In this week’s Cooking with Bwog, resident culinary maestro Matt Powell teams up with his friend, fiendish cheese connoisseur Amanda Tien, to bring you some bread and cheese combinations so fancy they make you feel bougie just lookin’ at ’em!
Course #1: Mango Ginger Chutney
To start, a savory pairing. Start off with a fil-a-buster cow’s milk cheese paired with a sourdough loaf and mango chutney. The Fil-a-Buster is a raw cow’s milk cheese from Vermont and it packs quite a punch. Melted on top of the sourdough under the broiler, the cheese oozes with flavor. This chutney provides a strong and Indian-inspired counterbalance to the cheese.
- 2 mangos
- ¼ C red wine vinegar
- ¼ C sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled
- 1 jalapeno
- ½ tsp. cumin
- ½ tsp. coriander seeds
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- 2 tbsp. canola oil
- Peel mangos and cut into ½” dice. Toss mango with the vinegar, sugar, and salt.
- In a food processor/blender/mortar and pestle, grind the ginger, jalapeno, cumin, and coriander seeds until it forms a paste. In a small saucepan, heat the 2 tbsp. of oil. Toss in the cinnamon stick, star anise, and spice paste and cook at medium-low until very fragrant, about 7 minutes. Next, toss in the mango-vinegar mixture. Reduce the heat to low and allow the mixture to simmer for 30 minutes with the lid on.
- Once the time is up, remove the cinnamon stick and anise. Taste and adjust seasonings. Allow to cool and store in a jar or container in the fridge. (Chutney will keep for up to a month.)
Course #2: Blood Orange Marmalade
The middle course was our favorite. Maybe it’s because we’re all suckers for goat’s milk cheese. On slices of pain de campagne (“country bread”), we melted Julianna raw goat cheese from Indiana. This type of cheese is firm for a goat cheese, but it is still full of sweet and milky flavors—with just a hint of mushroom. To finish the goat cheese crostini, we topped it with a helping of blood orange marmalade.
- 4 blood oranges
- ¼ C honey
- 3 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- Using a paring knife or a vegetable peeler, remove the peel of 3 of the blood oranges in long, thin strips. Cut the strips into 1/8” strips. Place the orange zest in a small saucepan.
- Remove the white pith from all of the oranges. Separate the oranges into segments and roughly chop. Add the chopped segments into the saucepan as well as any collected juices. Stir in the honey, sugar, and black pepper.
- Over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Stir constantly and reduce until the mixture is thick, amounting to about ½ cup. This will take about 10 minutes. Cool. Store in a jar or container in the fridge. (Marmalade, like chutney, will keep a long time.)
Course #3: Lavender-Infused Honey
Of course, we needed a dessert. To finish the meal, Amanda and I paired a whole spelt boule with sheep’s milk Istara cheese and lavender-infused honey. Although “boule” sounds fancy, it’s just the French word for “ball.” Instead of slicing the bread like the previous courses, I prefer to rip and tear the boule. I also didn’t broil the sheep’s milk cheese because I wanted its raw, uncooked flavor to shine through—Istara is known for having hints of cocoa, hazelnut, and fig (which is perfect for a dessert course). Sliced atop the ripped boule and drizzled with lavender honey, this cheese was a delightful ending.
- ½ C honey (I used star thistle honey.)
- 2 tsp. dried lavender
- In a small saucepan, bring the honey and lavender to a boil. Remove from the heat and allow to infuse for about 15 minutes. Store the honey in a jar at room temperature. (Honey will keep almost indefinitely.) I like to keep the lavender bits in the honey, but these can be strained out.