Etorki – Cheese of the Month

shaved etorki cheese
grilled sunburst and pattypan squash
wild baby arugula
toasted tamari almonds
 roasted almond oil & late harvest riesling vinaigrette
First brush sunburst and pattypan squash with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper then grill.

Cline Cellars Late Harvest Riesling Vinegar

La Tourangelle Roasted Almond Oil
Vinaigrette: Steep minced shallot in late harvest riesling vinegar, then season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper, and whisk in La Tourangelle roasted almond oil in a 3:1 ratio of oil to vinegar. The riesling vinegar and this almond oil are a match made in heaven; delightfully sweet, bright, nutty, toasty. Very elegant.

Plate wild baby arugula with warm grilled squash and toasted tamari almonds. Then spoon vinaigrette over. Top with shaved Etorki cheese.

Etorki is a sheep’s milk cheese produced in the French Basque Country. Etorki has a smooth, velvety texture and rich, hazelnut (almost burnt caramel-like) flavor. Its aroma is sweet and buttery, and the cheese is voluptuous on the tongue. Because of its supple texture, you can bend it a bit without breaking so it is great for shaving with a vegetable peeler.

Etorki, which means “origin” in Basque, is a pasteurized sheep’s milk cheese that has been produced in the heart of the Basque region of southwestern France for over 4000 years. 
The cheese is made from local sheep’s milk in Mauléon, in the Atlantic Pyrenees. More specifically, Etorki is made from the milk of black- or red-faced Manech ewes. The ewes’ milk is exceptional, but there is only a scant supply; it takes 22 ewes to provide the same amount of milk obtained by the milking of a single cow. 
The scarcity of ewes’ milk and the limited milking season – December to July – offer a partial explanation for the higher price of cheese made from sheep’s milk in comparison to that made from cow’s milk. And Etorki is composed of over 98% ewes’ milk. For more on delicious Etorki, please visit the Ile de France website here.
My Cousin Vicki’s Wedding 
October 2008

What does Vicki & Jonah’s Wine Country Wedding at Cline Cellars in Sonoma, California last year have to do with the Cheese of the Month post?

Wedding Favors!

They chose to give an assortment of hand-crafted oils and vinegars as gifts. Great idea! Mine was the Late Harvest Riesling Vinegar. There was also Blood Orange Vinegar, Pomegranate Vinegar, and White Truffle Oil among others. Perfect wedding favors for foodies like us! Thanks V & J!

Dear Vicki & Jonah:
 Congratulations and blessings on your first anniversary!
Best wishes for many many more happy years together.
Love, Cousin Lori Lynn

Saint Agur – Cheese of the Month

Saint Agur
Steamed Baby Beets
Candied Walnuts
Frisée and Garlicky Red Wine Vinaigrette
Serve with Crusty Baguette
This delightful salade composée has a wide variety and balance of colors, flavors, and textures. Yet it was very simple and fast to compose! The earthy baby beets and sweet crunchy walnuts were purchased ready to serve. The tangy vinaigrette is made in a jar with minced garlic and shallot, premium red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Just shake well and pour the vinaigrette over the beets and frisée. Slice a piece of creamy, buttery St. Agur and serve with crusty French bread. Voilà!

Melissa’s brand peeled baby red beets are grown in France. They are trimmed, peeled, steamed and ready to serve from the vacuum sealed package. For full flavor I like them at room temperature.

St. Agur (pronounced Sant ah-GOOR) is made from pasteurized cow’s milk in the French village of Monts du Velay. It is very buttery, delicately sharp, and not too salty in comparison to other blues. Due to its creaminess, it seems to melt away in the mouth. A very well-balanced cheese, St. Agur is sowed with the penicillium roqueforti, and one, I think, even those who are not bigs fans of blue could enjoy. For more about St. Agur, please visit the Ile de France website here.

Cheese of the Month
Cheese Quote

“How can you govern a country which has two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheese?”
“Comment voulez-vous gouverner un pays qui a deux cent quarante-six variétés de fromage?”
Charles de Gaulle
Do you have a favorite cheese?