Drunken Cheese

The fun part of working in an Italian restaurant is the use of as much authentic Italian food as possible. One of the garde manager menu items, that is common on most menus is a cheese plate. There are many varieties of cheese in the world as I’m sure most of us know, and it seems every time I’m around a cheese cooler in the store I’m finding another cheese I’ve never seen or eaten before. I was introduced to a wonderful Italian cheese the other day called Ubriacone cheese. It is translated in Italian to “drunken”. When I first picked up the cheese I was curious because the color was a pale yellowish gold and it almost looked like Parmesan Reggiano by the texture. I was confused by a cause of a dark purple rind that smelled like wine. I took a bite and sure enough the first thing that came to my mind was this would go excellent with a glass of Pinot Noir. Ubriacone (Ubriaco) is from the province of Treviso in Italy and made from raw cows milk. This young cheese is soaked in local wine, both red and white then covered with crushed grape skins, seeds or stems left after from the wine making process (wine must) and then allowed to mature for six to ten months. The cheese is then pierced with tiny holes to let the flavor and aroma of the wine permeate the cheese. As mentioned above it is covered with grape leaves to keep mold from entering the holes of the cheese. Ubriacone has a hint of pineapple and a slight nutty taste. The texture is firm and slightly crumbly similar to Parmesan. If you are a wine lover like myself, this cheese would pair well with medium bodied wines and sweet or sparkling wines such as Prosecco. You can buy this cheese online at http://www.dibruno.com for $12.99 / 8oz.

Peppermint Meringues

It’s that time of the year with Thanksgiving being a few days away and Christmas to follow shortly after that. Everyone is back into the swing of things with pulling out their favorite holiday recipes from entrees to desserts.

As most people do most of the same cooking every year I decided to try something different. I spend most of my day cooking and when I’m not cooking on my days off I like to try baking instead. I’m no pastry Chef but I do love the challenge of trying something new with recommended recipes or something I’ve come across in a magazine. This year I decided to try meringue cookies. A college room mate of mine loves the vanilla meringue cookies from Trader Joes and back in college we would always have a box waiting in the kitchen as an after class snack. I always thought about making my own except I never got around to doing it. I figured given the winter season it would be good to try making a cookie with a peppermint flavor that would pair well with another seasonal treat like hot chocolate.

Making a meringue is not hard by any means. It’s all about whipping egg whites to the right peak, but for whatever reason it took me 3 times to make before the meringue came out perfect. From my experience some recipes that you find in a magazine don’t always work out at all because you don’t know how well tested or proven they are. using my knowledge of food I was able to figure out what I was doing wrong to finally accomplish the proper texture I was looking for. If you’re a fan of mint and meringue, I encourage you to try this recipe for yourself. They are a wonderful after dinner treat and something to snack on while drinking hot chocolate. You can use a different flavor of extract if you don’t like peppermint.I added red food coloring into the meriunge before piping to give a candy cane effect.

 

Ingredients:

-3 Large egg whites

-3/4 Cup sugar

-1/8 teaspoon peppermint (or other flavor) extract

-1/8 teaspoon salt

 

Method of Prep:

-Set oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit

-On medium-high speed whisk egg whites and salt together until a foamy white color appears, approximately 1 minute.

-Add in sugar at 3 different times, within 2 minutes of each other until soft peaks form

-Add in extract and combine for 1 more minute.

-Grab a piping bag and insert round piping tip

-Fill piping back with meringue and pipe onto a sheet tray lined with parchment paper.

-Set in oven until dry, roughly 1.5 hours

Enjoy!

The final result

Hello world!

Welcome to my new blog! I am new to this therefore the first year of this blog is going to be a work in progress. I’m going to look to this blog as my stepping stone to my career as a food writer. I don’t know much about designing a great website, however I do know that I love food and wine. I want to use this site as a way to blog about new recipes, restaurants, hotels, stories, and wine to others who don’t live their life around food or the hospitality industry but still enjoy it. I’m looking forward to updating as much fun and useful information on here for all to enjoy and in return would like any feedback you have. I have a secret passion for baking and I enjoy going to new restaurants or food scenes with my boyfriend Brandon, who is a huge help to me with this blog. I love to cook, travel, read, write, have fun and drink wine. I’m driven to eat and I hope you will join me on my journey through life’s culinary and hospitality scene.Thank you and enjoy!