ARTISANAL MACARONI & CHEESE
Kosher salt, to taste
12-ounces hollow pasta, preferably penne
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup dried bread crumbs, preferably panko, or substitute pretzel crumbs or French onions
1-ounce finely grated Parmesan (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup flour
3 1⁄2 cups milk
4-ounces grated Gruyère (about 1 1/2 cups)
4-ounces grated Comté or Cantal (about 1 1/2 cups)
4-ounces grated fontina (about 1 1/2 cups)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a 4-quart saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until not quite al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain pasta, transfer to a bowl and set aside. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a 4-quart saucepan over low heat. Add the bread crumbs and Parmesan, toss to combine and transfer to a small bowl; set aside. Wipe out the saucepan and set over medium heat. Melt the remaining butter and whisk in the flour until smooth. Whisk in the milk and cook, continuing to whisk often, until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Stir in the Gruyère, 1 cup of the Comté and 1 cup of the fontina and whisk until the cheese is melted and incorporated. Season with salt and pepper. Remove pan from heat and stir in the reserved pasta. Pour the mixture into a 2-quart baking dish and top with the remaining Comté and fontina. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture over the top and bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
GOAT GOUDA GRILLED CHEESE
1 large rosemary chicken sausage (not pre-cooked)
1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
4 thick slices soft sourdough bread
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 and 1/2 ounces goat gouda cheese, shredded
10 Peppadew peppers
In a small sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Squeeze the sausage out of its casing and into the pan. Break in up with a wooden spoon. Cook until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Wipe out the pan. Spread one side of each slice of bread with about 1/2 tablespoon of butter. Heat the pan over medium heat. Place two of the slices of bread into the pan, butter side down. Top each with 1/4 of the cheese. Follow with the sausage, and 5 peppers on each. Finish off with the rest of the cheese and top with the second slice of bread, butter-side up. Cook for 5-8 minutes on the first side before flipping and cooking for another 5 minutes or so, unil the cheese is melted, and the bread is toasted golden brown.
BUTTERMILK BLUE CHEESE DRESSING
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 cup (4-ounces) good blue cheese, crumbled
1 Tablespoon chives, finely chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
Add the buttermilk, sour cream and mayonnaise to a mixing bowl and stir until well-combined. Add the blue cheese and mix together, using the backside of a spoon to mash the blue cheese into the buttermilk mixture. Some chunks of blue cheese should remain. Add the chives, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Serve over a wedge of iceberg lettuce to create a classic wedge salad, or use with your favorite recipe within 4 days, stored in the refrigerator.
PEAR AND SAGE FLATBREAD
WITH CAVEMAN & TOUVELLE
1 red or Bartlett Pear
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Pizza dough - enough for one 10” pie (homemade or store bought)
3 Tablespoons crème fraiche or sour cream
1 1/2 cups TouVelle*, shredded
2 ounces Cave-aged Blue, crumbled
2 Tablespoons fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced
Freshly cracked black pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash and core pear. Do not peel. In a medium bowl, combine lemon juice and 2 c. cool water. Slice 12 – 15 thin slices of pear and immerse slices in lemon water to prevent browning. Drain. On a floured surface, roll or stretch room-temperature pizza dough, forming a large, thin rectangle. Transfer dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Top dough with a thin layer of Crème Fraiche or sour cream followed by TouVelle. Space pears evenly around the dough. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes until crust is browned and cheese is melted and bubbly.
Remove from oven and immediately top with crumbled Caveman, sliced sage and black pepper. Slice and serve immediately.
*TouVelle is an American original cheese with full flavors of sweet cream, milk chocolate, roasted nuts, a hint of vanilla and the slightest tang. The recipe for TouVelle combines techniques and cultures that are employed in making some of America’s favorite cheeses: Cheddar, Jack, and Gouda.