Cheese and Beer 4Eva
Summer berries are just about at peak season and my favorite way of eating them is with a little cheese.
Together they make for a healthy, delicious, and easy meal that you can enjoy any time of the day from breakfast to dessert.
Look to balance the flavors of the fruit with the cheese: try tart fruits with rich cheeses and sweet fruits with salty cheeses.
Here are four plating ideas you can enjoy with summer berries, but do experiment on your own!
My birthday is in late May (the 29th), so a couple weeks ago I hosted a brunch to celebrate. I gathered a few friends, poured a couple rounds of mimosas and set out a great feast of cheesy breakfast foods. The stand out favorite was this warm, custardy egg strata.
Egg strata is a baked casserole of stale bread, eggs, and a bit of milk – kind of like a baked french toast. It’s extremely easy and the modifications are limited only to your imagination- you can put just about anything in it. I had a bag of cheese curds on hand, a gift from The Lone Grazer creamery, so I decided to incorporate them into this strata with roasted tomatoes and fresh basil – a classic flavor combination. Why reinvent the wheel?
Back in January at the Cheesemongers Invitational in San Francisco, I met Red Table Meats, a charcuterie company from Minnesota – and damn, they left quite an impression. Their table was overflowing with at least eight varieties of beautiful hams and salamis; as I slowly shimmied down the table, sampling each style, I moaned with ecstasy.
“Where are you from?” I asked.
And thus, like a moth to a flame, I was pulled to Mill City….
Cheesy polenta is such a fast, cheap and filling meal that it’s a shame I’ve only just discovered its potential. The way the cornmeal swells with milk and butter, bearing the strings of melted cheese like a silken palanquin on its back—it’s enough to make my heart sing.
All you need is a medium-ground cornmeal, a melting cheese, and perhaps some sautéed vegetables or meats to top for a quick and gratifying meal to enjoy all the time.
Here’s a phrase I hear too often: “Gosh, I’d love to have that much cheese in my fridge, but the problem is I’d just eat it all in one sitting.” Artisan cheese is one of the healthiest foods out there when you eat it in the right quantity. To pursue a diet that’s both cheesy and wholesome, we must learn what a healthy portion of artisan cheese looks like. In terms of weight, a modest serving is about an ounce. Depending on the type of cheese, an ounce can have anywhere from under 100 calories to almost 200 calories, as well as varying ratios of fat to protein. With all high-quality cheeses, however, those are going to be some of the most fulfilling, nutrient-dense calories available. Cheese has everything you need to survive except fiber and vitamin C. This makes a portion of cheese, in addition to an ideal snack to replace empty calories, an ideal main component of a dish, replacing the meat, fish, or tofu you might otherwise use.