Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Dreaded Cheese Nubs...

We've all been there. You go to the market, buy some cheese with the best of intentions, eat some of it, and then.... (insert suspenseful horror film music for effect).... you wrap it up, it gets moved to a dark lonely corner of your refrigerator, and the next time you see it, it's a sad, desiccated little shell of its former self.

This week, Saxelby Cheesemongers is here to tell you that this tragedy need not be the end of your unintentionally fridge-cured cheeses! Even this monger has been known to accumulate a bevy of odds and ends that can be transformed from their ugly-duckling selves to beautiful, delicious swans. Ok, maybe that wasn't quite right. No one is going to be eating any swans here, but we will give you some tips, tricks, and recipes for salvaging those cheese nubs!

First and foremost, there's mac and cheese. I mean, it's a perennial favorite, but when the weather starts to get a bit crispier, that smell of bubbling browning cheese in the oven is just something else all together! This recipe was inspired by two customers, Dave and Jen, who are masters of cheese-nub-utilization.

Cheese Nub Mac & Cheese

Stuff you'll need:

Cheese Nubs (the more the merrier)
Butter
Milk or cream
Pasta
Bread Crumbs (optional, but awesome)

1. Preheat the oven to 350.


2. Cook the pasta until al dente or mushy, whatever you like.


3. Gather up all your cheese nubs and grate them, cut them up, or mash them into a bowl of random cheese goodness. All parts of the cheese are welcome! However, if you have some especially gnarly rinds, you might want to trim those off.


4. Butter a ceramic baking dish, and fill with one layer of pasta.


5. Liberally sprinkle (think tinkerbell with combat boots on) your cheesy mixture atop the pasta, and douse with a splash of milk or cream.


6. Put another layer of pasta atop the first, and repeat the heavy duty cheese sprinkling and cream pouring.


7. To top it all off, put a final layer of cheese on top. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top of that, and strategically place various pats of butter on the crumbs for extra browning effect. (hey, nobody said this was going to be light!)


8. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the cheese is browned and bubbling, and the bread crumbs have become toasty and wonderful.


This mac & cheese is of course best served right away. But it's also pretty dang good the next day as a chilled slice o' cheesy pasta pie!

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To continue on that theme, our next recipe is a cheesy sauce that's just the thing for pasta, roasted veggies, gratin-ish dishes, or if you've got blue cheese in your nub collection, a nice juicy steak!

Cheese Sauce For Just About Anything

Stuff you'll need:

Cheese nubs
Butter
Garlic
Milk or Cream

1. Cook the garlic in butter until nice and soft.

2. Crumble, cut, or grate your cheese nubs into the smallest pieces you can muster.

3. Toss the cheese in the pot, add between 1/2 cup and 1 cup of milk or cream (or a mixture of the two!) and stir.

4. Continue to stir as it cooks down to thick, cheesy deliciousness, anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes. You may want to add more cheese or more milk as time goes by depending on the consistency you want.

5. Pour it over just about anything and watch the gastronomic sparks fly! (no digestion puns intended here...)

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This Sunday, October 3rd, is chock-a-block full of cheesy events that we'd love for you to join in on! Visit Saxelby Cheesemongers at the New Amsterdam Market where we'll be EVERY SUNDAY from 11am to 4 pm, or come on out to Roberta's Pizza from 4 to 7 pm for a tasting of cheese, wine, and wood-fired breads in the garden! For reservations, just click on the link above.

'Till next week, cook up those cheese nubs, and be merry!


saxelbycheese.com
Cutting the Curd, a dairy-centric radio show on Heritage Radio Network

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