I know, I know. You’re all saying, “But Amber, it’s not technically April yet!”
Well, I’m sure you’re not all saying that, but I know some people are. And to those people I say, it is officially April 1 in New Zealand!
Really, though. Google it.
ANYWAYS. That brings me back to my point: our newest Cheese of the Month! Many of you may recognize this classic cheese. An oldie but a goodie, the Bottle King Vineyard Markets are featuring Comté! If you’ve been with us here for a while, you may remember Lauren’s post way back when on this cheese.
Hailing from the Franche-Comté region of France, this semi-hard, alpine-style cheese is made from raw cow’s milk–one of my favorites! In my opinion, raw cheeses–that is, unpasteurized cheeses–just offer so much more than their pasteurized counterparts; they’re fuller, richer, more flavorful. This particular French one may strike a familiar note with all my die hard Gruyère lovers out there. When I describe Comté to my customers here, I often use the phrase “the French version of Gruyere” (may neither the French nor Swiss strike me down…). Its lovely full flavor is all wrapped up within its firm, yellow paste and natural, rough, brown rind.
Comté is an incredibly versatile cheese. When you’ve got a nice, fresh hunk of it, it makes a delightfully nutty and earthy addition to any cheese platter; however, this cheese is also a fantastic melting cheese and a great substitute for anywhere you would normally use Gruyère.
- atop French Onion soup
- in a grilled cheese with Anna Mae’s Smoky Mustard (my favorite)
- as a base for mac and cheese
- as a base for fondue
- melted over sauteed onions
- in quiche
- on a cheese board alongside some rustic crackers & Dalmatia Fig Cocoa Spread
- in anything and everything that involves cheese
Another amazing thing about Comté? It makes a great pairing with a variety of different wines. Try it with an aged Port, a lighter Riesling, or a fruity Merlot or Pinot Noir. You simply can’t go wrong!
And we’re back for another round!
Hope you all got the opportunity to test out yesterday’s quick and easy recipe and, even more importantly, I hope you loved it just as much as I do!
As I promised you, I’m not stopping there. I’ve got a few more fun and delicious snack ideas lined up for the next few days leading up to the Super Bowl. So let’s jump right in to the next one!
Stuffed Peppadew Bites
These little gems right here are an absolute classic at my store. Every time I whip these up for sampling, people LOVE them. We used two different cheeses this time around: a goat cheese for a rich creamy feel, and a blue cheese for a slightly more piquant taste–plus, And the best part is they only require a couple of ingredients and they’re so easy to prepare.
* If you already have the ingredients from yesterday’s dip recipe, you might even have some leftover goat cheese to use for these Peppadew Bites!
What you’ll need:
- 1 jar Peppadew Peppers (mild or hot, to preference)
- about 8oz. softened goat cheese
- about 8oz. creamy blue cheese (try Cambozola)
How to do it:
- Take cheeses out of the fridge about 30 minutes ahead of time to let them soften
- Drain Peppadew Peppers from jar & pat off with paper towels
- One by one, begin taking a chunk of either cheese and stuffing it into each pepper
- When you’ve gone through all the peppers, place on a serving dish and you’re done!
- If you want to add a little extra oomph, drizzle with some balsamic vinegar
Okay guys, it’s February already–what happened to January?? Am I the only one that feels like the month just flew by? Anyways, I’ve decided that I’m okay with it for a few reasons:
- February is my birthday month
- we’re one month closer to the summer
- Super Bowl Sunday!
Now, for the record, I’m not much of a football fan nor am I much of a fan for either of the football teams playing in the Super Bowl this year; HOWEVER, that’s not going to stop me from watching the game! Or making a whole bunch of food. Because well, come on now, who do you think I am?
SO on that note, I’m super excited to introduce a blog mini-series: each day for the next 5 days, beginning today and leading up to Super Bowl Sunday, I’m going to share a recipe with you that you can make for your own Super Bowl celebration. Majority (if not all) of the ingredients for the recipes are available right here at the Bottle King Vineyard Market! And each recipe is tested and approved by yours truly and the rest of the Bottle King staff.
Let’s jump right in!
Creamy Pineapple Habanero Dip
This first recipe is as easy as it gets & is always an instant hit! It requires only 2 ingredients (plus something to dunk in it) and has a nice creamy base with a mild hint of spice.
What you’ll need:
- 8oz. Capricho de Cabra (or sub goat cheese log)
- 1 jar Rothschild Farm Roasted Pineapple Habanero Dip
How to do it:
- Take goat cheese out of refrigeration about 40 minutes to an hour ahead of time and allow to come to room temperature (this will make mixing SO much easier)
- Place softened cheese in a mixing bowl or serving dish
- Combine goat cheese well with Rothschild Farm Roasted Pineapple Habanero Dip
- Serve with your choice of chips, bread, or veggies!
January tends to be a pretty slow month for us at the Vineyard Markets, so you can imagine my excitement when I’m sent a new cheese to try. This time around, it’s French Emmental. Now, I know it’s not brand-spanking new, but we haven’t had it in my store for as long as I can remember, so I’m excited to share it with you!
French Emmental is a classic cheese, some may call it Swiss-style due to its characteristically large holes throughout. Made in the Alsace region in France, Emmental has a slightly springy, yet slightly creamy texture and a mildly nutty flavor. To be honest, it almost makes me think of a combination between Havarti and Gruyere! Sounds a little odd, I know, but it’s actually really nice.
With such traits, French Emmental makes a delightful snacking cheese, yet it also melts beautifully. Try it grated atop your French Onion soup for a twist on the classic, or use it mixed into your favorite fondue–or pretty much for any type of melty-cheese application. Try snacking on it with your favorite Chardonnay or even Red Burgundy.
Currently available at your local Vineyard Market!
Please inquire with your local Bottle King for availability and tastings.
Have I told you guys yet? I love Halloween. Probably one of my favorite holidays. Because who doesn’t love candy and all things pumpkin?
So ladies and gents, I hope you’re ready for a fantastically ghoulish cheese platter featuring all the Halloween-esque gourmet goodies we’ve got here at the Vineyard Markets!
Nettle Meadow Apple Cider Fromage Frais: I know what you’re thinking, apple cider in my cheese? Trust me, I was skeptical at first too, but this is something special. Coming from upstate NY, Fromage Frais is Nettle Meadow’s special blend of goat and cow’s milk, giving this cheese a nice fluffy, almost-whipped texture, and this particular variety has a lovely blend of spices mixed in to deliver a slightly sweet apple spice flavor–trust me you won’t regret trying this one.
Montchevre Goat Pumpkin: Again, I know what you’re thinking…but c’mon! A creamy goat cheese base with a little pumpkin added in–what could possibly go wrong with that? This cheese delivers the traditional textures of a goat log accompanied by a nice pumpkin flavor with a subtle spice at the end, sure to please all of your ghoulish guests.
Vampire Slayer: You didn’t think I’d forget this classic did you? If you’re not familiar, this cheese comes from not too far away in Pennsylvania from Calkins Creamery. A special cheese we only get around this time of the year, given its name, Vampire Slayer is a cheddar base spiced up by some garlic, onion, and paprika. Perfect for fending off unwanted fang-toothed friends on Halloween.
Terrapin Ridge Pumpkin Honey Mustard: While this one isn’t a cheese, it’s every bit as important to this cheese platter as the cheeses. A new item to our Vineyard Markets, this pumpkin honey mustard may sound a little bizarre (I know), but it’s honestly pretty darn delicious. It’s got a creamy texture and a great pumpkin flavor, followed by a lingering spice at the end that I can’t help but think of pumpkin pie.
Other accompaniments: Try adding some yummy dried fruit crackers, like Kii Natural Crisps or one of the Toasts for Cheese varieties by The Fine Cheese Co. (pictured). Another great choice would be some fresh-cut apple slices–spread on the cheese or dunk in the honey mustard!
Yay! Another holiday is finally here! Which means more fun parties and more food! My favorite.
I especially like the 4th of July for the same reason I like Memorial Day–it usually implies a barbeque. And boy do I love my barbeques. I love the weather, the smells, the feels of summer, and best of all the food.
I’ve noticed that many people have never heard of bread cheese before. For starters, there’s absolutely no bread involved at all–just cheese. So what is it? In short, it’s a prebaked cheese, making it ideal for cooking since it maintains its form and gets a nice crisp on its outside. It’s got a sort of squeaky texture and relatively mild flavor, but my gosh is it good. Enjoy it plain as is, or try it in some of these ways below!
- Grill it! It is July 4th weekend after all, and grilling it creates an amazing crust around the outside. Then, eat it plain or dip in BBQ sauce!
- Slice into strips and fry in a frying pan until each side gets a nice crust. Dip in marinara sauce for cheesy “bread” dippers
Tip: Don’t butter or grease the pan–the cheese will do that for you!
- Warm in a pan on the stove or nuke in the microwave and slather with jam or preserves
- Heat in the oven, cover top with pepper relish, & heat in the oven some more for a pizza-esque treat
- Stick in a waffle iron and then drizzle with real maple syrup for breakfast
There are honestly so many ways you can enjoy Carr Valley Bread Cheese. We’ve cooked it in store here a number of times and it’s quickly become a staff favorite.
How do you enjoy your bread cheese? Let us know!