From our friend chef Tony Maws, of Craigie on Main in Cambridge and Kirkland Tap & Trotter.
5 medium Russet potatoes
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
½ lb Fourme d’Ambert
1 cup milk (approx)
1 tablespoon picked thyme
5 scratches nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
Break cheese into chunks and place in bowl. Add ½ cup milk and, using fork, break cheese; combine and mash with milk until mixture is creamy.
Peel and rinse potatoes. Use mandolin to slice into long pieces no more than 1/8 inch thick. Place in large bowl along with thyme, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and enough milk to coat potato slices.
Butter casserole dish, and season with salt and pepper. Place a layer of potato slices (about 1/3 of the total potato slices) on the bottom, overlapping the slices in a “fish-scale” pattern. Add 1/3 of the cheese mixture and salt and pepper the first layer. Repeat for two more layers, adding enough milk to barely cover the top layer of potatoes before spreading the remaining 1/3 cheese mixture over the top.
Cover with foil. Bake at pre-heated 350 degree oven for 2 hours or until you can easily slide a sharp knife through potatoes. Uncover and bake for 20 minutes more or until golden brown. Let rest for 30 minutes before slicing and serving.
One of my favorite deliveries happens on Fridays, when Michael from Carlisle Farmstead Cheese drops off a few rounds of goat cheese made by his wife Tricia, along with a few cases of Carlisle Honey, collected by beekeeper Ed Erny.
Monte Veronese di Malga is something special. The term “Malga” is the equivalent of “Alpage” and is given only to cheeses that are made in the summer months, from the milk of cows grazing on the lush pastures of the Lessini mountains (considered to be some of the best in Italy). As a result, the cheese changes from year to year, based on what the different plants and grasses the cows are eating.
Julie, our brilliant in-house charcutière, took staff members on a tour of some of the different products she makes. This involved a lot of delicious eating (and drinking!) as well as some serious discussion.
In northern Italy, the olive harvest happens late in the growing year, usually during December and January. We’ve recently gotten in the first bottles of the new-harvest olive oil from our friends the Cottas, who live in the hills outside of Imperia in the Liguria region of Italy.
We cracked a gorgeous wheel of Gorgonzola Dolce yesterday. Creamy with mild piquancy, this classic blue is lovely on its own or smeared on a slice of whole wheat bread.