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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Monday, September 20, 2010

The State of New Amsterdam... and New York Too!

They say that old New York was once New Amsterdam... I'm pretty sure I've quoted that 'They Might Be Giants' song before, but it never seems to lose it's luster! It seems especially potent this Monday morning, because just yesterday Saxelby Cheesemongers spanned New York and New Amsterdam in a single bound!

The day began at New Amsterdam Market, where from now 'till the end of December, we'll be holding down the cheese fort each and every week! Yesterday we debuted two new cheeses, a Raclette-style cheese from Spring Brook Farm in Vermont and Noble Road, a creamy raw cows' milk cheese from Calkins Creamery in Pennsylvania. We plan to feature new and special cheeses at the market all season long, so come visit us each and every Sunday down at the Fulton Fish Market to get your fix!

Saxelby Cheesemongers at the New Amsterdam Market
Sundays from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
In front of the Old Fulton Fish Market (corner of South St. and Peck Slip)


On the New York front, this week on Cutting the Curd, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Dean Sparks, co-founder of Empire Organics, which produces a dazzling array of local dairy products including milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream. We talked about the state of dairy in New York from the perspective of an entrepreneur who's making a huge difference in the lives of local dairymen. One of the opening lines on the Empire Organics website reads:

'Today, pretty much everyone understands that organic is just plain better. So why should you choose nymilk? Well, lots of organic milk comes from faraway places. Big deal? We think so!'

Listen in to this week's episode and hear about how Dean went from a dream to save local dairy farms to a 30 farm strong network of producers who are paid 3 times as much, that's right 3 times!, as the commodity market would pay them. It's this kind of thinking that can put New York right back up there on the map as a leading local dairy state. Look for the NYcheese label at Saxelby Cheesemongers soon! In the next few weeks, we'll be carrying some of their scrumptious fromage.

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However, if you're feeling a little peckish right now, don't forget your cheese & chutney! Order a ploughman's lunch selection and have your cheese delivered right to your front door!

Ploughman's Lunch Selection
Three Cheeses & a 9 oz jar of Sweet Deliverance Spicy Green Tomato Chutney
$55 plus shipping
To place your order, visit saxelbycheese.com


The ploughman's lunch is a revered repast in pubs and taverns all across England... We discovered it on a trip across the pond this summer and thought, why not bring this cheesy institution stateside? Each 'Ploughman's Lunch' selection contains a jar of Sweet Deliverance Spicy Green Tomato Chutney and three half-pound wedges of mouth watering fromage: Kunik, a buttery and decadent triple-creme cheese from Nettle Meadow Farm, Shelburne Farm's sharp, oniony, fruity two-year Cheddar, and Jasper Hill Farm's luscious, fudgy Bayley Hazen Blue. Not just for lunch, this selection of cheesy goodness is great fare for dinner parties, tailgates, picnics, and any other dairy-centric snacking occasion you can dream up!

'Till next week, eat cheese and be merry!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

In a Pickle, and Loving Every Minute!

We're in a pickle, and happy as heck about it! A few weeks back, we introduced our Ploughman's Sandwich, a happy marriage of cheddar and chutney wedged between two chunks of ciabatta. It's been such a bit hit, we've decided to send it out on the road! Now you can order a Ploughman's Lunch cheese & chutney selection from saxelbycheese.com, and we'll send lunch straight to your front door!

Ploughman's Lunch Selection
Three Cheeses & a 9 oz jar of Sweet Deliverance Spicy Green Tomato Chutney
$55 plus shipping
To place your order, visit saxelbycheese.com

The ploughman's lunch is a revered repast in pubs and taverns all across England... We discovered it on a trip across the pond this summer and thought, why not bring this cheesy institution stateside? The traditional ploughman's lunch features a couple of hearty chunks of farmstead cheese paired with a sweet & savory chutney. Saxelby Cheesemongers has teamed up with preserves & pickles guru Kelly Geary of Sweet Deliverance NYC to bring you the finest cheese & chutney selection in town.

Each 'Ploughman's Lunch' selection contains a jar of Sweet Deliverance Spicy Green Tomato Chutney and three half-pound wedges of mouth watering fromage: Kunik, a buttery and decadent triple-creme cheese from Nettle Meadow Farm, Shelburne Farm's sharp, oniony, fruity two-year Cheddar, and Jasper Hill Farm's luscious, fudgy Bayley Hazen Blue. Not just for lunch, this selection of cheesy goodness is great fare for dinner parties, tailgates, picnics, and any other dairy-centric snacking occasion you can dream up!

Beer and Cheese Throwdown, Part Three!
Monday, September 20th 8:00 pm
Super Secret Location TBA


Anyone looking for a gastronomic rumble (and we're not talking indigestion here) should get in on the action for the third clash of the cheese and beer titans: Saxelby Cheesemongers and Bierkraft vs Formaggio Essex and Spuyten Duyvil. We've got a score to settle, and we need your help!

This tasting features three rounds of hard-hitting deliciousness, featuring a total of six cheese and beer pairings that are sure to leave your head spinning with delight! Participants vote for their favorite pairings, and at the end of the night, a winning team is declared. Come on out and show your love for Saxelby's next Monday night! It's like Monday Night Football, only way tastier.

For tickets ($60) email bittersweetsoursalt@gmail.com

Our Day A-Whey to Washington County was a cheese-tastic weekend filled with local food, farms, cheese, and old-fashioned fun. We've updated our flickr page with plenty of delicious photos for your viewing delight!

Saxelby Cheesemongers will be back at New Amsterdam Market this Sunday, and every Sunday from now until New Year's! Come on down to the old Fulton Fish Market and sample our cheesy wares. Good flavors and good feelings abound!


'Till next week, eat cheese and be merry!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Last Call for Cheese Adventures, and a Visit to Bonnieview Farm

Labor Day weekend has passed us by, but here at Saxelby Cheesemongers, we're kicking off the fall season in typical cheesy style! Join us this weekend for our biggest and best Day A-Whey trip of the year! We'll visit five cheese makers, get some R&R at a beautiful and historic B&B, and attend a local 'farm to fork' harvest festival dinner. We're almost full up, so call us to reserve your spot today!

A Day A-Whey to Washington County
Visit 5 Local Cheesemakers, Annual Harvest Festival and Dinner,
& Overnight Stay at the Rice Mansion Inn
Saturday, September 11th to Sunday, September 12th



Where else can you visit five cheesemakers, feast on the bounty of locally grown food, and get some R&R at one of New York's most historic inns? This weekend, Saxelby Cheesemongers is hitting the road again for a dairy-licious journey to Washington County, New York! This is a deluxe Day A-Whey if ever we saw one; we'll visit 5 farms in 2 days, hit up a Harvest festival and dinner, stay at a gorgeous historic inn, and whisk you back to the city by Sunday evening. Sit back, relax, and let us do the driving. All you have to bring is your love of cheese!

Saturday Itinerary: Depart from Saxelby Cheesmongers in our cheese-mobile. Arrival at Rice Mansion Inn, followed by catered picnic lunch. Farm tours at Argyle Cheese Farmer, Homestead Artisans, and Sweet Spring Farm. Attend the Salem Harvest Festival and Local 'Farm to Fork' dinner. Overnight stay at the historic Rice Mansion Inn.

Sunday Itinerary: Farm tours and cheese tastings at Three Corner Field Farm and Consider Bardwell Farm. Picnic lunch at Consider Bardwell Farm. Return to NYC by 6:30 pm.

Single Rate $300
Double Rate $250
Groups of 3-4 $225

Ticket price includes transportation, hotel room, all meals, entrance to the Harvest Festival and dinner, and farm tours.

To make a reservation, call Saxelby Cheesemongers at 212-228-8204. Reservations for this Day A-Whey are extremely limited, so reserve today!

Another harbinger of fall is the arrival of fabulous sheeps' milk cheeses from Bonnieview Farm! Bonnieview is tucked away up north in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom, atop a hill looking out to the White Mountains. It's truly one of the loveliest farms this monger has ever laid eyes on. Bonnieview was settled by the Urie family in the late 1800's, and cheesemaker Neil Urie is the fourth generation to work the land. He was able to buy the farm from his uncle a ways back, slowly replaced his cows with a flock of sheep, and began to make an array of delectable aged cheeses. We're proud to show off these unique and delicious Vermonters!

Coomersdale is a small wheel of semi-firm, sheepy, barnyardy goodness. Its flavor lies somewhere between an aged Pecorino and a lively, fruity young Manchego. A great nosh for just about any occasion!

If you ran across a wheel of Ben Nevis, a cheese aptly named for Scotland's tallest mountain, you might mistake it for a stone. Its rind is mottled beige and purple and green, giving it an earthy and rustic cheese camouflage. Once cracked open however, it reveals its bright, tart, lemon-zesty interior. I guess that old adage don't judge a book by its cover applies to cheese too!