Kosher Blue Cheese at Kosherfest 2012

I’m off to Kosherfest 2012. I’ll be in full Cheese Mistress mode, complete with my big orange kosher cheese hat! Today I’m in search of kosher blue cheese. I’m sure to visit my friend Brent Delman at The Cheese Guy booth. Already I have tried his domestic blue cheese that is under OU-D. This cheese is not a stinker, literally or figuratively! Already crisp and clean, it becomes even brighter wtih spikes of blue.

Blue Cheese by The Cheese Guy

Check back for the Cheese Mistress latest findings at Kosherfest 2012.

Elizabeth Bland
The Cheese Mistress

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Kiss My Kosher Cheese Grits!

koshergrits001I made kosher cheese grits. Yes, grits are under hashgacha! I don’t know why more kosher people in Brooklyn aren’t eating them. Maybe it just sounds too Southern. The recipe called for Velveeta (not kosher), so I substituted with some process Schmerling triangle cheese. Then I put in paprika, Israeli spices, butter, milk and bacon bits (also kosher!) It turned out really good. I also jazzed it up with some grated Gran Duca Grana Padano (similar to parmesan, but milder) and a little Pecorino Romano.

Grits aren’t so photogenic, but they taste great!

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Passionfruit and Strawberry Champagne Preserves, for Cheese!

Passionfruit and Strawberry Champagne Preserves by Tishbi win Best New Product at Kosherfest!

Wine jellies, for any time of the day!

Exotic fruits, berries, and champagne, all bundled up in a preserve and ready to serve with cheese. Kosherfest is at the Meadowlands of New Jersey November 8th and 9th this year.

View the recent press from Kosher Today:

The Tishbi Estate Winery, located in the town of Zichron Ya’acov, is widely known for its fine wines which come from five generations of Tishbi family know-how.

Oshra Tishbi, who is very passionate about food pairings, designed a line of fine preserves based on wine and fruits. These preserves give the “wine experience” without the alcohol and pair extremely well with cheese. The alcohol cooks out during the process, but the intense flavors of the famous Tishbi wine grapes remain.

Tishbi Fig Cabernet won the NASFT sofi™ Silver Award 2010. The Tishbi Wine & Fruit Collection won Retail News 2011 “Best Gourmet Food Gift.”

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The Cream of the Crop: Pureed Potato and Cheese Soup

The finished product. Read below to see how it got so pretty!

Potato soup gives creamy mouthfeel without adding too much extra fat. The only fat comes from the touch of margarine and the sprinkle of full-flavored cheese on the finish. With this soup, you get a healthy dose of vegetables. It is a great way to enjoy the Long Island potatoes from the “Two Johns” of yesterday’s blog post.  

The recipe (below) is basically celery, onions, potatoes, carrots, spices, and some delicious kosher cheese to add protein and calcium. You can chop the vegetables and serve the soup as is, or you can puree it. For a chunky-smooth soup, put the blender on grate.

4 stalks celery, sliced
2 medium onions, chopped
2 Tbs. margarine
4 medium potatoes, peeled or unpeeled for extra earth nutrients

Just about all you need.

6 carrots, sliced (the more carrots, the better)
6 cups water, plus more as the soup boils
2-3 vegetarian bouillon cubes
1 ½ tsp. sea salt
1 ½ tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary (powdered up)
A handful of chopped chives
Flavorful shredded kosher cheese to taste!

1. Boil the bouillon cube with some margarine, spice, salt, and pepper.
2. Chop up all the vegetables. Add in even others if you like. Boil until soft in the bouillon.

Have fun! Chop it all up like there's no tomorrow. This doesn't have to look good. It's going in a pot to boil, not on an appetizer tray.

Add more water as needed along the way
3. If you like a “creamy” feel to your soup, toss the whole lot into the blender and puree.
4. Add cheese to taste. This soup has a bland complexion, so a nice bright orange N&K Cheddar or Les Petites Fermières Cheddar looks good shredded on top. As a secret ingredient, you can mix in some Sugar River flavored cheeses like Roasted Garlic/ Basil or Roasted Garlic/Onion.

The soup was good both ways—chunky or pureed—but especially when it was super hot.

Vegetables getting ready to get down and dirty.

Once it cooled down, that’s when I felt it needed more spice, so I added in the chives and some pepper, plus the cheese—one regular Cheddar and one Roasted Onion and Garlic Cheddar. The soup was also a little drab in color since I left the skins on the potatoes to get the extra nutrients. The bright Cheddar on top with the chives helped.

Once the soup cooked, it got a little ugly. It was brown and goopy. Then I put it in the blender and it only made things worse.

Soup showing off its brown potato skins.

 You have to admit, this is not the most beautiful soup in the world.

Orange cheese brightens up this drab-looking soup.Without the cheese, it is not as sunny.

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Going Nordic the Southern Way–Recreating Gjetost with kosher cheese

Gjetost (not kosher) sliced thin with apples. Picture from

In Norway, there is a famous (non-kosher) caramelized goat’s milk cheese called Gjetost–which means “goat cheese” in Norwegian. It comes in dense little sticky blocks and is the color of peanut butter. I want this kosher, but it does not exist.

One huge problem in kosher cheese is that there are so many cheeses that you read about in magazines and online, but that are not available to the strictly kosher consumer. How do you get by? You have to tweak what you have.

A friend from my home state of Alabama and he said in his thick Southern accent, “Honey, just take you a cracker and put a little peanut butter on it with a slice of Cheddar cheese and apples.”

My friend in Alabama said to use just a thin shmear of peanut butter for the base.

I can’t say this tasted exactly like Gjetost, but the sweet nutty flavor of the peanut butter combined with the tangy Cheddar was a hit. I used Sharp Cheddar by Les Petites Fermieres, cholov stam. Any Cheddar will do, but the sharper the better to counter the sweet peanut butter. The crunchy apple adds a bonus point!

Elizabeth Bland
The Cheese Mistress

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Hearty Potato Salad—“Sincerely, Brigitte” Style

Potato salad with cheese? Yes! Here is a recipe for potato salad that was given to me by Brigitte Mizrahi of Anderson International cheese company and the blog

Cheese, potatoes and apples are a great match.

Use apples, nuts, and cubes of cheese with a light dressing of mayo and Dijon. Try it with Les Petites Fermières’ Monterey Jack. It’s especially fun with a dash of Sugar River’s Jalapeño/Cilantro or Parsley/Chive cheeses. Natural & Kosher also sells cheese in 2 lb. bags that are great for entertaining in the sukkah on Chol HaMoed and beyond.  

Hearty Potato Salad—“Sincerely, Brigitte” Style

1 1/2 lbs of red skin potatoes, approximately 6 or 7 medium potatoes
6 ounces flavored cheddar cheese and/or Monterey Jack 
2 Granny Smith apples 
A handful of hazelnuts or walnuts
3 Tablespoons of light mayonnaise, or just enough to bind 
2-3 tsp. of French Dijon mustard
A pinch of salt 

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 10 minutes. Drain, cool and chop. Leave skins on.

The potatoes are boiling right along.

2. Cut the Monterey Jack cheese/flavored cheddar into small cubes. (Cutting cheese can be more complicated than it looks! I go for cubes about the size of the tip of my thumb or so, because it mixes in better without being overbearing.)

3. Dice the Granny Smith apples.

4. Add toasted hazelnuts or walnuts (optional).

Mix the potatoes, cheese, and apples together in a bowl.

One of the most common questions I get is how to slice cheese. Sounds easy, but not always!

Add the mayo and the mustard. If you don’t like mayo, you can also try a little sour cream or crème fraîche. Not much is needed for this light salad, but something a little creamy gives it a good glaze.

Mix well and sprinkle the hazelnuts or walnuts on top.


The Cheese Mistress

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