass any in Europe or worldwide.

With plans to double the current forty tonne of amazing Canadian cheese they make over the next few years, cheese lovers need not ever worry of a shortage of Glengarry Fine Cheese. If you’ve never tried them, dive into your Savvy Cool Curds immediately and you’ll understand what I’m talking about.

 

 

-Cheese Tasting Notes-

Below are Vanessa’s tasting notes and photos for each cheese in your Savvy Cool Curds, along with additional tidbits of interesting information, suggested food pairings & recipes to try too!

 

goat-goudaGoat Gouda

Lovingly cared for, combined with the talent of Glengarry Fine Cheese’s team of expert cheesemakers – Gouda from goat’s milk gives a surprising twist on this cheese classic. Small wedges are perfect for your holiday entertaining! Can you say grilled cheese?

 Tasting Notes: Firm & moist when young, drying with age this Gouda shows ivory white paste protected by a wax exterior.  The paste is opaque with small pinholes & chalky texture, pleasant aromas, and a savory, yet clean flavor finishing with a tang. You can taste the difference quality milk makes.

Suggested Pairing: Cranberries come to mind as the perfect pair to Goat Gouda, spicy cranberry jam or dried cranberries in grilled cheese as a sweet surprise. Enjoy with an Ontario Pinot Gris.

Fleur en Lait

fleur-de-lait

Fleur en Lait is produced from milk from Ayershire cows that graze on the cheese factory site grounds and is styled after popular Trappist St. Paulin cheese, aged for 3-4 months.

 Tasting Notes: An apricot-hued washed-rind covers Fleur en Lait’s pale gold smooth, silky, semi-firm open interior paste (cheesespeak for the inside of the cheese with small holes throughout). Aromas are pungent & wildly grassy as if you’re standing in the middle of a farmer’s field with the sun shining on your face.  Complimentary rich flavors are an expression of summer milk, with nut, fruity, and grassy characteristics layered over a slathering of butter.

 Suggested Pairing: I love Fleur en Lait as a grating cheese for anything – in omelettes, any type of potato recipe, to top savoury soups. A dollop of peach jam or apricot chutney on buttery crackers makes for bold bites.

 

lankasterrLankaaster

The town of Lancaster, ON crossed with “kaas”, the Dutch word for cheese were the inspiration for this crowd-pleasing Gouda-style cheese. Available in traditional (pictured), aged, extra aged, tasty herb flavors (Italian Blend, Chive, Cumin, Peppercorn). Multi-award winner recognized yearly by The Royal Winter Fair, British Empire Cheese show, Canadian Cheese Grand Prix and Global Cheese Awards.

Tasting Notes: This firm to hard cow’s milk cheeses comes shaped in a loaf, covered in a waxy rind is a Gouda-style after Dutch farmstead cheese.  Lankaaster is a rich, dense cheese, with barny aromas, buttery & slightly nutty flavor with a mild fruity tang & more crumbly texture, deeper butterscotch coloring and enhanced robust flavor as it ages.

Suggested Pairing: Great melted on open-faced sandwiches, or to finish off your favorite pasta dish under the broiler. Perfect as a lunchbox snack, or pre-meal nibble with a toasty, oaky Ontario Chardonnay.

nevisNevis

Nevis as one of the newer cheeses offered by Glengarry Fine Cheese, has already made a name for itself as a finalist in the washed rind cheese category at the first Canadian Cheese Awards in 2014.

 Tasting Notes:  Nevis comes in a larger format wheel as a washed rind cow milk cheese. A dark gold basket weave exterior compliments a golden straw interior which cheddar-like in texture. Nevis is all buttery goodness with a tangy finish.

 Suggested Pairing: Enjoy with a robust red wine: a Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc and a roaring fire.


celtic-blue-reserveCeltic Blue Reserve

Not your average blue! Celtic Blue Reserve won highest accolades at The American Cheese Society Awards, winning Best of Show over 1700 other cheeses in 2015.

Tasting Notes:  A soft, creamy, approachable cow’s milk blue cheese with a grooved hand brushed natural rind. Inside a pretty pale ivory paste shows delicate greenish/blue veining running vertically closer to the center of the cheese. Notice grassy, milky, and buttery aromas with a slight saltiness & milder piquant taste. A good choice for those not all that crazy about blue cheese! Celtic Blue Reserve has extra cream & butterfat giving it a extra sinful richness.

 Suggested Pairing: As the temperature drops I think of classic pairings of Canadian Port with this blue, yet the salty yet creamy texture mingles well with Ice Cider or Sparkling Ice Cider for easy holiday entertaining.

 

 –Recipes to enjoy with the featured cheeses- 

 

with-fleur-en-lait-caramelized-onion-mushroom-and-bacon-soup

With Fleur en Lait …

Caramelized Onion, Mushroom & Bacon Soup

Recipe & Photo Credit: CBC.ca – Sheila Whyte Thyme & Again
Ingredients

 2 medium-sized onions (sliced thin) from Acorn Creek Garden Farm in Carp, Ont.
2 cloves garlic (sliced thin)
1 litre canned diced tomato
8 large mushrooms (sliced) from Champignons Le Coprin in Farrellton, QC
1 oz. brandy
2 tsp. chopped thyme
2 tsp. chopped parsley
1/4 cup shredded cheese from Glengarry Fleur en Lait & Goat Cheddar (or substitute Glengarry Goat Gouda)
1 cup croutons
6 slices cooked bacon (crumbled) from Seed to Sausage in Tichborne, ON
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/8 tsp. crushed chili flakes
4 L water or vegetable stock

Method

Caramelize onions in large sauce pot with thyme, chili flakes and a pinch of salt.

Add garlic and mushrooms and continue to cook until mushrooms are soft.

Add brandy and cook until liquid is reduced.

Add water/stock and tomatoes, bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for up to an hour.

Season with salt and pepper and then add parsley.

Serve in bowl and garnish with croutons, bacon and cheese.

 

With Goat Gouda…                    

Grilled Ham, Cheese and Pickle Sandwiches

Recipe & Photo Credit: Epicurious.com

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

with-goat-gouda-grilled-ham-cheese-and-pickle-sandwiches

8 slices sourdough or white bread
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella (substitute Nevis)
1 1/2 cups grated Gruyère (substitute Lankaaster)
1/2 cup grated aged goat cheese (such as Glengarry Goat Gouda)
3/4 cup Bread-and-Butter Pickles
3 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto
6 Tbsp. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter

Method

Smear both sides of bread slices with mayonnaise. Combine cheeses in a bowl.

Sprinkle 4 slices bread with half of cheese mixture, dividing equally. Top each with 3-4 pickles. Divide prosciutto among sandwiches; top with remaining cheese. Cover with remaining bread.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in each of 2 large heavy skillets over medium-low heat. Add 2 sandwiches to each skillet and cook until bread is golden, 9-10 minutes.

Add 1 tablespoon butter to each skillet, flip sandwiches, and cook until bread is golden and cheese is melted, 9-10 minutes longer.

 

With Lankaaster…

Canadian Gouda & Leek Potage

Recipe & Photo Credit: Allyouneedischeese

Prep Time:  20 minutes
Cook Time:  25 minutes

Ingredients

with-lankaaster-canadian-gouda-and-leek-potage

1/4-cup butter
2 cups thinly sliced leeks, (white part only)
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 large onion, halved, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/4 cups chicken broth or beef broth
2 1/2 cups water
6 slices rye bread, toasted, cut in thirds
2 cups grated Canadian Gouda* (Lankaaster) cheese

Method

Melt butter in large saucepan; sautée leeks, mushrooms, onions and garlic over medium-high heat, 5 minutes or until soft. Remove from heat; blend in flour.

Gradually stir in broth and water. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Transfer soup, in batches, to blender or food processor; puree until vegetables are finely chopped. Add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into 6 ovenproof soup bowls. Top each with three pieces of toast and about 1/3 cup (80 mL) Canadian Gouda cheese.

Broil until cheese is melted and slightly browned, about 4 minutes.

With Nevis…

Herb & Cheese Waffles 

Recipe & Photo Credit: Thegreatwaterway.com

Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time:  5 minutes

Ingredients

with-nevis-herb-and-cheese-waffles-with-glengarry-fine-cheese

1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 cup of grated cheese (use Glengarry Fine Cheeses – Lancaster, Nevis and Fleur en Lait)
1/2 cup of chopped herbs such as parsley and/or basil

 

Method

Preheat the waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s directions.

In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and pepper. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk milk and eggs; pour over flour mixture and stir gently to combine. Gently whisk in butter and stir in herbs and grated cheese. Don’t over mix.

Following manufacturer’s directions, cook the waffles until deep brown and crisp.

For standard waffle irons, pour 1/2 – 1 cup of batter into the center of the iron, allowing the batter to spread evenly across the iron. Waffle will cook in about 5 minutes or until steam stops escaping. Make sure waffles are crispy. 

 

With Celtic Blue Reserve …

Holiday Salad with Blue Cheese Truffles

Recipe & Photo Credit: Allyouneedischeese

Prep Time:  25 minutes
Cook Time:  0 minutes

Ingredients

with-celtic-blue-reserve-holiday-salad-with-blue-cheese-truffles

3 Tbsp. cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. apple juice
2 Tbsp. walnut oil or olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
A pinch of sugar
6 oz. Canadian Blue cheese (Celtic Blue Reserve, rind removed)
2 Tbsp. finely chopped toasted walnuts
2 medium tart green apples
10 cups cut-up salad greens
Sweetened dried cranberries (optional)

Method

Combine vinegar, apple juice and oil in a small bowl. Whisk together thoroughly. Add salt, pepper and a little sugar to taste. Set dressing aside.

 

Cheese Truffles

Crumble Canadian Blue cheese into a medium bowl. Shape into 18 balls, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. Roll balls in chopped walnuts to form truffles. Thread 3 balls onto each of 6 wooden skewers.

Core and thinly slice apples. Combine with salad greens in a large bowl and toss with dressing.

Divide salad among 6 chilled plates, top with a skewer of Cheese truffles and garnish with sweetened dried cranberries, if desired.

 

Variation: Replace walnuts with finely chopped toasted pecans and apples with firm ripe pears.

Tip: To serve Cheese Truffles as a hors-d’oeuvre, place each one in a small fluted paper cup. Garnish with sweet pepper or fresh herbs and place on a cheese tray. Cheese Truffles can be prepared ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before serving. Remove from the fridge 1/2 hour before serving and roll in chopped nuts.

 

Enjoy your Savvy Cool Curds!

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How to create a festive artisan cheese board

Posted by Vanessa

Thursday, December 20th, 2012
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Our Cheese Sommelier Vanessa Simmons offers her tips on how to add a delicious artisan cheese board as a final course with dinner or have a cheese platter ready when friends drop in over the holiday season. Whichever way you enjoy cheese, here are Vanessa’s quick tips & how tos.  Enjoy & have a wonderful holiday!

Plan ahead

Who are you entertaining (adventurous, conservative, children?). How long is the event? Will a meal or snacks be served? What are your favorite cheeses? Do you have a theme? If you don’t have a lot of time, go with small soft wheels of cheese (buy a few to have on hand, they make wonderful, from the heart hostess gifts).

Be a savvy shopper

Buy directly from the cheesemaker, from a reputable cheesemonger, or cheese counter. Taste in advance but buy as close as possible to your celebration. Always ask that a fresh wedge be cut for you. Look for artisan cheeses at Serious Cheese, The Piggy Market, Thyme & Again, The Red Apron, Jacobson’s Gourmet Concepts, Ottawa Bagelshop. Farm Boy and Sobey’s also have great holiday ideas. Find local Ottawa region cheesemakers at holiday farmers artisan markets at this time of year.

Mix it up

Consider taste, style and texture. Choose a theme — region, milk type (cow, sheep, goat, buffalo) or category (fresh, soft, semi-soft, washed, firm, hard, blue). 3-5 cheeses display well on a board or serve one stellar cheese as an appetizer, or dessert. Buying cheeses that look different will offer visual appeal to your table. 5-10gms/cheese/person is a good rule of thumb.

Serve cheese with star treatment

Serve at room temperature. Offer one knife per cheese. Don’t cut up small pieces in advance. Allow breathing room between cheeses so aromas don’t mix. Use an interesting wooden board, cross cut log, plate, slate or marble tiles or tiered trays for visual appeal. Keep it simple and your cheese will shine.

Compliment your cheese

Serve specialty breads, gourmet crackers, fresh seasonal or dried fruits, figs, dates, raw or toasted nuts, olives, caramelized or pickled onions or milder charcuterie items as accompaniments. Art-Is-In Bread, Seed To Sausage, Michael’s Dolce, Major Craig’s Chutney & Upper Canada Cranberries are very cheese friendly!

Be sure to serve wine or craft beer

In general most beers and wines pair best and more often with a wider variety of cheeses. The harder the cheese, the more tannic a wine (red wines naturally have tannins) it will stand up to. The creamier the cheese, the more acid required in the wine (white wines tend to have more acidity). Remember balance is key.

Talk about your cheese

What do you see, smell and taste? Share your experience. Compare notes. Conversations around the cheese board create lasting memories of your event. Cheese has evolved from being solely an ingredient to the focal point of a party of one of the courses on a dinner menu, as it’s the perfect food to bring people together.

Enjoy every last crumb

Slow down and savor each morsel. The holidays are a special time of year to make merry with friends, family (and cheese!). Take a break from hosting to enjoy yourself and the company of your guests.

Store cheese properly

Wrap leftovers of soft, semi-soft and washed rind cheeses in parchment or cheese paper, and pop into a small Tupperware or Ziplock bag. Refrigerate in a container in the vegetable drawer (for high humidity).

Cheers!

Vanessa

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