Skagit Food Co-op blog:

the Cheese Whisperer

Cheese Whisperer: Triple Delights & Recipe!

Visit our Specialty Cheese Island for a terrific deal on imported French triple cream brie. We now offer the Delice de Bourgogne for only $9.99 per pound (regularly $15.99 per pound), available while supplies last.

Brie cheese is named for that south-of-Paris village, and is one of the most well known of the French cheeses. It has a soft, edible white mold rind, with a buttery rich interior paste. The center should be soft, creamy and pale yellow, and the outer rind should be firm and whitish. Triple cream brie is made similarly to regular brie, with an additional amount of cream added to provide an extra silky texture, ideal for enjoying as dessert or breakfast.

Triple cream Brie is a standout on its own, but also compliments a wide range of foods. Commonly served with fruit preserves, such as orange marmalade, sour cherry, or fig spread, as well as roasted nuts, the creamy texture of brie provides a nice contrast to smoked meats and fish, as well as pickled vegetables.

Besides serving it with crackers, what else can we do with this dairy delight? Why not cook with it? Brie’s oozy, melt-able quality makes an almost instant “sauce” to pair nicely with roasted vegetables and seasoned meats on sandwiches and bruschetta appetizers. Enhance the earthy flavors of mushrooms, spinach, greens, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, and garlic. Herbs that partner well with Brie include parsley, tarragon, thyme, rosemary, basil, and oregano. Melt brie over hot rice, pasta, or pizza. Serve slats of brie with leftover turkey breast and a smear of chutney or cranberry relish. Pair triple cream brie with your favorite beverage. Serve alongside a glass of sparkling apple or pear cider, a crispy pilsner beer, or a fruity red wine or Belgian ale. deliceb

Tips on caring for Brie: Once you get it home, store the cheese tightly wrapped in cheese paper or parchment paper in the refrigerator. Serve it at room temperature (or warm), by the wedge or by the wheel, with the rind—which adds flavor—intact. If the Brie is runny, dip your knife in hot water before cutting to prevent sticking.

Cauliflower Risotto with Brie & Almonds 

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 3 thyme sprigs, plus 1 teaspoon leaves
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into 1/2-inch florets (about 4 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 5 ounce Brie, rind discarded, cut into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup sliced toasted almonds
Directions: Bring broth, water, and thyme sprigs to a light simmer in a medium saucepan. Meanwhile, heat butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then sauté cauliflower with 1/4 teaspoon salt until crisp-tender and golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add thyme leaves and sauté 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl.
Add remaining tablespoon oil to pan, then add rice and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add wine and simmer briskly, stirring, until wine has been absorbed, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup hot broth and briskly simmer, stirring, until broth has been absorbed. Continue simmering and adding hot broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and waiting until each addition has been absorbed before adding the next, until rice is just tender and looks creamy, 18 to 22 minutes. (There will be leftover broth.) Stir in cauliflower, Brie, and salt and pepper to taste. Thin with some of remaining broth if desired. Serve topped with almonds.
By: Claire

ClaireClaire Harlock Garber loves to eat and drink and write about it. She has worked in the food industry for nearly a decade and was on staff at the Skagit Valley Co-op from 2010-2018, writing the regular columns Skagit Brew Corner, The Cheese Whisperer, The Bounty of Bulk, and What's Dippin' in the Well for the Co-op's blog, as well as articles for the Natural Enquirer newsletter.