“How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?”
– Charles de Gaulle
It’s Thursday night. “Farmer Greg” is soon to arrive home from the hospital. It’s another late night for him, preceding six straight days and nights of surgery call. I know the next week will be rough for him. So, I break out the cheese – the ideal elixir for any long day. Currently, we have about 15 varieties of cheese on hand. How to choose?
In the end, Sottocenere al Tarfuto (al Tarfuto the Italian for “with truffles”) and twelve-month aged Manchego are the victorious finalists that make the plate. Italy vs. Spain, or maybe Cow vs. sheep. The two fromage dual it out in the final round. The Manchego is hard and slightly salty, boasting a lovely, sweet taste of sheep’s milk. The cow’s milk Sottocenere is creamy and rich, highlighted by the savory, delicate flavor of truffles. A tie is called; each fromage is ridiculously decadent and palette-pleasing in a unique way. Please, never make us choose just one cheese when we can have two.
Above, twelve-month aged Manchego (left) and Sottocenere Al Tarfuto (Right)
An inexpensive but delicious Bordeaux is uncorked for the “Chef” and a Octoberfest Lager is opened for “Farmer Greg.” Mozart is streaming on Spotify; fresh, crusty bread is ready to be torn and devoured. I embark on roasting garlicky vegetables, citrus-infused salmon and grilling marinated steaks. Thank goodness we have lovely fromage to pale our appetites while the cooking ensues.
Cheese and wine – and most importantly, great company – are in my presence. Cooking. Wine. Cheese. Music. My Love.
A perfect night.
A short thirty minutes later, the meal is ready. Which of the two proteins prepared tonight is the favorite to win? Shall wild salmon swim away with the title, or will grass-fed beef tenderloin run through the pastures in victory? Make both of the simple, twenty-minute recipes and decide which is your favorite.
For the lemon-rosemary salmon, above, a most simple preparation is used.
For lemon-Rosemary Salmon, a one-pound fillet is rubbed with garlic-infused extra virgin olive oil and well-seasoned with salt and pepper. Then, it is sprinkled with fresh rosemary and lemon juice. Next, a scattering of sliced onions around the fish, then another generous drizzle of olive oil and sprinkling of salt for the onions.
The fish is ready to bake away. After a simple twelve minutes of roasting in a 400 degree oven, the salmon flakes with a fork. It’s ready. As the Italians say, Buon Appetito!
The red miso-glazed steak, above, is a crowd-pleaser.
For red-miso glazed tenderloin, four (four to six ounce) grass feed fillets of beef are marinated in 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup red miso glaze, two tablespoons fresh lime juice, one teaspoon fresh, chopped garlic and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes. The beef is marinated for as little or as long as desired – fifteen minutes or overnight.
A grill pan is heated to medium high and the steaks are cooked about four minutes a side for medium rare. The steaks are glazed with the remaining miso marinade before they are flipped. Other than this, the steaks are not moved, not bothered, simply allowed to grill in all their glory. Finally, the steaks are placed on a plate and covered lightly with foil until ready to serve. That’s it, folks. As they say in Spain, ¡Buen provecho!
Now, we commence eating more cheese. After all, it is often served as a dessert course in France, no?
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