I had the pleasure of attending a tasting last week at My Artisano Cheese and boy was I delighted. Two cheesemakers were there, Ed-Mar Dairy as well as My Artisano, and Britt Hedges of Martin & Company Wines was there to pour lovely pairing wines.
I’m so incredibly excited that our region is getting cheesy! You can get a private tour or visit on Saturdays at Ed-Mar located in Walton KY, where you can watch the milking robot work and enjoy the healthy free range cows. I was especially impressed with their Banklick Cream and Maddie’s Gold varieties, and Lula’s for Lunch, and More! Catering will be picking up some of their special Queso very soon for a Mexican themed event. You can pick up Ed Mar Cheeses at these retail outlets.
Eduardo Rodriguez, the cheesemaker at My Artisano, is so obviously passionate about his varieties as he lovingly explains his process. He likes to name his cheese after place – a Blue Ash Airport Runway for his MOST important tasting Grisardo – a washed rind cheese – and Sharon Creek – his brie style cheese that will knock your socks off. Click here to see where these cheeses can be bought or enjoyed at local restaurants.
I tasted all 3 wine varieties offered with the suggested cheeses, but I kept coming back to a Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero (a region in Spain) called Tamaral Crianza 2011. I discovered that this gem can be picked up at Country Fresh Farmer’s Market in Anderson! Yay! So “Let’s Get Cheezy Wid It”!!
…and other myths…one of my favorite finger foods, the artichoke, is in season right now, and you needn’t be afraid of it! Think of the artichoke as your well worth it high maintenance expensive girlfriend (around $2.25 each as one roughly weighs a pound). But hard? No. First, let’s talk about the benefits:
Artichokes ROCK when it comes to vitamins and minerals: they have one of the highest total antioxidant levels of any vegetable, as well as folate, magnesium and potassium, and vitamins K & C.
Evidence from research shows that artichokes decease cholesterol, increase probiotic bacteria in the gut, and help maintain a healthy liver.
Artichokes are packed with fiber at more than 10.3 grams per artichoke (the edible part!).
You have to eat an artichoke SLOOOOWWWLY. Need I tell you the health benefits?
Now, let’s talk facts:
The artichoke is part of the thistle family – it is simply the bud before it flowers. See? (this one has flowered obviously)
A baby artichoke is not another type of artichoke, it’s just a smaller less mature choke on the same plant down at the bottom. It is fully edible as it hasn’t developed a choke yet (the only part of the artichoke you can’t eat).
The sunchoke has nothing to do with the artichoke; it is part of the sunflower family.
You can find all kinds of recipes that, step by step, will intimidate the crap out of you from acidulation to scissoring the thorns – ignore them. Do this: choose artichokes that are green – not purple or bluish – those are overripe. Take them home, slice them in half lengthwise and steam them for 20 minutes. Heat your grill while this is happening, and transfer the steamed artichokes to the grill flat side down, for about 15 minutes, then turn over (if there aren’t any grill marks yet your grill isn’t hot enough so keep on grilling on the flat side). If there ARE grill marks it’s time to lay them awkwardly on the grill on the opposite side for 3-4 minutes till the leaves are charred. Plate them (1/2 artichoke per person) and either brush them with melted butter, sprinkled with a tiny bit of sea salt (the good kind that have large crystals) on them, maybe some cracked pepper if you’d like. If you want to be fancier whip up some remoulade for dipping. Truly, you don’t really need anything. Just pluck each individual leaf off, put it in your mouth upside down and scrape the flesh from the leaf using your bottom teeth. Don’t eat the fuzzy choke in between the leaves and the heart though – it’s yucky. The heart will be your final reward. The smokey, creamy taste and texture will make you close your eyes and sigh with pleasure. Now, if you want to pay me to make the frittata you see at the top of the page just let me know! There are MANY ways that Lula’s for Lunch…and More! Catering incorporates artichokes into our menus, including one of our 6, to date, GREEN soups!!!
In Lula's Kitchen, Love is ALWAYS our First Ingredient!