Skagit Food Co-op blog:

the Cheese Whisperer

Leprechaun Lunch: Irish Grilled Cheese

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with imported Irish specialties, such as their world-class cheese. For decades the Emerald Isles have been well known for their outstanding dairy products. Because of the mild climate and verdant pastures, most Irish cheese is made from cattle who graze on grass nearly year-round. Earthy and smooth, the following Irish cheddars make a tasty addition to cheese boards, sandwiches, salads, soups, pasta and more. Browse the selection at our Specialty Cheese Island for these Irish delights:

  • Old Irish Creamery Cheddar: a selection of smooth and robust cheddar cheese infused with a trio of authentic Irish flavors. Choose from Irish Porter (Guinness Ale) Cheddar, (Jameson) Irish Whiskey and natural Oak Smoked Cheddar. Old Irish Creamery has been hand-making cheese for over a century. Ideal for snacking or cooking, add to salads, sandwiches soups, pasta or roasted vegetables. Each type is on sale for $9.99 per lb, while supplies last.
  • Oscar Wilde Cheddar – this 2 year aged vintage white cheddar is an exceptional example of authentic sharp Irish cheese. Produced by the Poets and Writers of Ireland Cheese Company, this cheddar is named for famed writer and poet Oscar Wilde. It’s tangy, semi-dry and made aged for 2 years in Ireland’s dairy heartland, County Cork. With a distinct creamy flavor, this cheese is made from farm-fresh cow’s milk from multi-generation family farms. Cattle are pasture-fed for most (at least 300 days) of the year, including during the milking season. Serve this cheese with eggs, fresh fruit, bread and apple pie. Oscar Wilde Cheddar is now on sale for $11.99 per lb.
  • Kerrygold Irish Cheese: a variety of natural cheese made from grass-fed cows on the Emerald Isles. Choose from the mild, slightly nutty Dubliner, sharp 1 year Aged Irish Cheddar, or extra sharp 2 Year Cheddar Reserve. Kerrygold cheeses are on sale for $4.99 per 7 oz wedge.
  • Don’t forget the beer! Irish cheese is an excellent companion to a crisp lager or dark ale. Fans of lagers will enjoy Georgetown Brewing’s Rogers Pilsner ($8.99 per 6-pk), Kulshan Brewing’s Premium Lager ($7.99 per 6-pk) or Samuel Smith’s Organic Lager ($4.99 per 16.9 oz). Refresh your palate and pair these delightful cheddars with the rich, roasted flavors of Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout ($4.99 per 16.9 oz), Guinness Draft Stout ($8.99 per 4-pk 16 oz), or Boundary Bay’s Imperial Oatmeal Stout ($5.99 per 22 oz).

Irish Grilled Cheese

Serve this sandwich with pickles, like gherkins or Kosher dills. Serves 2. Recipe and photo adapted from thepioneerwoman.com

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons Kerrygold butter
  • 4 slices rye bread
  • Dijon mustard (or spicy), to taste
  • 4 ounces, Aged Irish Cheddar (or Smoked Cheddar)
  • Dill pickles or small gherkin pickles, optional
  • Optional: add thin slices of corned beef
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Butter the bread by either spread room temperature butter on one slice of bread or place the slices of bread in the skillet, allowing it to soak up all the butter. if desired, spread mustard on both slices. Cut the cheese into thin slices and lay on the bread. Allow the cheese to melt, then bring the two slices together and check both sides to make sure they’re crisp and golden brown and the cheese is melted. Transfer the sandwich to a cutting board and slice it in half. Serve immediately.

Bacon Cheddar Deviled Eggs

Recipe & Photo from kerrygoldusa.com

Ingredients:

  • 12 hard boiled eggs
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • 6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 3 cup grated Kerrygold Aged Cheddar cheese
  • Chives and paprika for garnish

Directions:

Slice eggs in half and remove yolks. Place yolks in a small bowl and mash with a fork. Stir in mayonnaise and mustard. Add bacon and grated cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Fill sliced egg whites with filling. Garnish with chopped chives or paprika. Refrigerate until serving.

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.