Our Cave to Co-op for March 2020 is Inspiration—a raw farmstead cow milk cheese, rind washed with von Trapp Brewing Trösten Lager by Stan Bisini and Debora Wickart, cheesemakers, Mt. Mansfield Creamery, Morrisville, Vermont.
Inspiration is a raw cow milk cheese that is washed with von Trapp Brewing Trösten Lager this season. Trösten translates as ‘comforting’ and its rich chestnut toasty notes and smokey malty but light finish is a perfect complement to this rustic cheese.
With the creamery four miles from the farm, Stan transports their milk to the creamery on cheese-making days. Debora milks the cows and also ships milk to St. Albans Cooperative. They make small batches of cheese only 8 to 12 times per month and increasing production according to demand. They milk registered Holsteins and Brown Swiss cows that are on rotational grazing in the summer months and fed grain and hay during the winter.
Mt. Mansfield Creamery started in June of 2009 and they now make cheese year-round. Debora milks about 30 cows per day and receives awards for the quality of milk she produces. Stan, a graduate of Paul Smith’s College, has put his chef days behind him to concentrate on their recipes for cheese.
The cheese facility is in the heart of Morrisville, in the old United Farmers Creamery building. Not only did they renovate the building, but built their own cheese cave in the basement. They wash and brush the rinds to keep them thin to ensure that their product to be one hundred percent edible.
The recipe for Inspiration is from the island of Corsica and with the washed rind that offers a smooth and semi-soft texture with a nutty flavor. Here are a few recipes that highlight Inspiration’s lovely flavor.
Cheese Fritters with Inspiration & Scallions
4 oz fresh breadcrumbs
4 oz grated Inspiration cheese
2 scallions, minced
zest of 1 lemon
¼ tsp dry mustard
2 T minced parsley
2 eggs, separated
1 T each oil and butter for sautéing the fritters
1. Mix the breadcrumbs, cheese, scallions, lemon zest, dry mustard and parsley with the yolks. Add salt and pepper to taste. If the mixture is a little stiff add a bit of milk: it should be stiff but spoonable. Whisk the egg whites and fold them in.
2. Heat a little oil and butter in a large frying pan, add the mixture in spoonfuls (do this in batches if your pan is small). Fry until golden and then turn over to cook the other side. They need about 5-6 minutes in all to make sure the middles are cooked through. Drain on kitchen paper and serve with a spicy relish or salsa.
Potato Galette with Inspiration & Rosemary
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, washed, skin on, sliced ¼ inch thick
2 T olive oil
1 cup grated Inspiration cheese
½ medium onion, peeled, cut in half, then sliced thin
1 T fresh rosemary, minced
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper
1. In a medium bowl, toss the potatoes with the olive oil. Arrange half the potatoes in the bottom of a non-stick oven-proof skillet. Sprinkle with the cheese, onion, half the rosemary, nutmeg and salt, and pepper. Layer the rest of the potatoes on top, overlapping the slices. Add more salt and pepper and the remaining rosemary.
2. Cover loosely with foil and using a heavy oven-proof plate, or another skillet, press down on the potatoes and place the skillet in the oven. After 20 minutes, remove the skillet and flip the potatoes out onto a dish, then slide them brown side up back into the skillet. Return to the oven and cook for another 20 minutes or so, until everything is brown and crispy and the potatoes are tender. Remove from the oven, slide the potatoes onto a plate and serve cut into wedges.
Wilted endive with melted Inspiration
2 heads endive
2 T olive oil
1 small shallot, minced
4 oz Inspiration cheese, sliced
pinch of dried oregano
1. Trim the endive and cut lengthwise into quarters. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan and soften the shallot for 2 minutes. Add the endive quarters, cut side down and cook for 3 minutes. Turn them over, cover the pan and cook for another 3 minutes, then season with salt and pepper. Arrange the cheese over the endive and sprinkle with the oregano. Slide under the broiler or into the hot oven for a few minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbling. Serve immediately.