The Make Our Melt Finalists!

How has your grilled cheese month been? As the gooey goodness keeps coming, the thought of this blessed month ending brings tears to my eyes. With one more week to go, it’s time to

The Guido

announce the three finalists in the “Make Our Melt” contest! We had some great entries, and choosing was not easy. Our process was thorough, and the three finalists have been selected!


The Guido
-  Cheddar and Pancetta, sounds pretty good right? Supper melty cheddar with an intense porky-ness. But it gets 
better… Slathered with tomato pesto and basil aioli, this guy brings grilled cheese to a new level. Thanks, Allyson Taylor!

Give Me A Beet

Give me a Beet- All that I can say is WOW. I had my doubts, but this sandwich really brings it. Mozzarella and Capri (a very fresh goat cheese) topped with Arugula and beets. I can’t think of a better way to welcome spring. Great job, Kristen Suzon Butler!

The Hammy Grammy- Cheddar and apples are a classic, but thrown in a grilled cheese, it’s a whole new level of goodness. It sounds simple, but the grassy, earthy flavors of Bandaged cheddar really come alive when melted. Good luck, Keith Roberts

The Hammy Grammy

Now that we have our finalist we need your help picking a winner. Through Saturday, all three sandwiches will be featured as specials on our melts menu for $6.99. On Sunday from 3PM-4PM we will be sampling all three melts in store, and collecting votes. You can also vote on facebook here. On Monday we will announce the winner, who will win a $50 gift card, and a spot on the menu. Good luck finalists!

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.

How to Throw A Raclette Party

Raclette comes from the French word “Racler” which means to scrape. It is a cheese traditionally eaten in Switzerland. The Swiss cow herders used to take the cheese with them when they were moving cows to or from the pastures up in the mountains. In the evenings around the campfire, they would place the cheese next to the fire and, when it had reached the perfect softness, scrape it on top of some bread. Today we use fancy machines to do the melting, but the results are just as tasty. The cheese has a mellow, slightly funky flavor that makes it the perfect accompaniment to almost anything, and the texture is ideal for melting.

 

Throwing a Raclette Party is easy. The key is to have a nice variety of meats, veggies and bread for topping with the gooey cheese. There are 2 kinds of raclette machines: one holds a quarter wheel of the cheese and heats it under a lamp, the other heats individual portions of cheese on little pans. If you don’t have a raclette machine you can use a nonstick pan to melt slabs of the cheese, it’s just a little messier.

Here are some of our favorite things to serve with raclette:

Artisanal Breads

Vegetables: Small Potatoes, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Roasted Butternut Squash, Cipolline Onions, Cauliflower

Meats: Prosciutto, Speck, Jambon Royale, Finocchiona Salami, Chorizo, Roasted Pork

Fruits that go with cheese: Sliced pears, sliced apples

Fruits to refresh the palate: Grapes, Berries, Dried fruits

Acidic and briny bites to refresh the palate: Cornichons, Olives

Murray’s Better than Basic Mac & Cheese

 

Béchamel

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  1. In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Once melted, whisk in flour. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until mixture gets slightly darker in color. Add milk to the butter and flour mixture and stir constantly until it comes to a boil. Once the Béchamel boils, it will start to thicken. Once thick whisk in the cheeses, stirring until melted.
  2. Stir in the cooked pasta until well combined.
  3. Pour into a large baking dish, Dutch oven or cast iron pan and Bake at 375 degree oven for 25 – 30 minutes until lightly browned on top.

Serves: 6-8 people.

Murray’s French Onion Soup Mac & Cheese

Brilliant: combine two classic winter warmers into one delicious dish. Creamy, pungent Scharfe Maxx is the star here. It melts like a dream and its big, oniony flavor makes this mac over the top savory.

BUY THE KIT

INGREDIENTS

Béchamel

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  1. In a large sauté pan set over medium-low heat, add the onions and olive oil and cook until caramelized, about 40 minutes. Be attentive, don’t overstir. When nicely browned and very soft, place in a bowl and set aside.
  2. In the same pan set over medium high heat, cook pancetta until crispy, about 8-10 minutes. Remove and reserve pancetta.
  3. In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Once melted, whisk in flour. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until mixture gets slightly darker in color. Add milk to the butter and flour mixture and stir constantly until it comes to a boil. Once the Béchamel boils, it will start to thicken. Once thick whisk in the cheeses, stirring until melted.
  4. Stir in the cooked pasta, the onions and the pancetta until well combined.
  5. Pour into a large baking dish, Dutch oven or cast iron pan and Bake at 375 degree oven for 45 minutes until lightly browned on top.