Monday, October 25, 2010

Day Two Fifty Eight - Cauliflower Marriage Mondays

A bit stumped as to what to do for this week's Marriage Mondays, I had an 'aha' moment while chopping up some cauliflower to roast for dinner tonight -- Cauliflower it is!

Cauliflower is as we all know a member of the broccoli family or brassica family-- low in fat, high in dietary fiber, folate, vitamin C and water, this guy packs a strong nutritional punch! It even has been found to reduce one's chance of getting prostate cancer. In case you are looking to add color to your plate, it comes in orange, purple, and white varieties.

A favorite of mine in Fall and Winter months, I thought it was a perfect candidate for a late October Marriage Mondays, despite the fact it is not yet cold out.

So who are our three contenders for our dear friend Cauliflower this week?

Contestant Number # 1 : Chaource - Dating back to the Middle Ages, this French cow's milk cheese is utter decadence. A petite cylinder of cheesy goodness originating in its namesake village of Chaource in the Champagne region, it is a bloomy rind cheese aged for two to four weeks before enjoying purposes. It is creamy, unctuous, buttery, salty, bright, with a tinge of a citrusy finish. All around greatly satisfying morsel of lactic goodness, but is it good enough for our cauliflower??

Contestant Number # 2 : Queso de la Serena - Hailing from the neighboring country of contestant number 1 -- Spain, specifically the Extremadura region, this guy is ready for the party. An unusual cheesemaking process is what makes this cheese stand out -- it is coagulated with cardoon thistle and depending on ripeness can be just as creamy as fondue. Aged for anywhere between two and four months, it is a fantastic example of the range of flavors that can be coaxed out of sheep's milk to create a delish cheese. This particular one has heavy vegetal, grassy, herbaceous, and hay notes with a fabulously creamy mouth feel. Definitely a crave-able cheese! But is our cauliflower craving it??

Contestant Number # 3 : Manouri -- Our final contestant is Greek; made from the leftover whey of that famous Greek cheese, Feta. This cheese is therefore obviously made with fresh pasteurized sheep's milk. I know you're thinking, well how does that work, you make one cheese and with the leftovers another cheese is born? Yes, pretty much! Think ricotta, but different. The feta cheese curd is drained into cloth bags and then topped off with a dash of skimmed cream. What you get is the chalky white block of smooth milky cheese-y goodness known as Manouri -- fresh, crisp, and fantastic! Fantastic enough for our cauliflower?

That's all folks! Check back tomorrow for a winner. 

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