Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mac and No Cheese, Week 20

I bought a new computer and saw Star Trek today! Woo hoo!

No cheese today.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Colby, Week 19

Happy Mother's Day!

Before I begin with this week's posting, I want to take a moment and grieve over Snofrisk.  I brought a croissant and Snofrisk in to work for breakfast, and it was just delicious.  When I returned home, I was caught up playing with my favorite dog and quickly forgot about my precious cargo.  The next day, I went to pack my breakfast again, but there was no Snofrisk in my fridge!  Where did it go?  My handbag!  You know it's been excellent week of cheese when it upsets you days later that your cheese spoiled.  Dear Snofrisk: It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.

Today, however, another letdown.  My computer does not particularly feel like recognizing my photo card.  I have Googled my way to "reset your computer and try again," but no luck.  Perhaps my PC knows I've been looking for another...and browsing the Apple Store.  I am finally free of some stress for awhile, and it goes and stages revolt.

When my PC decides I'm worthy, I will post photos of the cheese of the week, Colby.  It was rather rainy and gloomy last week, and I just had a craving for macaroni and cheese.  Yes, there was an entry about Cheddar Mac & Cheese all the way back during Week 8, but this is different, I swear.  

I took the basic Baked Macaroni and Cheese I recipe from and traded the Chedda' for something betta'--- Colby.  I also doubled the bacon, which was seasoned with red pepper while it was frying.  There is definitely a trick to making the cheese sauce.  Between melting the butter just so and intense stirring with heat resistant spatulas for the flour and milk, it's much more of an art than it seems.  I've learned the hard way about thickening creamy sauces and soups with too much flour at a time (endless straining and Cuisinarting is just no fun).

I wish I could show you my Colby photos.  That macaroni and cheese was the best I've made in years.

Verdict: Colby just happened to be a cheesier and more delicious alternative to Cheddar than I thought possible. It was so soft and melted wonderfully. I'm rating it higher than Vermont Cheddar because of this, but lower than Irish Cheddar because it wasn't as distinctive.

End tally: Midnight Moon > Lamb Chopper > Manchego > Paneer > Comte > Irish Cheddar > Colby > Vermont Cheddar > Emmentaler > Bucheron > Delice d'Argental > Brie > Snofrisk> Oaxaca/Asadero > Red Square > Port Salut > Stilton > Pecorino Romano > Monterey Jack

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Snofrisk, Week 18

Readers, I have returned!  A most happy May to you and yours.  This past month was an exceptionally busy one for me, and I do apologize for the sometimes erratic postings.  Now, on with the show!

My mother recently sent me the most divine croissants from Williams-Sonoma.  We first got them years ago when her mother sent them to our family, and seeing that box of frozen goodness in the mail this week just made my stomach jump for joy merely in anticipation of enjoying them this weekend.  These things are amazing.  I've been to the bakeries in Paris and Nice...and these croissants are the closest you'll find on this side of the pond.  Gushing for croissants aside, I knew I had to somehow incorporate my cheese of the week with them.  Even though they are just perfect with butter fresh out of the oven.  I figured a spreadable goat cheese might fit the bill and perhaps be more blog-worthy than Laughing Cow cheese.  In high school, I once dressed up as the laughing cow for a "commercial" in our French food "television show."  I didn't especially feel like reliving the days of wearing a red sweatsuit and a paper plate plastered with a cow face rubber-banded to my head, so I settled for a similarly curious sounding cheese name: Snofrisk.  

Snofrisk? Really.  Apparently, Snofrisk = Snow Fresh in Norwegian.  There's a cute goat on the label, too.

Price: $21.78/lb
Smell: Like cream cheese or Laughing Cow cheese, but super creamy and authentic.  None of that 'whipped' business.  Snofrisk is serious cheese. (Say that out loud.)
Bonus: Trying to read inside packaging is good fun.  
Step One: Set out croissants before bed so they can thaw and rise.
Step Two: Marvel at how big they got.  Get excited.  Bake 15-20 at 350 degrees.
Step Three: Spread Snofrisk on biggest, flakiest, best-looking croissants.  Spread real butter on croissants for heaven in puffed pastry form.  Side note:  I got a new tablecloth!  Last month, I went to the Textile Museum and was wowed by their Recent Acquisitions collection.  This tablecloth is a Suzani pattern that was made in India.  
Verdict:  Snofrisk is good.  Really good.  It's the best plain cream cheese I can recall.  It's 80% goat cheese, 20% cream of cow's milk.  If you want to indulge in cream cheese or just be able to offer something called Snofrisk to guests, I highly recommend it.  Like I mentioned in my last post, ranking great cheese is really hard.  When I update my spreadsheet of cheese this month, I'll have the sections of super cheese, good cheese, and cheese I'd rather pass on clearly marked.  Snofrisk is better on its own than Oaxaca, but not as versatile as Brie.  

End tally: Midnight Moon > Lamb Chopper > Manchego > Paneer > Comte > Irish Cheddar > Vermont Cheddar > Emmentaler > Bucheron > Delice d'Argental > Brie > Snofrisk > Oaxaca/Asadero > Red Square > Port Salut > Stilton > Pecorino Romano > Monterey Jack

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Appreciation for Cheese, Week 17

This past month has been a busy one for me, and I've not been able to keep up with the blog as I would have liked.  I think things should be calming down soon, and I am enthusiastic about continuing to try more cheeses!  Some people have asked about last week's cheese-- if I liked it so much, why was it rated so low?  The simple answer is this: I have been eating really, really good cheese this year.  There are just a couple of cheeses I probably wouldn't get again.  For example, my last ranked cheese, Monterey Jack, can be a great cheese on its own.  In comparison to the other cheeses I've had, it was just a little on the boring side.  Perhaps another brand would have changed my mind.  I certainly hope I'm not offending too many Monterey Jack aficionados out there.  :)

This week I had a craving for plain old grilled cheese with my pre-blog favorite, Muenster.  After buttering my sunflower bread, placing some pre-sliced Muenster inside, and grilling, I just knew it would be delicious.  I was shocked!  Something just didn't taste...right.  Had I become a cheese snob? Would I never be able to eat deli cheese without remembering my delights with Comte and the Lamb Chopper?  Thinking my grilled cheese could have been subpar because of 'butter' spread, I tried Muenster plain...but to no avail!  Come back favorite cheese, come back!

While I didn't try a new cheese this week and I still have Irish cheese in the fridge, I increased my appreciation for cheese.  

I'm off to do more work and have a Muenster grilled cheese for dinner.

Have a great week, readers!