We are now less than twenty-four hours away from the Grand Re-opening of the store where The Lady works as Cheese Steward. It has been one year of hard work to turn the store into an eco-friendly, LEEDS Certified Silver building.

To kick-off the two-month celebration, more than one hundred Portland-area dignitaries have been invited for an early tour of the store and dinner.

The Lady and her BCFF, Amy from DPI, have designed four cheese appetizers/tastings for the dignitaries to enjoy as they tour the store:

 

 Whole Red and Gold Peppadew Peppers Stuffed with Rogue Creamery Crater Lake Blue Cheese

Drain syrup from Peppadews and let stand for a few minutes on paper towels to remove addition liquid.

Crumble Crater Lake Blue Cheese.

Fill Peppadews with Blue Cheese. Do not overstuff.

 

Italian Grana Padano and Walnuts Drizzled with Oregon Organic Honey

Allow Grana Padano wheel to sit at room temperature to aid in ease of cutting.

Cube or plane into bitable pieces.

Arrange with walnuts on platter.

Drizzle with honey.

 

Soignon Chevrion Buche and Ficoco Spread on Divina Whole Wheat Mini Toasts

Slice and quarter Soignon Chevrion Buche.

Place on Divina Whole Wheat Mini Toasts.

Top with a small dollop of Ficoco Spread.

Willamette Valley Cheese Company Brindisi Fontina-Style Cheese with Dalmatia Orange-Fig Spread on 34° Sesame Crispbread Crackers.

Allow Brindisi to reach room temperature.

Cube or plane into individual serving pieces.

Place on 34° Sesame Crispbread Crackers.

Top with a small dollop of Dalmatia Orange-Fig Spread.

 

There you have it: four appetizers fit four dignitaries and regular folks as well…and easy to prepare…

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Beemster Graskaas

Beemster Graskaas

As mentioned in my review of Beemster Graskaas, The Lady suggested that Graskaas would make a terrific grilled cheese sandwich with a slice of Anaheim chili.

Since The Man is growing Anaheims in his deck garden, it was a no-brainer for The Lady to test the recipe.

She did and the mild, creamy Graskaas is a perfect mix with the mild heat of the Anaheim. Another great grilled cheese from The Lady…

Ahhh…I am so thankful The Brain chose me to observe The Lady and The Man…I am one lucky feline…

Ingredients:

Whole Wheat Bread

Beemster Graskaas

Anaheim Chili – diced and sautéed

(The Lady uses a dry griddle/Panini Grill – no oil or butter.)

 

Preparations:

Heat a griddle of Panini Grill

Build your sandwich with Graskaas then chili and Graskaas again.

Grill until bread is golden and the cheese has melted.

Bellissimo!!

Dry-aged Ribeye

Dry-aged Ribeye

The Lady brought home two dry-aged Angus Ribeyes from her store. They had hung for about two weeks in a small windowed room in the new meat and seafood department.

Background: Forty years ago, most of humankinds beef was dry aged; then the process of vacuum packing became the norm and the art of dry-aging went away.

In addition to the convenience of vacuum packaging, another reason (think: follow the money), vacuum packing became popular was because little or no weight was lost which meant the beef farmers/processors, etc. made more money.

Dry-aging causes up to a 20% weight loss; but as the juices are absorbed into the meat, the flavor is enhanced and the meat is tenderized as the aging progresses.

For years The Lady has complained that beef steaks don’t taste as good as they did when she was a child (her father sold meat in the late fifties and brought steaks home every Friday night for dinner and that fond memory lingers).

Now, she has a clue as to why…

Alan, the Meat Manager, told her to simply salt and pepper the steaks and grill them.  And that’s all The Lady and The Man did. She salted and peppered and he grilled.

She served them with Award-winning Oregon Blue Cheese Crumbles on the side and a huge garden salad.

It was a perfect meal and I got steak, too…so it really was a perfect meal…

According to The Lady and The Man these were the best steaks they had had in years and worth the extra cost…all I can add is “Word”.

I give Dry-Aged Angus Ribeyes 4 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).

Ingredients:

Dry-Aged Angus Ribeye Steaks

Oregon Blue Crumbles

Salt and Pepper

Instructions:

Season steaks with salt and pepper.

Prepare the grill. When ready, throw the steaks on and grill to desired “doneness”.

Serve with a bottle of Award-winning Eola Hills Merlot.

 

Pimento Cheese Spread

Pimento Cheese Spread

 

(I designed this recipe to celebrate the Grand Re-Opening of our store and the introduction of the Tillamook 100 Year anniversary Vintage White Extra Sharp Cheddar to our Cheese Kiosk. We will be sampling the cheese the weekend of July 31-August 2 at the kiosk using a 40 pound block.)

It’s a Southern “thing” and hard to find in the Pacific Northwest…solution…make your own:

Ingredients:

Tillamook Vintage White Extra Sharp Cheddar

Tillamook Medium Cheddar

Mayonnaise

Jar of Pimento Peppers with juice (roasted red peppers work well, also)

Freshly ground Pepper to taste

Preparation:

Use equal parts of Tillamook 100th Anniversary Vintage White Extra Sharp Cheddar and Medium Cheddar Cheeses. Cube the cheese.

Take a dollop of mayo and put in your food processor. Set on a low setting and begin processing.

Add one jar of pimentos, including the juice, to your food processor.

Add one third of the cheese and continue processing.

As the cheese is incorporated and the mixture becomes creamy, gradually add the remaining cheese. Once cheese, mayo and pimento and incorporated and creamy, you may need to add a little more mayo to get the desired creaminess.

Add black pepper to taste.

You can get creative and add other herbs and spices; but you can’t beat the basic pimento cheese.

 

 

 

 

 

Iceberg Wedge with Maytag Blue

Iceberg Wedge with Maytag Blue

 

 

 

Iceberg Wedge with Maytag Blue Cheese

Saveur.com Exclusive Recipe

SERVES 2 – 4

This hearty wedge salad, which contains the classic elements of a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich, is a version of one served at Old Homestead Steakhouse in New York City.

FOR THE DRESSING:
4 oz. Maytag blue cheese

2 tbsp. heavy cream
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
2 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. worcestershire
1/4 tsp. hot sauce, such as Tabasco
1 small shallot, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper,
   to taste

FOR THE SALAD:
1 head iceberg lettuce, cored and
   halved lengthwise
4 strips cooked bacon, torn
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
8 basil leaves, torn
4 oz. crumbled Maytag blue cheese
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Flatbread or toasted pita, for serving

1. Make the dressing: In the bowl of a food processor, combine blue cheese, cream, mayonnaise, milk, oil, Worcestershire, hot sauce, and shallot and process until smooth and creamy, about 15 seconds. Season dressing with salt and pepper and transfer to a small bowl; set aside.

2. Arrange lettuce cut side up on 2 plates. Spoon dressing over each wedge and garnish salad with bacon, tomatoes, basil, and blue cheese. Season with black pepper and serve with the flatbread, if you like.

 The Man’s BFF, Gary sent this recipe along to The Lady…

“I think of good old Mac and cheese as a core comfort food.  It’s a dish that is good to have when you’re not feeling well.  Actually, it’s good any old time!  It seems to go with everything particularly seasonal vegetables.  Years ago, I had some left over garlic butter from making garlic butter.  On a whim, I used it in making the cheese sauce for this recipe.  It added wonderfully to the flavor of this recipe and I’ve used it ever since.”

 Ingredients:

 4 Tbsp – margarine or butter

1 cup – diced onion

1 Tbsp – minced garlic

3 Tbsp – all-purpose flour

2 Cups – milk

¾ lb – Extra-sharp aged Tillamook cheddar cheese, grated

½ tsp – White pepper

½ tsp – Ground nutmeg

1 tsp – oregano, crushed

Sea salt & fresh ground pepper (optional)

8 oz – Farfalle, Rotini or Fusilli pasta

Oil cooking spray

Parmesan cheese, grated

Fresh parsley, minced

 

Preparation:

 In a skillet, heat 2 Tbsp. margarine; add onion and sauté until onion becomes translucent.  Add the garlic for a minute or two.  Keep warm and set aside. 

  1. In a large saucepan, heat 2 Tbsp. margarine.   Stir in flour and cook being careful not to brown.  Remove from heat and whisk in milk until thoroughly blended.  Heat on medium and cook stirring, until mixture begins to thicken.  Remove from heat; add all but a couple of ounces of the cheese, and the seasonings.
  2. Cook the pasta according to package directions.  Stir into the sauce after draining. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.  Spoon mixture into a sprayed baking dish, about 9 x 13.  Top with remaining cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese and parsley.
  3. Bake in pre-heated oven at 400 F, for 30 minutes or until mixture is bubbling and top is golden.  Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad

 

INGREDIENTS

• 2 large red or yellow tomatoes, sliced

• 1/2 pound Mozzarella Fresca Fresh Mozzarella, drained, sliced (Available at The Lady’s Cheese Kiosk)

 • 1 bunch fresh Basil Leaves

• 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

• 2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

• salt and freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

1. Arrange tomato, cheese slices and basil alternately overlapping on platter.

2. Whisk oil and vinegar together. Pour over tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.