Monday, December 18, 2006

Cheese freaks, Christmas is coming early this year.

Readers, I give you Roaring Forties Blue Cheese.

After I decided the Spanish Castello was too creamy to use on my skewers of chateaubriand this weekend, I discovered Roaring Forties Blue. People, let me just say this. It was creamy, it was dreamy, it was heaven on a stick. While I chose the beef for it’s tender texture and succulent flavor, in the end the meat was merely a vehicle for this outstanding cheese.

Maybe it’s so good because it comes from Kings Island (south of Melbourne, Australia) where the cows are said to produce the sweetest milk in the land. I believe it because this cheese is equally sharp and sweet. Fruity even. Its complexities make it a little nutty, a little pungent and a whole lot of delicious. It was definitely the surprise hit of our holiday party. Well, that and the boys in girls’ bikinis in the hot tub.

Anyway, it’s fab with meat, perfect with pears and sinful on its own.

So run, don’t walk, to your local fromagerie and check it out. Happy holidays and you’re welcome!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Season's beatings

Greetings, cheesy visitors. I haven’t forgotten about the blog, I’ve just been lost in The Keys and Miami for a week. I was also laid up, sick, for the better part of the trip, but there's nothing like a warm island breeze to steady a girl's constitution. In any case, I’m back now and frantically planning a menu for our Christmas party. I don’t have much time, so I need options that are nice on the palate and easy on labor. So far I’m thinking about the following:

Skewers of chateaubriand with Spanish castello cheese
Small onion toasts with lemon crème fraiche, smoked salmon and capers
Asparagus wrapped in prosciutto
Crostini with sweet pea and truffle puree
Chicken drumettes in soy ginger sauce
And possibly something featuring gruyere, like gougeres or fondue. We’ll see.

I’ll let you know how it goes and post holiday pix and recipes when the flour settles.

In the meantime, if you’d like a recommendation for a great holiday cocktail outing, check out this still-somewhat-underground speakeasy in SF. If you can navigate the sneaky admittance policy, you won’t be disappointed. And once you've successfully gained entry, order an Aperol Sour. Seriously. It’s the drink so nice, I had to have it twice.