This month a new cookbook hit the shelves. The Cowgirl Creamery Cooks
by Sue Conley and Peggy Smith is much more than just a cookbook, though. Half of the book is part autobiography, part cheese making primer. It tells the story of two friends whose culinary journey has culminated in an artisanal creamery and restaurant. The other half is filled with recipes using cheese, glorious cheese.While all of the recipes use Cowgirl Creamery cheeses, they also contain suggestions for substitutions of more readily available varieties. Each recipe chapter focuses on a different kind of cheese, like hard cheese, blue cheeses, or soft cheeses. Because of this, there isn’t the usual progression from appetizer to dessert through the book. There is a panna cotta recipe on page 59 and a soup recipe on page 234. In a way, it makes it very convenient. If I has a plethora of blue cheese, there is no time wasted looking through the book in five different spots. It’s all in one place.I made a couple of different recipes from the book. I was very happy with the Blue Cheese Frittata with Yams, Pancetta and Chives (above). I am pleased to say, that my picky daughter and my son, The Thinker, helped me eat it and they both loved it. It will make a repeat performance. I also made some Cheese Fricos. I didn’t have any fresh Parmesan, so I used some extra sharp Cheddar. The difference in cheeses caused me to have to bake it a lot longer than the directions stated, but they turned out just the way I’d hoped.Also marked in my copy are San Fransisco Egg Cream, some wonderful Compound Butters, Roasted Garlic and Herb Spread, Feta and Cucumber Salad, Crookneck Squash and Corn Soup, Raclette with Boiled Potatoes and Quick Pickles, Parmesan Crusted Chicken Paillard and Nan’s Grilled Mozzarella and Olive Sandwich. I am very excited to try them all over the next little while.
I learned so much about the cheese making process in reading this book. It is a fascinating art. I didn’t realize how much weather conditions and elevation of the physical creamery affect the resulting product. I recommend this book to anyone who has ever thought about trying to make homemade cheese or to anyone like me, who has cheese running in their veins!
- 4 ounces Parmesan or other hard grating cheese, grated
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Using a tablespoon measure out cheese on a parchment or silicone sheet lined baking pan.
- With your fingers, make little mounds.
- They will spread, so don't crowd them.
- Bake until the fricos start to turn brown, 2-4 minutes.
- (Note: if you use a higher fat, softer cheese, like Cheddar, you will have to baked them much longer and they will make a bit of a mess.)
- Let them cool on the baking sheet 3 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store between sheets of waxed paper in an air tight container up to 2 days.
note: I received this book from the publisher at no cost, but all opinions written herein are my own.