Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wildcard Cheese: Gjetost

This may look like a chunk of caramel or peanut butter, but this is completely the opposite. This here, is a decadent Norwegian whey cheese called Gjetost. Although Gjetost is categorized as a cheese, it's technically not. Gjetost is made from the leftover whey of goat's and cow's cheese making, not from the curd itself. The whey is placed in a kettle and heated for hours, allowing the natural sugars to caramelize, which explains why it's golden brown in color!
The addition of goat's milk and cream creates a fudgy texture and delectable mouth feel.
Gjetost is best served in paper thin slices. Allow it to sit on our tongue and's just divine!

photography credit: igourmet

Monday, February 9, 2015

Build a Charcuterie Board

Second to a cheese board, a charcuterie board has become my second favorite item to order at a restaurant. During my last visit in Chicago, I enjoyed a fantastic charcuterie plate at Publican Quality Meats. And, ever since consuming that plate of food, I've been a sucker for cured meats, pâtes, rillettes, and all the briny fixins of a traditional charcuterie board. 
As simple it is to devour, it is just as easy to create.
See highlighted links for product info!

The Meat
I showcased a range of meat products, from a smooth truffle mousse pâte, to silky, paper-thin slices of melt-in -your- mouth Serrano ham and coppa. The addition of Olympic Provisions' (amazing) Loukanika Salami with cumin and orange zest provides a bit more texture, chew, and punch of flavor.

The Accompaniments
No charcuterie board is complete without accompaniments.
Acidic accompaniments like cornichons, whole grain French mustard, and peppery radishes counteract the richness of  meat and add texture. Marcona almonds also provide a nice crunch, and are fun to just pop in your mouth.

Apricot preserves are a sweet, and unexpected accompaniment. A little spoonful of apricot preserves with pâte on a petit toast is a wondrous flavor combination.

You'll notice that I added Taleggio cheese to the charcuterie board. I just had to! Taleggio is an Italian, washed-rind cheese with such an umami, beefy quality. It's one of my favorite cheeses and pretty darn close to eating meat. In fact, washed-rind cheeses were enjoyed by monastery monks who refrained from eating meat during lent!

The Platform
I like to serve a rustic baguette, petit toasts and water thin crackers. 
Bread is a must have, I love Acme Bread's sweet baguette.
Petit toasts are perfectly bite size and are a great, crusty backdrop for pâte and even cheeses.
Water thin crackers are your everything cracker and have a lovely crisp texture that does not interfere with the flavor of your meats.

Have Fun!
One of the reasons why I really enjoy charcuterie platters is being able to mix up and come up with different flavor combinations. A little bit of this, a spoonful of that... I encourage you to have fun and layer ingredients to come up with unique and exciting combinations!

photography by Maki Photography, styling by me

Monday, January 26, 2015

Donut Jewelry

Hi all and Happy Monday! 

How scrumptious are these necklaces by Tadam Design? It's making me want to go out and get a donut right now!

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Fancy Food Show

The Fancy Food Show is like the fashion week of food. Gourmet brands and importers share their latest and award-winning, creative products with food industry professionals. It's jam-packed with deliciousness, everything from cheese to pickled vegetables to ketchup! It's a wonderful place to connect with others that share your similar passion for food. I was ecstatic to have met Cypress Grove's Mary Keehn, The Pt. Reyes Farmstead team, Karin from the Truffle Cheese shop, Natasha of Cool Haus, and Chef Nancy Silverton! While there was an abundance of tasty items, here are few of the many that caught my attention and taste buds:

Rogue Creamery's lavender cheddar
Perfectly floral and delicate.

Earl Grey rubbed cheese from Barely Buzzed

Herb Crystals
Adds texture and great flavor. I can see this used in sweet applications. 

Juicy, briny pickled figs
This on a cheese plate!

Blackberry Patch's berry ketchups.
Sooo good. It could be used to add pizazz to bbq sauces and would taste great in a grilled cheese sandwich. It's nice balance of sweet and tangy.

 If you close your eyes, it's really like eating a grilled bacon cheeseburger. Flavors were spot on!

Vermont Creamery's new crème fraîche flavor, Madgascar Vanilla
A dessert on its own.

Jeni's Brown Butter Almond Brittle ice cream + fudge sauce. Pure Decadence!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Monday, January 12, 2015

Food Photography Love: Amy Roth

Happy Monday. I'm starting off the week off with Amy Roth's photography.
Amy's photographs are soft, soothing and just pleasing to look at. 
She sure knows how to capture the beauty of food, especially that head of garlic.
Check out more of her work on her website.