This Midwestern spin on classic tarte tatin is made even more savory garnished with a nutty, pungent alpine-style cheese. Read more about Paul Virant and his restaurants in Relish the Season.
If your ideal getaway includes a cheese spree, then a cruise vacation may be just the thing to float your proverbial boat. Modern cruise ships are often destined for dairy lands around the world. At Viking River Cruises, marketing executive Julie Rosoff says cheese lovers “will be in heaven aboard ships that sail through such ‘cheese’ countries as Holland and France. Passengers can find cheese at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with each dinner offering a cheese course option that often includes one or two local cheeses and one classic cheese.
These pickles will keep in the refrigerator for up to several months. Read more about Paul Virant and his restaurants in Relish the Season.
Set six uncovered pint jars on a rack in a large canning pot with water to cover the jars by at least one inch. Bring to a boil and then let simmer while preparing the carrots. Meanwhile soak the lids in a pan of hot water to soften the rubber seal.
Anthea Stolz took a summer job at a cheese counter in 2004 and turned it into a career. She is now the cheese buyer at Bi-Rite Market in San Francisco.
All the components for this multilayered dessert can be prepared ahead of time; assemble the dessert about an hour before serving.
Serves 10 to 12 (makes 2 napoleons)
THE CRANBERRY FILLING:
I have never been colder than I was during one February I spent in France’s Rhône. There was a frigid, constant wind whipping down the river—the mistral—and a general lack of robust indoor heating. There were nights I spent in a cold-water flat with a straw-filled mattress and a single, bare lightbulb that didn’t work. But there were also the most inviting, warming reds I’d ever tasted.
Certainly the situation heightened their attributes—who wouldn’t have wanted a drink?—but my fondness for Rhône reds has never faded. The ones from north of Tain l’Hermitage (where there’s a bridge arching over the Rhône River, a giant hill revered for the reds grown on it, and the Valrhona chocolate factory) are mostly all made from Syrah grapes, which yield plummy, deeply flavored reds with black pepper and licorice notes.
It doesn’t get more Midwestern than cheese curds. Here Virant pairs them with crispy fried potatoes. You can also substitute sweet potatoes or winter squash. Read more about Paul Virant and his restaurants in Relish the Season.
Heat the oven to 300°F. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork, and lightly coat them with vegetable oil. Bake until just cooked through.
Cool the potatoes, and quarter them lengthwise. Cut each quarter into 1/2-inch-thick pieces. In a deep fryer or saucepot filled with peanut oil, heat the oil to 360°F.
Though the name of his family’s business is Goat Lady Dairy, Steve Tate says their success perhaps lies more accurately in chickens and pigs.
“That is a big secret of being a good cheesemaker,” Tate says. “When you do a batch that turns out to be valuable only as an experiment that didn’t work, you don’t feel bad because the chickens and pigs get fed.” And initially at Goat Lady Dairy, a rolling, tree-lined property in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, the animals got fed a lot; no one at the dairy had experience in cheesemaking in the early days.
A Match Made in Heaven
Some culinary mashups are legendary. Chocolate and peanut butter. Korean BBQ in a taco shell. The lime in the coconut.
At Beasley’s Chicken + Honey, Christensen serves these crisp, cheddar-flavored bites with classic aioli and chow-chow, a Southern relish typically made with cabbage, red bell peppers, onions, and green tomatoes, spiced with mustard seeds and turmeric.