Thursday, July 29, 2010

Midnight Moon Goat Cheese, A Perfect Complement to a Summer Bean Salad

Midnight Moon Summer Bean Salad

1 can white beans
1 cup fresh broccoli mini florets
1 ear white corn, shaved
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon serrano pepper, chopped
1-2 oz. Midnight Moon Goat Cheese
freshly ground pepper

This salad happened quite by accident, but it's so good that it's worthy of sharing!

All of these surprising ingredients just happened to be around and wouldn't you know it, they harmonize beautifully together. The highlight of course is the cheese-- Midnight Mood Goat to be exact. Fresh cilantro and serrano pepper adds levity and an unusual kick to this light lunchtime fare. White corn, so abundant this season, and so very delicious adds a incomparable, mellow sweetness to the mix. The white beans, S&W brand, are so well seasoned already that no additional salt needs to be added. And then the Midnight Moon, very much like a premium Gouda except made from goat's milk, rounds out the flavors to lovely end.

I need to point out here that this salad requires NO dressing. It's really that good already!

This is so easy to prepare it's ridiculous! The broccoli, serrano pepper and the cilantro need to be washed. They'll be eaten fresh so wash well. If I have the time, I like to soak vegetables that I'll eat fresh in salted water for ten minutes (or all day). This is a French technique that I picked up living in a third world country. Drain. Mince or chop the pepper. Fresh broccoli I find works well in salads if cut small, so cut the flowers off near the ends about 1/2" in.

The ear of corn simply needs to be microwaved for say... 3 minutes, just until the it becomes opaque, then cooled. Another tip with the cilantro. Just pull off a handful of the leafy part from a bunch and wash briefly. Squeeze out the excess water, you can even pat dry with a paper towel, then tear or chop and add it to your salad.

Okay, the can of beans. Quality is important, and I have always been pleased with S&W. Drain beans and place in a medium bowl. Add all the other ingredients and toss lightly to mix. Dust with freshly ground pepper.(That's it.) =)

The creaminess of the beans combined with the crunch of the broccoli, with the feathery feel of the cilantro and the slight burst of sweet corn is amazing. The cheese is so velvety smooth it melds into the dish without a noticeable texture.

If you haven't had the chance yet, get yourself some Midnight Moon goat cheese! Hand-crafted and aged in Holland makes this California brand cheese by Cypress Grove Chevre a stand out. Holland makes some of the best cheese on the planet, didn't ya know? Midnight Moon comes in a small wheel, but you can purchase a small wedge like I did at the local produce market. Seductive, sexy... Midnight Moon will woo you for sure.

Serve this summery bean salad with a crusty baguette with good butter and limeade (why isn't it called limeonade?)-- that makes a perfect summer meal in my book!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Make Pizza with Your Raclette Grill

A great little video showing how to use a raclette grill, Kiwi style, using the coupelles to make individualized pizzas-- what a great idea!

For the crusts, try any yeast flatbread and cut to size. The beauty of raclette is you can make and eat what you want!

Cheese and Raclette Spot on FoodistaCheese and Raclette Spot

Friday, July 16, 2010

Cheetos Cheese Puffs in Art

Cheese has been used as a medium for art, especially in sculpture. Sarah Kaufmann has carved her way to a sort of cheesy fame as "The Cheese Lady", sculpting everything from Jay Leno's head to six-foot aircraft carrier replicas... in cheddar. A recent exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum in New York got heads turning with a Andy Warhol's head, sculpted in Fontina, melted onto a bed of crackers with from the ceiling with hair dryers. But let us not forget...

Cheese Puffs on Velvet.

This is one artist's tribute to the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis.

Ah, the endless creativity of artists... they add so much beauty to our lives.

Sources: PNT Online, BizBash Boston, YouTube

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Midnight Moon, A Romantic Goat Cheese Gouda

Maybe it's the woman on the label, Bella-Bella daBall or perhaps it's the romantic name, but the goat cheese Midnight Moon by Cypress Grove Chevre creamery is made for the lover in us all.

I'd been perusing the cheese station at my local market, in particular looking to try an all-goat confection, when a wedge of semi-hard glacier-white cheese with an intriguing name caught me eye. Lo and behold, what I found was a hidden cheese treasure, Midnight Moon... Oh...

I brought it home thinking I'd enjoy a hunk of it with the tempranillo Spanish wine I also purchased, but couldn't wait that long. With abandon, I undressed that wedge of cheese and broke off a piece that made a speedway to my mouth. All of time suddenly slowed to almost a standstill as I allowed the rich, smooth, buttery and dense fullness of the thing to dissolve on my palate.

It was like I had a cheese epiphany.

Immediately I went online to find out my taste buds hadn't deceived me. Midnight Moon has received top accolades from cheese masters worldwide in fact, winning Best in Show out of 69 entries in the Hard Goats Milk Cheese category for the 2010 World Cheese Championships among other top cheese awards over the last 8 years since its creation.

Cypress Grove Chevre may be a California dairy, but make no mistake Midnight Moon is crafted and aged in one of the cheese meccas of the world, Holland. If you love Gouda then you'll love Midnight Moon which to my taste buds was even more buttery and a lighter-fluffier version of Gouda, but at the same time, rich nutty and dense which is even more than surprising coming from a cheese made of vegetarian rennet.

I never knew how sexy and romantic cheese could be until now, and as The Cheesemonger describes it, "Midnight Moon is pure cheese porn."