This past week I taught a cooking class called "Cooking with Beer". The salad course featured one of my favorite American-made cheeses by one of my favorite American cheesemakers. Mary Keene, of Cypress Grove Chevre, has been making award-winning goat's milk cheeses in Northern California since 1983. Mary makes several famous cheeses, such as Humboldt Fog (a goat's milk homage to the French classic "Morbier") and my personal favorite "Purple Haze" (fresh Chevre with lavender buds and fennel pollen...sublime!).
One of her lesser known, but spectacular creations, is Bermuda Triangle. A ripened goat's milk cheese molded in a triangular-shaped log. The interior is rich and flavorful, with a soft white center. The ashed double-bloomy rind adds a rich earthy component. As it ripens, the interior of the cheese becomes more dense and creamy. The flavor becomes richer and a bit saltier and the rind becomes firmer with a more pronounced flavor. Sliced thinly, this cheese is a stunning addition to any caheese board. In this particular salad, the rich creaminess of the cheese balances well with the acidity and slight bitterness (from the stout) of the reduction. The Strawberries meld beautifully with the cheese as well, their sweetness balancing out the classic chevre tang.
Balsamic Stout Reduction
1 C Balsamic Vinegar
1 ½ C Stout Beer (I like O’Hara’s Irish Stout or Guinness Extra Stout)
1/3 C Brown Sugar
1 tsp Kosher Salt
Strawberry Spinach & Chevre Salad with Balsamic Stout Reduction5 C fresh spinach, washed & patted dry
1 pint Fresh Strawberries; washed, hulled and sliced
6 slices of Cypress Grove Bermuda Triangle
1/2 medium red onion, sliced
Sea Salt & freshly ground Pepper
Divide Spinach among 6 plates. Top with Strawberries and sliced onion. Drizzle with Balsamic Stout Reduction. Finish with sliced Chevre, salt, & freshly ground pepper.
More information about Mary Keene, and Cypress Grove Chevre can be found on her website www.cypressgrovechevre.com
For information on my cooking classes, including cheese classes, visit www.thestockpots.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Bermuda Triangle, and other great Cypress Grove Cheeses can be purchased locally in Tulsa at Allen's Gourmet Grocery.
Tulsa, OK 74105