How to Enjoy Winnimere to the Max

Beth Griffenhagen works in Marketing and Events at Murray’s Cheese. She doesn’t believe in rules for eating cheese, but does believe in the pursuit of max deliciousness.

First of all, if you are in possession of a wheel of Jasper Hill Farms Winnimere, be very excited. I’m not saying your life is about to change, but your life is about to change. Just look at that beautiful cheese!

What’s the Deal with this Cheese?

Winnimere is made of raw cow’s milk, so you get subtly nuanced flavors that sometimes get lost when milk is pasteurized.  Jasper Hill takes the notion of terroir (roughly translates “taste of the land”) a step further by washing each wheel in a local beer, which gives the cheese a creamy texture and a lightly funky flavor. Are you transported to the rustic landscape of rural Vermont yet? No? What if I told you that Winnimere is wrapped in locally harvested Spruce bark? It’s true, they wrap a strip of fragrant, woodsy bark around every wheel to impart that special, earthy flavor. The result is like nothing you’ve ever tasted. (Ok, it’s a little like Forsterkase if you’ve ever had that, but way better!)

Serving Tips: Sharing is Caring

Most wheels of Winnimere weigh a little over a pound, and this is the type of cheese that is really best to eat in one sitting, two at most. So either you commit to eating a pound of cheese, or you invite 4 to 6 friends over and tell them to bring the wine. The choice is yours! No judgment here!

All cheese should be served at room temperature, but this is especially true for a cheese like Winnimere. If it’s too cold it won’t be as gooey and scoopable, and the flavors will be muted. When you’re ready to serve it, slice off a portion of the top rind to make for easy scooping of the luscious, creamy inside!

Take it to the Next Level

They say “the cheese stands alone,” but the truth is, there are a few ways to make this cheese even more delicious.

Drinks: Off-dry Riesling and fruity reds (mountain-y stuff from Austria works) make great pairings. You can also enjoy with a beer – after all, it’s washed in beer from Hill Farmstead Brewery!

Spread on: Thinly sliced baguette or a hearty cracker is the way to go.

Eat with: I love serving Winnimere with Speck to play up the smoky flavors in the cheese.  (Speck is like bacon you don’t have to cook. Try it immediately.) You can also expand on the savory theme with olives, nuts, and pâté, or any other savory thing your heart desires.

BON APPETIT, you crazy cheese lovers!

Melts Recipes

MURRAY’S BREAKFAST MELT 

with Fontina Fontal and Nueske’s Bacon from the Murray’s Melts Pack

Click here to see Liz Thorpe making our Breakfast Melt on Martha Stewart

Cook bacon in your preferred method – we cook it in the oven for maximum crispness and minimal greasiness.

Place English muffin split-side down on your skillet or griddle — cook until toasted. Turn and top each half with a slice of cheese. Reduce heat, cover, and cook until cheese is melted. Remove from heat and set aside.

Melt butter in your skillet or griddle; crack egg onto melted butter and cook until whites are set; flip and top egg with a slice of cheese.  Cook until it’s done for you (runny or set).

Transfer the fried egg to your muffin, top with bacon and the other half of the muffin.  Devour and enjoy!

BCT – BACON, CHEESE & TOMATO

with Aggiano, Fontina and Bacon from the Murray’s Melts Pack

STRAIGHT OUTTA COMTE

with Comte from the Murray’s Melts Pack

MONGER FAVORITES… no instructions required!

  • Fontina Fontal & Caramelized Onions (Michele)
  • Gruyere with Fennel & Curry Mayo (Andrew)
  • Pepperjack on white bread (Nick)
  • Cheddar, apple and bacon – use yellow cheddar and mix in some Cabot Clothbound (Sascha)
  • Egg, bacon, tomato, avocado and any Alpine melter like Gruyere (Josie)
  • Bacon, tomato and a mix of Gruyere and Fontina Fontal (Liz) + a cup of Murray’s tomato soup (Mike)
  • Brie, Jambon Royal, Cornichons, and Dijon (aka the Frenchie at Murray’s)
  • Pepperjack, Tasso Ham & caramelized onions (Jason)

Our Grilled Cheese Secrets (sshhh, don’t tell anyone)

From Steve Millard, Master Melter / Bleecker Store Director

Bread: Use either really good thick cut bread, like sourdough Pullman cut ½” thick.  Or go the other end with really cheap sandwich bread.

Butter: Butter is paramount to a superb grilled cheese sandwich.  I recommend Vermont Butter and Cheese sea salt butter.  Let the butter sit at room temperature for at least an hour to soften.  Spread an even coat of butter on the bread — not too much to make it greasy, and not too little to not even matter.

Cheese: Any cheese will melt, but not every cheese will make a delicious grilled cheese.  Look for alpine-style, melting, cheddar styles – here are a few great ones.  Generally speaking, blue cheeses do not make for good grilled cheese sandwiches.  Hard, Grana-style cheeses will work as an added flavor, but should not be the main cheese.  If you’re in  a hurry, soft cheeses like Brie and any cheese that you first shred will take less time to melt.

Think in terms of flavor combinations and what sort of grilled cheese sandwich you want to make.  You can add meats, vegetables, caramelized onions, roasted peppers, jams, relish, pickles, etc. to any grilled cheese.

Method: Cook on a flat surface. A panini press works the best at about 400 degrees.  A flat surface griddle will also work – just use some weight (such as another pan) to press the sandwich on the griddle.  Whether you’re using a press or a griddle, flip the sandwich half way to ensure even toasting.  The bread should be adequately toasty and not greasy.  Don’t rush the sandwich: 4-5 minutes will make for a sublime grilled cheese that will have wonderfully melted cheese and perfectly toasty bread.

Add-ons: Chips, tomato soup and a crisp, bubbly beverage.  I love GuS Dry Soda — soda helps cleanse the pallet and make each bite the more enjoyable.   Of course, beer is a perfect combination, I like a Pale Ale with a nice hoppy kick.

Staff Picks: Valentine’s Day Edition

Love is in the air! At Murray’s we get a lot of requests for cheese that will help make the night extra special, and we always know just what to recommend. Here are our staff picks for the sexiest cheese around – Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

Robin:  A ripe Époisses is beautiful, and its silky texture just makes you go “Mmmm….”

James:  Monte Enebro is luscious, thick, and velvety in texture. Plus it has the best rind in the world. Peppery and saucy, like any good woman should be.

Carlos:  Podda Classico is sharp and has great curves.

Cielo:  Humboldt Fog. It’s made by ladies and it’s SO GOOD.

Elizabeth:  Brebisrousse d’Argental is bursting out of its bold red rind. Oozy, mild and unexpected.

Andrew:  Winnimere! Because it’s creamy, oozy, and complex.

Deena:  Zimbro is nice and plump, plus it’s wrapped in cloth so you get to undress it.

Beth:  Burrata is the oyster in cheese form, except it tastes like gorgeous mild milky goodness instead of the sea.

Dips to fill your SUPER bowl

Quick, cheesy, yummy.  What else can make your Super Bowl Sunday this delicious?

BLACK & BLUES DIP

This is the quickest blue cheese dip ever — great for wings and crudité.

1 lb. blue cheese, crumbled – use the Black River Blue from our new Super Bowl Shuffle package or order an extra pound.

1/2 Cup mayonnaise

1/2 Cup sour cream

2 TBS. apple cider vinegar

Dash of Worchestire sauce

Dash of Piri Piri sauce

Sea salt & freshly ground pepper

Optional: minced baby chives

Place all ingredients with half of the crumbled blue in a mixing bowl or use your mixer if you would like it ultra-smooth. Whisk vigorously or pulse in mixer until blended. Add in the remaining crumbles for the chunky factor; salt & pepper to taste. Want it more savory with a hint of heat?  Double dash with Piri Piri for that extra kick.

SPINACH FETA DIP

1 lb. pack frozen chopped spinach

1/2 Cup sour cream

1/2 Cup mayonnaise

1/2 Cup Crumbled Feta – either Bulgarian or French

2 TBS. dried oregano

Zest & juice of one lemon

Sea salt & freshly ground pepper

Optional: 2 TBS. Walnut oil (adds great flavor!)

Optional: Toasted Walnuts  (adds great flavor!)

Steam the frozen spinach and thoroughly drain the liquid. Place the spinach in a fine mesh strainer and press all of the liquid out of it.  Chop the drained spinach on a cutting board.

Place the chopped spinach in a bowl and add all of your other ingredients and stir.  Save a little feta to sprinkle on the top as well as the nuts.

Refrigerate in an air tight container, overnight is just fine.  When ready to serve, you can mix in more lemon, salt, feta to flavor it, and top with feta and walnuts.  Serve with endive, tortilla chips, flatbreads or crusty bread.

PIMENTO CHEDDAR DIP

1 lb. cheddar: our favorite is Tickler

1/3 lb.  cream cheese

1/2 Cup mayonnaise

1 tsp. white pepper

1 tsp. smoked paprika

2 tsp. cayenne

8 oz. jar roasted red peppers

1 tsp. sugar

Dash Worchestire sauce

Optional: pickled jalapenos (if you like it spicy)

Use a grater or a food processor to shred the cheddar.  Pulse the red peppers in the food processor.  Add spices and cream cheese and pulse until mixed.  Then just add in cheddar and pulse until mixed – go for a textured (not smooth) finish.  Serve with celery, apples and bread.