Jay I was excited when Lisa challenged A Michelin and A Mom to use Cowgirl Creamery’s Red Hawk cheese. I had tried this cheese, only once, a few years ago and have always wanted to have it again. The description alone is brilliant – “a smooth, beefy, full flavoured, wash rind triple cream”. Exactly! I knew this would grab your attention. After a little research, I found out that this cheese pairs well with pears and hazelnuts, but I already I had a recipe in mind I knew would be perfect for this cheese. I too decided to use the cheese in two different combinations. The first dish is Tartiflette, a French dish from the Savoie region, classically using a cheese called Reblochon. I think the cheeses have some similarities so I thought why not, how can you go wrong with onion, bacon, potato, creme fraiche, thyme, and Red Hawk Cheese, baked until golden. This dish is a perfect side dish for any meat entree, and the best part is you can make it the day before as it heats up very well, tasting just as good as it did the first day. With any leftovers, you can make a great brunch dish and serve the Tartiflette with a poached egg (I just had to do it – amazing results!).
For the second dish, I decided to work with the classic flavor combinations of hazelnuts and pears. I also incorporated puff pastry and arugula, with the latter having a beautiful pepper bite that I really enjoy with creaminess of the cheese.
Red Hawk does have a pretty strong aroma that will take over the fridge, so if you have someone in the family that is a little sensitive to stronger cheese, my suggestion is to wrap it in a sealed container. My wife is still learning about cheese and she is hesitant to try those cheeses with a stronger nose (as most individuals are). Cheese is something that needs to be tested through taste and smell, with the more varieties you experience, the more you will enjoy. How can you not be intrigued by a product that has so many amazing personalities using one simple main ingredient. I like to pair this cheese with a Chablis, from the Burgundy region, which has a hint of green apple and a little acid; this wine will cut through the richness of the cheese. Find the recipes on our RECIPES page. Enjoy! Thanks again Lisa Futterman!