Although Michael Laiskonis is busy as the executive pastry chef at Le Bernardin in New York, he still finds time to dabble in restaurant consulting, food blogging, and teaching. On top of all that, he is writing his own book.
Recognized as an Outstanding Pastry Chef by the James Beard Foundation, Michael has earned a four-star review from New York Times’ Frank Bruni, and three Michelin stars. How does cheese fit into this busy chef's life? Culture intern Alexandra is on a mission to find out.
What are your favorite ways to incorporate cheese into desserts?
Cheese on its own is a great bridge between savory and sweet courses, but so are more complex, composed dishes that incorporate cheese. I believe this is because cheese responds so well to both sweet and savory components, and it plays equally well with intense, concentrated flavors and lighter, fresher flavors.
To add a subtle smoky flavor to this simple salad, substitute Moody Blue® for Buttermilk Blue®.
Bring 2 - 3 quarts of salted water to a rapid boil, add green beans and cook for one minute to blanch; refresh in cold water. Drain and refrigerate until dry.
Place chilled beans in large mixing bowl and combine with red onion, cucumber, grape tomatoes and oregano.
A mild winter in places like Minnesota and New York created problems for ice wine makers. The dessert wine needs very low temperatures to freeze and it was not until a recent cold streak that this was possible. Utica Observer-Dispatch reports that this left many producers with a much smaller harvest than normal.
Along with ski resort operators and snowmobile vendors, the unusually mild winter has been rough on makers of a cold-climate delicacy called ice wine.
The pricey dessert beverage, produced by wineries stretching from Minnesota through New York and in parts of Canada, is revered for its sweetness and often-syrupy texture. It comes from grapes that are picked and pressed while they're still frozen, yielding precious drops of concentrated juice. Winemakers have waited nervously for temperatures to drop low enough to harvest the fruit.
Sunset.com reveals some uncommon and delicious uses for blue cheese. Among the delectable ideas are Caramelized Pear and Sage Crostini as well as Blue Cheese Linguine with Gorgonzola, Potatoes, Green Beans, and Sage.
Linguine with Gorgonzola, Potatoes, Green Beans, and Sage
Your new Italian weeknight staple: The elegant sauce practically creates itself in the time it takes to toss the pasta. Potatoes, pasta, green beans, and blue cheese are a riff on a Ligurian favorite.
If the Holiday Season zapped your sweet tooth, The Guardian recommends reviving the "savory course" instead of an after-dinner dessert. So following dinner toniight, ditch the chocolate and pass the cheese.
I don't know about you, but, right now, if I never ate anything sweet again, that would suit me just fine. Over Christmas I wolfed down any chocolate that crossed my path with an almost obsessive compulsion. I've been on a grotesque Cadbury's jag, punctuated not by cold turkey, but biscuits, cake and trifle. For now, I am done with sugar. For early 2012, pudding is off the menu.
Next time you reach for ice cream toppings, skip the chocolate and grab the sardines. Seattle chef Angelo "Roach" Larocci came up with this interesting pairing as well as other artisanal ice creams that he serves at his restaurant. kplu.org has the full story.
While less adventurous eaters may turn up (or even hold) their noses, local foodistas have made the dairy/dussumeria pairing the hottest trend since Korean taco trucks. But not just any sardine and not just any ice cream will do.
At Fraudulent, his popular Queen Anne eatery, Seattle chef Angelo "Roach" Iarocci hosts "Cream n 'deen" tastings. The weekly events pair artisanal ice creams with individually line-caught sardines, hand-reeled by locally sourced non-smokers.
The dispute over what to call Camembert made in Normandy that does not qualify as Camember de Normandie rages on, and this video from the BBC does a great job clarifying what tends to be a confusing argument:
Traditional cheese makers in France plan to take their industrial-scale competitors to court in a row over who can legally call their product Camembert of Normandy.
The small-scale producers say the mass-market companies are misleading consumers with the marketing of their cheese, and they risk killing off authentic camembert in the process.
David Chazan reports from Normandy.
From the Atlantic, here's a firsthand account of drinking deer milk straight from the udder of a freshly killed doe. This article is not for the deer lovers of the world:
It was nearly dark on the last day of my hunt, and I had just shot two does, a mom and her fawn, standing near each other. Mom heard the first gunshot but didn't know where it came from. As she looked toward her fawn, I shot her. After dating my last two doe licenses, I prepared to get to work.
Ever wonder just how much food a human eats in a year? The answer is a pretty impressive number of pounds, 31 of which is cheese, cheese, cheese. From Allison Aubrey on NPR's food blog, the Salt:
But what are most Americans really eating? A lot of cheese, sweets, and dense potatoes and grains.
So how does it break out? The figure is a little hard to swallow: 1,996 pounds, or nearly one ton. This is an estimate of how much — by weight — the average American eats over the course of one year.
The figure comes from economists who crunched food consumption data collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
If you start with dairy, we consume about 630 pounds of milk, yogurt, cheese and ice cream per year. About 31 pounds of cheese alone sailed down our gullets.
Blackberry Farm's Dustin Busby shares a great cheese pairing recipe recipe here that's well worth the preparation.
Place seeds and Spices into the pot with half the pear cider and start simmering
Peel Pumpkin cut into chunks and add to the other half of the Pear cider
Core the Pears and cut into chunks and place into the Cider with the Pumpkin also add the two cups of Sugar
Once Both Ciders have reduced by about 75% (roughly 2 cups of liquid) Strain the Cider with the Seeds and spices into the Pan with the Pumpkin and Pears,
Puree the Liquid and the Pumpkin and pears into a smooth puree and place into a clean pan