Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pecorino Romano, Week 4

Hiya folks! I can't believe it's been a month of cheese already!

Follow-up question from last week: What's up with the non-melting cheese and melting spatula?  Does that defy the laws of thermodynamics, or something?

Answer: I don't know. Wikipedia doesn't know.  The first couple of google results for "Why doesn't paneer melt?" don't know.  The best guess I've got re: paneer melting is its low fat content.  It's texture is more like semi-firm tofu. The spatula melting beats me, too.  Unlike the rest of my spatulae, the blue one didn't even bend. I don't know where I got it, but it's use may be relegated to tossing salads, or something.

I had planned on a dessert cheese this week, but when I went to find Lisa's suggestion, Brebis, there was none! So, this week's cheese has special inspiration from the National Gallery of Art. I went there yesterday and caught the second-to-last day of the Pompeii and Naples exhibit!  It was so cool!  In the summer of 2004, I went to Pompeii and the same museum they borrowed much of the collection from. Photographs were not allowed in the exhibit (probably because of the frescoes?), so I've got this one taken of me posing by the fountain right before being shooed away by security (closing at 5:00 is so sad).

I read some more about the exhibit online, and it turns out the Gallery's cafe has some of its recipes inspired by the exhibit posted!  As much as I wanted to make a dessert, I figured the Tomato Tart was close enough-- it is a tart, after all. 

The last January cheese of the week:

Pecorino Romano

Price: 19.99/lb
Smell: Sharp and salty. Kind of like Parmesan, but with a salt BAM!
Step One: Prepare crust.  This used 1/4 cup of Thyme for two crusts!  Whoa! 

Step Two: Bake crust.  But don't "bake-bake" it.  I don't have pebbles or beans not for eating, so I just put a plate on each tart crust and crossed my fingers.  It worked!

Step Three: Leeks. I have a new appreciation for leeks now.  Actually, I think they won over the cheese.  I had no idea how to "half moon" the leeks.  Google to the rescue!  My taking on the half-mooning process:
Step Four: Shred it, and forget it! 

Step Five: Layer it.  Leeks-tomato-oregano-cheese.
Step Six: Take out when golden brown, and enjoy!  This was problematic for me. This thing refused to be golden or brown.  Fifteen minutes turned into much more than that, and eventually I just took it out because I was hungry.  End result? Good idea...but I think I didn't need to put as many "dashes" of salt as I did. When Pecorino Romano is matured, it is dry-salted for 6-8 weeks.  Winner: Leeks.  

End tally: Manchego>Paneer>Comte> Pecorino Romano
Next week: Super bowl cheese!! 
Shout-outs to: Annie and Pete-- Italian cheese, Italian friends!  Erica-- Love your new blog about tea! Hope the cheese readers check it out


  1. I think that the guards were using the same pose to shoo us away. The tart looks delicious!

  2. Kate, I've been accused of being a "filcher of fromage," a "capturer of queso," a "burglar of Brebis" and, perhaps most hurtfully, a "dastardly defalcator of dairy." So, just to clarify, the Brebis wasn't my suggestion, it was Ross'. In fact, I've never even tasted the stuff. But he swears that it and blueberry preserves are the best dessert on earth. (Happy, Ross?)

    Anyway, thanks for the blog. It makes my Sunday smile. And I like the play at home version where I get to make myself Irish cheddar grilled cheese sammiches. Mmmm. See you tomorrow!!


  3. Sweet - a shout out for me! Thanks :) Sorry the Italian cheese didn't come out as tasty as you'd hoped. It still looked awesome though.


  4. xD from the same museum really? and yes frescoes are rather camera shy :3

    this seems like a gourmet pizza! mm! even if it's a bit salty...

    thanks for the shout-out xD

  5. >has cheese ever saved a life
    >what % of taste sense is smell sense
    > follow-up: we still eat cheese
    >why are cyprus turks and greeks fighting over bacteria hint cheese
    >can you drink cheese
    >in your experience are elementary pupils very interested in cheeses
    >the Amish -- is cheese a modern convenience
    thank you for an inspiring blog; everything looks so wonderful!!
    nit balboa


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