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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.

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Dirt Lover and KC Canning Shrub Cocktail Pairing

Sheep Cheese Gift Basket | Green Dirt Farm

Since we all need a little reason to have fun/feel normal right now, we thought we would feature a cheese and cocktail pairing rather than a traditional recipe. This is also an ode to all of our pairing classes we miss so much and a way to highlight all of our small business partners out there! We have all of these items available at our shop to purchase if you want to recreate this spread at home.

This particular pairing is perfect for these sunny spring days we’re starting to experience. Given the sweeter, fruity elements this makes for a great dessert plate as well. Cheese is not just for appetizers!

Pairing Elements:

Cocktail Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. J. Rieger Gin
  • 2 oz. KC Canning Co. Meyer Lemon Lavender Shrub
  • soda water
  • slice of lemon

Cocktail Directions:

Fill a large glass with ice. Add 2 ounces of J. Rieger Gin or Vodka. Add 2 ounces of KC Canning Co. Meyer Lemon Lavender Shrub. Top with soda water. Give it a quick stir and serve with sliced lemon. Mint or lavender sprigs make great garnishes too!

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Leek and Pea Risotto

Top this leek and pea risotto recipe with Green Dirt Farm sheep cheese.

This month’s recipe is the perfect combination of celebrating springtime and using those quarantine items you’ve stocked up on. Risotto is great because it’s super versatile. Don’t have leeks? Substitute an onion. Have other greens in your fridge you need to use up? Throw ’em on in there! It’s also a great relaxing recipe to make with your family. Most of the time you’re just stirring, giving you time to sip on some wine and catch up with one another.

This particular version uses the basics from your pantry and your freezer. Regardless of what version you make, it’s always best to finish with some Prairie Tomme – our 100% aged sheep’s milk cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups arborio rice
  • 8 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
  • two trimmed leeks, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 to 1.5 cups of grated Prairie Tomme
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a stock pot, heat the stock and leave at a simmer.

In another pot, melt the butter and then add the leeks. Let the leeks saute for a few minutes until they are softened. Add the rice and toast for few minutes until there is the slightest change in color.

Add the wine the wine and cook until it is absorbed, stirring frequently. Add two ladles of stock and cook until it is absorbed, stirring frequently. Continue to process one ladleful at a time until the rice has puffed up, and is no longer firm. You will end up using about 6 or 7 cups of the stock. This process will take about half an hour. During your last ladle addition, add in the peas.

Once the rice is creamy and all liquid has been absorbed, toss in the grated cheese, leaving a little bit for topping. Taste for salt and pepper. Top with cheese and enjoy!

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How to build a cheeseboard

Green Dirt Farm Cheese Board

The 10 Commandments

1. Odd numbers: Landscapers use this rule too. Odd numbers are more appealing to the eye. We recommend using 3 or 5 cheeses on your board. Too many cheeses can be overload and you want your guests to be able to experience everything you put together.

2. Mix milks, styles and textures: This will give you a wide range of cheesy experiences. It’s also great when hosting a big group because there’s something for everyone!

3. Vessels for soft cheeses: While a lot of cheeses are just perfect on their own, you will need bread or crackers for people to serve themselves soft, spreadable cheeses on. We recommend using ones that are flavor neutral so that they pair with all of your cheeses well. (Unless, of course, you have a super fun pairing you want to feature!)

4. Seasonal accoutrements: Like with cooking, it’s best to use foods that are in season so that they are both beautiful and have the best flavor. This often plays into an appropriate color scheme too! Springtime? Add spring green produce or edible flours. Summertime? Add fresh berries. Winter? Add fresh herbs and citrus.

5. Color: You can either choose one color to focus everything around or just make it as eye-popping as you can! Think about color when you are purchasing your cheeses too.

6. Meat or no meat: Charcuterie is in reference to prepared meats such as salami, pâté, ham or terrines, not a cheeseboard. Charcuterie is always a welcome addition to your cheeses, but not always necessary. They pair particularly well with aged cheeses.

7. Cut appropriately: Different styles of cheeses require different preparations. Guests should be able to experience each part of the cheese equally – rind and paste. It’s usually best to cut hard cheeses ahead of time so that guests don’t struggle cutting. If you’d like to serve your softer cheeses whole, we recommend cutting a piece out to show guests how it should be served. Bloomy-rind wheels like brie or camembert should be cut into pie-shaped pieces.

8. Pair flavors together: It’s easiest to go for either complementary or contrasting flavors. For example: sweet and salty or both fruity.

9. Separate knives for each: Keep your cheeses pure by making sure there is a knife for each cheese. Be sure sure to do the same thing for your accoutrements. No one wants mustard in their jam!

10. Temperature: Cheese should always be served at room temperature for the maximum flavor, aroma and texture to be enjoyed. We recommend setting your cheeses out at least an hour ahead of time.

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Fresh Sheep Cheese Cheesecake with Lemon Blueberry Compote

Try this cheesecake with sheep cheese recipe from Green Dirt Farm.

Cheese isn’t just for savory dishes. This is one of our favorite recipes using our fresh sheep’s milk cheese. For those who like their desserts not-too-sweet, this cheesecake is perfection!

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter, plus more for the pan
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • Pinch of salt

Filling

  • 2 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 12 oz. of GDF Plain Fresh, room temperature
  • 12 oz. creme fraiche
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Compote

  • 2 cups blueberries
  • The zest and juice of one lemon
  • 1 ½ tablespoons honey

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the crust:

  • Stir all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Press the crumb mixture onto the bottom and about halfway up the sides of the pan.

To make the filling:

  • Beat the cream cheese and fresh sheep cheese in the bowl of an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the creme fraiche and beat to combine. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each egg is added, until thoroughly combined. Beat in the sugar and vanilla until just combined.
  • Pour the filling into the prepared crust. Put on a baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 55 to 60 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet halfway through the cooking process. If the cheesecake starts to color, tent the springform pan with aluminum foil.
  • Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool completely before serving, as it continues to set as it cools. It is best to refrigerate overnight before serving. Serve topped with compote!

To make the compote:

  • Add blueberries, lemon juice, honey, and lemon zest to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Stirring throughout. Cook until blueberries are cooked down. Remove from heat and place in refrigerator to cool down.
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Bossa Tartiflette

Try this tartiflette recipe with Green Dirt Farm's brie inspired sheep cheese, Bossa.

This month’s recipe is ooey gooey goodness featuring Bossa, our washed-rind sheep’s milk cheese! Tartiflette is a dish from the French Alps that traditionally features lardons, onions and reblochon cheese, but of course we had to put our own twist on it!

Ingredients:

  • 2 wheels of Bossa
  • 8 oz. slab bacon, cut into strips about 1 cm. thick
  • one medium yellow onion
  • 2 lbs of potatoes, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375°. Slice the potatoes and onion thinly, and set aside.

Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat, add the bacon and cook until crisp, about 10 minutes. When the bacon is crispy, remove it and set aside, leaving the fat in the pan.

Keeping the pan over medium heat, add the onion to the rendered bacon fat and stir to coat. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until translucent and lightly golden. Add the wine and continue to cook, stirring often, until the liquid is reduced by about half. Stir in potatoes and season with salt & pepper, and cook for another 8-10 minutes until the potatoes are just tender. Remove from heat and add the bacon, stirring to combine. Spread the potato mixture in a buttered, oven-safe casserole dish.

For a dramatic presentation, slice each wheel of Bossa in half horizontally, producing two thin full-moons of cheese from each wheel. Lay these gently on top of the potato mix, cut-side up. For less drama but more even cheese distribution, cut into cubes (including the rind) and layer evenly on top of the potato mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown and bubbling.