Cheese is a well-known partner for wine and, of course, crackers. Sliced or shredded, it’s ready to melt on nachos or bread, or sprinkle on salads or as a topper for soup.
It’s also an ingredient ready to add for flavor and texture in all sorts of recipes. Make your meals more exciting with these ideas for cooking with New England Cheeses:
Cabot Sharp Cheddar
Cabot Creamery, Vermont
Cabot’s classic sharp cheddar is ideal for so many uses in the kitchen. With a slight sweetness complemented by a rich, buttery tang, it matches up to the spiciest of chilis and the sweetest of apple pies.
Turn the broccoli that sometimes ends up left on your kids’ plates into something irresistible by baking it with melted cheddar and crispy bread crumbs. Or for breakfast, pair it with tomatoes and eggs in a frittata that’s reminiscent of a traditional tomato and cheddar pie. Or serve it melted on a waffle! Add bacon for a salty, smoky edge and drizzle maple syrup on top.
Hand Dipped Ricotta
Narragansett Creamery, Rhode Island
Heated in a steam kettle then hand-dipped into traditional tins, this ricotta is worth of eating straight off the spoon. You can enjoy it even more, though, if you play with adding it to your recipes.
In the morning or as an afternoon snack, spread it on toast, and top it with apple slices and a spoonful of honey. Ricotta is a great base for a dip with crackers or veggies, too. Try it blended with cannellini beans, lemon juice and garlic. Or make it sweet with sliced figs, almonds and honey.
It’s ricotta that fills those cannolis at your local Italian bakery, and they aren’t as tough to make as you might think. Sweeten the ricotta with confectioners’ sugar and a little vanilla extract. Mix in chocolate chips, and season with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Eat this creation with a spoon, or use it to fill cannoli shells.
Vermont Creamery, Vermont
This cheese is made with fresh goats’ milk from family farms that is naturally coagulated overnight, drained and then shaped into logs. It’s simple, mild, fresh goats’ milk flavor makes it versatile as an ingredient.
Pair goat cheese with roasted beets, fresh thyme, arugula and a traditional vinaigrette. Use it instead of mozzarella for a gourmet pizza, with artichoke hearts and caramelized onions.
Stir this goat cheese and fresh herbs into a simple marinara to make it rich and creamy, and serve over your favorite pasta. Add grilled shrimp or chicken to round out the dish.
And in the spirit of our bountiful selection of New England dairy, we’ve selected a high-quality cheese from every state to help you put together a New England Cheese Board. For even more inspiration, try pairing these cheeses with your favorite wine, or even with beer. Beer is as good if not better than wine as a complement to cheese. The carbonation of a cold beer matches up nicely with the creamy and salty elements of many cheeses.