Saturday, May 31, 2008

I AM OBSESSED

Five blocks from my house is one of the devil's workshops. Some call it by it's storefront name, "Cube". But don't be confused. They are selling something so powerful it should be made illegal like crack or crystal. This class A drug of my choice is called "Burrata Cheese" and it is imported from Italy in spite of strict drug smuggling laws.

I can't get enough of it. Thankfully it is only good fresh and it is only flown in (from Italy, and for the price, it may be sitting in First Class) on Thursdays. Come Saturday - it is all gone.
I know, it looks like a big pile of fresh mozzarella dog poo. But one taste and you will be an addict just like me.

From Wikipedia:

Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese, made from mozzarella and cream. The outer shell is solid mozzarella while the inside contains both mozzarella and cream, giving it a unique soft texture. It is usually served fresh, at room temperature. Burrata, once only packaged in leaves, is nowadays wrapped in a plastic sheet, sometimes printed with a leaves pattern on the outside. The name "burrata" means "buttered" in Italian.

As with other mozzarellas, Burrata owes its existence to the water buffalo, a large beast that was brought to Italy from its native Asia sometime in the 1400s. Water buffalo milk is richer and higher in protein than that of cows, yielding 1.6 times more cheese. It also lacks the yellow pigment carotene found in cow’s milk, so mozzarella di bufala is pure white. Only in recent years has it traveled outside of its native Apulia.

When the Burrata is sliced open, its thickened panna flows out. The cheese has a wonderfully rich, buttery flavor, and yet retains its fresh milkiness. It is best when eaten within 24 hours, and is considered past its prime after 48 hours.


See there it is, all that good, good panna oozing from the center. We had it the first time in March. And now every week starting on Wednesday I start to wonder if I can find an excuse to get some and bring it home. Or go and sit at Cube and eat it there. I encourage company to come and visit who love cheese. I need an enabler. I need many enablers.

Earlier this week we made tomato soup. I had tomatoes frozen from last years bountiful crop. Since we'll soon be getting more tomatoes I decided to use up the old veggies before I made more. First we made a rich duck stock from left over duck parts in the freezer. Lyle has been taking a cooking course and started our stock with a rue of celery, carrots and onions. These sweated at a low heat in a pot for almost an hour. Then in went the duck parts and water. Bring water to a boil, then turn down and simmer on lowest setting overnight. Don't do the overnight part if you don't have a super low setting. I don't want your house to catch fire if the water evaporates.

The next day we drained and strained the broth and I set out to make the soup. I made a new rue of celery, onions, carrots and added red peppers. I cooked mine on a higher heat and got them browned. Then added my tomatoes, stock and seasoned it with salt, pepper, chipotle Tabasco (not too much) and some tomato paste to give it some thickness.

After the soup is good and cooked (about 3 hours) I strained it, then placed all the thick bits in the blender, pureed it then added it back to the soup.

When I serve it I drizzle a tablespoon of heavy cream over it.
Tomato soup, Brunello wine, Burrata cheese and a pizza marguerite (from Trader Joe's). I built the entire meal around getting that cheese, that cheese, that glorious cheese!

4 comments:

TheHMC said...

Mozzerella dog poo? I'm sold.

And, um, would it be inappropriate for me to ask if I could come live next door to you and come over for every meal? I'm so jealous!

"Just David!" said...

that looks worthy of a trip to LALA land!! that soup looks divine!!

Christina said...

I am so Jealous of your fabulous meals.

I think you should seriously have a restaurant I would be a regular.

YUM!

Now I'm hungry.

Robb and Lewis said...

Oh my god that cheese!