This month’s special cheeses are Red Sky, Storm & Mountain Ash, Sweet Rowen Farmstead, Glover, Vermont
Sweet Rowen Farmstead is a grass-based, family owned and operated dairy farm located in Vermont’s beautiful Northeast Kingdom, about 20 miles south of the Canadian border. The barn is situated between woodlands and several rich fields where they rotate pasture and cut their own hay.
While not currently certified organic, all of the hay they grow and cut themselves is organic, as well as the pastures on which the cows graze. They do feed the cows a small amount of non-GMO grain to ensure their diet is as healthful as possible. That grain is not always certified organic; organic grain is very expensive and they prefer to keep milk costs accessible while treating the cows the best they can.
Many of their other farming practices meet organic standards, often going above and beyond to ensure the most responsible stewardship of the environment. In addition, Sweet Rowen considers the cows to be family and they want to be able to treat them if they ever become critically ill.
Cheesemaker Paul Lisai tends and milks the herd of Holstein and Randall Linebeck cows, a true Vermont heritage breed. The farm began selling milk in 2011, bottling a small volume each week at a rented facility in Albany, VT. In September of that year, the bottling room was lost in a devastating fire, forcing the farm to reconsider their options.
A decision was made to build a creamery on the family land, enabling the farm to bottle all of the milk on-site and sell it locally. The creamery opened in May of 2012 and is now not just bottling milk but cranking out small batches of delicious cheese.
Red Sky, Storm and Mountain Ash are made in the old molds that held Jasper Hill Dairy’s legendary Constant Bliss. Storm is the original and it showcases the beauty of the milk and snowy white rind. Red Sky hides a dusting of smoked paprika, while Mountain Ash a dusting of vegetable ash. Pristine and delicious with a slightly dense texture and a luscious, creamy paste, each cheese is similar but uniquely its own.
- 4 3/4-inch-thick boneless pork loin chops
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 deli-thin slices black forest ham
- 3 ounces Storm cheese, rind trimmed and cut into thin slices 4 piquillo
- peppers, cut open
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- canola oil or other neutral oil for frying
1. Place each pork chop between large sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet, heavy skillet, or rolling pin until 1⁄8 inch thick. Season both sides of each chop with salt and pepper. Place 11⁄2 slices ham on each chop in a single layer to cover the surface, then layer the Storm and piquillos on one half of each chop. Fold each chop in half like a book to enclose the cheese and piquillos.
2. Place the flour in a shallow dish, beat the egg in another, and spread the panko in a third. Carefully dredge all sides of the stuffed pork chops in the flour and shake off the excess. Then coat in the beaten egg and dredge in the panko. Tap off any excess crumbs.
3. Add enough oil to a large skillet to come 1⁄4 inch up the sides. Heat over medium- high heat until hot. A panko crumb should sizzle immediately when dropped in. Add 2 breaded chops and cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and season lightly with salt. Repeat with the remaining pork chops and serve immediately.
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (about 6 medium potatoes), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 3 medium garlic cloves, peeled
- Kosher salt
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces • 2 Red Sky rind removed and cut into pieces, at room temperature
- 3 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about 1 1/3 cups)
1. Place potatoes in a large saucepan, and add cold water to cover by 1 inch. Add garlic cloves and a generous pinch of salt, and bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to medium-high, and simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are fork-tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain, and let stand at room temperature until potatoes look dry and chalky, about 10 minutes.
2. While potatoes dry, bring heavy cream and butter to a gentle simmer in a small saucepan over medium, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Press potatoes and garlic cloves through a ricer, and return to saucepan. Fold cream mixture into potatoes.
3. Return saucepan to heat over medium-low. Add cheese in batches, stirring after each addition until cheese is fully melted and incorporated.
Cave to Co-op is a partnership between Provision International and the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA) to support local, artisanal cheese producers in our region and make their products more easily available to co-op shoppers. The NFCA is a network of more than 40 food co-ops in our region — including yours — that are working together to advance their vision of a thriving regional economy, rooted in a healthy, just and sustainable food system and a vibrant community of co-operative enterprise. For more information, please visit www.nfca.coop.