Today, I decided to do a little Cheese Plate to go with an afternoon of George R. R. Martin's A Feast For Crows.
- Parmigiano-Reggiano - A little show called Master Chef might have turned me into a Whole Foods (www.wholefoodsmarket.com) cheese snob. Sorry, I'm sure you could get your Parm elsewhere, but this is where I now go.
- Humbolt Fog - Ditto.
- Guava Paste - Ditto. They sell this in pre-cut slices over in the cheese section.
- Micro Basil - Another Whole Foods purchase, look for Micro Greens over in the produce area. Regular basil would certainly suffice if you can't find any micros!
- Balsamic Vinegar - I've recently become obsessed with this CaliVinegar Barrel Aged Balsamic (www.calivirgin.com) I found at Monsieur Marcel's in the Fairfax Farmer's Market. It's that thick, gooey, aged balsamic that you can eat with a spoon. And it's not too pricey! Score!
- Lemon Curd - Trader Joe's (www.traderjoes.com) has an awesome curd over in their jam section. If I'm not eating it with cheese, spread on a slice of brioche is another fantastic use.
- White Balsamic Vinegar - Not sure where this came from to be honest, but tons of grocery stores carry it!
- Pesto - I know, I know. It's so easy to make your own Pesto, but why do it when this awesome local company Basil Tops (www.basiltops.com) makes it better?? I always stock up every time I see them at the Hollywood Farmer's Market.
- Olive Oil - Shh... This might have been a MC Pantry steal. Laudemio Frescobaldi Extra Virgin Olive Oil (www.laudemio.it) Obviously any really nice Olive Oil will do!
- Sea Salt - I'm obsessed with Monsieur Marcel's Vintage Merlot Sea Salt (www.mrmarcel.com) for both it's complex flavor and it's gorgeous color! It really adds a nice crunchy balance, especially on the Guava Paste.
Start with a blank canvas.
Pour on the first layer. I'm a balsamic fiend, so I start mine in a pool!
Chop up the Parmesan. Use the tip of a knife to break it into pieces.
Cut up the Humbolt Fog as well. This has to be done more carefully since the Fog is a much softer cheese.
Next, cut up the Guava Puree into bite sized pieces.
First, arrange the Parmesan & Humbolt Fog pieces around the plate. Lay down the Guava Paste in between. Dollop a dot of Pesto ontop of each piece of Parmesan.
Swirl in a few dollops of Lemon Curd to add a tangy offset to the Balsamic. Add a few sprigs of Micro Basil & sprinkle with Sea Salt.
Finally, add a few drops of White Balsamic Vinegar, a drizzle of Olive Oil & Enjoy!