Few things bring a smile in fall and winter like a bountiful slice of fresh-baked apple pie.
With cheddar cheese, though? Not so much.
At least, in my humble opinion.
But add Asiago and a pinch of thyme in its place, and apple pie soars to newfound heights.
New Englanders and Midwesterners may have an affinity for that sharp orange cheese married with apple pie. Yet, I’ve never been keen on the combination because I think it overwhelms the apples.
Instead, reach for Asiago, the Italian cow’s milk cheese full of buttery nuttiness for a true complementary addition in this superlative “Asiago Apple Galette (or Pie).”
That’s exactly what I did when I got my hands on some Pazazz apples.
This late-season variety sports gorgeous red skin with yellow-green striations. These apples are snappy and full of sweet, tangy juice. Best yet, when baked, they keep their shape, making them ideal to spotlight in pies, crisps, and crumbles, and in savory dishes such as roasted alongside duck, chicken, or pork sausages.
It says it all that during our two days in Los Angeles recently, we high-tailed it to the new Pizzeria Bianco not once, but twice.
Arguably, Chris Bianco has been deemed the country’s best pizza maker, with devotees waiting as long as three hours at his original Phoenix restaurant just to get their fix.
Since opening in Los Angeles in June, this place has been mobbed. And since Los Angeles is a more convenient destination for yours truly, you know that my husband and I put Pizzeria Bianco on our must-stop list no matter what when we traveled to Southern California earlier this month.
Thankfully, we didn’t have to twiddle our thumbs for hours on end when we got to the Row DTLA, the massive 30-acre urban commercial district that was the former site of the American Apparel manufacturing facility, and that’s now home to not only Pizzeria Bianco, but a host of restaurants, boutiques, and offices.
Instead at 12:30 p.m. on a Saturday, we did have to wait in line for about 30 minutes before we made our way to the walk-up pizza window to place our orders.
Husband-and-wife, Mike and Denise Thornberry, might seem like an unlikely duo to open a wine bar-restaurant.
He is a senior director at Apple. She was executive vice president of global sales for Beats by Dr. Dre.
Neither has ever owned a restaurant before or even worked in one.
But they must know have a natural knack for it because their Tasting House in Los Gatos, which only opened in January, is already a hit. It garnered “Best Restaurant,” “Best Atmosphere,” and “Best Wine List” in the 2022 Best of Los Gatos list, and scored a “Best of Award of Excellence” this year from Wine Spectator. And when I was invited in as a guest of the restaurant last week, the place was packed, even at all the tables on the patio where I dined on a toasty summer night.
Located in what was formerly Cin-Cin Wine Bar & Restaurant, Tasting House sports both a restaurant and an attached gourmet provisions shop.
When it comes to people, what’s on the inside is paramount.
But when it comes to this quesadilla, it’s what’s on the outside that truly rocks.
That’s because “The Cast-Iron Quesadilla That Will Change The Way You Quesadilla” (and yes, that is the actual name) boasts a flamboyant crispy-crunchy crust of cheese that entirely smothers its top tortilla.
Made with not one, not two, but three kinds of cheese, it will spoil you for any other quesadilla from now on.
It sets out to answer 100 questions about food and cooking that are designed to make a home cook better and smarter in the kitchen. Answers and info are provided for each question, along with a recipe to put it all into practice.
Creamy cheddar flavored with everything from espresso to bourbon, and porcini to Earl Grey tea. If that doesn’t perk up your cheese board or grilled cheese game, nothing will.
Those imaginative products and more are the handiwork of Beehive Cheese, an award-winning creamery that gets its name from Utah’s nickname, the Beehive State (who knew?), and its creativity from founders Tim Welsh and his brother-in-law Pat Ford.
The two guys went all in on cheese-making after the dot-com collapse did a number on their former software and real estate businesses. They had little cheese-making experience at the time, but didn’t let that stop them, getting help from the Western Dairy Center, a leading cheese research institute. They also had the good sense to partner with fourth-generation dairy, Wadeland South, which raises Holstein and Jersey cows for their rich tasting milk.
Because the two were learning as they went, they had no fear when it came to experimenting with what a cheese could be.
The results are unique and delicious cheddar flavors, as I found when I received samples recently.
All the cheddars are creamy and semi-firm, so they’re easy to cut into neat slices for nibbling or stacking atop a sandwich.