We all have melting points, children and adults alike. What is your trigger? I have to say one of my melting points is not being able to find something that I know isn’t lost, just misplaced. It can really make me come undone!
The melting point I am talking about today is so much more fun, the kind you actually want. It’s all about cheese, the melting point of cheese and a fun demonstration last week called “Cheese Meets Heat” at Whole Foods. Each quarter Whole Foods will host this and I hope you will put off your shopping until one evening to take advantage of yummy samples and creative recipes. Last week the samples were:
Berliner and Gruyere Mac and Cheese– a great “grown up mac”, but don’t be fooled, my daughter devoured it!
French Onion Crostini with Balsamic Cipollini Onions and Melted Gruyere– best described as a deconstructed French Onion Soup appetizer. Better yet, you can purchase the fancy sounding balsamic cipploini onions already prepared in their olive bar, just make (or buy if you must) the crostini’s and melt some Gruyere cheese on top and serve. Throw some flour on your shirt and you’ll look like you’ve been slaving all day!
Fried Halloumi with Olive Oil and Black Pepper– who doesn’ t love warm, easy to eat cheese?
Alpine Extra Cheese on Potatoes with Cornichons– a surprising and interesting flavor combination!
Yummy, right? If you’re hungry now and wishing you could have it for dinner, then please see below for the recipe for mac & cheese and a recipe for the fried halloumi, courtesy of their awesome in house cheese monger in action!
Berliner and Gruyere Mac and Cheese
Kosher salt Vegetable oil 1 pound elbow macaroni or cavatappi 1 quart milk 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 12 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (4 cups) 8 ounces Berliner der Kase, grated (2 cups)
6 ounces fresh chevre 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain well.
Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large (4-quart) pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyère, Berliner, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour into a 3-quart baking dish. Dot the top with goat cheese, poking some down in the noodles. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.
8 ounces (225 – 250g) halloumi
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil for frying, plus 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil for dressing the fried cheese
a few generous grinds of black pepper
big pinch of red pepper flakes
- Drain the halloumi and cut it into cubes; slice the slab in half horizontally, then cut the cheese into batons and slice them into cubes. Pat the cubes very dry with paper towels.
- Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the cubes of halloumi and cook for a few minutes without stirring, until the bottoms are well-browned.
- Turn the halloumi cubes with a spatula, and brown them on the other sides. They don’t need to be perfectly browned on all sides, but they should be a nice golden brown color for best flavor.
- Transfer the fried halloumi cubes to a bowl along with any oil in the pan. Grind black pepper over the cheese, add the red pepper flakes and the remaining 1-2 tablespoons olive oil. Stir well, and serve warm or at room temperature.
Enjoy the best of all the cheesy things life can bring you! Julia