December 2008

Food and Food: Edmonton and Food: Home Cookin'02 Dec 2008 07:30 am

Whiskey cheddar with rosemary garlic crackers

As is my custom, on the days I work I often stop in at Sobeys on Jasper Avenue on my way home to pick up some fresh fruit or veg, or interesting treats.

On a recent visit, after Mike requested I get some cheese, I went with something really unusual and different: Long Clawson mature cheddar with malt whiskey cheese. I thought it might be lightly flavoured with a hint of whiskey, or perhaps be covered in a whiskey flavoured rind. What we got was whiskey with a hint of cheese.

The texture was very crumbly and very soft; sort of like feta. Perhaps you can see its flakiness in the photo. You don’t so much as eat it as you do let it melt in your mouth. The whiskey scent was strong, and the taste was overwhelming. I really enjoy cheese, and found that the taste of the liquor lingered from start to finish – there was not much cheese to be had.

I couldn’t find much about the production of this cheese, but I feel like instead of being quickly dipped, the whiskey either played a part in the production of the cheese, or the cheese was allowed to soak in the whiskey.

Mike had his in a grilled cheese sandwich, which he declared a bit “too much” and “alcoholic.” I had mine with some roasted garlic and rosemary “Wisecrackers”. Just a slice or two and it was enough. This cheese might be better suited to beer tastings, fondues or holiday cheese boards for its novelty.

Will not buy again.

Long Clawson whiskey cheddar cheese: $2.89 / 100g at Sobeys

Food and Food: Home Cookin'01 Dec 2008 08:42 am

Real Simple magazine had a recipe I knew I had to try as soon as I saw it featured on another blog: three-cheese calzones. I had also heard an ad on the radio for the Pizza Hut “P’Zone” which intrigued me. Not to buy it, but to try and make my own.

Fans of Seinfeld may remember the genius episode called The Calzone where George Costanza wins his way into the stomach of his boss by bringing him a calzone to eat everyday. As usual, hijinks ensue and the calzone runs are no more following an unfortunate and awkward “George moment.”

Anyhow, calzones are Italian “hanging sacks” of meat, cheese and tomato. Traditionally, that is. In North American they are served with a sauce, and that’s how I did mine. The recipe is actually probably a bit more closely related to stromboli, but I’m not going to be that picky.

Three-Cheese Calzones with marinara sauce

  • 1 pound refrigerated pizza dough
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella (4 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan (1 ounce)
  • 1 bunch spinach, thick stems removed and roughly chopped (5 cups)
  • Black pepper
  • 1/4 pound thinly sliced salami (I used capicollo and mortadella for an extra meat hit)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • I added some meat (mortadella) and some extra cheese (provolone)

Heat oven to 400° F. On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 4 equal portions and roll and stretch them into 8-inch rounds.In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, spinach, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Layer the salami on one side of each round of dough and top with the cheese mixture. I also added a layer of provolone cheese and mortadella. Fold the dough over the filling and pinch the edges to seal.

Brush the tops of the calzones with the oil. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve with the sauce.

Rolling the really springy dough

Marinara sauce

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups peeled, seeded, diced tomatoes (I used canned)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • Salt and pepper

Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, oregano, sugar and basil and simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper.

You could just buy sauce if these seems like too much work, but it was really good. In fact, I kept eating it on crackers as I was making it. It was super chunky.

Layering the capicollo

Brushing with oil

So, these ‘almost’ homemade calzones were a hit. I say almost, because the dough was store bought Pillsbury. It was a bit sweet. Maybe next time we’ll try our own dough.

They were even better the next day for lunch.

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