Fig-et About it! A Sweet and Savory Murray’s Melt

 

Forget about your boring old lunch! We’re taking a tried and true taste-bud-pleasing combo, sweet and savory, and kicking those flavors into the stratosphere by melding together this gooey, delicious grilled cheese sandwich that is abso-figly de-swine, dahling.

Spring Brook Reading is ideal for grilled cheese (it’s recipe is based on classic Alpine melter, Raclette); made from raw cow’s milk up in Reading, VT, we’re all about the salty, nutty flavors that emerge when it warms up. Add to that thin slices of silky Surryano ham and sweet Mitica Fig Jam, and you’ve got a union of complex and complementary flavors: sweet, meaty, salty and creamy. Aw, yeah!

The Fig-et About It

Per Sandwich:

Spring Brook Reading, rind removed, sliced: 1.5 oz
Mitica Fig Jam: 1 TBS
Surryano Ham: 2 slices
Bread: 2 slices from your favorite loaf, we recommend Sourdough
Butter: lightly spread on outer sides of bread

Putting it together:

The sandwich can be made stove-top or in a panini press. Slice bread into thick slices and butter each slice on the side you’ll be toasting, then spread a thin layer of fig jam on one of the opposite sides. Layer the Surryano atop the jam (cut it or fold it to fit inside the bread), then layer your sliced Reading so that will melt evenly. Press two sides together and place in sandwich press; if you’re grilling stove-top, pre-heat your skillet on medium for a minute and place sandwich, butter-side down, flipping after 2 minutes.

In a sandwich press: cook for 4 minutes
On the stove-top: give each side 2 minutes per side, pressing lightly with a spatula or small plate

Cut, serve, enjoy!

Sides: Green apples, pickled carrots, green salad

Hankering for some more fig n’ pig tastiness on your plate? We’re right there with you! Here are few more ideas to get those piggies and figgies together, right where they belong:

* Crumbled fresh goat cheese (Vermont Creamery’s fresh Goat Logs are perfect), fresh figs (quartered), a drizzle of Mitica Acacia Honey
* Toasted baguette slices, Loire Valley Goat Cheese (Valencay, Selles Sur Cher), and slices of La Quercia Prosciutto Americano and dried Pajarero figs – superb for party platters and brunch spreads
* Big blues, like Blu di Buffala, Roquefort and Bleu du Bocage, paired with Speck, chocolate covered figs (ChocoHigos) make an impressive dessert to serve along side Port and Grappa

 

Sláinte: Irish Farmstead Cheese & Microbrew Pairings

http://smashingtopten.com

Forgo the green food-coloring and crowded pubs and taste these Hibernian curds alongside their luckiest matches, selected by Murray’s Assistant Manager and resident suds expert, John David Ryan. Trust the man–he knows his beer AND cheese.

Sláinte!

Doppelbock & Mossfield Organic

Mossfield is an organic cow’s milk cheese from Ireland. Though fairly mild and sweet, the flavor grows more intense as it ages. Complement the cheese with a doppelbock—a strong, malty German lager. These beers carry toasty notes of dark fruit, figs and brown sugar.

Suggested beers: Spaten Optimator, Schneider Aventinus, Troegs Troegenator

Saison & Ardrahan

Saisons are traditionally farmhouse ales brewed during the winter. While they tend to be complex beers with earthy, musty aromas, they are also fairly light and easily drinkable. Ardrahan is a funky, stinky Irish washed rind whose bark is worse than the bite—its paste is smooth and creamy with a nutty taste. The wheaty, grassy flavors in the beer play off the rich, creamy interior of this washed-rind cheese.

Suggested beers: Saison Dupont, Brooklyn Sorachi Ace, Ithaca Ground Break

IPA & Murray’s Irish Cheddar

It doesn’t get more classic than this: pick a great hoppy beer to go with a great Irish cheddar. This is easily my favorite pairing. That big, lactic flavor from the cheddar (that people often describe as “sharp”) holds its own against a bright, bitter beer.

Suggested beers: Dogfish Head 60 Minute, Evil Twin Falco, Ithaca Flower Power

http://brooklynbrewery.com

Coolea is a Gouda-style cheese made using a Dutch recipe by a family in Ireland. It’s got the rich, sweet, almost caramelized tones you expect from great Goudas. The slightly sweet profile of a brown ale helps to highlight all the things I love about this cheese. They both have just a little bit of sweetness, which makes them a great pairing.

Suggested beers: Anchor’s Brekle’s Brown, Smuttynose Old Brown Dog, Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown

Stout or Porter & Cashel Blue

Beware: bold flavors ahead.  The creamy, crumbly interior of Cashel has a fantastic salty punch that only a well-made bleu cheese has. Wash it down with the chocolate and coffee tones of a boozy stout.

Suggested beers: Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, North Coast Old Rasputin, Hitachino Sweet Stout

 

By: John David Ryan

Fondue It Better: How to Throw A Fondue Party

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Like to customize your food? Fondue offers a wide range of options. There are numerous ways to change up the recipe each time. Never have the same fondue twice!

It’s easy. Choose your cheeses, 3# in any combination, follow the recipe, get fondu-in’!

 

*Pro Tip: When choosing your cheese selection for a fondue, it’s best to choose at least one alpine cheese into your mix. Try a classic like Gruyere or Emmentaler, or anything in the “Go Nutty” section.[/two_third]

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Basic Recipe

3 Pounds  Of Cheese (Mix and Match)
1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
1 Cup Beer or Wine
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Garlic love
 
Coarsely grate the cheeses and toss with the cornstarch. Heat the wine or beer with lemon juice over medium heat.  When hot, add the cheese mixture a handful at a time until melted.  Add black pepper to taste. If serving in a fondue pot, rub the pot with a clove of garlic.  Set the pot on its stand over a low flame.  Pour in your melted fondue.

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Step 1: Choose Your Cheese!

Choose your cheese to create a customized fondue blend.

Go  Nuts:

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Challerhocker
Brown Butter|Butterscotch

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Appenzeller
Roasted Nuts|Spicy

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Fontina
Truffels|Grassy

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Get Fancy:

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Etivaz
Deep Fruit|Intense nuttiness

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Vendeen Bichonné
Rich|Mushroomy

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Gabietou
Earthy|Funky

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Break Boundaries:

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Klaverkaas Estate Gouda
Caramel|Brothy

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Gorgonzola Cremificato
Yolky|Creamy

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Tickler Cheddar
Sharp|Tangy

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Step 2: Booze Cruise!

Grab something boozy to and an extra kick to you ‘due

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Beer: Any beer works, choose based on what you like to drink. Going for complexity? Try an IPA. Looking for deep and rich? A stout will do wonders. A little bit delicate? A hefeweizen is perfect.

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Wine: Choose whites if you’re looking for mild and sweet notes. Opt for reds for richer, berry notes.

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Liquor: Don’t replace the wine or beer with hard liquor. Instead, take a shot (or two) to change up the flavor profile.

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Step 3: Dip In!

Get Fondu-in’! Don’t be scared, dip right in!

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Bread & Crackers

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Cured Meat & Sausage

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Pickles & Vegetables

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Wanna learn more about cheese? Check out our “Cheese Course” video channel: vimeo.com/channels/cheesecourse.

 

Cheeses of Instagram: Snacking Through a Polar Vortex

Over the last few months, more and more of our photo bug curd nerds have been sharing pictures full of fromage. And we love it. Nothing makes us happier than seeing our cheese out there in the world, snacked on by people who love it just as much as we do. From pairing ideas and recipes to decked out cheeseboards, we love these pictures so much we felt like we had to share them. If you’re all about snappin’ cheesy pictures, make sure to send them our way!
@ murrayscheese on  Instagram or email pics@murrayscheese.com

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“Oh Geez!”

@libbitz

 “#cheeseloving”

@terraphorm

“Who cut the Cheese?”

@camiud

.

@Osetinsky 

Thank you @murrayscheese for always making the holidays stinky … In a good way

 @ging_n_juice

“Our day-after-New-Years-Eve cure: cheese fondue from Murray’s Cheese Bar. 2014 is off to a promising start.”

@insta_fung

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“I mean… 🔥 #snowedinsowhat”

@donnadaily

“One of my favorite places in #nyc”

@dj_shp

 “Our post beer and cheese pairing class snack.”
@catperidis

 “Mozzarella Making Class!”

@andrewrpettit

“I found zen.”

.

@amerr1000

So many great bark-wrapped cheeses these days, but sometimes you need the original: Vacherin Mont d’Or. Scored one of the last at @murrayscheese.

@cheesenotes

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And  One final shot from our friend Cherie. Showing off her Cheese of the Month, and one of the best looking Raclette spreads we have seen recently.  Thanks for sharing Cherie! 

Wanna throw a Raclette party of your own, but not sure where to start? We got some tips that will melt away your fears.

 

Don’t forget to share those pics! @murrayscheese on instagram or email pics@murrayscheese.com

Don’t Mind If We Fondue: Three Easy Recipes That Will Make You Melt

As temperatures drop (and drop and drop), we like to eschew the polar vortex and curl up ‘round a nice fondue pot full of our favorite ooey-gooey melted cheeses, dunking everything in sight (things like hot chorizo, fingerling potatoes, and hunks of baguette) into silken strings of dairy goodness, finishing off each bite with a bright, briny cornichon.  Get the recipes below—from classic to daring– bubblin’ in your melting pot.

Murray’s Classic Fondue

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove
150 g (approx. 3/4cup) white wine
4 oz (approx. 1 cup) Gruyère, grated
4 oz (approx. 1 cup) Comté, grated
3 oz Emmental, grated
1 tablespoon + 1 tsp cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Directions:
1.Sprinkle one teaspoon of salt in the bottom of a small saucepan. 
2.Cut garlic clove in half and rub the inside of the pan, starting at the salt.
3.Heat the wine on medium-high just until boiling. While the wine is heating, combine the cheeses and toss with cornstarch until evenly distributed.
4.Gradually add the cheese a half a cup at a time, whisking constantly until melted and smooth.
5.Add lemon juice and whisk until incorporated.

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Murray’s Funky ‘Due

Ingredients:
8oz Ardrahan, cubed
8oz Murray’s English Cheddar, grated
12oz Your favorite IPA beer (We recommend the Peekskill IPA)
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 pinch cayenne
1 dash Frank’s Hot Sauce (or other vinegary hot sauce)
1 teaspoon freshly minced garlic
1 tablespoon cornstarch

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Murray’s Fancy ‘Due

Ingredients:
8 oz. (approx. 2 cups) Comté, grated
8 oz. (approx. 2 cups) Fontina, grated
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp cornstarch
1 clove garlic
1 cup Champagne or other favorite sparkling white wine 
1.Sprinkle one teaspoon of salt in the bottom of a small saucepan.
2.Cut garlic clove in half and rub the inside of the pan, starting at the salt.
3.Heat the wine on medium-high just until boiling. While the wine is heating, combine the cheeses and toss with cornstarch until evenly distributed.
4.Gradually add the cheese a half a cup at a time, whisking constantly until melted and smooth.

 

 

 

 

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Directions:
1.Remove the rind from the Ardrahan and cube. 
2.Grate the Murray’s English Cheddar and toss both with the cornstarch. 
3.In a saucepan, heat the beer, garlic, hot sauce and cayenne pepper to a simmer. 
4.Gradually add the cheese a half a cup at a time, whisking constantly until combined and emulsified. 
5.Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

Check out our fave cheeses and accompaniments you just can’t fondue without this season.  Happy melting!