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Sheep Cheese Chocolate Truffles

We’re starting February off with a chocolate bang! These truffles are so easy to make and are a heartfelt gift to surprise someone with this Valentine’s Day. Don’t sleep on the dried cherry center! We think it really brings everything together. Experiment with other mixins like nuts or other dried fruits. The mixture is great stuffed into fresh raspberries too! Makes about 20 truffles.

Ingredients:

Directions:

Start by melting the bittersweet chocolate over a double boiler making sure the top bowl doesn’t touch the simmering water below. Stir the chocolate until it’s melted and smooth then remove from the heat and set aside to cool for a bit.

In the meantime, whisk the sheep’s milk cheese, sugar and vanilla together until fluffy. Then whisk in the melted chocolate until everything is combined. Cover and chill for an hour until the mixture is firm.

To make the truffles, take a heaping teaspoon of mixture and flatten it out in your hand. Press one or two dried cherries into the center and form the rest of the mixture around it. Roll between your palms to form into a ball. Roll the ball in the cocoa powder until coated on all sides. Chill finished truffles for another 30 minutes. They can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Tip: For some variation, the mixture is great stuffed into the center of fresh berries like raspberries, blackberries or strawberries.

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Lamb Osso Bucco

We’re more than just cheese here at Green Dirt Farm! We carry frozen lamb cuts in our shop too: ground lamb, sausage, racks, shoulders, legs and more! This time of year, we love our Osso Bucco cuts (cross-cut shanks) because it requires minimum prep and then just braises low and slow for the rest of the afternoon. This is a pretty simple recipe that can be used for other cuts you would braise including beef. Best served with mashed potatoes or polenta to soak up all those delicious juices!

You can find our lamb, cheese and other local products at our shop in Weston. Or ask your local cheese counter/monger for us!

Ingredients:

  • 2 packs of Lamb Osso Bucco (about 2 lbs) – you could fit another pound or so with this amount of liquid
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 small onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 large carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, roughly chopped
  • one quart lamb or beef stock
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Dry off lamb osso bucco and salt and pepper liberally. In a large dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add osso bucco carefully and sear on all sides until browned and releases from the pan on its own. Remove lamb and place on a plate to the side. Add carrots, celery, onions and garlic to the pot and saute for 10 minutes, until caramelized and softened, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon along the way.

Add tomato paste and saute for about 5 minutes until veggies are coated and slightly browned. Deglaze with red wine scraping the bottom of the pot. Reduce the wine by half, then add the stock, thyme, bay leaves and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then shut off the heat, place the lid on top and place into the oven. Cook for about 2 hours until fork tender and meat separates from the bone.

Remove lamb from the pot. Also remove the rosemary stem and bay leaves. At this point you can serve immediately or reduce the sauce for a thicker consistency. To reduce, return to the burner on medium-high heat and strongly simmer until liquid reduces to desired consistency. Finish with a pad of butter for a glossy sauce.

Serve lamb on top of mashed potatoes or polenta, topped with sauce and veggies.

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Garlic and Rosemary Queen of the Woods

This might be the easiest “recipe” of all time, but it’s a stunner! If you haven’t heard about our newest cheese Queen of the Woods yet, now is a perfect time to say hello! This ooey gooey blend of sheep and cow’s milk is wrapped in spruce bark giving it notes of pine and bacon cooked over a campfire. As if it’s not decadent enough, we decided to…spruce…it up a bit (get it?) with slivered garlic and rosemary before warming it in the oven. It is pure heaven and will immediately make your day feel extra special. Make it complete by serving with a crusty baguette.

You can find our cheese and other local products at our shop in Weston. Or ask your local cheese counter/monger for us!

Ingredients:

  • one wheel Queen of the Woods
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • one sprig of rosemary divided into 6-8 tufts

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Start by making small cuts into the top of the cheese. Insert a slice of garlic into each one. I use one clove of garlic slivered for a more subtle hint of garlic, but feel free to do more for a stronger flavor.

Make more cuts if needed and insert the small rosemary sprigs into each one, making sure the cheese is evenly dotted with garlic and rosemary. Put the wheel into an oven-safe crock and bake for 15 minutes.

Serve hot with a crusty baguette or roasted baby potatoes.

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Mashed Potatoes with Fresh Sheep’s Milk Cheese

It’s time to start thinking about your Thanksgiving spread, and is any side more quintessential than mashed potatoes? This year may be the perfect opportunity to jazz them up a bit though. This recipe is great to use with any of our six flavors of Fresh Sheep’s Milk Cheese, but I especially gravitate toward the Rosemary this time of year. It even has a touch of garlic for balance. These mashed potatoes are still everything you love about the classic, but you’ll never want to go back to the sans-cheese version again!

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1 inch chunks (I like mine with the skins on but you can peel if you prefer)
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 8 ounces of Rosemary Fresh Sheep’s Milk Cheese, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream or full fat greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, half and half or cream
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

Place the cut potatoes, peeled garlic cloves and a tablespoon of salt into a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook the potatoes for 20-25 minutes until very soft.

Drain the potatoes well and add them back into the pot. Mash the potatoes by hand or run through a food mill for a finer texture. While the potatoes are still hot, mix in the sour cream, Fresh cheese, butter, cream, 4 teaspoons of salt and 2 teaspoons of freshly cracked pepper. Then serve and enjoy!

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Ruby Mac’ and Cheese

It’s almost hard to believe we haven’t featured a macaroni and cheese recipe yet! Well, the wait is over. This version is stovetop, but can can easily be baked with a breadcrumb topping if you prefer. The cheeses are also versatile. As long as you have a combination of creamy (like Ruby) and sharp (like Prairie Tomme), you can go wild with anything else. Want to add a touch of Garlic Herb Fresh? Go for it! Want extra cheese for topping? There’s no such thing as too much cheese. Enjoy this base recipe and then have fun with your own twists!

You can find our cheese and other local products at our shop in Weston. Or ask your local cheese counter/monger for us!

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 pound uncooked pasta (I like cavatappi)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
  • Two squares of Ruby with rind edges cut off and cubed
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar or Gruyere
  • 1/2 cup grated Prairie Tomme
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Start by melting the butter in a large pan. Add the flour and mix over heat until it’s a smooth, golden paste, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the milk, garlic powder and ground mustard. Simmer while stirring frequently until the sauce is thickened and coats the back of a spoon.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water according to the directions. Drain once the pasta is al dente.

Add all of the cheeses to the sauce and cook until they are all melted and incorporated. Taste to see if you’d like to add salt or cracked pepper. Depending on the cheeses, you may not need to add salt.

Take sauce off of the heat and add to the cooked pasta. Toss until well combined and top with more cheese if you’d like!

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Cheese and Apple Crumb Pie

The chillier temps are coming through so it’s time for a fall-ready recipe! This cheese and apple pie is everything you love about apple pie and apple crisp, but with a cheesy twist. I’m not usually one for a lot of sugar so I love the addition of Prairie Tomme to help balance the sweet. The cheese is featured in a crunchy crumb topping but feel free to go hog wild and add cheese to the inside too! 

You can find our cheese and other local products at our shop in Weston. Or ask your local cheese counter/monger for us!

Crumb Topping Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into cubes
  • 1 cup shredded Prairie Tomme (I like mine chunkier, but feel free to finely grate if you want it evenly dispersed) *Aux Arcs is great too!*

Filling Ingredients:

  • one 9-inch crust either store-bought or homemade
  • 5-6 apples (I like a mix of Granny Smith and a good cooking apple like Jonagold or Braeburn)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Start by combining the flour, sugar and salt for the crumb topping. Add in the cold, cubed butter and, using your hands, start to break up the butter and mix in to the other ingredients. Shoot for pea-sized pieces of butter. Mix in the grated cheese and put into the fridge to chill until it’s time to bake. 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel, core and thinly slice your apples. In a separate bowl combine the sugar, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon and salt. Toss with apples in a large mixing bowl until well coated. Put the filling into your pie crust and top with crumb topping. Place pie tin on a baking sheet in case of spillage. Bake for 45 minutes or until top is golden and the juices are bubbling. Move to a wire rack to cool.

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Spicy Fried Cheese Balls with Mango Sauce

It’s time to close the summer out with a bang! These fried cheese balls are incredible on their own as an appetizer, but are also great to serve on a salad in place of croutons or crumbled cheese. They can be made with any flavor of our Fresh Sheep’s Milk Cheese, but the combo of Spicy Chilis with the sweet mango sauce is perfection! I prefer mine on the larger side (a.k.a. extra cheesy), but you can make them smaller if you want to serve them as an hors d’oeuvres.

Also, don’t skip on the double breading and double freeze method – especially if you are going with a larger size ball.

You can find our cheese and other local products at our shop in Weston. Or ask your local cheese counter/monger for us!

Cheese Ball Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces Spicy Chilis Fresh Sheep’s Milk Cheese (You can make each ball anywhere from a half ounce to an ounce depending on how big you want them. Use however much cheese you need. Tip: an ounce scoop is great to use to help measure).
  • 1/4 cup of avocado or olive oil (I like to use a mix of both)
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • salt and pepper
  • cilantro for garnish

Sauce Ingredients:

  • half a mango
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Start by rolling the cheese into balls. Size is up to you, but somewhere between a half ounce and ounce is good. Once they are all rolled, pop them into the freezer for 10-15 minutes. This will help with the dredging process.

While they are in the freezer, get your station ready. Beat the eggs and have them set in one bowl. Put the flour in another shallow bowl or plate. Season the breadcrumbs with salt and pepper and have them ready in a third shallow bowl.

After removing the balls from the freezer, start by rolling one in the flour until coated all over. Next coat in the egg. Finally, coat with the breadcrumbs being sure to gently press them into the ball on all sides.

Repeat the process again for double breading. This makes sure you get a super crunchy coating that will protect the cheese inside.

After double breading all of the cheese, freeze the balls again for 10-15 minutes. This ensures that the cheese inside doesn’t melt and ooze out before the outside is fried all over.

Heat the oil until sizzling. Add a four or five balls to the oil, making sure there’s enough room to turn them easily. Fry for a minute or two on each side until all the breading is crisp and golden brown. Remove from the pan and place onto a wire rack. Continue until they are all fried.

For the sauce: Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

To serve: Smear some mango sauce on a plate. Top with cheese balls and garnish with chopped cilantro.

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Grilled Lamb Kofta

It’s grilling season, but there’s so much more to play with than burgers and hot dogs! These grilled lamb kofta kebabs are packed with flavor and are great way to use your fresh herbs and summer produce. I like to serve mine with yogurt sauce, rice pilaf and grilled veggies.

You can find our ground lamb and other cuts at our shop in Weston. We’ve also recently teamed up with KC Cattle Co. to share our products. Not only do we carry their beef in the shop, but they have our lamb available to ship from their site too! Check it out here.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. ground lamb
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 shallots, peeled and quartered
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • chopped fresh mint, for garnish

Directions:

Add all ingredients except for the ground lamb and mint to a food processor and blend until it’s a fully mixed paste. You’ll probably have to scrape down the sides a couple of times. Add the paste into the ground lamb and mix to combine. I like to do this a couple of hours ahead of time so that everything can marry in the fridge.

When you’re ready roll the mixture into large meatball shapes. Pierce them with a skewer and then mold the balls into more of a flat egg shape. You can fit a couple on each skewer. Very carefully place them on a hot grill so that they don’t fall off of the skewers. Grill for roughly 8-10 minutes on each side depending on the size of your kofta or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

Remove from skewers, garnish with chopped mint and serve with yogurt, pita, rice or grilled veggies – or all of the above!

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Farmers Market Pizza with Bossa

Create this farmer's market pizza recipe with Green Dirt Farm's signature brie inspired sheep cheese, Bossa.

It’s officially farmers market season and what better way to feature the season’s bounty then to make a satisfying pizza? This pizza is rich and full of flavor. Our washed-rind sheep’s milk cheese Bossa gives it the goo factor. While this particular version features turnips, greens, caramelized shallots and pancetta, you can easily switch out the ingredients for anything you’re able to find. Here are some easy swaps below:

Turnips – swap for radishes or potatoes

Shallots – swap for onions or leeks

Pancetta – swap for bacon or omit if you want to go meatless

Greens – if you can find turnips with tops, use those. If not, swap for kale, spinach or other hardy greens

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces pancetta, cubed
  • 2 medium turnips or one small bunch, thinly sliced
  • 4 medium shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch turnip greens or kale if your turnips didn’t come with tops, roughly chopped
  • one wheel Bossa
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • one ball pizza dough, store bought or homemade

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Preheat pizza stone as well if using.

Start by heating the diced pancetta in a large pan and cooking until almost crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon from pan and set aside.

Add one tablespoon of the leftover bacon fat to a bowl along with sliced turnips and salt and pepper. Toss to coat and set aside.

Reheat pan with bacon fat and saute the minced garlic and crushed red pepper flakes for a minute until fragrant. Add the greens and saute until wilted. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Using the same pan, heat one tablespoon of butter and one tablespoon of olive oil. Add sliced shallots and saute until caramelized, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Now you should have all of your pizza toppings prepped. Time for the dough. Stretch out the pizza dough into desired shape. If you’re using store-bought dough, make sure it’s at room temperature before doing this. Place the dough on a pizza stone if you have one or an oiled sheet pan if not.

Brush the top of the dough all over with olive oil. Start by topping with the caramelized shallots, followed by the greens, pancetta and turnips. Cut the wheel of Bossa into lots of small triangle pads. Make sure each piece has equal amounts of paste and rind. Place equally around the pizza.

Put pizza into the oven for 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden and the Bossa is melted. Slice up and enjoy!

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Asparagus Soup with Fresh Sheep’s Milk Cheese

Try this tasty asparagus soup recipe made with sheep milk cheese by Green Dirt Farm.

We’re keeping with the seasonal ingredients for this month’s recipe. Asparagus soup is perfect for the occasional cloudy or rainy spring day that will still make you feel light and bright. This would also be a great dish as part of a Mother’s Day Brunch AND you can easily freeze it if you’re trying to stock up during quarantine. The Fresh crumbled on top is an absolute must though. It’s tangy, citrusy flavor brightens up the soup even more. For a crumbly texture, use it straight out of the fridge while it’s still cold. We used the Plain, but feel free to get creative (the Nettle or Rosemary would be really good on top too!). We hope you enjoy this little taste of spring.

Ingredients:

  • 2 bunches of asparagus, bottoms cut off
  • 6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
  • two medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • two 3.5 ounce cups Plain Fresh
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • one chunk Parmigiano-Reggiano rind**
  • pea shoots (or other fresh herbs like thyme or basil)
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil (for garnish)

Directions:

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add onions and saute until they start to turn translucent. Add in minced garlic and saute for a couple of minutes more.

While the onions are cooking, chop the tops off of one bunch of asparagus. Set aside for garnish. Chop the remaining asparagus into 1/2 inch pieces. Once the onions are translucent, add in chopped asparagus, stock, parmesan rind, a teaspoon of salt and 1/2 a teaspoon of black pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the asparagus is very tender.

While the soup is simmering, get a small pot of salted water boiling. Once it’s boiling add in the reserved asparagus tops and cook for 1-2 minutes (they should still have a bite). Drain the tips and put into an ice bath to shock them. Once they’re cool, drain and set aside for garnish.

Once the asparagus is tender, remove the rind and use an immersion blender to blend the soup into a smooth consistency. You can also ladle into a blender or food processor in batches if you don’t have an immersion blender. Once smooth, add in the lemon juice, one container of Fresh. Blend once more then add salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle soup into bowls and top with crumbled Fresh, asparagus tips, pea shoots and a drizzle of olive oil.

**Note: Anytime you finish a hunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano, save the rind and keep it in the freezer. They are great for using in soups or sauces to give them a cheesy flavor even when you don’t add cheese.