by Melissa Reiss, Purchasing Assistant
It’s time again for the Willy Street Co-op’s annual Cheese Challenge! Get to know some of this year’s challengers with some amazing recipes. Sample them in the store, and vote on your favorites.
Hook's Triple Play Extra Innings
Last year, our winner was Hook’s Triple Play Extra Innings—Triple Play, meaning it’s a blend of three types of milk —cow, sheep, and goat. Its flavor notes are those of a baby swiss, havarti and gouda. The extra innings indicates that it’s been aged over one year, which at this point the gouda flavor becomes more prevalent and crystals begin to form.
To enjoy this cheese, whip up a batch of hamburgers, melt slices of Triple Play Extra Innings, and serve with all the fixins. Just in time for opening day! If it’s nice enough outside, you can even bring the grill out of hibernation. Or you can craft a grilled cheese! This unique cheese shines on top of burgers, in sandwiches, or as the star of a cheese plate.
Hidden Springs Bohemian Blue
This is a sheep’s milk blue cheese. My favorite way to eat blue cheese is paired with earthy, sweet beets.
Roasted Beet Salad with Walnuts and Blue Cheese
Recipe adapted from geniuskitchen.com
2 lb. beets, peeled, trimmed, halved, and cut in 1/2-inch wedges (about 5 or 6 beets)
2 shallots, peeled and quartered
4 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil (divided)
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
3/4 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 1/2 Tbs. sherry wine vinegar
6 oz. spinach
3 oz. Hidden Springs Bohemian Blue
Preheat oven to 425ºF. In a large bowl, toss the beets with the shallots, 2 tablespoons of the oil, the thyme, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Transfer to an 11-by-13-inch pan and roast, tossing beets twice, until they are tender and browned in places (but not burnt), 25 to 35 minutes.
Let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a large serving bowl and toss with the vinegar and the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Arrange the spinach on four salad plates. Arrange the beets on the spinach, sprinkle with the blue cheese and serve immediately.
If blue cheese is just not your thing, try a milder version, also known as my favorite salad: place a mix of equal parts mixed salad greens and arugula in a bowl. Pile in some sliced pickled beets (or follow recipe above for roasted beets, if desired), and crumble some Clock Shadow Creamery chevre cheese. Chevre is semi-soft goat cheese, which is creamier and milder than blue, but still has a bit of tang. Serves 4.
Roth Prairie Sunset
Twice Baked Potatoes with Roth Prairie Sunset™
Recipe from rothcheese.com
4 russet potatoes, medium, baked
1 c. Roth Prairie Sunset, shredded
1/4 cup broccoli, cut into 1/2 inch florets
2 Tbs. heavy cream
2 Tbs. parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbs. butter, melted
Preheat oven to 375˚F. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out centers into a bowl. Add Roth Prairie Sunset™, broccoli, cream, parsley, salt, pepper, and mix thoroughly. Evenly distribute mixture back into potato skins. Bake until cheese is melted, approximately 15 minutes. Brush tops of potatoes with butter. Makes 8 servings.
Renard’s cherry cheddar
Have you ever wondered what to do with cheese that has fruit in it? Here’s an idea!
Cherry Cheddar Cheese Scones
Recipe adapted from kingarthurflour.com
2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. baking powder
6 Tbs. cold butter, cut into pieces
1 c. Renard’s Cherry Cheddar Cheese, grated
2 large eggs
1/3 c. whole milk or cream
1+ Tbs. sugar (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment paper.
Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Work in the butter with your fingers to make an unevenly crumbly mixture.
Toss in the cheese. Mix together the eggs and milk (or cream). Add to the dry ingredients, stirring just until everything is evenly moistened; the dough will be very sticky.
Liberally flour the counter and your hands. Pat the dough into a 10” x 2” rectangle. For larger, flatter scones, pat into a 15” x 3” rectangle. Cut the rectangle into 5 squares; then cut each square in half diagonally, to make a total of 10 triangular scones. Place the scones on the prepared baking sheet, leaving at least 1” between them. Sprinkle sugar on the top of each, if using, to your liking.
Bake the scones for 20 to 23 minutes, until they’re nicely browned. Remove them from the oven, and serve warm or at room temperature. Store, well-wrapped, at room temperature, for several days; freeze for longer storage. Makes 10 scones.