Bleg and Open Thread

Although I don’t normally cheese blog, extreme circumstances sometimes call for extreme measures. As of Saturday the East Liberty Whole Foods in Pittsburgh had a decent number of small rounds of a truffled sheep cheese called Tartufello Pecorino. This is a cheese for which I would consider killing a man, yet is only slightly more available than the Duke Nukem sequel because Americans with tastes too refined for the chocolate-dipped twinkie generally limit their adventurousness to smoked gouda and pasteurized triple creme brie. Hence stores that take a chance on something truly memorable often throw much of their stock away, and thus don’t go out of their way to re-order cheeses like this or the equally missed Bleu de Basque Brebis.

You can help prevent that. If you can easily reach in the Pittsburgh area, stop by and see if you can secure one of these hockey puck-sized lifestyle upgrades for yourself (more expensive than a wedge of brie; cheaper than a Porsche)*. Even if you miss out on the current run, more people asking about the cheese will make it less likely that the sun will consume the Earth in a fiery apocalypse before they restock it.

For everyone else, chat about whatever.

(*) Do not accept a similar-sounding substitute, particularly not the one perversely coated in cinnamon, and then blame me for recommending non-sublime cheese.

A Radical Palate

Via the comments, I see that the we are only beginning to understand the magnitude of the liberal/Dijon conspiracy:

Today, Judge Sotomayor’s culinary tastes range from tuna fish and cottage cheese for lunch with clerks in her chambers, to her standard order at the Blue Ribbon Bakery: smoked sturgeon on toast, with Dijon mustard, onions and capers. She works out three times a week, putting in three miles on the treadmill in the court’s gym. Divorced and with no children, she enjoys the ballet and theater and lives in a condominium in Greenwich Village — both a subway ride and a world away from the housing projects where she grew up.

How far does this conspiracy go? How many other Democrats in high places are also openly feasting on Dijon mustard?

On a serious note, that piece gave me a serious craving for a bagel with cream cheese, lox, red onions, capers, sprouts, a big thick slice of ripe tomato, and salt and pepper. My roommate in college used to make them every now and then, and they were just the best thing in the world. I have not had a good bagel in so long I would probably just cry if I bit into a real Jersey bagel. About the best bagel you can get around here is a Bruegger’s, and that is in the ‘burgh.

Salsa Verde Update

Not sure if this would still be considered salsa verde, but here is what I did:

couple pounds of tomatillos
two onions
dozen or so serrano peppers
couple habaneros
couple cloves of garlic
a metric ton of cilantro
some kosher salt
a couple limes

I took out the cast iron skillet, as suggested in the comments, and slow roasted the peppers, the garlic, the tomatillos, and the onions. I browned them a little bit more than all the online guides said to, but I was hoping that would make it a little smokier. I then seeded the peppers, peeled the garlic, and threw it all in the food processor. I then squeezed a couple limes, added some salt, and then when it tasted a little empty, added a teaspoon of sugar to round it out a touch.

It turned out to taste pretty damned good, with a smokier and hotter taste than the salsa verde I am used to buying at the store. I am not sure if I like the habanero taste in this, but it did heat it up a little bit. I added the habanero because I am a firm believer that if I am not sweating and have to blow my nose after a couple bites of something, it is not hot enough, but I am not sure if that was the right pepper to add. Don’t get me wrong- it is good. But I am not sure if it is as good as it could be. Can’t wait for my chicken breasts to stop marinating, and then it is game on.

So what did I do wrong, or what should I do differently next time?

Recipe Help

Just curious- do any of you have an interesting salsa verde recipe that is something a little different?

Also, looking for a way to kick up my burrito meat up a notch in the spice area. What would you all suggest?

Bacon popcorn

I’m a bit jetlagged and can’t get to sleep, hence this late night post.

I’d like to tell everyone about something new I had at dinner (or more accurately at a restaurant bar waiting for a dinner companion to arrive): bacon-flavored popcorn.  I had it at a restaurant near Hyde Park called Texture.  

It’s just as delicious as you would imagine.