Thursday, December 24, 2009

A little cheese history

A little history on cheese

Most authorities consider that cheese was first made
in the Middle East. The earliest type was a form of
sour milk which came into being when it was discovered
that domesticated animals could be milked. A legendary
story has it that cheese was 'discovered' by an
unknown Arab nomad. He is said to have filled a
saddlebag with milk to sustain him on a journey across
the desert by horse. After several hours riding he
stopped to quench his thirst, only to find that the
milk had separated into a pale watery liquid and solid
white lumps. Because the saddlebag, which was made
from the stomach of a young animal, contained a
coagulating enzyme known as rennin, the milk had been
effectively separated into curds and whey by the
combination of the rennin, the hot sun and the
galloping motions of the horse. The nomad, unconcerned
with technical details, found the whey drinkable and
the curds edible.

Cheese was known to the ancient Sumerians four
thousand years before the birth of Christ. The ancient
Greeks credited Aristaeus, a son of Apollo and Cyrene,
with its discovery; it is mentioned in the Old

In the Roman era cheese really came into its own.
Cheesemaking was done with skill and knowledge and
reached a high standard. By this time the ripening
process had been developed and it was known that
various treatments and conditions under storage
resulted in different flavours and characteristics.

The larger Roman houses had a separate cheese kitchen,
the caseale, and also special areas where cheese could
be matured. In large towns home-made cheese could be
taken to a special centre to be smoked. Cheese was
served on the tables of the nobility and travelled to
the far corners of the Roman Empire as a regular part
of the rations of the legions.

During the Middle Ages, monks became innovators and
developers and it is to them we owe many of the
classic varieties of cheese marketed today. During the
Renaissance period cheese suffered a drop in
popularity, being considered unhealthy, but it
regained favour by the nineteenth century, the period
that saw the start of the move from farm to factory
production. How's that for a little bit of useless but
interesting info...

Cheese dishes

Here is a little bit of chefmike fusion. Mixing my
love for Mexican staples with that of traditional

Fettucini alla Carbonara

This is not the traditional dish, although similiar,
like all else it has that little chefmike twist to it.
The traditional recipe calls for pancetta bacon and I
substitute chorizo for the pancetta, cause that's the
kind of guy I am...I love chorizo. If you would prefer
to use bacon or pancetta, feel free, it's your world

3/4# Fettucini or spaghetti
4-6 ounces of chorizo, pancetta or lean bacon
3 cloves of garlic, halved
1/3 cup of white wine
1/3 cup of heavy or whipping cream**
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2/3 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Cook your chorizo and garlic, roughly 4-5 minutes, or
until it is done. Drain, reserve 3T of your sausage
fat, discard your garlic.
Prepare your pasta, drain and rinse, return to dry
When your sausage is done and you have drained it and
returned it to the hot pan with the 3T of drippings
add the wine. Allow the  wine to simmer for 3-5
minutes, add your cream.

In a double boiler, whisk in the egg and the egg yolk,
whisk in 1/3 cup of the parmesan cheese and cook until
the sauce thickens slightly.

Pour the chorizo-cream mixture over your fettucini and
toss well. Re-heat. When reheated toss with the egg
cheese mixture. Toss to coat.

Fix the kidz a peanut butter sandwich, sit on the
floor of the kitchen and eat it all...some things are
just not meant to be shared...mmmmmmm....ha ha

**chefmike notes
You can thicken low fat or skim milk to replace the
heavy cream.

One other thing I like to do is omit the sausage, keep
the garlic when I am making the cream sauce and add
asparagus tips and artichokes...mmmmm, not to mention
a helluva lot healthier...haha

Cheddar Cheese Dumplings
This one was sent in by some friends of mine that
operate a message board on the internet for the
purpose of sharing recipes, talking about wine,
ettiquette and much more. Please stop by and say hi to
Meredith, Laura, Mandy and Danile...they have a really
cool site that is just going to grow and be one of the
most awesome recipe sites on the internet.

Ingredients for 4 servings:

16 oz Cheddar; Md, Shredded
2 ea Eggs; Lg
1 c Unbleached Flour
1 ts Salt
1/2 c Butter
1/2 pt Sour Cream
GARNISHES------- 1 x Paprika  1 x Parsley


Mash the cheddar cheese and add the eggs mixing well.
Stir in the
flour and salt. Drop by TBLS into the rapidly boiling
water then
cover and boil for 15 minutes. Drain and serve with
melted butter and
sour cream. Sprinkle with chopped parsley or paprika,
if desired.

Hasta la Toodles

Well, the conclusion of another episode of chefmike
versus the world...feel free to drop me a line or send
me a recipe. If you have any ideas for future issues
of the newsletters feel free to post them at my site
or send me an email. Please remember to stop by and
see my friends at Entertaining with a Twist and tell
em cheffy sent ya...

No comments: