Seduce with Cheese & Spirits For Valentine’s Day
By John Dunham and Alison Blackman
Who doesn’t love cheese? It has taste, scent, texture. Wine & cheese are a typical pairing, but mixing cheese and cocktails is unique, and seductive! Wine and Spirits columnist John Dunham joins leatherandlaceadvice.com to share his report on some cheese-centric cocktails he tasted at an event hosted by the French Cheese Board not to long ago. We hope it will inspire you to try your own unique pairings.
Below that, you’ll find my suggestions for two decadent, creamy cheeses from France’s Fromagerie Guilloteau (plus a heck of a seductive recipe) to win hearts on Valentines Day!
Let the romance begin!
John Dunham: Cheese and wine make any romantic cocktail hour lovely, but at the French Cheese Board’s New York City popup store in late 2015, we had the opportunity to check out 3 three innovative cocktails paired with 20 different French cheeses.
The first, cocktail was paired with Mimolette, a sharp, nutty fruity cheese that is a bright orange in color. The cocktail included Rind infused Busnel Calvados, along with lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white and Bon Mama fig preserves. The cocktail was garnished with grated mimolette cheese.
The second cocktail was a lovely pink drink designed for pairing with Brie. Its base was camembert- infused Dorothy Parker Gin, blended with lemon juice, a ginger syrup, seltzer and a bit of lingonberry preserves. The sweet drink went well with the creamy cheese and gave the mellow brie a fruity flavor.
The last cheesy cocktail was made from blue cheese infused with Linie Aquavit which was mixed with Dolin Dry Vermouth, Dolin Blanc Vermouth and pickled tomato brine. This cocktail was specifically designed for Raclette, a salt, nutty cheese often served with boiled potatoes, roasted root vegetables, or cured meats.
SEDUCTIVE FRENCH CHEESE!
For February 14th, Valentines Day, show your love a different kind of romance by offering up creamy cheese to slather on slices of fruit, or crackers, or on anything else (use your imagination). I’m also are including a recipe that includes some of the most potent aphrodisiacs on Earth *try the recipe at the bottom of this page for Terrines of Pumpkin and Fromager d’Affonois.
The Fromagerie Guilloteau was created in 1981 and is a family-owned business in the Southeast part of France, near the Alps. The company works with over 100 local milk producers, most with an average herd of around 50 cows and collects nearly 40 million liters of milk per year to produce elegant cheese to seduce your taste buds any day of the year . If you aren’t sure what cheese to buy, try these two cheeses: “Fromager d’Affinois with truffles (a double-cream soft cheese made from cow’s milk ) and Saint Angel (a classic triple creme).
The Fromager d’Affonois with Truffles has genuine bits of truffles (a true aphrodisiac) . Keep it for a while and the rind gets thicker, but still somehow, sweet. It is a classic French style cheese (the longer you keep it, the stronger the smell of the cheese).
The Saint Angel is a luxurious triple-creme cheese brie-style cheese that spreads beautifully and “runs/melts” when it is ripe. Don’t be afraid to eat the ring, it’s creamy at first, but the flavor gets more intense with age. There is a creamy, buttery taste that works so well with fruit, sweet figs and yet works with more savory foods such as olives or salty snacks, as well. Try it with champagne at your next “cocktail hour” with pieces of toasted bread, or with fig jam, or the way we like it, on a textured cracker to capture the cheese as it “melts” while you nibble.
RECIPE FOR SEDUCTION: Truffles are a known aphrodisiac and I’m told that men are irresistibly drawn to the scent and taste of pumpkin. The recipe below has both of these ingredients! “Verrine” translated into English is a “glass” and verrine recipes are served in small glass vessels but the ingredients are solid, not a liquid. This recipe It isn’t difficult, especially if you use frozen pumpkin (or try frozen butternut squash) instead of fresh pumpkin.
Verrines of Pumpkin and Fromager d’ Affinois Serves: 4; Prep time: 20 min.; Cooking time: 22 min
3 potatoes, washed and unpeeled
1 lb. pumpkin
1 Tbs. salted butter
1 Tbs. cream
1 pinch of salt
3.3 oz. unsalted chicken stock
4 tsp. truffle-infused olive oil
3.5 oz. Fromager d’Affinois truffles
Fill large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add the unpeeled potatoes and boil until soft. Meanwhile, peel the pumpkin, remove seeds and fibrous part, and dice into 1-inch cubes. ***Note: you may substitute frozen pumpkin for fresh pumpkin if needed. Drain and peel potatoes.
Peel and chop shallot and brown it in the saucepan with the salted butter for approximately 5 minutes. After the shallot has been browned add the diced pumpkin, shallot, cream, chicken stock and salt. Reduce the mixture to a puree with a hand mixer or masher.
Divide the puree into four verrines. Drizzle each verrine with truffle-infused olive oil. Cut the Fromager d’Affinois Truffles into thin slices and place on top of each verrine.