TRUFFLED DWARF PEACHES … WITH CHEESE!
I love Truffled Dwarf Peaches with everything but mostly I love them on their own.
Here is how I had them on Sunday night after dinner: as a side dish with our cheeses. “Miss Diva” appeared elegantly in whole and sliced on top of Gorgonzola. I can tell you that at that moment, I was as happy as Gorgonzola was! (more…)
Previously today I showed you how you can really enjoy having parmigiano on it's own without hardly any preparation! I will now show you one of my favorite recipes, with my favorite parmigiano cheese, The Grana Padano. I really love this cheese, it is similar to the reggiano but creamier. This cheese is off course a cheese that we supply our clients with here at Macchi Inc. It is important for me to let you all know that we do not import our cheeses ourselves since we do not have any cheese quotas. What we import here at Macchi Inc. is the Citterio brand, bottarga and truffles and in the future hopefully we will import more.
This is a perfect light salad with lots of flavour, assemble in a bowl: Baby spinach leaves, sliced strawberry’s and some Grana padano shavings. For this, all you need to add is a little cracked black pepper, evoo and some balsamic vinegar. There is no need to add any salt because the parmiggiano brings all the salt you need to the dish. Buon Appetitio! As usual, let me know how you liked it or if you made your own recipe, don't hesitate to share it with me.
While Parmigiano Reggiano proudly carries the title of the King of Cheeses, I would like to tell you a bit about my absolute favorite in hard cheeses, the Grana Padano or as I like to call it, The Emperor of Cheeses.
Many of us often believe that the Grana Padano is a lesser quality Parmigiano Reggiano and some even believe that it is called Parmigiano Padano, that is not the case, at least not if we are referring to the authentic product, imported from the specific Provinces and regions of the Grana Padano D.O.P.
While the Grana Padano does have many similarities to the Parmigiano Reggiano, the differences are essential to the flavor and texture, the first one being the place of production. The Grana Padano is produced in a much wider area than the Parmigiano Reggiano in the regions of: Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy, Piedmont, Trentino and Veneto (keep in mind that the Regions are much larger than the provinces, therefore a larger area of production).
In the flavor you can detect the difference in the Grana Padano being creamier and sligtly less saltier that the Parmigiano Reggiano, otherwise they are both just as firm and nutty in flavor.
Here are some more differences between both cheeses:
Since the restrictions are less for making the Grana Padano, the price is slightly lower but as we all know that does not mean that it is not as good.
Grana Padano can be found in three different ripening stages and the more mature the cheese is the nuttier and more pungent the flavor.
The reason why these hard cheeses are used so often in cooking is because they are so versatile, the Grana Padano and Parmigiano Reggiano can be sliced with a cheese slicer (see picture above), it can be grated (most often this is how it's used in cooking or by finishing a pasta plate) it can also be broken off in pieces (see Parmigiano Reggiano post) and personally I have shredded the cheese when wanting larger amounts in cooking.
The best way to store it is cold, in a refrigerator or even in the freezer if not used to frequently. I would suggest to always keep it air tight and low in humidity, if you know you haven't used it for a while and if not vacuum packed when stored, take the cheese out once in a while, pad it dry and change the saran wrap or the plastic bag that it has been stored in.
Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano, which one is your favorite? Maybe you like both just as much but for different purposes. Let me know!
I have, since I started writing about or products, been looking forward to talking about this weeks product. It is a product that we all have used or consumed and some just can't have a pasta plate without it! This product would amongst stone be considered as the diamond, amongst metal it would be considered platinum and amongst the cheeses it is by far 'the King of Cheeses', I am talking about – Parmigiano Reggiano -.
Here is one way of how we enjoy having this cheese at the Macchi residence.
Paolo's Parmigiano reggiano plate
Everyone might not be able to pronounce the name but we have all at one point in time somehow sampled it:
'King of cheeses' – The Parmigiano Reggiano -.
Just like all of the other products I have mentioned so far, the secret always lies within the local vegetation and climat,
in this case for the Parmigiano Reggiano it is the:
The Parmigiano Reggiano has for at least eight centuries been made in the exactly same way, in the same places, with the same appearance. Even the production has remained the same using: milk, rennet, fire and heart.
Parmigiano Reggiano is made from raw cow's milk, milk is pumped into copper-lined vats (copper heats and cools quickly), calf rennet is added to allow cheese to curdle. Temperature is raised and curd is left to settle. Curd is then placed in molds that will produce wheels that are 45 kilos (100 lbs) each. Cheese is placed into stainless steel round forms to retain it's classical shape. After a couple of days cheese gets imprinted several times with the Parmigiano Reggiano name, the number of the plant and the year of production. The 'wheels' are then placed in a brine bath to absorb salt for 20-25 days. Cheeses are then placed on wooden shelves, cleaned and turned once/week for 12 months. At 12 months the consorzio of Parmigiano Reggiano inspects each cheese to make sure it fulfills all of it's requirements. After this procedure each plant can then choose how much longer they would like to age the cheese. The aging process is anywhere from 18, 22 to 30 months.
In the next post I will speak about the Grana Padano, the differences between the Parmigiano Reggiano and the Grana Padano and some tips and tricks.
While I was doing my research to spot for you three interesting recipes using Buffalo Mozzarella on websites and blogs I particularly love, I fell on these. The first one is mixing chocolate and buffalo mozzarella! I found it intriguing, and rushed to the grocery store to buy a nice dark chocolate, and tried it at home in order to give you real feedback. It is perfect! The crunch of the chocolate, with the soft texture of the buffalo mozzarella made an amazing marriage. Try it for yourselves!
So here are my three recipes from around the web using buffalo mozzarella:
We don’t realize how fortunate we really are, when we so easily can get the Buffalo Mozzarella at our nearest, medium or large chain, grocery store.
This item is a fairly perishable cheese and it is imported from Italy.
From the day of production, you have 30 days until it has reached the “best-before-date”, which means that by the time it reaches our nearest grocery store, it has less than 21 days left before it goes bad.
It’s also on the fixed menu in most of our restaurants in and outside the city! (more…)
Let me introduce to all of you the “Ace of Spades” of cheeses: Buffalo Mozzarella!
It is very often the first plate decorating a dinner table; the first tray emptied at a buffet; and it works wonders with just a few slices of tomatoes added, as a complete and very satisfying lunch!
Therefor the “Ace of Spades”, being the strongest card in a deck, this is in my opinion the strongest product on a menu, even stronger in a summer menu.
….and yes, it did get it’s name because it’s made of buffalo milk, considering it makes such a good tasting cheese, the milk on it’s own is not at all recommended to consume. (more…)
Since Mozzarella di Buffala / Buffalo Mozzarella is a perfect “summer cheese” we like to use it often in the summer.
We had some guests over on Sunday and Paolo prepared a Panzanella salad as a side dish to our BBQed chicken wings, it tasted just as good as it looks and even better.
I urge you try this simple recipe, all of the ingredients can be found in almost any store and it is so quick and easy to prepare! (more…)
Hope you all had a great weekend, I had a really good but hectic one so please bear with me! Having managed to somehow delete today’s post we will have to start with what was initially supposed to be Thursdays post, today.
Let me introduce to all of you: BUFFALO MOZZARELLA! I have below two magical ways of serving the Buffalo Mozzarella, watch and indulge.
WATER BUFFALO MOZZARELLA ENTRÉE
This will be the second time that Stefano Leone has generously donated a picture that I can share with you all here on my blog.
He is not only one of my favorite Chefs but also a dear friend of Paolo’s and mine, that I have not seen for 5 years, but thanks to Facebook I am still able to at least see how from “best” he still manages to continue getting better, go figure! (more…)