Happy National Grilled Cheese Day!

Happy National Grilled Cheese day! This is the Holiest of Holy cheese holidays, naturally we take it very seriously at Murray’s.

The history of the modern grilled cheese sandwich is scattered through American, and global history. While we cannot pinpoint the first grilled cheese sandwich, incarnations have existed since at least the early 20th century. Often called “melted cheese” sandwiches, recipes proliferated the American cookbook scene, however it was not until mass produced pre sliced bread, and the development of Kraft sliced cheese that the grilled cheese sandwich really infiltrated the American food lexicon. The great depression, as well as the continued American desire for fast and easy food led for melted bread sandwiches to become increasingly popular, so much that in 1949 James Beard published a recipe for a Toasted Cheese Sandwich.

Thank god we have moved passed the days of rubbery cheese between flavorless bread. The latest incarnations of grilled cheese focus on quality and experimentation. With the wide variety of cheeses and accoutrements that we have at Murray’s, I rarely find myself eating the same sandwich twice. I take my sandwich diversity so seriously that I’ve developed a formula of sorts:

Melting Cheese + Meat + Accoutrement + Bread (2) = Gooey Goodness

And now we need your help creating the next big grilled cheese sensation. Murray’s Melts is working on a spring menu, and your recipe could be on it. Through April 14th (just 2 more days!) make sure to post your favorite grilled cheese recipe on our Facebook page, or email them to leo@murrayscheese.com. Full details can be found at www.Murrayscheese.com/makeourmelt.

Want to make a killer grilled cheese at home, but don’t have all of the supplies? Order one of our Murray’s Melts Packs, and get everything you need delivered right to your door!

Whatever you do, just make sure to celebrate Grilled Cheese Month in style.

Underrated Cheese

By: Lauren McDowell


Many people visit the world famous Murray’s cheese counter to taste something they’ve never tasted before, or to pick up something undiscovered by most. Here are a few of our favorite selections that are often overlooked.

Salva Cremasco – This Italian cow may be the absolute best value in our cheese case. As a cheese lover (and starving student) it’s hard for me to contain my giddy-ness over a supremely and lacticly delicious cheese that doesn’t obliterate my food budget for the week! The rainbow hued rind gives this cube a funkiness that belies its smooth, mild interior.

Cashel Blue – Time and again, we all look to the classic French blues when perusing the blue-molded section of Murray’s cheeses. I’m guilty of it as well, but when I fondly recall a short-lived and glorious semester spent abroad in Galway, Ireland, I reach for the oft-forgotten Cashel Blue. Excellent with a juicy pear or ripe red apple, the creamy and pleasantly mild blue sings with cucumber slices on dark toast, paired with a roasty Guinness, or an Irish whiskey.

Pecorino Foglie de Noce– A rustic cheese from the capital of food in Italy, Emilia-Romagna, these small wheels are covered in walnut leaves and aged in barrels, imparting milky, nutty flavors.

Sheep’s milk cheeses frequently leave you wanting in flavor, but not so with this crumbly wheel, at home both on a cheese board or grated over your pasta instead of the ubiquitous Parmigiano Reggiano or pecorino romano.

Pata Cabra – Mild-mannered and semi-firm, this Spanish goat’s milk cheese will surprise you every time. Aged in Murray’s caves, each log is unique with varied levels of tang and pungency, but always anchored by the bright white interior and citrus essence characteristic of goat’s milk cheese. Especially for those who shy away from the more intense washed rinds (think Alsatian Munster), this totally snackable and always underrated selection challenges the palate in the most delightful of ways.

Chevre Noir – A goat cheddar, you ask incredulously? Never. Oh yes, a goat cheddar from Quebec, this bright white block all dressed up in black defies expectations. Grassy and fruity, use it as you would any cheddar for an elevated and creamy experience that even the most ardent of vegetarians can love (the fromagerie up in Canada uses microbial rennet!).

Gorgonzola Cremificato—A question for all my blue cheese-loving friends: if you could eat blue cheese ice cream, would you? If the answer is yes-of-course-no-duh-where-can-I-get-that, you’ve probably been overlooking the luscious, creamy, just-right sweetness of this spoonable cow’s milk Italian blue.  Not to be confused with its more piquant relative Mountain Gorgonzola or less sweet but mighty strong Gorgonzola dolce Artigianale, this is a classic you need to get to know or re-visit.

Brebirousse d’Argental—We get a lot of customers in the Bleecker St. store who come in looking for a spreadable cheese they can nosh on with a bit of baguette.

It seems that everyone knows about creamy cow’s milk favorites, but there are less who are acquainted with this equally wonderful French sheep cheese. This gooey, complex darling boasts a grassy, tangy meaty flavor as unique as its lovely bright orange rind. This is a great pick for cheese plates when you want a cheese to taste as good as it looks!

Brunet—Beneath the unassuming white rind on each round of Brunet one discovers an opus of rich, tangy and woodsy flavored perfection—an accomplishment courtesy of the tender-lovin’ care it was given as it aged in Murray’s Caves.  The interior cake-like texture even comes with its own icing in the creamline. Two textures+many flavors=one great cheese.

Tomme du Bosquet—For the cheese lover who wants a goat that packs a punch without the stinkiness of a washed-rind, here’s your new favorite! This semi-soft raw goat’s milk cheese recalls a strong, earthy pungency reminiscent of a walk through the woods on a cool autumn evening. If that analogy sounds a tad over-the-top romantic, it’s because you haven’t tried this cheese yet!

Pawlet—While washed-rind cheeses traditionally come from Western Europe, rich Jersey cow milk makes American-made Pawlet (from Vermont’s Consider Bardwell Farms) a standout in its own right.  The bright flavor and creamy texture will appeal to many palates, and the extra aging in Murray’s caves brings a buttery funk to the table you won’t find anywhere else.

We Love It: Goat Cheese 10 Ways

 

Goat cheese is known for its bright, fresh, and lemony flavors. During the winter I stick to stronger washed rind and Alpine style cheese, but as spring approaches I start to crave the more delicate flavors. While some goats milk cheeses might be more minerally, and others more pungent, they all pair perfectly with spring. Here are 10 of our favorite things that you can do with goat cheese:

  1. Sweeten it up: Spread VBC Chevre on baguette and top with some honey for a sweet treat.
  2. Crumble on top: Sprinkle Westfield Capri over roasted beets & top with a little coarse salt.
  3. In a quiche: Add a lightly aged goat cheese like Crottin to your next quiche for a touch of earthiness.
  4. In an omelet: Try shredded Garrotxa, spinach and some salty Jamon Serrano.
  5. Paired with bubbly: Sparkling wine goes great with a French goat cheese like Selles-Sur-Cher or Valencay.
  6. On a pizza: Top with herbed fresh goat cheese, your choice of veggies and sundried tomatoes
  7. With greens: Add flavor to an earthy Kale salad with salty Capra Sarda and some sweet dried cherries.
  8. In sauces: Make your favorite pasta primavera recipe and add fresh goat cheese like Petit Billy to the sauce for a creamy texture.
  9. Top off your soup: tangy Chevre Noir is perfect for finishing spring soups
  10. Au naturel: There’s a goat cheese for everyone, whether you love fresh flavors, feta, gouda, something peppery, blues, stinky cheese or something unusual. Try them all!

 

Recipe: Murray’s Pasta Primavera

This one’s a keeper. That’s what you’ll say when you taste this Murray’s adapted springtime favorite.

Murray’s Pasta Primavera with Parmigiano Reggiano

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb penne
  • 2 t olive oil
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 1 cup medium diced marinated artichoke
  • 1 cup roasted tomato
  • ¾ cup (6 ounces) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup crème fraiche
  • ½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano, additional for topping
  • 3 cups loosely packed arugula
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cook pasta per box instructions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large sauté pan on high. Add onion until aromatic; about 2 minute.
  3. Add artichoke and tomato, cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Add stock to pan and reduce by half, about 4 minutes.
  5. Once reduced, add peas, cook for one minute and mix in crème fraiche and Murray’s Parmigiano Reggiano, cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Remove from heat; add arugula, stirring until wilted. Combine mixture with strained pasta, and serve with grated Murray’s Parmigiano Reggiano. Don’t be shy.
  8. Enjoy at room temperature or heated through.

Serves 4

Easy Brunch Recipe: Roasted Tomato & Artichoke Quiche

With this easy quiche recipe, there’s no need to wake up early to enjoy a delicious brunch at home.  Quiche is a savory yet filling breakfast option. For a truly lazy morning, you can even opt to make the quiche the night before. Just heat up your creation in the toaster oven, morning of. To round out the meal, pair with a mixed greens salad with a simple balsamic vinegar dressing. Don’t forget to top with shaved Parmigiano Reggiano!

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