Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Baked Penne with Camembert

images from http://cookagain.blogspot.com


16oz. penne pasta

3 tbs. vegetable oil

3 tbs. green onions, chopped into rings

½ cup zucchini, sliced

½ cup red bell peppers, seeds removed and sliced

1 cup cooked ham, cubed

1 tbs. chopped parsley

Pinch of Hungarian sweet paprika

10 oz. Rouge et Noir Camembert

3 eggs

½ cup heavy cream

½ cup milk

Several basil leaves for garnish

Kosher Salt

Freshly ground pepper


Cook Penne in boiling salted water according to package directions until al dente. Drain. In a large pan, heat oil and sauté onions, zucchini, and bell peppers for 2-3 minutes. Add ham and sauté briefly. Toss with penne and parsley, and season to taste with paprika, salt, and pepper. Cut Camembert into ¼ inch cubes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, Transfer half the pasta to a lightly-oiled casserole dish. Sprinkle half the Camembert over the top. Cover with remaining pasta and a second layer of Camembert. In a Bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, and milk. Season to taste with salt and pepper and pour over the casserole. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Garnish with basil leaves and serve.

Monday, June 27, 2011

"get it or regret it" blogs fan of Marin French Cheese

the Rouge et Noir Yellow Buck Camembert of Marin Cheese Company: get it, or regret it (no rennet either)

OK, I’ll admit it. Sometimes I don’t just rely upon my own superior culinary judgement. In fact, sometimes I humble myself and ask for…gasp…directions!

Last fall, I accosted the cheese expert at the fancy-pants grocery while she peeled away the rind of what appeared to be an enormous Parmeggiano-Reggiano. In her opinion, the Yellow Buck Camembert could not, and should not be missed. Well, she was RIGHT. She also warned me that it constantly sold out once the store starts to carry it and recommended that I buy two wheels of it while they were readily available. I thought she was nuts. Are people that crazy about the Yellow Buck? Yes, they are. And rightly so. I am now one of “those” people.

The Marin Cheese Company (MCC) prices this cheese around $10.00 per wheel, for 16 oz. Do not be fooled. When I was in my fall cheese-buying frenzy, I found Bries and Camemberts – OK ones – for anywhere up to $20 per lb. They could not hold a candle to the Yellow Buck.

You will adore the tang of it. Yes, yes, any Camembert can be creamy, and smooth. They can handle sitting next to banal crackers and cold cuts at business luncheons and the like. But that’s not why you would buy this cheese. It is a cheese that will beat up even something terribly tough and aggressive, like Ryvita. Yes, even against that, the Yellow Buck will prevail.

Perhaps the adoration of many should come as no surprise, from this American intitution that has beaten the entire cheese world – including FRANCE(!) in the World Cheese Awards, an international blind-tasting cheese competition.

And, may the heavens help you should you ever melt the Yellow Buck. Once it is fully ripened, it does not require much contact with heat to become downright irresistible. Just try putting small cubes of it on top of a potato pancake (here’s one recipe for latke) along with some Worcestershire sauce (one of my favorite preps).

So, just get it, let it ripen, and dig in. Yes, it will blow your mind.

P.S. Those of you concerned with the treatment of animals in food production, note that this product is rennetless (hence, no rBST). Also, the MCC donates proceeds from many of its varietal cheeses, including the Yellow Buck Camembert, to the Marine Mammal Center.

This blog post was unsolicited. The original can be found at Dude, where's the stove? Posted on January 27, 2007.