Thanks to a global marketplace, Utahns can enjoy many cheeses from around the world. This week we explore Cabra Blanca.
What it is » A pasteurized goat’s milk cheese from Avalanche Cheese Co., in Basalt, Colo. This newish cheese producer — since 2008 — was greatly influenced from United Kingdom cheese masters at Neal’s Yard Dairy in London and Mary Quicke of Quickes Traditional in Devon.
Note » I like to double the batch and have these on hand as a warm appetizer or in place of bread at a meal. To freeze, store in an airtight container and reheat in a 350-degree oven for about 10 minutes or until warmed through.
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ cups grated Cabra Blanca cheese
½ cup grated Hand Bandaged Goat Cheddar Cheese
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (optional)
5 large eggs
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a 3- or 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, bring butter and 1 cup water to boil. Remove from heat and add the flour, cayenne and salt. Blend together with a wooden spoon and put mixture back over the heat, stirring continuously, until it forms a ball.
Transfer the mixture to a standing mixer with a paddle attachment. Add the cheeses, reserving about 2 tablespoons, and the thyme, if using. Beat on low to combine. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, until incorporated into the mixture.
Spoon the dough into a pastry bag with a 1/2-inch tip or a large sealable plastic bag with a 1/2-inch cut at the corner. Pipe the dough out into 1-inch rounds spaced 1 inch apart on the baking sheets. Whisk the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water and brush the wash over the tops of the balls. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining cheese.
Bake until golden brown and centers are cooked through, about 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm.
Makes » 36 puffs
Source » Avalanche Cheese Co.
Cabra Blanca is crafted from milk from a herd made up of Nubian, Alpine and Saanen goats. Once the almost 6-pound wheels are formed, they are aged from 3 to 5 months. The ivory-colored paste has pin-sized holes. The strong aroma mellows at the back of the throat, which is followed by mild citrus flavors and goaty tanginess.
Serve on a cheese plate with sun-dried tomato pesto, roasted unsalted almonds, dried turkish figs and fresh red pears.
How to store » Store in waxed paper for up to seven days. This semi-soft cheese is perishable and prone to discoloration. Simply trim away any mold and eat. Remove from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes prior to eating.
Beverage pairings » Pinot noir is an excellent choice. Beeradvocate.com recommends a lager such as Samuel Smith’s Organically Produced Lager Beer.
Cost » $24.99 a pound at Whole Foods, 1131 E. Wilmington Ave., Salt Lake City; 801-359-7913. For more information, visit www.avalanchecheese.com.
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