OK, so now that the New Year festivities are over, the champagne & party leftovers are gone, and we are cast back into our work-a-day routines in the dead of winter. I don’t know about you but I need some motivation to get me from here to Valentine’s Day…something to brighten up my staid bag lunches injecting some tasty goodness into my semi-somnolent morning ritual of making a sandwich, hunting for a drink, and grabbing a piece of fruit. Starting right now into next week, I’ll be covering artisan foods that you can buy now to satiate your tastebuds’ wanderlust.
Chapel’s Country Creamery near Easton in Maryland’s Talbot County sells artisanal cheeses directly from their website that are carefully hand crafted from start to finish starting with fresh non-pasteurized raw milk. No synthetic hormones, antibotics, or chemical compounds ever. This milk is then shipped to an Amish artisanal cheese maker in Lancaster, PA. Only vegetable rennet and all natural ingredients are used. The Creamery’s 80 Jersey and Holstein cows graze on 45 acres of clover & rye grass and are rotated regularly among 32 different pastures ensuring they eat the freshest and most nutritious grasses yielding raw milk rich in cream. Cheeses like their Chapelle, Talbot Reserve and Bay Blue are aged at least 60 days in a climate controlled cave producing their distinct flavors and natural rinds.
Fast forward to a couple mornings from now when you stumble into the kitchen to pack a lunch. By now, I hope you have one or more of Chapel’s Country Creamery’s cheeses in your fridge.
Because owner/cheesemaker Holly Foster is sharing her favorite grilled cheese recipe for your enjoyment:
Grilled Cheese Sandwich (serves one)
1/2 tablespoon softened unsalted butter
2 slices sandwich bread
2 ounces thinly sliced Chapel’s cave aged cheddar, Chapel Bay Blue, or Talbot Reserve cheese
A few thinly sliced red onions
2 tablespoons champagne grapes, chopped
Pre-heat a counter-top grill or skillet to medium heat. Butter each slice of bread on one side. On a plate, lay one slice of bread with the butter side down and place cheese slices on it, making sure the cheese does not hang over the edge of the bread. Place the red onion slices evenly over the cheese and top with a sprinkle of salt and the grapes. Place the other slice of bread on top. Grill or fry on both sides until the cheese has just begun to melt and the bread is golden brown.
Photos courtesy of Chapel’s Country Creamery