Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Cheese to take Winter Away

The weekend before the coldest week thus far in Brooklyn, we went into Bklyn Larder, asking Liam as we made our way to the cheese counter, "what kind of cheese do you want?" and he replied, "a cheese to take away winter." We passed this on to the cheese guy, and because people at Larder are kind and fun and whimsical and love cheese, he gave us suggestions.

We started with a few that had been paired with Brandy recently - Wildspitz, a raw cow and goat that was funky and creamy and had the most delicious texture and weirdest aftertaste that we were immediately smitten. Following we tried Coolea, something about gouda style and Ireland and a rich orange glow that also ended up in our bag. Before we left, we made a quick swoop for some Gruyere, say, 14 oz of it, with visions of fondue in our heads.

On an evening with our electric heat on and darkness that fell at 4:50, Liam took the lead in heating the Austrian wine, shredding the gruyere (and emmental that we picked up later for texture), and stirring it all together to pair with the carrots and potatoes that I'd steamed earlier, along with local granny smith, a few cornichon and half of a baguette. Except for the part where we didn't get the Sterno and set up the pot and attempted to keep it from congealing in the pan pictured above, it was incredible - cheesy without being too boozy, creamy without being too stringy, covering the potatoes like the silkiest raclettes we had in France. It was delicious enough that I brought it to work the next day, sitting in a meeting with a spoon and knife fishing hunks of cheese out of the separated liquid and inspiring envy from my staff - just the way to take winter away.

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