Posts Tagged ‘cheese’

Fall foraging

November 10, 2013

ForagingAnn and I shirked our domestic duties (chores and such) in favor of a Sunday drive….albeit a drive with a purpose.

I wanted to check out the Brick Farm Market in Hopewell; she has been craving some of the aged cheddar from Bobolink Dairy and Bakery in Milford. So we opted to make our excursion into a an adventure to see what we might acquire for tonight’s dinner.

At our first stop, we picked up two strip steaks from grass fed beef raised on Double Brook Farm, a piece of Dante (a sheep’s milk cheese) and some prosciutto cured by Salumeria Biellese from hams of heritage breed hogs raised on the farm.

Continuing on to Bobolink, we not only grabbed some of their cave aged cheddar (a house favorite), a piece of their “Amish Blue Cheese”, some of their “Frolic and a stick of their cranberry walnut bread (plus a pair of cheddar biscuits to nibble on in the car).

On the return trip, we visited the Stockton Market. There I picked up some crimini and shitake mushrooms to go with my steak and some marinated olives from Mushrooms, Etc. We also grabbed some chocolates from the Painted Truffle.

Our menu took shape: marinated olives, an assortment of cheeses and the prosciutto for starters. Grilled, grass fed, strip steaks (mine topped with some crumbles of the blue cheese and accompanied by the roasted mushrooms finished with some butter, bourbon and rosemary) and roasted rosemary potatoes as the main course. Then came salad of lettuce, tomato and shaved finnocchio (all local produce from a prior trip to the Trenton Farmers Market) to cleanse the palate and the chocolates for dessert.

Hunting and gathering worked out.

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Ok. This is bad.

September 16, 2010

Pepper dogs

Even before “Chopped” appeared on the Food Network, I was familiar with the concept of trying to make something to eat out of whatever was at hand. 

I mean, really, haven’t we all done this?  Ok, maybe not with a cash prize at stake, but we’ve all rooted around in our pantries and fridges to scavenge the makings of a snack or a meal.

There was one solo weekend years ago when I discovered a box of arborio rice, several bottles of clam juice and a tin of smoked oysters on the shelf in the pantry.  Voila!  The resulting risotto was quite nice, thank you very much.

Yesterday I found myself a little extra hungry at lunch time.  There was an open package of Ball Park All Beef franks in the fridge,  a couple of hot italian banana type peppers, a small piece of cheddar cheese from Bobolink Farm (recently relocated to Milford from Vernon, NJ) and some hot dog buns.

I removed the stem, seeds and ribs from the peppers and split them.  Tucked the hot dogs inside them an nuked them for two minutes.  A little mustard on the buns, a slice of cheese and the franks swaddled in peppers.

Say what you will, I liked it!

Making ends meet

October 30, 2009

It’s been a hectic week. 

Sunday through Wednesday, I was off on a trip to Montauk, NY with the guys.  We ostensibly went to fish for striped bass and bluefish.  Truthfully, the conversation and camaraderie are the real attractions. 

And the food.

One of the hallmarks of this annual trip has been the outrageously wonderful things we do with the catch of the day.  I hope to get to posting some of those dishes soon.

Meanwhile, back at work yesterday and today, I have been playing some serious “catch-up” (not catsup as in Heinz) in the office.  Both days, I didn’t leave my desk until about two in the afternoon and only then because I had to run to make a deposit at the bank.

Today, I also ran home for a quick bite of lunch.  You see, I only live a few blocks from the office I work in and the company’s bank has a branch that completes a neat little three-block triangle.

I was trying to think of something available at home for a quick, satisfying bite as I left the bank.  In my mind I was running through the inventory of items

I knew were available to me at home when inspiration struck.

I had taken a couple of bacon ends to Montauk with me with the intent of dicing them up, frying them off and then tossing with some fresh, late season green beans for dinner one night.  As the successive waves of provisions were loaded into the fridge at the borrowed house, the bacon got lost in the shuffle, only to be found when we were packing everything up to return home. 

Also in the fridge was a piece of bleu cheese…two different kinds, actually.  A piece of gorgonzola and a piece of stilton; the former had been served with cocktails one evening and the latter with honey as dessert.  Somehow, I had inherited them both when we broke camp.

There was a rustic country loaf I had baked sitting, untouched on the counter.

Suddenly, I had a plan.

Upon entering the house, I made straight for the kitchen.  The cheese and the bacon were retrieved from the icebox.  A small frying pan was placed on the stove over a medium flame and in went the pork.

With the pork fat slowly rendering out of the bacon, I turned to the bread and cut off the heel far enough in to get then carve off two sandwich size slices. (I confess I ate the heel with a hunk of the bleu cheese).

After turning the bacon over in the pan, I cut two very thin portions of the cheese and laid one each on the slices of bread.

At this point, the aroma of the sizzling bacon roused the dogs from their afternoon nap.  Kirby had gone out into the backyard to patrol for squirrels, but Jackson stayed in the kitchen to supervise me.  His diligence rewarded with a taste of the cheese.

When the bacon ends were fully cooked, I removed them to a cutting board and broke them down into bite-sized pieces.  Placing the bacon on top of the cheese on one piece of bread, I inverted the remaining cheese adorned slice on top and pressed down!

bacon bleu

Sandwich of bacon and bleu cheese

Voila!  Bacon and bleu cheese sandwich.

(Just don’t tell my physician, ok?)