Last week I was invited to the Président Cheese pop-up store in New York City for a cooking class with the James Beard Award winning chef Gavin Kaysen to learn how to use Président Cheeses and Butter for holiday entertaining. There was champagne, there was wine, and there was cheese. So basically, I was in heaven.
For those of you who don't know, Chef Kaysen used to work under Daniel Boulud at Cafe Boulud, he was the head coach for Team USA in the Bocuse d'Or competition, and his new restaurant, Spoon and Stable was a semi-finalist for the Best New Restaurant award from the James Beard Awards. Basically, he's a big deal.
|Chef Gavin Kaysen|
The first recipe is Grilled Brie with Saba and Apples, a really simple and insanely delicious appetizer that takes about 10 minutes in the oven and comes out beautiful and gooey. This is a perfect entertaining dish that is guaranteed to make all of your guests swoon with delight.
Grilled Président Brie with Saba & Apples
8 oz Président Brie
4 Fresh Thyme Sprigs
2 Shallots - chopped
1 Clove Garlic
1 Apple Sliced Thinly
1 Fresh Baguette cut into 1/4 inch slices
|Brie with Saba and Apples - Before the Oven|
Substitutions: Fresh pears or plums can also be used. If you don't have Saba Vinaigrette, use Balsamic Vinaigrette.
The finished product is mighty pretty. Are you ready for it? Behold:
|Brie with Saba and Apples - After the Oven|
The next dish was Président Garlic and Herb Rondelé with Honeycomb, Granola, Dried Apricots, and Arugula. This is another simple dish that is great for entertaining because it is so easy and you can basically use anything you have in your cabinet. The recipe depends on the complexity of the cheese itself, and uses something sweet, something crunchy, and fresh Arugula which is easy to find all year. I loved the combination of the honeycomb and the dried fruits, but it's also great with fresh nectarines and toasted hazelnuts for the summertime.
|Basically, an Edible Pollock Painting|
Président Garlic and Herb Rondelé with Honeycomb, Granola, Dried Apricots, and Arugula
1 Package of Président Rondelé Garlic & Herbs
1/4 c Granola
1/4 c Dried Apricots
1 Tbs Arugula
Cracked Black pepper
Smear the Rondelé on a Slate Board, and scatter Granola, Arugula, Pieces of Honeycomb, and Dried Apricots on top. Top with freshly cracked pepper. Serve with fresh bread and let your guests dip!
Another easy and delicious recipe that Chef Kaysen shared with us pairs Président Brie with Figs, Pistachios, and Pumpernickel Bread, but he constructed the brie and the figs into a big cheese sandwich:
|Cheese & Fig Sandwich|
Again, super easy - you just take the wedge of brie, slice it in half, slather with fig jam, and then add layer of sliced fresh figs. Put the top back on, slice into thin slices, and then serve on a slate board with pistachios and fresh bread. And that's it. And it's delicious.
Finally, Chef Kaysen taught us how to make Crepes using Président butter, but let's be honest, we were drinking champagne and chatting at this point, so Gavin did most of the cooking...
Fortunately for you, I have the recipe for those of you daring enough to try to make crepes at home. I think I will stick to the cheese sandwich, thankyouverymuch.
Président Butter & Apple Cinnamon Crepes
3 oz Président Unsalted Butter
3 C. Milk
1-1/2 C Flour
3.3 oz Sugar
1 Tbs Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Salt
1 Jar Apple Filling
Mint to Garnish
Slightly Brown the butter in a pan. Heat milk over medium heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. To create the batter: whisk eggs, flour, sugar, and salt in one bowl, and in another mix together all of your wet ingredients: the milk, the browned butter, and the extract. Then slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry, whisking as you go.
Put the pan on medium heat, add 1 teaspoon of butter to the pan. Add 3 Tablespoons of the batter to the pan, and swirl to cover the bottom of the pan. Cook until the bottom of the crepe is golden, about 1-2 minutes. Loosen the edges with a spatula, Flip and cook for another minute. Once golden place the crepe on a cutting board and add apple filling. Fold in edges and top with fresh mint.
Makes 15 crepes.
If making crepes is too much for you to undertake (they are for me), you can always stick to the basics of entertaining - the mighty Cheese Platter. Pick a range of cheeses: Président Triple Créme, Société Roquefort, or Comté and serve on a platter with sliced bread, crackers, jam, fresh apples, and dried fruit. You can't go wrong.
|ALL THE CHEESE, PLEASE|
Thank you to Président Cheese for a fantastic evening. I hope all of you are as excited about these recipes and entertaining tricks as I am. The holidays are right around the corner, and I cannot wait to share these recipes with my loved ones. If you try them out, tag me on social media or leave comments below, I would love to see what you all come up with!
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