Showing posts with label taleggio. Show all posts
Showing posts with label taleggio. Show all posts

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Long Quiche Goodbye - new recipe

As many of you know, I've been touring to launch my debut book, The Long Quiche Goodbye. What fun this has been. So many people, so many cities. I'm in a bit of a fog. But delighted! I'll detail it all in my next newsletter (see link below), but in the meantime, I wanted to share a few tidbits.

Mare F, a cozy aficionado and regular commenter to this blog, came to the book signing in Canton, CT. I was thrilled to see her. She surprised me by bringing
me these delightful handmade items.

A "cozy" that is not for teapots but for carafes, so it'll keep a pot of iced tea, or my favorite a carafe of wine, covered while on the porch.

And a knit bag that will carry groceries! Aren't they beautiful???

Talk about making me feel special.

Thank you so much, Mare.

Look for a "Long Quiche Goodbye" refrigerator magnet as a real thank you.

Today I'd like to share another recipe from The Long Quiche Goodbye: Polenta with Basil and Taleggio.

As you know, Grandpere's barbecue sauce [shared July 5 on the blog] was mentioned in the book, but it wasn't a recipe included at the end. This one is. There are four recipes.

Polenta is pretty darned simple. This is a dressed up version. I've included the recipe here, but you'll also find it right before the sneak preview chapter of book two: Lost and Fondue, on page 313.

There's something wonderfully comforting about polenta. It has a melt-in-your mouth texture. Add a strip of taleggio on top, and it's double-melt-in-your-mouth. Taleggio is a washed rind, cow's milk cheese from the Lombardy region of Italy. It has a strong aroma but a mild taste and melts great.

But here's the thing. Polenta can be scary to cook. It pops, it bubbles, it spits at you. It's sort of like a dragon! Be prepared. Use a tall pot, use a long spoon, and definitely wear a cooking mitt.


[6-8 portions]

4 cups water

1 tsp. salt

1 cup polenta corn meal

1 cup fresh basil leaves separated

2-4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

8 oz. Taleggio cheese, thinly sliced

Bring water and salt to a boil.

Add polenta corn meal in a thin stream. Keep stirring until corn meal pulls away from sides of pan. (No lumps) Turn down heat to simmer for 25 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so.

While it is cooking, stir-fry the basil in olive oil until crispy, then drain on paper towels.

Spoon hot polenta on to each plate. Lay a couple of slices of Taleggio cheese on each portion and finish with the fried basil.



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Monday, August 31, 2009


Have any of you heard of HUNGRY GIRL? HUNGRY GIRL is a free daily e-mail subscription service about healthy eating that launched in May 2004. Currently over 400,000 people receive the emails. Hungry Girl is on Facebook and Twitter with about 30,000 fans and growing constantly. The creator, Lisa Lillien, is a true marketing sensation. She’s known for her 200 Recipes Under 200 Calories. She’s on a mission to help people be successful in their diets with tasty food.

So, you ask, what’s a gal who’s writing The Cheese Shop Mysteries doing giving a shout out to someone who is helping all those people diet?

Well, get this!! I came up with a tasty treat that’s under 200 calories, made from bacon and shrimp and cheese. That’s right, cheese! The appetizer is melt-in-your-mouth delicious, if I do say so myself, and really pleased my taste-testers!

Oh, before I tempt you further, WE DO HAVE ANOTHER WEEKLY WINNER. Tune in because the winner will be announced later this week and it might be you!!!

Anyway, back to tasty treats. I’m calling this one:



4 slices Apple- smoked bacon [I used Pederson’s Natural Farms]
6 Medium-sized cooked shrimp
12 half-inch cubes of Taleggio cheese
12 Toothpicks


Fry up the bacon and cook crisply, but not so brittle it will break, then cut in thirds.
Slice the medium-sized shrimp in half, so you have a head and tail, 12 pieces in all.
Slice the Taleggio cheese in one-half-inch cubes

For each kebab, take a piece of the bacon, a piece of shrimp, and a piece of cheese.

Skewer with a toothpick while the bacon is still warm.

Hint: The cheese melts to perfection by the time you’re ready to serve a platter of these little goodies.

So, Hungry Girl and all of your fans, listen up. A person can diet and still have cheese! {I’m not sure Lisa a.k.a. Hungry Girl, ever said a dieter couldn’t eat cheese. I have to admit I haven’t reviewed all of her recipes.} But most people think that cheese is taboo on diets and it’s not.

And yes, you can eat JUST ONE.

“Moderation in all things.”

Know who said that? A fellow named Terence who was a comic playwright and dramatist during the Roman Republic 195 BC to 159 BC. Mark Twain, however, put a better spin on it and said, “All things in moderation, including moderation.”

So enjoy a good bite of cheese! It’ll make you smile.

***And don't forget to enter to win our weekly Mystery Lovers' Kitchen contest. The prize is a $25 gift certificate to the Williams-Sonoma kitchenware and gourmet food store. Just sign in to this blog and leave a comment or send an "Enter me!" e-mail with your first name and state to

Say Cheese!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Say Cheese!

Have you ever been in a restaurant, eaten something so delicious you believed you’d faint, and then thought, “I could make that”???

I went to a fabulous restaurant in New York City called La Masseria on 48th. On the menu that day was an appetizer that made my mouth water: artichoke hearts baked with Taleggio. Taleggio is an Italian washed-rind, cow’s milk cheese. A washed-rind cheese is washed or “rubbed” by hand with a moist cloth soaked in a brine solution of rock salt and water to inhibit growth of mold and encourage the growth of bacteria. Taleggio has a strong aroma but a tangy, slightly salty flavor. It melts like a dream. Ripe Taleggio will be soft enough to cut with a dull butter knife. The reddish-brown crust should be uncracked.

Later that week, I tried to copy the recipe, and I have to say I got pretty darned close. I’m no chef. I’m an author and I write The Cheese Shop Mysteries that will be coming out from Berkley Prime Crime next July, but I’m always on the alert for a new cheese-based dish.

I’d like to share my version of the appetizer. Enjoy and remember when you’re done eating, remember to smile and “Say Cheese!”


Makes: 1 PORTION


1 tsp. olive oil
3 canned artichokes (in water), or 3 fresh small (2”) artichokes cooked tender, and halved
2 mushrooms, sliced
1/2 clove garlic, sliced
2 oz. white wine
2 oz. Taleggio, diced
Pinch salt
Pinch nutmeg


Saute olive oil, artichokes halved, mushrooms sliced, garlic sliced, white wine.
Put into casserole pan.
Top with Taleggio, diced, pinch salt, and pinch nutmeg

Bake 400 degrees, 6 minutes until cheese is bubbling.

Serve hot.
The Cheese Shop Mysteries, by Avery Aames, are coming out in July 2010 from Berkley Prime Crime.

Learn more about Avery at her website -- and sign up for her newsletter, a monthly event with tidbits, mini-histories of cheese, and future contests.