Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day Three Hundred and Fifteen : Endive Results

Who won out in our race for the chance to be paired with this week's bitter green of choice?

It certainly wasn't contestant number one, the Ossau Iraty Vielle. Why you may ask did such a crowd pleasing cheese not find the ability to please our Belgian endive this week? That's because there is no sense of cohesion here -- it's pretty much like two known quantities passing each other on the street but not finding any common ground to be able to coax out each other's nuances. Ossau Iraty Vielle is meant to be enjoyed with rustic and warming veggies or with nuts and dried fruits. Its not the best salad cheese -- good with cooked foods. It sure is a fantastic cheese though!

Nor was it our third and stinky contestant, Morbier. This is a case of oil and water -- the mixture of the washed rind stink and the nuttiness of the cheese will clash with the bitter fresh crispness of the Belgian Endive -- not an ideal match! Morbier is not the easiest combination/mixing cheese, best sandwiched between two pieces of crusty bread with a glass of off dry or fruity white wine.

That obviously means that our second contestant, that fabulous mixture of triple cream, Brie style cheese and Italian Gorgonzola won out this week! Why? Because the spicy piquant-ness will offset the crisp freshness of our endive while the creamy round mouth feel will cut the bitterness quotient of the Endive. So how to serve it? Why not make a dip?

1/2 lb of Cambozola
1/2 lb of Ricotta
Cinnamon Roasted Pears
Black Pepper
Sea Salt
Sauteed Shallots and rosemary

I know that sounds like quite the weird mixture of ingredients, sweet and savory all rolled into one but I guarantee it will be a success.

Grab three pears and cut into small slices, top with some EVOO, a bit of honey, some cinnamon, sea salt and a few sprigs of rosemary. Place in the oven at 300 till golden brown or about eighteen to twenty minutes. While your pears are roasting, saute one chopped up shallot and a few sprigs of rosemary with some EVOO. In a food processor, combine Cambozola, Ricotta, EVOO, sauteed shallots, black pepper, and sea salt. Now take a bunch of leaves of Endive and place a nice helping of your dip in each and then top with one sliver of roasted pear. Enjoy with an off-dry white wine!

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