Thursday, April 29, 2010

Red Hawk

Yesterday, I mentioned this peanutty wonder, which I sampled at a recent tasting when it was paired with  chocolate stout. It's a triple creme from Cowgirl Creamery, run by Sue Conley and Peggy Smith -- two farmstead-cheese pioneers with a soft spot for stink. 

Many of my friends are triple-crème lovers. Me? I don’t freak for brie, but I do like this wicked stepchild. It's a little bit truck stop and a little bit beachy. Each wheel is only about the size of a dinner roll. And yet, it’s full of flavor -- salty, luscious, peanutty goodness. 

Although the Troeg's chocolate stout I tried alongside this cheese isn't available any more (it was just a limited edition), I bet you could sub in Rogue Chocolate Stout and recreate the combo -- serve it after dinner in place of dessert, and tell your friends it's a fermented peanut buster parfait.

Cowgirl Creamery makes Red Hawk from organic milk, then washes it in brine so that a ruddy rind develops. Think of Epoisses, another washed-rind winner. Cheese maven Janet Fletcher suggests taking Red Hawk out of its wrapper a day before you want to eat it and letting it sit at room temperature under “a cheese dome or inverted bowl” so the rind can dry and develop “a faint salty crunch.”

My Red Hawk is on the counter right now, glowing like a holy relic under glass. And when the sun lights up the rind, I know I will never take a triple-crème for granted again. 

1 comment:

  1. What if you have a peanut allergy? Perhaps don't give this one to Louise to try - unless you have an epi-pen at the ready!