Brooklyn Brine Barbecue

Anyone else feeling a little bit of summer-fever?

It’s graduations-galore, Father’s Day, and a crazy heat wave is upon us. You know what that means. Barbecue season is finally here! And you know I’ve got some goodies to share.

Not only do we have Brooklyn Bangers back in stock, we’ve also got some new pickles and sauces to go along with them! Introducing Brooklyn Brine Co. here at the Glen Rock Bottle King Vineyard Market. We’ve got 2 new types of pickles and 2 new condiments for all your sandwich and BBQ needs.

First up is Brooklyn Brine’s Maple Bourbon Pickle chips. We’ve got them in both Spicy and Bread & Butter varieties, and let me tell you, the flavor is unbelievable. There’s no strong alcoholic flavor like you might expect from the word Bourbon in the name, just a slightly sweet and complex flavor. The spicy variety has just the perfect amount of heat, I’d say about a medium-spice, and the bread & butter isn’t overly sweet either, just the perfect balance. I just may have found a new favorite pickle…

The condiments don’t disappoint either. Right in line with the Maple Bourbon Pickles, we’ve also got a new Maple Bourbon Mustard, and it’s so good. It’s definitely on the courser side as far as mustards go–I’m a big mustard seed fan, so I love the consistency of this one. It honestly almost reminds me of honey mustard because of the slight sweetness it has–but so much better. I could see myself putting this on sandwiches, burgers, some Brooklyn Bangers, or even just dunking pretzels in it like a dip.

The last new item I have to share is Brooklyn Brine’s new Secret Sauce. Oh. My. Goodness. This stuff is really something else. When I said the pickles had a complex flavor, it may have been an understatement compared to this sauce. It’s sweet, tangy, and acidic all in one bite–there is seriously just so much flavor going on. Just like the mustard this sauce would be great for any BBQ food. I think it would even be amazing on a Reuben instead of Russian dressing.

And that wraps it up, folks! I’m so excited for you to stop in and try some of these new item this weekend. Have you tried Brooklyn Brine Co. before? Let me know what you think in the comments section!

Paradiso Vintage – June Cheese of the Month

And just like that, another month has gone by. Does it feel like 2017 if just flying by for anyone else?

Well folks, this month we’ve got another new cheese for you–you didn’t think I’d let you down, did you? Many of you may be familiar with our beloved friend Paradiso, an Italian-style cheese with an aged Gouda sort of feel. This month’s cheese of the month is Paradiso’s cousin: Paradiso Vintage.

Image-1.jpgAlso produced by Beemster, Paradiso Vintage is differs in quite a few ways from its counterpart. While the original Paradiso has a slightly more crumbly texture and robust and tangy flavor, the Vintage version is ironically much more creamy and smooth. Paradiso Vintage is coated in black wax instead of the original gray and its paste is a softer shade of orange with a few more holes dotted throughout. It has a more semi-firm texture and every bite is super rich and buttery with a subtle tang that lingers. And the plus? Just like the rest of Beemster’s cheese range, Paradiso Vintage is naturally lactose free!

This cheese is super versatile as well.

  • Thinly slice and add Paradiso Vintage to your turkey or salami sandwich
  • Serve alongside fruit spreads for a heavenly bite
  • Enjoy with salted nuts for contrasting textures and a little bit of salty & sweet
  • Add to your next cheese platter for a selection everybody will love
  • Taste with a more tannic red wine to smooth everything out
  • Eat with a glass of white wine to enhance its flavors
  • Pair with just about any and every beer

Stop into your local Vineyard Market for a taste of Paradiso Vintage today!

* Please check with your local Bottle King for availability.

You’ve goat to try these!

Anyone else appreciate my punny title as much as I do?

So as I’m sure you’ve figured out already, this week I’m going to be sharing with you some new goat cheeses we’ve recently brought into the Vineyard Market! The three items I’m going to tell you about are really some fantastic cheeses and have even managed to make their way into my favorites.

First up, from one of my favorite creameries, is Vermont‘s Coupole. The word “coupole” in French translates to “dome”, representative of the cheese’s round snowball shape. With a thin, geotrichum (wrinkly) rind, this cheese is easily identifiable as a Vermont original. Made entirely with goat’s milk from family farms, Coupole starts out pretty dense in the center with a fresh yet distinct goat-y taste, but as it ages this cheese ripens from the outside-in and soon turns into an ooey-gooey delight throughout. My boyfriend’s new favorite cheese (alongside some Sartori Black Pepper)–he loves eating this one with a touch of real maple syrup and a double-IPA or saison.

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This next cheese is a new one all around: new cheese & new creamery! A local cheese, Blackbert is made by R&G Cheesemakers in Troy, New York and is the perfect choice for someone looking for something a little different. Blackbert begins its life as an ash-ripened Image-1 (22)Camembert-style goat’s milk cheese. Cut it open to see a line of vegetable ash through the center, making for a striking presentation. Similar to Cypress Grove’s Humboldt Fog, this is a beautiful cheese and a must-try for any goat-cheese lover. A slightly dry texture but with bold flavor, this cheese is great alongside a glass of Sauvignon Blanc or a fruity Pinot Noir.

 

Last but certainly not least is Fromager D’Affinois Florette. The original Fromager D’Affinois was one of the first creamy cheeses I ever fell in love with–sort of like Brie on crack. The rest of their flavored versions never disappoint, and this one certainly doesn’t fall short either. Florette is Fromager D’Affinois made with goat’s milk. Made using the same ultra filtration methods as the original, this version is rich and silky with just the right amount of goat-y taste. A great choice for long-time goat cheese lovers, as well as a great start for goat newbies, Florette is fantastic on some Waterwheel wafers and a glass of Champagne.

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Have you gotten the chance to try any of our new goat cheeses? What’s your favorite?

Sartori Black Pepper – May Cheese of the Month

I know, guys, I know.

WHERE HAVE I BEEN???

I know I’ve been MIA for the past couple weeks, and for that I do apologize.

BUT.

With great absences, come great new things to the Vineyard Market! We’ve been getting some exciting new things into our stores, as well as bringing back some cult-favored oldies–and I cannot wait to share it all with you in the coming weeks.

For now, however, I’ll ease you all back into it with one new item that I’m sure some of you have anticipating since May 1st: our newest cheese of the month! While it’s a bit of a late reveal this time around, the cheese is still just as amazing. Say hello to Sartori Black Pepper BellaVitano.

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If Sartori is sounding familiar to you, you may recall all of our past blogs featuring this wonderful creamery. Started by Paolo Sartori and Louis Rossini is 1939, Sartori brings authentic Italian traditions to Wisconsin-made cheeses. A family-run operation to this day, the company has produced classic cheeses with a twist–such as their Asiago with Basil and Olive Oil–as well as created their own unique cheese called BellaVitano.

BellaVitano is Sartori’s original creation: a pale yellow-cream color, this cheese is crumbly, yet creamy, and so full of flavor. Sort of like a Cheddar-meets-Parm, BellaVitano is the base for many of Sartori’s flavored cheeses, including Merlot and Espresso.

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Now enter: Black Pepper BellaVitano, our May Cheese of the Month. This time around, Sartori has started with their delicious and unique cheese and then added cracked black peppercorn for a delightful little bite. While the flavor is most pronounced on the actual rind, it is nicely imparted throughout. Each piece of this cheese is super moist, creamy, and savory with that hint of a little something else (you know, black pepper).

Black Pepper BellaVitano would make a fantastic addition to any cheese platter–I just added it to mine the other night! My boyfriend loves snacking on it with some Dalmatia Fig Spread and an IPA. I personally love it with some crusty French bread and a glass of Pinot Noir, but hey, potato-potahto right?

How do you love to eat this month’s Cheese of the Month?

The Blues are back in town!

Anyone remember when we did that big feature on Roquefort blue cheese a while back? If not, I can certainly refresh your memory! Roquefort was our cheese of the month some November ago.

The biggest, baddest blue in our arsenal, Roquefort is a classic French cheese made from raw sheep’s milk and has been made using the same traditions for hundreds of years. With a big, rich mouthfeel and an intensely complex blue flavor, this cheese is surely one for my blue-lovers.

Don’t let its pungency scare you away, though, as this cheese is also quite versatile. While its heartiness might be presumed to be enjoyed mostly during the cold months, there are quite a few ways to enjoy you some Roquefort during the warmer months as well.

  • Slathered on a cracker with Flo’s Grows Raw Honey
  • Mixed with some Cheddar and pulled chicken to make a Buffalo Chicken Dip
  • To make a refreshing snack: Little Blue Bites
  • As the blue cheese component in blue cheese dressing
  • Mixed with cream cheese for dunking raw vegetables

And my favorite way: on pizza!! & what a better time for pizza than now, when the weather is just right to grill it outside.

Now you may have realized at this point that my friend Karen has been sending me quite the blog-spiration lately–and she’s still going! Check out the latest mouthwatering recipe she sent my way!


Maple Bacon Roquefort Pizza

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What you’ll need:

  • Store-bought or homemade pizza dough
    • Pro tip: ask your favorite local pizzeria to buy some of their pizza dough! 
  • 2 small apples, peeled, cored and very thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup real maple syrup
  • 12 ounces shredded Italian blend cheese
    • make it yourself with equal parts Mozzarella, Provolone, & Parm
  • 4 slices cooked bacon, chopped
  • ¼  cup roasted garlic cloves, cut into small pieces
  • 3 ounces crumbled Roquefort

How to do it

  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
  2. Place the sliced apples in a small bowl and pour the maple syrup on the sliced apples and set aside.
  3. Line baking sheet with foil and sprinkle with corn meal or spray with cooking spray. Divide the pizza dough ball into 4 sections, reserving half of the dough for another use. Stretch the dough and place on baking sheet, working the dough into a rectangle. If the dough springs back, let it rest for a few minutes then continue to spread it into the corners of the baking sheet.
  4. Layer each of your pizzas with half of the shredded Italian cheese, then top with slices of apple, the bacon, the garlic cloves and finally the chunks of Roquefort.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden. Drizzle with additional maple syrup, cut and serve immediately.

Beer & Cheese, a love story

I think one of my favorite things about working, not just in a food department but in a food department within a liquor store, is that I get to taste so many different things. And then I often get to taste them together.

Wine and cheese pairings was such a huge interest to me when I first started working in the Vineyard Market. I thought it was just so neat how two seemingly different things could taste so good together, or how they could bring out such different flavors in one another. At this point, wine and I get along pretty well and I feel that I have a pretty decent understanding of general pairings among wine and cheese. The next step? Cheese and beer–a whole new world for me.

Beer has always sort of been an enigma for me. I totally understand why people love it, and once in a while I could maybe sorta enjoy it myself

BUT I have to say that most of the time, I would rather just…not. And I was totally thinking that I just hadn’t found my deep down connection with beer yet.

Last weekend, however, I had the wonderful opportunity of visiting Brooklyn Brewery with some of my co-workers. And let me tell you, my view on beer has been forever changed. I had the opportunity to try quite a few of their beers on tap, and for the first time while drinking a beer, I imagined all the cheeses that might taste good with it.

One that I distinctly remember is Brooklyn’s Naranjito: a lovely Pale Ale brewed with orange peels. This beer has a lightness to it, enhanced by its citrus flavors–immediately upon tasting this beer I was craving a bite of some fresh chevre. Unfortunately, this particular Brooklyn beer is unavailable for purchase in the U.S. (I’m just as sad as you are), but I’ve also found that if you’re looking to pair some fresh goat cheese, Brooklyn’s Greenmarket Wheat has a similarly light and refreshing taste to it that I think would do really well alongside the tangy creaminess of goat cheese.

Here are some other pairings that I’ve found to be successful:

  • Brooklyn Lager with Gruyere
  • Brown Ale with 3 Month Manchego
  • Defender with Black Diamond 5 Year Cheddar
  • Summer Ale with Wyke Vintage Cheddar
  • Sorachi Ace with Shepherd’s Way Big Woods Blue

These pairings are not set in stone by any means. You might try one of the combinations above and decide you don’t care for that particular beer and cheese together at all–and that’s okay! The greatest thing to me about cheese and beverage pairings is the diversity of it. What I find to be delicious, you might not, and vice versa.

Food and alcohol pairings are meant to be a fun adventure. Not sure what goes well with the beer you have? Experiment! Pick your favorite cheese, crack open that beer, and give it a go. You never know what combinations you’ll fall in love with.

Have you tried a beer and cheese combo that you absolutely loved? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Grilled Cheese-ter!

Get it? Because

Cheese

+ Easter

= Cheese-ter! Right???

Aaaaanyway. For those of you that may not have been aware, this past Wednesday was a day very near and dear to my heart: National Grilled Cheese Day!

Of all the foods I love to eat, grilled cheese holds a special place near and dear to my heart. I can recall eating grilled cheeses as far back as I can remember; they were always my go-to snack when I was growing up. They’re super easy to make, there’s an unlimited number of variations you can do, and come on now, it’s buttery toasted bread with gooey melted cheese–where can you possibly go wrong with that?

And so in honor of National Grilled Cheese Day, I thought I’d give you some inspiration to make your own cheesy grilled concoction! And the bonus? It’s the perfect meal to whip up for any picky little eaters you might have on Easter (like my nephew, oh boy).

  • Comte with Anna Mae’s Smoky Mustard
  • Gruyere, caramelized onions, & mushrooms
  • Smoked Cheddar with honey mustard & cornichons
  • Swiss with prosciutto & pickles
  • Mozzarella, tomato, basil, & a touch of balsamic vinegar
  • Yancey’s Fancy Buffalo Wing cheese, fresh jalapenos, & pulled chicken
  • Gouda with apple slices
  • Brie with Raspberry Preserves
  • Brie, bacon, & apricot

As you can see from just those few combinations, there are so many ways you can go with this! Grilled cheese is so fun because you can pretty much just take whatever you love to eat and press it between two slices of crispy buttery bread. Excuse me for a moment, my mouth is watering…

To top it all off, ladies and gents, I’m also going to share with you a recipe that my friend Karen sent to me the other day that really got me excited to do this post


Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup Casserole

What you’ll need:

  • For Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
    • 16 slices sourdough bread
    • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
    • one 5.2-ounce container of Boursin cheese (or other soft, spreadable cheese)
    • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 8 thick pieces
      • try Lioni Fresh Mozzarella
  • For Tomato Soup
    • One 14-ounce can tomato sauce
    • ⅓ cup tomato paste
    • ½ cup heavy cream
    • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 2 eggs
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • To Finish
    • ½ cup shredded white cheddar cheese

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How to do it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. MAKE THE SANDWICHES: Butter one side of each slice of bread with ½ tablespoon soft butter. Flips the slices over and spread 1 tablespoon Boursin on 8 pieces of the bread. Place 1 slice of mozzarella on top of the Boursin and then finish with one more piece of bread, butter side up, to close the sandwiches.
  3. Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, place the sandwiches on the hot griddle and cook until both sides are toasted, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set the sandwiches aside.
  4. MAKE THE SOUP: In a medium pot, whisk the tomato sauce with the tomato paste until smooth. Heat over medium-low heat until it begins to simmer. Stir in the cream and thyme.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Pour about a third of the hot tomato mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly to combine.
  6. Return the mixture to the pot and heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. MAKE THE CASSEROLE: Pour half of the tomato mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Arrange the sandwiches inside the dish and then pour the remaining tomato mixture on top.
  8. Sprinkle the cheddar evenly over the casserole. Bake until the tomato mixture is bubbly and the cheese is melted, 25 to 30 minutes.
  9. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving warm.

** Recipe from HERE


What’s your favorite way to make grilled cheese?

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