Month: April 2017
Soul Food- Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are the staple to any family get together. Perhaps you’re going through a hard time or are too busy to cook something huge; that’s where mashed potatoes come in handy, especially cheesy ones!
The specialty aligot dish will have you drooling. Aligot is mashed potatoes which are thickened with cheese and will lend a hand to being that little cushion of comfort during a hard time or will make a perfect dish to bring along to gatherings.
Ideally, to make aligot, you will need a ricer, but you could use a food processor. The only downside to using a food processor is that you may risk the potatoes ending up as an unpleasant gooey texture. Besides, there is nothing more satisfying than pushing down on the ricer and seeing the hot, tender potatoes run through the tiny holes being transformed into little noodles. Plus, you don’t have to worry about lumps!
Aligot is a delicacy from France and it is traditionally made with tomme fraîche or unripened Cantal, but both of those cheeses are difficult to find in the U.S. That isn’t the end of the world though, any cheese that melts will be perfect for the dish. Great Aligot, in particular, is made with fresh mozzarella, Comté, Emmental, and Gruyère. When it comes to potatoes, ratte potatoes can be a good use, but come with an expensive price tag as they’re a variety from France.
A good way to make Aligot is by boiling the potatoes whole and then peeling them while hot. Then, you push the potatoes through the ricer and then cover the potatoes in cold butter over the heat and then add some milk or cream, whisking it until it is airy and dreamy. Add the mix of the cheese and more milk and whip the potatoes with speed and consistency as you add the cheese, building up the stringiness as it melts. Stringiness is the whole point of Aligot because it takes on all the qualities of melted cheese but remains the intended mashed potatoes.
These mashed potatoes usually take around 20 minutes to cook, which can give you time to prepare the rest of the meal or crack open that bottle of wine you’ve been craving all day!
Here’s a delicious recipe for Aligot!
What You Need
4 large potatoes
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup milk
1 clove garlic, grated
1 cup grated cheese of your choice
Freshly ground black pepper
What To Do
1.Cover the potatoes with cold water in a large pot. Bring to a boil, salt the water, and cook until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain, then peel.
2.Add the cream, milk, and garlic to the pot. Rice the potatoes into the mixture, and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Add the cheese, salt, and pepper, and beat to combine. Serve and enjoy!
Ice Wine- Is It Worth The Buy?
Ice wine might be one of the sweetest mistakes nature has ever made. It is difficult to think how anyone would purposely go out to make ice wine because although it might look like it, ice wine is one of the hardest, tedious wines to produce. Just imagine being outside in sub-zero temperatures, in the dark, trying to harvest frozen grapes.
Image Source: winelifetoday.com
Ice wine is one of the wine treasures of the world, despite some claiming to hate it. It may have almost double the sweetness of your average soda, but once you taste a really decent ice wine, it’ll be hard not to love.
The History Of Ice Wine
The history of ice wine is that during a cold winter in Franken, Germany, in 1794, winemakers were forced to create a product from the grapes available for harvest. The result of this was wines that had a particularly high sugar content, along with amazing flavor. This technique then became popularized in Germany.
How Ice Wine Is Made
The secret to creating ice wine is by processing frozen grapes at around 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The frozen grapes are then transferred into a grape crusher and then into a grape press. Only around 10-20% of the liquid is used for the ice wine and it can take anywhere between 3-6 months for the fermentation process because the juice is so sweet. Once complete, the wines have around 10% ABV and a sweetness range of 160-220 g/L of RS.
The Grapes That Are Used To Produce Ice Wine
The best grapes for ice wine are the ones that grow well in cold climates. These grapes include Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Grüner Veltliner, Chenin Blanc, and Vidal Blanc. Cabernet Franc Ice Wines, while delicious, can be incredibly rare, unless you’re in Ontario, Canada, where it can be found relatively easily.
Real Ice Wine
Real ice wine requires a cold climate where the grapes are harvested frozen from the vine. Some wines may be labeled as ‘ice wine’ but the grapes are actually just commercially frozen. Fortunately, in the U.S., Germany, Canada, and Austria, dessert wines are not allowed to be labeled as ice wines if the grapes are commercially frozen. Also, a lot of products may be labeled as “iced wine” or ‘”dessert wine”, so be wary of what you’re picking up and be sure to read labels or look up the product to ensure a true ice wine.
Food Pairings With Iced Wine
Although ice wine is a dessert wine, you might want to pair it with somewhat subtle desserts that contain enough fat to balance the explosive fruity flavors and high sweetness. A few desserts that pair well with the ice wine are vanilla pound cakes, ice cream, cheesecake, and white chocolate mousse. Another great pairing for the more savory lover would be soft cheeses.
Ice Wine Typically Costs Over $30
The price of ice wine is so high primarily because of the cost of production. They are also sold in half bottles because it takes 4-5 times as many grapes to produce the wine. With this, the market for these wines is so small, that you can expect to find ice wines from the US around the $30 mark. If you see any for a lot cheaper, they are likely to be poor quality and/or commercially frozen.
Aging Of Ice Wine
A lot of people believe ice wines can only age around 10 years, but special varieties have proven to age much longer than that. This is all because of the wine’s acidity level and lack of volatile acidity. Wines with higher sugar content and high acidity are likely to age for 30-50 years. It is also inevitable that their taste profile over time will change and the wines will become darker in color and sweeter tasting.
Jetting Off For Summer? Find The Airline With The BEST Beer List!
Image Source: businessinsider.com
Summer is fast approaching, this is the time to be getting ready for our summer vacations, but what better way to kick start them than with an ice cold beer? Let’s really think about it- at what point does a vacation really begin? Some say it is when you finish your last day of work, some might say the morning of, but let’s be real… You’re not really on vacation until you’re on that plane, sitting back, relaxing and cracking open that first ice cold beer of the vacation. This being said, which domestic airline really does have the best beer list?
A lot of airlines sadly only cater a good beer selection to the more premium classes on board, so in order to win, the airline must serve a great selection to every passenger in every class. It is often that when airlines are awarded for best food, best service, or best drinks, only the premium cabin is considered, which is ridiculous. The majority of people on board are sitting in coach, and they deserve a good drink just like everyone else. This is why flying with Virgin America is the way to go!
Image Source: brookstonbeerbulletin.com
For all those who already fly Virgin America, congratulations- you have the best in-flight beer list in the U.S. Alongside your staple beers Bud Light and Heineken, Virgin America serves up a wide selection of craft beers, including 21st Amendment Sneak Attack, Die IPA, and Anchor Steam. That’s not even the best part! Customers in the main cabin select section, as well as first class, don’t have to spend a dime on their booze because as well as soft drinks, beer, wine, and liquor are all included in their airline ticket!
Again, that’s not all; Virgin America’s snack list is amazing, too! Obviously, your staple nut mix and chocolate chip cookies are on the list, but if you are craving something a little more ‘fancy’, sea salt popcorn, veggie chips, kettle chips and even jerky sausage is available! Because who wants to drink an ice-cold beer without a salty snack on the side? Still not impressed? For those with a sweet tooth, M&Ms and Vanilla Bean Caramel Popcorn are also available! Can’t decide whether you’re craving sweet or salty? Dig into the mouthwatering Hail Merry Salted Brownie!
Can’t find a flight with Virgin America? Don’t worry, Delta comes in at No. 2. While some might say that Delta takes first place in having the best beer list, it is found that the full selections weren’t always available on flights. In fact, on a lot of the trips, even though they advertised Sweetwater craft beer on board, the flight attendants stated they rarely have it on board, which is why it is only fair Delta takes second place. Jet Blue takes third places because of its offerings from Brooklyn Brewery and Harpoon.
The Perfect Wine For Every Beer Lover
If you are a beer lover and refuse to drink wine, you are totally missing out. It is understandable that beer and wine are two very different drinks- with beer being brewed all year-round with lots of different starches and wine being produced only once a year from different kinds of grapes. Beer is also seen as a more casual drink compared to wine.
Image Source: crystalcoast.guide/beer-and-wine-found-in-crystal-coast/
However, just because beer and wine are completely different, it doesn’t mean you should limit yourself. And, while wine and beer are made in different ways, from different products, they still are both fermented, alcoholic drinks which can truly share flavor similarities.
If you are still in doubt, you won’t be after looking at these 6 popular styles of beer and their wine equivalents:
For Stout drinkers- Try Merlot
For those who drink stouts, generally enjoy the comforting richness of the beers roasted, malty flavors. They often give hints of chocolate, coffee, and even toffee. They are quite exceptional beers and tend to be less heavy and bitter than the average beers.
Red wine is definitely the way to go when pairing Stout with wine. Reds particularly in the region of Merlot, Malbec and Shiraz Triangle (all often confused with each other). These wines have a softer approach, with a richness of fruit, yet a balanced acidity that stout drinkers look for.
For the Pale Ale drinkers- Try Grüner Veltliner
For those who enjoy tasting the hops in their beer, but don’t want them dominating the flavor, pale ales are always preferable. Hops give a fresh greenness to the beer, being grassy and slightly bitter, but complimented by bright citrus at the same time.
The best match for this type of beer is Austria’s Grüner Veltliner wine, which has that same green quality as a pale ale. The best way to describe it is the flavor of chive alongside a bitter and spicy flavor like pepper or radish, all brought together with a citrus like lime or grapefruit.
For the Lager drinkers- Try Verdejo From Rueda
Larger is one of the most misconceived styles of beer there is, being thought as boring, unnotable and suitable for mindless drinking at bars or cookouts. The mass production of this style of beer really takes away how awesome Lager actually is, with its crisp, refreshing, savory taste.
Verdejo contains all the qualities that lager drinkers crave in an alcoholic beverage. Verdejo may seem simple at first, but it has hidden savory qualities of good lagers, with its clean drinkability and bright citrus flavors.
For Wheat beer drinkers- Try Albariño From Rias Baixas
Somehow, in a country such as America, who enjoy super bitter beers, have come to love wheat beer and it has come to be the most polarizing style of beer in America. Wheat beer is extremely thirst quenching and intensely fruity with orange and coriander flavors and close flavors of a traditional hefeweizen.
This fruit-driven beer is closely matched to the delicious Albariño From Rias Baixas because it is intensely fruity, with aromas of tropical fruit such as peach and meyer lemon, but with zippy lime flavors and lots of texture. Like wheat beer, the acidity removes any illusion of sweetness, leaving your mouth refreshed and ready for another sip.
For Sour beer drinkers- Try Loire Valley Whites
The popularity of sour beers has definitely grown over the years. Sour beers tend to be tart, earthy and noticeably high in acidity. This generally means the sour beer is inherently very wine-like. The good thing about this being a wine-like beer is there are plenty of high acidic, savory, white wines to choose from.
The Loire Valley selection of wine is mineral-driven, savory whites. For lovers of salty, tart beverages should definitely look to the Loire region of Muscadet near the ocean. For more ‘out there’ sour beer lovers, you should move inland, where Chenin Blanc has funky flavors of cheese rind, toasted nuts and much more.
For IPAs drinkers- Try Sancerre
While a lot of IPAs reside within the pale ale category, a lot of pale ales are less hoppy than IPAs. IPAs are definitely dominated by the flavor of hops, making it greatly bitter and green. You can definitely not mistake this beer with its bold flavor.
Sancerre has intense hop quality and is also citrus-driven in flavor, making it a perfect match to IPAs. Rather than a bell pepper green type flavor, Sancerre’s flavor is more like fresh cut grass or herbs like basil and parsley. With this wine also being acid-driven, the grapefruit and lemon citrus make Sancerre slightly bitter, but refreshing.
Is Cooking With Expensive Wine A Good Idea?
We all know the rule that when it comes to cooking with wine, there’s one for the dish, and two for the chef! (Am I right?!) Us wine lovers have also heard the true advice to not cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink, but then again… it can seem like such a waste cooking with an expensive wine, so let’s see if there is a happy medium.
Image Source: winecellarinternationalblog.com
Now, we all know about those “cooking wines” readily available at grocery stores, but you definitely wouldn’t want to drink those from the bottle. An excellent alternative can be found at any wine store- a value driven alternative, at that. It doesn’t matter if the recipe calls for red or white wine, the key things to look for are light- to medium- bodied, fruity, acid-driven wines; and to avoid heavy wines with lots of tannin or oak because they will clash too much with the flavors of most dishes. The best way to tell if a wine is any good other than those tips will be the price. The sweet spot lies between $10 to $15 dollar, ensuring both value and quality.
What are we waiting for? Let’s throw on our aprons and get cooking with these favorites!
Domaine La Montagnette ‘Sinargues’ Côtes Du Rhône, Rhône Valley, France
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For those who enjoy full-bodied wines will enjoy this wine especially. Similar to wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, it contains familiar grapes for a delicious cooking or drinking wine (or both!) You must take caution and avoid picking up tannic wines as they can be quite bitter when added to a dish. This wine remains low in tannin, but has a darker structure, with blackberry, black cherry, and wet-earth flavor set.
NV Castillo Peredlada ‘Blanc Pescador’, Catalunya, Spain
Image Source: wine-searcher.com/find/pescador+blanc+emporda+catalonia+spain
Not only is this a popular drinking wine throughout Spain, it goes perfectly with practically any dish. With blends of Macabeo, Xarello, and Parellada, this wine is close to sparkling, making it similar to Cava. Don’t worry though, this won’t affect your dish because the bubbles flatten as the wine gets cooked, but drinking wise, it will definitely perk up the chef! This perfect sous-chef wine is clean and fresh, offering lemony notes with a touch of rocky minerality.
Esporao ‘Monte Velho’ Branco, Alentejo, Portugal
Image Source: vinha.co.uk/wine/white-wine-monte-velho-esporao-2015-75cl-alentejo-4480/
Countries that are not known well for winemaking provide excellent sources of cooking wine because they typically offer better quality for a lesser price. This wine offers a delicious fruity taste, without a bit of body without the oak. It’s a perfect blend of Roupeiro, Antao Vaz and Perrum is a Portuguese staple. It is a richer wine but still retains its freshness.
Leyda ‘Classic’ Pinot Noir, Leyda Valley, Chile
Image Source: thewinebowgroup.com/our-brands/leyda/leyda-pinot-noir/
Pinot Noir is the perfect drinking wine, but it can also be an amazing cooking wine. It comes in lots of different forms and prices. There’s definitely no reason to waste $50 glasses of wine when a lesser-known Pinot Noir producer exists in Chile, offering a decent bottle for a good price. The Chilean producer specializes in a balance of fruity flavors with an affordable price tag.
Le Cantine Di Indie ‘Polpo Rosso’, Sicily, Italy
Image Source: wineandgoodfood.com/2015/03/04/le-cantine-di-indie-polpo-rosso-2013/
Most dishes will want a red or a white wine, but sometimes a rose is preferred. This light red wine is a ‘go to’ when it comes to those times. It is organically farmed in Sicily, made from Nerello Mascalese. Its fresh flavors, raspberry, and red cherry is the fruity delight that is craved and will pop even more in cooler temperatures, so feel free to chill it before use!
Weingut Josef Leitz ‘Leitz Out’, Riesling, Rheingau, Germany
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Because of its high acidity, Riesling makes a perfect cooking wine. Be careful not to pick up a sweet version of this wine, though, or there will be an extra dose of sugar added to the dish. With peach and lemony flavors, this wine cooks down (easier than it goes down!) and makes an excellent choice when it comes to cooking.
This Is No Ordinary Ice Cream… This Is Cheese Ice Cream!
I know what you’re thinking… Cheese…. in ice cream?! Absolutely! Now, this kind of ice cream is something completely different and unique. You might be expecting something sweet, but it is far from sweet, for all the right reasons.
Goat cheese ice cream might just blow your mind. For all you cheese lovers, this is a must try! Although it is ice cream, I wouldn’t consider it as a dessert, it is something that can be served with appetizers and entrees such as soups, spread on bread or even serve alongside some fresh salad. The possibilities are endless! This ice cream is definitely not sweet like you might expect, but it does taste delicious. The flavor is sharp and you can definitely taste the goat’s cheese. I find it best served with warm dishes so you can get that ‘melt in the mouth’ feeling to make it even more mouthwatering!
What You Need
4 oz Goat’s Cheese – Come pick up your delicious, top quality Goat’s Cheese at Shisler’s Cheese House!
3 tablespoon corn syrup
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
4 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
What To Do
1. In a small mixing bowl, mix together the goat’s cheese and corn syrup until smooth.
2. In a small pan, bring the milk and cream to a boil over high heat. Then remove from heat. Whilst cream mixture is coming to a boil, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks in a mixing bowl.
3. Mix one fourth of the hot cream mixture to the eggs to temper them. Whisk in another quarter of the mixture, then add the egg mixture to the cream in the pan. Cook over low heat, consistently stirring until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon. Do not overcook because eggs will scramble. Remove from heat and strain using fine-mesh strainer into a bowl set over a large bowl of ice water.
4. Add the goat’s cheese to the bowl and mix to combine.
5. Freeze the goat cheese base in an ice cream machine according to its instructions. It will keep for 1 week, frozen. Enjoy!
Traditional Easter Sunday Dinner
Enjoy this Easter Sunday with a delicious, traditional Easter meal. A sweet-hot plum-glazed traditionally baked ham. Classic creamy casserole of scalloped potatoes and tender Asparagus Amandine to round out this deliciously pleasing family meal. Sliced strawberries and spiced pecans to create a wonderfully colorful Baby Blue Salad- a holiday favorite! Hope you’re not too full for dessert because you would not want to miss out on this irresistible coconut cake!
Image Source: thespruce.com/
Is your mouth watering? Find out how to create this perfect Easter meal for your family, below! (Serves 8)
Sweet-Hot Plum-Glazed Ham
Image Source: pinterest.com/pin/547468898422365369/
What You Need
1 cup plum preserves
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon yellow mustardH
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 (7-lb.) smoked fully cooked, bone-in ham
Garnishes: pineapple, kiwifruit, green onions, black sesame seeds
What To Do
1. Firstly, stir together the first 7 ingredients on the list, in a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring them to a boil, while stirring constantly. After bringing to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, continuing to stir. After preserves are melted and the mixture is blended, pour half of mixture into a microwave-safe bowl.
2. Trim excess fat on ham to 1/8- inch thickness. Place ham on a wire rack in aluminum foil-lined roasting pan. Brush ham with a portion of plum preserve mixture from the saucepan.
3. Bake ham uncovered at 350 degrees on lower oven rack for 1 hour and 30 minutes, basting with remaining plum preserve mixture in saucepan, every 30 minutes. Loosely cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes or until thermometer registers 140 degrees, basting every 30 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before slicing. Garnish as desired.
4. Microwave the other plum preserve in the bowl on high for 1 minute and serve ham in with the warm mixture.
Classic Parmesan Scalloped Potatoes
Image Source: oprah.com/food/scalloped-potatoes
What You Need
1/4 cup butter
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
3 cups whipping cream
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 cup (2 oz.) grated Parmesan cheese
What To Do
1. Melt butter in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Stir in potatoes and the next 5 ingredients on the list and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium- low, and cook, stirring gently for 15 minutes.
2. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish and sprinkle with cheese.
3. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Image Source: closetcooking.com/2007/06/asparagus-amandine.html
What You Need
2 pounds fresh asparagus
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons diced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
What To Do
1. Snap off tough ends of asparagus. Cook in boiling salted water to cover in a large skillet for 3 minutes or until crisp and tender. Then drain.
2. Plunge asparagus into ice water to stop cooking, then drain.
3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat, add almonds and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Add asparagus and red bell pepper and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Toss in lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Baby Blue Salad With Fresh Pears
Image Source: showmetheyummy.com/pear-blue-cheese-candied-pecan-salad/
What You Need
2 (5-oz.) packages gourmet mixed salad greens, thoroughly washed
2 large Bartlett pears, cut into thin slices
1 qt. strawberries, quartered
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
What To Do
Place greens on 8 individual serving plates. Top evenly with pears and strawberries. Sprinkle with cheese and pecans. Serve with Balsamic Vinaigrette.
Image Source: sallysbakingaddiction.com/2016/03/05/lemon-coconut-cake/
What You Need
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, separated
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Frosting
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
Garnishes: fresh rosemary sprigs, gumdrops
What To Do
1. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
2. Combine flour and baking powder; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
3. Beat egg whites at high speed with electric mixer until stiff peaks form; fold one-third of egg whites into batter. Gently fold in remaining beaten egg whites just until blended. Spoon batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
5. Spread Lemon Filling between layers. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting on top and sides of cake. Sprinkle top and sides with coconut. Garnish, if desired.
It’s Not Too Late To Get Your Easter Goodies From Shisler’s Cheese House!
Easter is a very important Christian festival in which we come together and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. While it has great religious significance, it can always be an exciting time of the year, celebrating by coloring and decorating Easter eggs, enjoying special Easter Baskets and eating our body weight in chocolate!
Here at Shisler’s Cheese house, we have the answers to all your Easter food needs! Be it a beautiful Easter basket unlike any other, or a tasty Chocolate Bunny, we have what you want!
Tired of the same old boring Easter gift baskets? Send unique Easter gift baskets from Shisler’s Cheese House this Easter Season and surprise those that are special to you. If you would like to use your own unique Easter Basket Ideas, we also have custom baskets available. Just give us a call or stop by at one of our Cheese Houses!
Standard Easter Baskets Include:
– Marble Cheese
– Dried Fruit Chips
– Yogurt Pretzels
– Heggy’s Chocolates
– Wild Maple Walnut Syrup
– Muddy Trail Mix
Custom Easter Baskets can include anything currently available on our website and in store!
Also available for Easter are a wide selection of chocolate including our extra special Solid Heggy’s Chocolate Bunnies!
They are available in either milk or white chocolate and are 20 Oz.
Get your Easter goodies now!