Each month, your Neighboring Food Co-ops feature our region’s artisan cheesemakers by offering a specially selected cheese at great price. Look for the “Cave to Co-op” sign in the cheese section at your local food co-op. To find one near you, visit www.nfca.coop/members.
This month’s special cheese is MT ALICE from Von Trapp Farmstead, Waitsfield, VT
Since 1959, when Werner and Erika von Trapp purchased the von Trapp Farm, the farm has transitioned (over the course of three generations) to a certified organic dairy and in 2009 added cheese making to the value-added operations. Striving for high-quality standards, the von Trapp Farm produces some of the sweetest organic milk for premium cheese production and have some of the happiest cows in Vermont.
Mt Alice is named after a distinct mountain peak southeast of the farm. This bloomy rind Camembert-style cheese is an elegantly smooth, milky delight
made from the farm’s organic pasteurized cows’ milk and aged for three to five weeks. Mt. Alice is perfect on a cheese plate and makes a great easy lunch, thickly smeared on a crusty baguette. If you are feeling more adventurous however, here are a few recipes that highlight its mushroomy and milky flavor.
Here are a couple of excellent recipes featuring the creamy-ness of Mt Alice. We featured MT Alice in 2018 and you can find more recipes here.
Mt Alice and Ham Pigs in a Blanket
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 thick slices baked honey ham
3 ounces Mt Alice
1 sheet of butter puff pastry, fridge temp
Dijon mustard, for serving
1. Heat the butter and oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 15 minutes. Raise the heat slightly and continue to cook to develop a deep golden color, about 5 minutes more. Transfer the onions to a small bowl to cool completely.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
3. Cut each slice of ham into 12 pieces, each about ½ inch x 1½ inches. Cut the Mt Alice into 24 pieces, each about ¼ inch by 1 inch.
4. Unroll the dough on a cutting board and cut into 8 long triangles with the short side being 1½ inches long and the long sides being about 5-6 inches. Stack two pieces of ham, 1/4 teaspoon of the caramelized onions, and 1 piece of Mt Alice across the tip end of each triangle, roll up in the dough and place seam-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Top each finished roll with a dab of the remaining caramelized onions.
5. Bake until the dough is golden brown and cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm with Dijon mustard for dipping.
Cranberry, Brussel Sprouts and Mt Alice Skillet Nachos
- Nonstick spray, as needed
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups shredded brussels sprouts
- Tortilla chips, as needed
- ¾ cup cranberry sauce (or jam) with berries
- 1 cup shredded VT cheddar cheese
- 8 ounces Mt Alice cheese, thinly sliced
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh parsley, for serving
1. Make the sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts: preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
2. Spread the onion and sweet potatoes on the baking sheet and drizzle evenly with the olive oil. Toss with the rosemary and garlic powder; season with salt and pepper.
3. Roast until the sweet potatoes are tender and beginning to brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the shredded brussel sprouts to the baking sheet and toss well to combine. Return the baking sheet to the oven until the veggies are golden brown all over, 7 to 10 more minutes.
4. Make the nachos: Arrange the tortilla chips in an even layer in a large skillet. Dollop three-quarters of the cranberry sauce all over the chips. Top with three-quarters of the vegetables. Arrange the cheddar and Mt Alice in an even layer on top and then finish with a layer of the remaining cranberry sauce and vegetable mixture.
5. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the cheeses are very melted, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove the skillet from the oven and serve immediately, garnished with freshly ground black pepper and parsley.
Spicy Mixed Greens Salad w/Strawberry & Mt Alice
- 12 strawberries, halved
- ½ of 6 grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 small peeled cucumber, thinly slice
- 5 cups spicy mixed greens
- ¼ cup toasted almonds
- ½ shallot, minced
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 2 tsp Dijon vinegar
- 3 T white wine vinegar
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Make dressing. Whisk shallot, garlic, vinegar, and mustard in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil until emulsified; season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
2.Place all ingredients except the cheese in a medium bowl and toss lightly with the vinaigrette. Divide between two plates and top with the Mt. Alice.
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.