May 24, 2013

Bloody Mary Week: Carrot + Peach Bloody Maria w/Gorgonzola Dolce Stuffed Peppadews

    As the grande finale of Bloody Mary week I present, to you, the Carrot + Peach Bloody Maria.  Because apparently using tequila instead of vodka makes its name all Latin-ized.  I wonder what the translation of "Mary" is in Russian?  
    Anyways, this sweet gem of a drink still packs the savoriness and heat of the original Bloody Mary.  An added splash of lemon juice keeps the peach from descending into cloying.  All around this is the cocktail to have in hand when it's 90F at 9am on a weekday.  
    Topping it off (since you all know, by this point, how I feel about garnish) is a wee South African beauty known as the Golden Peppadew.  Sweet, spicy, and a bit pickled it goes quite nicely with a cool filling of butter-soft Gorgonzola Dolce.  This simple but punchy topping is pretty straight forward in construction so let's jump straight to the beverage.

Carrot + Peach Bloody Maria

Carrot Juice
Peach Nectar
(just a really thick, pulpy juice)
Tomato Juice
Lemon Juice 
Prepared Horseradish
Tabasco Sauce

Serves 1
  • Measure out 2/3 cup Carrot Juice to 1/3 cup Peach Nectar
  • Add a splash of Tomato Juice and a splash of Lemon Juice (I also liked an extra splash of peach nectar in mine since I Love peach)
  • Stir in a 1/2 tsp. Prepared Horseradish and 1/2 tsp. of Tabasco sauce.  Use more or less to taste.
  • Add 1 shot of Tequila (or 2 if you really don't feel like going to work that day). 



May 22, 2013

Bloody Mary Week: Classic B.M. w/Capricho de Cabra + Manchego Stuffed Olives

     As the cocktail train keeps rolling I realize that I should have labeled this "Garnish Week"  being that it's what I'm most excited about in these Bloody Mary's.  I am pretty stoked about today's offering.  
    What we have here is an olive stuffed with a mixture of Capricho de Cabra and One Year Aged Manchego.  That's right, I'm mixing milks here.  Goat Cheese + Sheep's Milk Cheese = Love (Forever).  I told you it would get crazy in here this week.  
    The Capricho is bright and balanced, with a touch of that familiar lemon zest of fresh goat cheese.  Meanwhile the Aged Manchego adds depth and fatty-earthy aroma.  Together they make my favorite stuffed olive yet.

 Olives w/Capricho de Cabra and 1 Year Aged Manchego

Pitted Olives
(Green works best with this variation)
Capricho de Cabra, plain
1 Year Aged Manchego

  • Bring Capricho and Manchego to room temperature.  About 20 minutes out of the fridge.
  • Drain and pat dry olives.
  • Shred Manchego using a hand held cheese grater
  • Mix 1 part Capricho with 2 parts shredded manchego
  • To stuff the olive roll a pinch of the cheese mixture in the palm of your hand and gently poke it into the  olive. 
  • To get the pretty "snowball" effect from the photos dip the large end of the stuffed olive into any remaining Manchego shreds.  This is also good for extra Manchego flavor.  
Visit TBAW here for the Classic Bloody Mary recipe! 

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May 21, 2013

Bloody Mary Week: Classic B.M. w/Fire Roasted Tomato Olives + Bresaola

    Today's Bloody Mary garnish has no cheese in it.  I know.  That's pretty weird.  But bear with me, here.  For Charcuterie makes a strong appearance.  Particularly Bresaola Piccola from Creminelli Fine Meats.  
    I'm not much into eating beef, however this air-dried eye of round is amongst my favorite pieces of charcuterie.  The salt and pepper profile of the beef blends well with the spicy-tomato of the Classic Bloody Mary.  Meanwhile the olives provide their astringent vegetal flavors paired with a fire-roasted tomato filling.  All together this topping lends a smokey, vaguely peat-y, roasted note to the cocktail as a whole.  

Fire Roasted Tomato Stuffed Olives w/Bresaola

Green Olives, pitted
Fire Roasted Tomatoes,  in oil
Bresaola, sliced paper thin

  • Drain and pat dry olives
  • Drain tomatoes(Set aside the oil. It makes an awesome drizzle for arugula salad or chicken breast.) cut width wise into thin strips.
  • Stuffing these olives is fairly easy.  I found that folding up the tomato piece and just poking it into the olive worked fine.  
  • String your stuffed olive and Bresaola slices onto a skewer in an ascetically pleasing way.
  • I also suggest taking a little nibble of garnish before sipping the cocktail.  Though, I'm sure that goes with out saying.
For the Classic Bloody Mary recipe see The Board and Wire post here!

(Oh and one more thing.  That little bit of something dangling off the skewer is called a flower pepper.  It's a real scorcher!)

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May 20, 2013

Bloody Mary Week: A Classic B.M. with Gorgonzola + Almond Stuffed Olives

    At long last the Great Bloody Mary Week has arrived!  Inspired by warmer weather and a love of mid-morning I couldn't resist featuring this brunch-time classic.  Not only is the Bloody Mary a favorite cocktail of mine it's an awesome vechicle for exotic garnish.  More so than your average plain martini.  Which, for myself, ends up being a glass of olives moistened with spirits.  Seriously.  
    As I'm sure you can predict I was motivated to discover what fancy extra bits I could adorn my Bloody Mary with when I planned out this week long feature.  So brace yourself, it's about to get crazy up in here.
    I'll start with the garnish (duh).  This was a bit more on the "Classic with a twist" side of things.  The picant finish and wet-crumble of the Gorgonzola adds interest to the drink.  While the almonds help sooth some of the heat.  This is really a texturally exciting and delicious bit of decoration.

Gorgonzola + Almond Stuffed Olives

Pitted olives of choice, drained and patted dry 
(I chose plain green)
Gorgonzola, room temperature 
(I chose an aged version for more bite)
Almonds, sliced and blanched

  • Crush one part almond into two parts Gorgonzola.  
  • Mash together with a fork until well combined.
  • To stuff the olives I've heard of bartenders using wide, plastic mouthed syringes (like those used to give animals liquid medicine. Weird, I know) to pipe in the filling.
  • However I just gracelessly used my well cleaned hands to poke the cheese and almond mixture in.  
  • Slide your freshly stuffed olives onto a skewer with other garnish of your choice.
  • Place on top of your Bloody Mary know what to do next.  

The Bloody Mary recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart's.  To make the Board and Wire version combine the following.

TBAW Bloody Mary

8oz. Tomato Juice 
1/2 t Tabasco
1/2 t Prepared Horseradish
1/2 t Worcestershire Sauce
1 T Lime Juice 
(or juice from 1 crushed lime)
1 shot of Vodka

  • Put all ingredients together in a 16oz tumbler.
  • Stir well to combine.  
  • You may want to leave the spoon in since the horseradish tends to sink to the bottom of the glass after a time.
  • I also recommend salting the rim of your glass with course salt.  I am occasionally the junkie for savory things.

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May 17, 2013

Capricho de Cabra with Colorado Honey + Lavender Blooms

    A fresh half-puck of Capricho de Cabra lightly sprinkled with french lavender blossoms and local honey.  This is what springtime breakfasts are made of.  There's just something about the clean, lemony tang of goat cheese that lends its self so well to sultry lavender and vaguely astringent clover honey.
    Thanks to my dear friend Lyn, back East, I have harbored an obsession for lavender flavored anything.  This dense, cakey Capricho being no exception.

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May 16, 2013

{Super Secret} Sneak Peek #7

Wish you were here!

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May 15, 2013

Sneak Peek #6

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May 13, 2013

This Cheese Doesn't Suck: Gabriel Coulet Roquefort

    I'm continuing my blue cheese obsession with Gabriel Coulet Roquefort this week.  Ever since the in-famous "Blue Cheese + Coffee" post (of which I could hear a thousand readers cringing) I have been on a serious blue bender (try today's cheese with a cup of Sumatran!).
    Gabriel Coulet is really taking blue to the next level.  Where St. Agour was triple creme and obliging this cheese is a textured kick in the palate.  It hits the tongue with a deceiving sweetness, luring you in with its subtle, giving texture.  That's when the party really starts the sweetness gives way to a smokey, lactic tang, soft fine-sand texture, and finishing with a punch of picant/vegetal bite.
This cheese also boasts a protected designation of origin (AOC).  Which dictates how, what, where, and by whom the cheese can be made.  Everything from how long after lambing the ewes can be milked to what cave the cheese can be aged in is dictated.  Keeping the integrity of all brands of Roquefort intact.  This cheese really doesn't suck. 
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May 12, 2013

Find "The Board and Wire" on Facebook!

Ricotta Salata, Watermelon, and Mint salad.

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May 11, 2013

Mimolette. "Last Chance to See."

    Mimolette.  A wonderfully hard and crusty French cheese that is often compared to those famed well aged Goudas of Holland.  In fact the story goes that a 17th century French King, while at war with Holland, ordered that no more Gouda be imported into France.  He then commanded cheese makers to come up with a cheese that was similar but certainly not Gouda.  What he got was a cannonball shaped (how patriotic) cheese that was about as hard.  Ask any cheesemonger anywhere and they'll tell you what it's like to cut a cold Mimolette.  Which is to say damn near impossible. 
    Personally I have no hyperbole inducing love for Mimolette.  It is a good cheese.  Though I can't say I find myself dreaming about it.  More often I'm craving that Gouda the good French King so abhorred.  But for those who are in love with the stuff they can't get enough of it's caramel tones, flaky texture, and signature earthy/damp cave whiff.  Which brings me to the point of this whole piece.  Mites.  Cheese mites.
    Those tiny creatures that crawl all over the cheese as it is aging in French caves.  Mites munch on microscopic bits of mold that grow on the outside of the young Mimolette.  They burrow into the surface of the cheese its self, carving out warrens of tunnels in search of their fungi food.  In turn the mites allow airflow in and around the cheese letting the other microbes, that are vital to cheese making, do their microbial  thing.  The mites also contribute to the flavor of the cheese.  That earthy/cave damp taste?  Yeah, that was them.   
    These mites are exactly what has the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in an uproar.  Despite zero evidence of the mites causing health problems in anyone (there are people with sensitivities to mites.  However this is from exposure to larger quantities of mites than is found on a Mimolette ready for consumption).  Not to mention spending countless dollars and personnel power on stemming the tide of the estimated one ton of Mimolette that came into New York harbor in March.
    The FDA has ruled that because of mites Mimolette is unfit for human consumption.  Despite having no official standard for how many mites per square inch is acceptable.  The un-official target is 6 mites per square inch.  Sure, during its finishing process the cheese is blasted with compressed air and brushed, but some mites do manage to hang on.  6 mites per square inch is kind of unreasonable.  Hence 2000 pounds of Mimolette are hanging around in limbo in an FDA storage facility in New Jersey.  Inciting outrage from American cheese lovers and frustration from French cheese makers.  I highly recommend that should you find a piece lingering at a cheese counter that you buy it immediately.
    For my part I'm not devastated at the loss of Mimolette.  What I am concerned about is, "what next?"  Next will it be sushi?  Consuming raw or undercooked fish is dangerous.  Will it be all raw milk cheeses, regardless of aging time?  Consuming unpasteurized milk is dangerous.  Will it even be something as benign as sourdough bread?  All those bacteria, fungi, and microbes could be dangerous.  More than I'm concerned about the fate of poor Mimolette, I'm concerned about how far will the FDA go to dictate what we can and cannot eat.
    Mimolette.  It's your "Last Chance to See."

May 10, 2013

Sneak Peek #5

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