<![CDATA[FIREFLY FARMS CREAMERY & MARKET - Cooking with Cheese]]>Mon, 19 Feb 2018 12:04:59 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[Mushroom-Filled Fillo Cups with Spruce Reserve]]>Sat, 02 Dec 2017 05:00:00 GMThttp://fireflyfarms.com/cooking-with-cheese/mushroom-filled-fillo-cups-with-spruce-reserveThis is the perfect holiday appetizer for the perfect holiday cheese!  Merry Goat Round Spruce Reserve is spooned like a  sauce on top of mushroom-filled fillo cups of love!
  • 1 Merry Goat Round Spruce Reserve
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 pint baskets mushrooms,  chopped
  • 3 slices of thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • I package Fillo dough
    (in your Grocer's freezer section)
  • 1/4 stick butter, melted
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Remove the fillo dough from the freezer to fully thaw.  You'll need 6 sheets of the fillo pastry, and they'll need to be thawed in order to handle them without breaking apart.
Unroll and remove the first sheet of fillo dough and place it on a clean cutting board.  (Tip: Keep the stack of fillo dough sheets covered with a moist paper towel while you're working to keep them from drying out.)
Brush the fillo dough lightly with melted butter.  Then, place a second fillo dough sheet on top of the first and repeat.  You'll create a dough consisting of six layers, each buttered.  Between the third and fourth layers, lightly season the dough with salt and pepper.
Cut the layered and seasoned fillo dough into 8 -- first in half, then each half into quarters.  Each piece will be roughly 3 inches square.  Gently push each fillo square into a small muffin tin to form a "cup."  Bake the fillo cups in the preheated 350 degree oven for about 3-5 minutes until they are golden brown.  Set them aside to cool.
In a large skillet, add about a tablespoon of olive oil.  Preheat the skillet over a high flame; when hot, add the bacon and sauté until translucent.  Add the chopped onion and sauté until the onions are translucent and beginning to brown.  Add the chopped mushrooms -- we love using Shitakes if they are available to you locally, but the recipe works beautifully with all mushroom types -- and cook until soft.
Spoon about a tablespoon of the bacon, onion and mushroom mixture into each of the pre-baked fillo cups.  Then, top each with a generous spoonful of the ripe Merry Goat Round Spruce Reserve.  Put the fillo cups in a warm oven to heat through and fully melt the cheese.  Serve warm!
<![CDATA[Roasted Root Vegetable´╗┐ with Black & Blue Dill Sauce]]>Sat, 04 Nov 2017 15:23:03 GMThttp://fireflyfarms.com/cooking-with-cheese/roasted-root-vegetable-with-black-blue-dill-sauceThere's nothing more perfect for your holiday table than this rich mix of seasonal roasted root vegetables with a thick blue cheese sauce.  We've learned to love the combination of our Black & Blue with a bit of fresh dill -- it's bright and crisp and lovely!
  • 2 large beet roots
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 lb carrots
  • 1 lb sweet potatoes
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes (whole)
  • 6 ounces Black & Blue
  • 1/2 cup Greek style yogurt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Several sprigs of fresh dill
  • Salt & pepper
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  If you have a convection oven, the convect-roast setting works beautifully to give a nice caramelized sear to the veggies.
Wash and rough-chop the root veggies and mix together with the cherry tomatoes on the surface of a baking sheet or broiling pan.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Bake in the oven until cooked through and golden brown, about 30-40 minutes.
While the veggies are cooking, put the Black & Blue, the Greek yogurt, and the olive oil in a food processor.  Mix by pulsing until the mixture is creamy and the blue cheese is completing incorporated.  Remove from the processor bowl and fold in the fresh dill until it is complete combined.  The sauce should be thick and spreadable.

This dish can be served as warm side-dish or appetizer, or on the main plate with your favorite protein as a vegetable course.  In any case, spoon a healthy portion of the blue cheese and dill sauce across the plate, then spoon the roasted root veggies on top of the sauce.  Serve warm and enjoy!
<![CDATA[Spruce Reserve with Poached Plums and Walnuts]]>Tue, 03 Oct 2017 12:22:30 GMThttp://fireflyfarms.com/cooking-with-cheese/spruce-reserve-with-poached-plums-and-walnutsThis simple preparation can be served as an appetizer, or as a cheese course with the components served around a Spruce Reserve that is sitting on center-plate.  The late summer red-plums poached in sweet wine were a perfect counter-point to the woody, umami depth of the Spruce Reserve.
  • 1 Merry Goat Round Spruce Reserve
  • 4 red or black plums
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups Sauternes or other dessert wine
  • 1 baguette
  • 3-4 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. 
Take your Spruce Reserve out of the refrigerator to warm it to room temperature before serving or plating.
Halve and pit the plums, then slice the halves into wedges 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick on their fat edge.
Place the plum wedges in a small sauce pan with the sauternes (or dessert wine) and bring to a boil.  The plum wedges should be just covered in liquid.  Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and let cook.

While the plums are poaching in the sweet wine, rough chop the walnuts.
Cook the plums until they soften, about 8 minutes.  The sauternes or sweet wine will reduce to a syrupy texture and the skins of the plums will impart a beautiful color to syrup.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

While the plums cool, thinly slice the baguette on the diagonal -- about 1/4 inch slices work best.  Spread the slices on a baking sheet for toasting in the oven.  Brush the baguette slices with olive oil, season lightly with salt and pepper, and toast in the hot oven for 7-10 minutes until they are golden brown.

This lovely dish can be plated as an appetizer or the components can be arranged together on a cheese board or platter for self-service assembly and enjoyment. 
If serving as an appetizer, spoon about 1/2 a teaspoon of Spruce Reserve on a crostini then top with a poached plum wedge.  Sprinkle a few chopped walnuts over the top, then drizzle with a bit of the syrupy remains from the saucepan.  This little marriage of flavors is a bit hit, and is beautiful served with the plums still warm.
<![CDATA[Warm Grilled Corn & Blue Cheese Dip]]>Sun, 03 Sep 2017 14:48:24 GMThttp://fireflyfarms.com/cooking-with-cheese/warm-grilled-corn-blue-cheese-dip This is a terrific autumn appetizer!  Our robust Black & Blue cheese blends beautifully with the sweetness of the late summer corn.  We made this as an appetizer for a friend's late summer pot-luck on Cape Cod and it was a huge hit!
  • 4 medium ears of sweet corn
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1/3 lb of Black & Blue, crumbled
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
Remove husks and clean the corn well.  Here's an easy way to grill the corn perfectly every time: 
Spread about 1 tablespoon of butter on a sheet of aluminum foil -- spread the butter in a rectangle the length of the cob.  Sprinkle salt and pepper on the buttered foil,  then put the cob in the center and wrap it so that the butter and seasoning encase the cob.  Put the foil-wrapped cobs on a hot grill.  Allow to cook for 25-30 minutes, rotating to ensure even cooking and caramelization. Remove the corn from the grill and allow to cool.  Remove foil wrapping and use a sharp blade to cut the kernels from the cob.
While the corn is roasting, coarsely chop the onion and saute it in a hot pan until translucent and caramelized -- about 5 minutes.  Remove from pan and allow to cool.
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the grilled corn, the sauteed onions, the mayonnaise, and the crumbled Black & Blue cheese.  Mix just until blended, then put into a deep dish pie pan or casserole dish.  Bake for 30 minutes until top is golden brown and bubbling.  Serve warm directly from the dish.  Pita chips, crostini or a sturdy cracker can be used to scoop the dip one healthy bite at a time. 
We oiled, seasoned, and broiled pita bread, then cut the rounds into pie-shaped wedges for better scooping.
<![CDATA[Grilled Peaches, MountainTop, and Spicy Pecans]]>Fri, 11 Aug 2017 20:35:08 GMThttp://fireflyfarms.com/cooking-with-cheese/grilled-peaches-mountaintop-and-spicy-pecansLate summer peaches are one of the happiest food moments in the calendar!  These balsamic marinated peaches with melted MountainTop are simply delicious!
  • 3 or 4 ripe peaches, halved and pitted
  • 1/2 cup aged balsamic vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 MountainTop
  • 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
    (Spicy pecans from our friends at Treat Bake Shop are available at our market.)
Pour the balsamic vinegar in a shallow casserole dish and place the peaches cut side down to marinate.  Cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for 1-3 hours.  Tip: Don't let the peaches marinate too long, they will begin to pickle.  We learned this the hard way :)
Your favorite cast iron skillet will work best for giving the peaches a quick, high-heat sear.  Put the butter in the skillet and heat on high until the butter is melted and just beginning to bubble.  Remove the peaches from the balsamic and set the casserole dish aside.  Don't throw away the balsamic vinegar, you'll use it later.  Place the peach halves cut side down and cook until seared and golden brown, 3-5 minutes.  Then, reduce the heat to low, turn the peaches so the cut side is up, and drizzle the remaining balsamic vinegar over the cut side of the peaches.
When the balsamic vinegar has reduced a bit and become syrupy, put a generous slice of MountainTop on each peach half.  Let cook until the cheese begins to melt.  Remove from heat and place on a serving dish.  Sprinkle pecans over each and use a tablespoon to top with a bit of the warm, syrupy balsamic reduction left in the pan.  Serve warm.
<![CDATA[Grilled Goat Cheese Pizza]]>Tue, 06 Jun 2017 15:16:50 GMThttp://fireflyfarms.com/cooking-with-cheese/grilled-goat-cheese-pizzaThanks to the good folks at Evo America, our flat-topped grill has become a favorite summer cooking surface.  Pizza night is a favorite night at the farmhouse for sure!
  • Pizza dough
    (can make in advance)
  • 1/2 lb Black & Blue
  • 1 pear, sliced thinly
  • 3 oz. duck proscuitto
    (or other cured meat)
  • Honey
  • Salt, pepper & olive oil
  • Pizza dough
    (can make in advance)
  • 1/2 log Allegheny Chevre
  • Grilled veggies; we used:
    • 1 red pepper
    • 1 medium onion
    • 1/2 bunch asparagus
    • 1/2 cup kalamata olives
    • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  • Fresh basil, slightly chopped
  • Salt, pepper & olive oil

You can make your favorite pizza dough in advance and let it rest in the refrigerator, we use the recipe from Giada DeLaurentis on Epicurious which we fine easy and delicious.
You can literally make these grilled pizzas with any combination of toppings that you have in your refrigerator or find in season at your local farmer's market.  This time, we did a grilled veggie pizza with fresh Allegheny Chevre and a flavor-busting Black & Blue pizza with sliced pears and duck prosciutto from our friends at Meat Crafters.
Dice and grill the veggies on a hot grill so they develop a nice sear and don't loose moisture.  If you don't have an Evo - yet - you can use any gas or charcoal grill with a pre-heated cast iron skillet.  Once cooked, remove from the heat and set aside.

For the Black & Blue pizza, thinly slice the pear - use a mandolin if you have one - and the duck prosciutto.  If you can't get your hands on Meat Crafters duck prosciutto - sorry - you can easily substitute another prosciutto or use pancetta (Italian bacon).

Turn down the grill heat to medium.  If you're grilling on a gas or charcoal grill with a grate, you'll need a pizza stone.  Put the stone on the grill surface and close the top to pre-heat the stone.
Once the toppings are prepped and ready.  Roll-out the pizza dough and dust its surfaces lightly with cornmeal for easy handling.  Use a pizza paddle if you have one to transfer the dough to the oiled grill surface or pizza stone.  You'll want to slightly brown the pizza dough on one side before you flip it over and spread the toppings and cheese.

As a final step, drizzle the pizza with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Close the grill-top and let it cook for 7-10 minutes until the cheese softens and the pears on the Black & Blue pizza are cooked. 

Remove from the grill and serve hot!  Just for good measure, we drizzled Toigo Orchards honey over the Black & Blue pizza before serving.  Enjoy!
<![CDATA[Cabra LaMancha & Green Apple Grilled Cheese]]>Thu, 25 May 2017 19:34:44 GMThttp://fireflyfarms.com/cooking-with-cheese/cabra-lamancha-green-apple-grilled-cheesePerfect for your Memorial Day grilling agenda -- or for any summer time dining.  Delicious with a smear of grainy artisan mustard!
  • 1/2 lb Cabra LaMancha
  • 3 Apples, Granny Smith or crisp
  • 1 loaf whole-grain bread
  • Artisan Mustard
  • butter
It's as easy as it looks.  Slice the apples thinly, slice the Cabra LaMancha, and slice the bread.  Assemble the sandwiches by layering the apples and cheese on bread slices spread liberally with your favorite artisan mustard.  Our current favorites come from Tait Farm Foods and are available in the creamery market
Butter both sides of the bread's exterior surfaces and grill on medium-high heat until the bread is well caramelized, the cheese is fully melted, and the apples are cooked. 
<![CDATA[Smoked Salmon & Chevre Spread on Cucumber]]>Wed, 05 Apr 2017 11:53:44 GMThttp://fireflyfarms.com/cooking-with-cheese/smoked-salmon-chevre-spread-on-cucumberThis, light fresh and carb-free appetizer is easy to make and can be made days ahead and chilled for easy serving.  It's healthy and delivers a palate-pleasing taste and texture.
All your ingredients.
The utensils you will need.
  • 1 log Allegheny Chevre
  • 3 ounces smoked salmon (easily substitute your favorite smoked or cured fish)
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 1/2 cup Greek-style yogurt
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • 1 large shallot
  • Fresh dill
  • Salt & pepper
Put the smoked salmon, the chevre, and the olive oil in a food processor.  Season with pepper -- no additional salt is necessary.  Blend the mixture well.
Prepare the garnish.  Finely dice the shallot and the fresh dill.  Mix together in a small bowl with the Greek-style yogurt.  Season with salt and pepper; then mixture together well by hand.
Prepare the cucumber by partially peeling -- mostly for aesthetics -- and slicing about 1/8-inch-thick slices on the diagonal.
Assemble just before serving by spooning or using a pastry bag to pipe a healthy teaspoon of salmon & chevre spread on a slice of cucumber, then top with a dollop of the yogurt mixture as garnish.  Serve immediately or keep chilled.
<![CDATA[Caramelized Celery Root and Pear with Black & Blue and Honey on Crostini]]>Sat, 04 Feb 2017 22:23:45 GMThttp://fireflyfarms.com/cooking-with-cheese/caramelized-celery-root-and-pear-with-black-blue-and-honey-on-crostini
This is a wonderful and easy recipe for entertaining... Perfect for your Super Bowl Parties!
All your ingredients.
The utensils you will need.
  • 1 Celery Root (whole, large)
  • 4 Bosc Pears
  • 1/2 Lb FireFly Farms Black & Blue
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite local honey
  • 2 tbsp of chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
Peel and chop the celery root into a 1/4 inch dice.
Peel and half the pears, then use the melon baller to remove the seeds.  Chop the into a 1/4 inch dice.
Toss together the diced celery root and pear, and coat the mixture with the olive oil. Spread mixture on a sheet pan and roast at 400° F degree oven until cooked, and golden brown, about 40 minutes. Set aside and cool to room temperature.
Using the knife, or your hands, crumble the Black & Blue wedge into similar sized pieces as the celery root and pear mixture.
In a mixing bowl, combine the celery root and pear mixture with the crumbled Black & Blue. Add the honey and the chopped dill and mix until just combined. Using a teaspoon, place blue cheese mixture on crostini or your favorite cracker. Enjoy!
<![CDATA[Pablo's Market Pick]]>Sat, 14 Nov 2015 17:06:21 GMThttp://fireflyfarms.com/cooking-with-cheese/pablos-market-pickThe growing season is sadly coming to a close in the mid-Atlantic.  Dedicated locavores will find their selection of summer greens, vegetables, and fruits rapidly diminishing and in their place find the comforting return of autumn root vegetables and late season tree fruits like apples.

Pablo found this beautiful late-planted-and-early-harvested baby broccoli at Gardener's Gourmet in last weekend's FRESHFARM Market at Dupont Circle.
Blanched quickly in salted boiling water, this delicious green treat was welcomed.  Regional farmers are extending their growing season -- and the availability of wonderful vegetable treats like baby broccoli -- through the use of high-tunnels: covered growing spaces.
The hydroponic growing space at Endless Summer Harvest enables beautiful greens year-round in Loudoun County, VA
Organically-Certified high tunnels at Cottingham Farm in Talbot County, MD
In season or grown indoors using innovated and season-extending technologies, greens like baby broccoli, leeks, spinach and other bitter green are delicious with a bit of creamy FireFly Farms goat cheese served melted on top.  The creamy backdrop makes for easy and healthy comfort food.