A big thank you to Castello Moments for sponsoring this post–and giving me the opportunity to share three delicious cheeses with readers!
It was a Gouda day when three Castello Cheese Wheels arrived at my door! I mean, my name is @fromagechick on twitter for a reason. I became a twitter member ages ago, whey before I founded 30AEATS.com, as I was in search of a hard to find cheese. I have loved cheese all of my life. Not milk. Just cheese. My mother told me as a toddler I would open the fridge and bite into the plastic of the cheese wedge leaving little teeth marks if it had not yet been opened. In my late twenties I learned to appreciate cheese, really took an interest in the cheese making process and buying quality artisan cheese. By my thirties I was trying my hand at making my own, mainly mozzarella and burrata. Now in my 40’s I’m still buying artisan products, make cheese on occasion, but am mainly writing and eating good food… a lot.
Since I typically I don’t have three 4 pound blocks of cheese in my refrigerator, I called on nearby family to come for a tasting and to take a slice home with them for personal consumption. They were quite happy to oblige. Castello’s new line of Alpine cheeses were an instant hit as we read the note cards and discussed the flavors. Interestingly enough, All Castello® Alps Selection cheeses are produced with milk from tiny, picturesque mountain farms with fewer than 20 cows each at least 2650 feet above sea level. Sounds like a place I want to visit!
One of my all time favorite things to eat is cheese toast. I grew up on it, mainly cheddar on white bread. Now I love nothing more than getting a fresh baked crusty loaf of French bread, toasting a slice, adding artisan cheese, then putting it back under the broiler. So, I did this with the soft, buttery Weissbier Cheese, and my Mother Charlotte seriously loved it. Get the recipe and read more about it here.
Moving on to my Dad’s favorite, The Castello Classic. The Classic has a slightly smoky aroma and a spicy hint of mountain herbs. I’m thinking of trying this with Prosciutto on a Panini next. It is incredibly smooth and was the perfect accompaniment to my Gulf Coast Shrimp Tacos. Get the recipe and read more about Classic Castello here.
When deciding on a recipe for the Hirten, the cheese everyone really enjoyed, I decided to make Poached Salmon on Hirten Cheese Grits with Summer Succotash. I really enjoy shopping at my local farmer’s markets, meeting the producers of our area food, and using fresh ingredients in a dish. The Salmon is not a local fish but was purchased from a reputable seafood market, is my husbands favorite, and it paired well with the flavor of the cheese. Castello® Alps Selection Hirten has a deep orange color and a crumbly, dry texture encrusted with small crystals. The cheese has a rich, sharp, complex taste; a slightly sweet caramel overtone, with a hint of pine. Hirten pairs perfectly with a lager, or with a full-bodied red like Rioja or Tempranillo. If white wine is preferred, serve with a white Bourgogne or Sauvignon Blanc.
Poached Salmon on Hirten Cheese Grits with Summer Succotash
1/2 cup cooked lima beans
12 cherry tomatoes, cut into 1/2
1 ear corn, husked, boiled for 4 minutes, and kernels cut off the cob
1/2 small shallot, finely minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling if desired
In a large bowl, combine the limas, tomatoes, corn, and shallot. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the olive oil; taste, and adjust the seasoning. Set aside.
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup old-fashioned grits
2 ounces Classic Castello cheese, shredded
2 ounces Hirten Castello cheese, shredded (and a few slices shaved to top dish)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add the garlic and slowly stir in the grits. Reduce the heat to moderately low and cook, stirring frequently, until the grits are tender, 20 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the cheese, butter and cream. Season with salt and pepper and plan to serve immediately.
white wine vinegar
1 pound salmon filet
Measure 3 inches of water into a wide-rimmed saucepan. Add 1½ teaspoons salt and 3 tablespoons wine vinegar for every quart of water. Bring to a boil.
Add the salmon. Bring to just below a simmer and cook for about 6 minutes until done. According to Julia Child “Fish is done when the flesh has turned from translucent to opaque and, rather than feeling squashy to the touch like raw fish, it feels lightly springy. It should still be juicy. Fish that is resistant and flaky is overdone.
Remove the salmon with a slotted spatula and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb the extra water.
Lemon Dill Sauce
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup dry white wine
Juice of one lemon
1/8 cup chopped fresh dill
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
Salt and pepper
In a heavy saucepan combine the garlic, wine, and lemon. Bring the liquid up to a boil. Stir in the dill and cook for 3 minutes. Whisk in the butter a cube at a time, until all the butter is incorporated. Season with salt and pepper.
Place a scoop of grits in a shallow bowl, add another scoop of the succotash, place the salmon on top, and drizzle with desired amount of lemon dill sauce and shaved Hirten. Salt and pepper to taste.