The Book: I have a special book review for you today, one that involves a lot of cheese, an anniversary, and an awesome giveaway (scroll down for details). Although I’m not from Philly, I’m thrilled to be helping Philly-institution DiBruno Bros. celebrate their 75th anniversary as well as their first book, DiBruno Bros. House of Cheese: A Guide to Wedges, Recipes, and Pairings. DiBruno Bros. is a gourmet market specializing in high-end cheeses and cured meats, as well as other specialty food products. Family owned and operated, its the kind of gourmet culinary institution that’s worth supporting and preserving. Their only brick and mortar locations are in Philadelphia, but the rest of us can enjoy their delicious products by purchasing them through their online store.
Last year, DiBruno Bros. released their first book, House of Cheese, in partnership with blogger Tenaya Darlington, author of Madame Fromage. The bulk of the book is composed of descriptions of various cheeses, separated into 10 categories, from “Free Spirits” to “Pierced Punks.” The descriptions of each cheese are quirky and engaging – I’ve never heard cheese described with such personality and detail! – and each includes a series of food and drink pairings for that particular cheese. Tenaya writes with a subtle sense of humor that had me cracking a smile at descriptions like “full of wild, fatty-licious stink – prepare yourself for the smell of boiled peanuts, pick-up truck exhaust, and bare feet [Cato Corner Farm’s Hooligan]” and “wrapped in walnut leaves and aged in mountain caves, it’s the sort of cheese you want everyone to see that you’re eating [Foja de Noce].” Interspersed throughout the descriptions are notes and anecdotes about making, serving, and eating cheese, cheese board suggestions, and simple recipes for appetizers to serve with your cheese. The themed cheese boards with pairings will ensure that you really impress your guests at your next party – I, for one, will be trying the “fireside party” board when the weather turns colder, which includes Truffle Tremor paired with roasted chestnuts and Stilton paired with dark chocolate. Yum. All told, the book is both pleasantly engaging and very informative, covering a much broader range of cheeses than I expected to find. The next time I step up to the cheese counter, I’ll certainly have done my research about what I really want to try.
The Food: While there’s only a handful of recipes included in House of Cheese (the focus is more on the cheese descriptions and pairings), I don’t like publishing book reviews without at least giving you a taste of whatever recipes there are, so I decided to make the Goat Cheese Terrine with Fig Jam and Pesto. Like most of the recipes in the book, it’s very simple to pull together – it only took me about 10 minutes to whip up – and the results are really lovely. I’m not sure I would have naturally come up with the combination of pesto and fig jam, but the sweet and herbal flavors are tied together well by the layer of goat cheese in between. This is the kind of appetizer that disappears in no time at a party, the sort of thing that draws everyone into the same room to stand around the table and nibble on cheese-covered crackers and chat. It takes a little bit of patience to get the cheese to spread out evenly, but that’s the only part that is even remotely tricky. Even my least culinary friends could handle this one.
Congratulations to Victoria C on winning this giveaway! Enjoy your goodies :-)
The Giveaway: I’m not the only one who gets a great new cookbook and a gorgeous cheese gift basket – one lucky reader will get one, too! The gift basket includes a few different cheeses, some tasty snacks to serve with your cheese (like addictive Black Lava Cashews), and a $25 gift card to DiBruno Bros. for you to try something new. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below letting me know a) what your favorite kind of cheese is, and b) what your favorite cheese-centric recipe is. If you don’t win here, keep your eyes on Dine and Dish, All Day I Dream About Food, and Kitchen Confidante in the coming weeks for more chances to win. By entering the giveaway, you are agreeing to the official rules as listed below: No purchase necessary Void where prohibited One entry per household, and only entries answering the question above will be considered! The sponsor of this giveaway is DiBruno Bros. The estimated retail value of the book and gift basket is $150 The odds of winning will depend on the number of entries received This contest is only open to U.S. Citizens over the age of 18 The contest will open today, July 23rd, 2014 at posting time, and will close at 11PM EST on Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 One winner will be selected randomly and contacted via email (so please leave an accurate email address!). If I do not hear from the winner within 48 hours, the winner forfeits their prize and an alternate winner will be chosen. I will post the winner here by Friday, August 8th, 2014
Recipe Shortlist: Manchego and Marcona Almond Pesto; Pickled Feta with Olives and Strawberries; Baked Brie with Pears and Apricots; Semolina Crackers with Sea Salt; Lavender Mustard; Zeke’s Bacon Maple Grilled Cheese; Tomato and Pancetta Strata
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DiBruno Bros. sent me a copy of House as Cheese, as well as a 75th anniversary gift basket free of charge for this post. I was not otherwise compensated, and all opinions are my own.
Goat Cheese Terrine with Fig Jam and Pesto
Recipe reprinted from DiBruno Bros. House of Cheese courtesy of DiBruno Bros. and Running Press. Serves 8-12 as an appetizer.
- 1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 pound soft fresh goat cheese, such as Capricho de Cabra, at room temperature
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 c. basil pesto
- 3/4 c. fig jam
- 1/2 c. walnuts or pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
- Line the inside of a very deep 4-cup bowl with plastic wrap, allowing the edges to drape over the sides. Cream the butter and fresh goat cheese in a mixing bowl for 3 minutes, until fluffy. Add a dash of salt and pepper, to taste.
- Spoon one-third of the goat cheese into the plastic-lined bowl, and spread it evenly with a spatula to form your first layer. Top this with a layer of pesto (using up the entire 1/2 cup), but don’t spread it all the way to the edge (it will seep out on its own), followed by a second layer of goat cheese (there will be three total). Top the second layer of goat cheese with a layer of fig jam, followed by a final tier of goat cheese.
- Cover the dish with a layer of plastic wrap. Chill for 2 to 4 hours, or until set. Before serving, remove the top layer of plastic wrap and invert the bowl onto a plate (you may need to tug at the plastic wrap to get the terrine to fall out of the bowl), then remove the bowl and the plastic liner. Garnish with the toasted nuts. Serve with baguette rounds or crackers.
Cathy miller says
(To be sung like the traditional childrwnas hymn) What a friend we have in cheeses! I love goat cheese. My go to go-to recipe or goat to recipe is goat cheese with rosemary on a french bread crustini topped with Carmelized onions.
Oh man….. SO many fave cheeses. I always feel like I’m having a real treat with gruyere though. Which brings me to my fave cheesy recipe, french onion soup. With tons of gruyere and browned bread on top! Awesome giveaway!
I think Brie or Gouda would be my favorite cheeses on their own. I always can go for a really good Mac and cheese- my husband’ sis tasty!
Cheese: Feta, especially big chunks of homemade feta from a local greek place on a salad. Recipe: A loaf of crusty bread with spinach and cheese swirled inside.
Suzann Ellis says
Picking a favorite cheese is tough, usually determined by its use, eating on its own, or cooking. I enjoy an aged Gouda all by itself. A recent favorite recipe with a cheese feature is hands down, a pecan crusted goat cheese medallion served on a bed of fresh lettuces. OMG yum!
So I love anything iwith a sharp taste…cheddar or blue. And oh swiss cheese…it holds my heart in its little holes. And if we are talking cheese centric meals…let’s go with mac and cheese!
My favorite cheese hands down has to be chevre with garlic and herbs- nothing is as satisfying as tangy goat cheese. As for a favorite cheese recipe, that’s a tough one. I couldn’t possibly pick just one, but last year my go-to muffins were the cheddar pumpkin muffins from your blog- delicious! As a Philly local, I am so excited to see you talk about DiBruno Brothers!
I love manchego, especially a nice aged one! So salty and flaky! I think my favorite cheese-focused recipe would be a creamy risotto with a good dose of delicious parmesan!
My favorite is Fontina and favorite recipe is fonduta.
My favorite cheese is Brie. It’s velvety and smooth and pairs so well with summer’s lighter flavors.
My favorite cheese has to be the simplest – really fresh mozzarella, just because you can never go wrong with it, and it goes with so many things! As for a favorite recipe, it’s a toss-up between tomato, mozzarella, and fresh basil salad, and a good homemade pizza with (you guessed it!) fresh mozzarella, basil, and whatever I’m in the mood for. This post just made me hungry!
I could eat brie every day. I love it! Especially good covered in pepper jelly and baked… Mmm!
I’ve yet to meet a cheese I didn’t like. My favorite has to be Stilton (preferably from Neal’s Yard) with some dried pears – a perfect nibble! Or roast the pears, top with Stilton, dried cranberries and toasted walnuts. Or …
Christina Dey says
I love sheep’s milk cheese! Manchego and fig jam is one of my favorite snacks.
Manchego especially with dulce de membrillo on toast or crackers
Oh, but to pick just one favorite cheese is impossible! I love a nice ash covered Humbolt Fog Goat Cheese, 1000 day aged Gouda, the freshest handmade ricotta and the cheese that wakes up almost any pasta, salad and more Locatelli Romano and how could I not mention perfectly sharp cheddar. One of my favorite and simplest cheese centric recipes is really good crusty toasted bread topped with fresh ricotta, drizzled with honey, truffle oil and a sprinkling of fresh thyme, lemon zest and flaky Maldon sea salt, yum!
It should be the limburger of my youth but something is very different and wimpy about American limburger (sigh).
Hmm, I can’t decide between chevre and cheddar…and when I make mac & cheese I usually throw in both!
but i'm hungry says
Trying to pick a favorite cheese is like trying to pick my favorite child… lol. Ok, that’s dramatic. But it’s hard! But I seriously love Fromage d’ Affinois… or anything pungent and creamy!
MB@Bourbon and Brown Sugar says
I love a cheese called Beenleigh Blue that I discovered while living in London at Neal’s Yard Dairy… It’s made with sheep’s milk, and is extraordinary. I seem to have a serious thing for sheep’s milk cheese, as I love to make manchego mac and cheese and manchego and rosemary crackers… yum! Cheese is such a happy, happy food…
Ahh! I love so many cheeses but right now I’m a big fan of Midnight Moon Goat Gouda. I think my favorite cheese-centric dish would be mac ‘n’ cheese…or fettuccine alfredo….or a really good gooey grilled cheese….or a cheese quesadilla… Gawh! Just can’t decide!
Amazing pictures! My favorite cheese (at the moment) is Goat’s Milk Brie. I love any type of grilled cheese or panini sandwich with melted cheese! The contrast of a crunchy bread with oozing cheese never disappoints
★Ⓙ∑ⓃⓃⒶ!★ (@KissesForUsAll) says
I love extra sharp, aged cheddar. One of my favorite recipes is twice-baked potatoes, over-stuffed with cheese and mushrooms.
I like Jalapeno Jack cheese. I use it to make Sausage and Pepper Jack Stuffed Mushrooms and on many different Mexican recipes.
My recent fave – based on flying back on a British Air flight is Shropshire Blue. The cheese dish we cook the most is Horn & Hardart mac & cheese – with a very well aged white cheddar, parmegiano, and fontina.
Linda Burnett says
Sounds delicious! I love triple cream brie and smoked Gouda, but as far as cheese centric dish my go to comfort foods are mac and cheese and a good old grilled cheese sandwich with a side of tomato soup. Nothing better.
xtra xtra sharp provolone (licking my lips as I type this) YUM! fave recipe – well there are so any but for the purposes of this contest I like to put together and “out of this world” antipasto with the best cheese selection and all the compliments of olives and meats OMG want! need! love!
Beth Welsh says
my favorite cheese is epossis! i love the stinky gooey amazingness it is! my favorite cheese recipe is welsh rarebit in all its oozy boozy glory!
victoria clemente says
I really love all cheeses, but recently sharp white Chedder cheese is my favorite. I like to include it my panini sandwiches. When it melts, yummy.
Angie Afilani says
My favorite cheese is Prima Donna… No recipe but love to eat some with honeycrisp apple..
My favorite is goat cheese! I love making a salad with goat cheese, almonds, and beets with a balsamic dressing. Delicious!
My favorite cheese is an aged sharp cheddar or parmesan. One of my favorite recipes with cheese is a cauliflower gratin with gruyere.love DiBruno Bros. It’s usually my first stop in Philadelphia.
My favorite cheese is goat with a vegetable ash, like Humbolt Fog. Mmm… And my favorite cheese recipe is probably homemade baked mac and cheese, which is not something I make that often, but I really love making if with swiss and gruyere. I’ve also used goat cheese and it makes for a very rich mac and cheese.
Sam McNeal says
My favorite cheese is Taleggio, and my favorite cheese-centric recipe is macaroni and cheese.
I love all cheeses. Recently I used Feta in a turkey meatball recipe with spinach, garlic and onion. Soooo good!!!
Stephanie k says
Manchego is my favorite!! I’m really digging homemade whipped ricotta right now!
Favorite cheese: Burrata, most definitely
Favorite cheesy recipe: A really, really well done stovetop mac and cheese
Melanie Rogalski says
I love DiBruno Brothers and their cheese! My favorite cheese really depends on the season and my mood and today it is their aged Gouda. My favorite cheese centric dish is making caprese salad using their Burrata cheese. Delicious!
Allison Kurtz says
Aged Gouda is my favorite cheese. And I love making my Aunt Shirley’s cheese dip – sharp, cream cheese, sherry and curry blended and topped with chutney.
My all time favorite cheese is Coach Farms triple creme goat brie, which I can happily eat plain. My favorite cheese-centric dish is cheese pudding, I think it’s from a James Beard cookbook from the 70’s. It’s insanely rich, basically like a savory bread pudding, with equal parts bread cubes and cheese cubes.
My favorite cheese is a really good farmhouse cheddar. I love mac&cheese, and am sad that I can only have it once in a while.
My favorite cheese is definitely Gruyere Kaltbach on top of a bowl of french onion soup!
It’s hard to choose a fav cheese but I think mine would be a good french blue cheese like roquefort. As for a cheesey dish, that’s easy. Home made mac and cheese easily wins :)
I love sharp cheddar and I love pimento cheese spread.
My favorite cheese is cheddar and I love it on top of baked potatoes!
Nancy Marquez-Fernandez says
I luv goat cheese! !!. Every Xmas I make a pesto and goat cheese layered “pie”
At my son’s house. Big hit
Courtney M says
Talleggio cheese is my fave! and as far as recipes, I love toasting baguette slices, then topping them with goat cheese, or talleggio and a drizzle of honey wuth a fresh fig half atop it all
My favorite cheese is Parmesan on top of spaghetti!
I love Parmesan cheese on top of a pepperoni pizza!
Was a winner for this giveaway ever chosen? I don’t think you’ve mentioned it since this post.