This was a simple delight, and a bit of a surprising combination. Not that there's any secret to the simpatico between apples and cheese, but the maple syrup (Bide-A-Wee brand) snuck in there as an unusual and pleasant liaison. Walnut bread--a favorite (of mine and our customers) during the Real Bread era, and which I've rarely made since we stopped the mass baking--completed a wholly satisfying breakfast plate.
Roth Käse Butterkäse is a soft, buttery cow's milk cheese from the folks who make award-winning gruyère-type cheeses down in Monroe, Wisconsin. It is mild and mouth-filling, not a challenging cheese, just an entirely enjoyable one. It reminds me a bit of havarti. We pick it up from our friend Renee's Bolen-Vale cheese shop on highway 64.
For the apple: Peel and quarter a good-sized firm tart apple. Remove the core and cut each quarter again so you have eight wedges. Mix a quarter-cup of cornmeal with a bit of salt. Dip the apple pieces in milk, then toss them with cornmeal to coat. Fry in butter over medium heat, turning several times, until the cornmeal crust is brown and the apples are tender. Serve with slices of cheese and maple syrup.
Walnut bread: Add whole raw walnuts to a sourdough rye or whole wheat dough in a ratio of 1 part walnuts to 4 parts dough (e.g., 4 pounds dough, 1 pound walnuts). Knead the walnuts into the dough just before you shape and proof the loaves pre-baking. Adding walnuts to the dough when you first mix it will make the bread go purple in a reaction with the tannins in the nuts.
And I can't go without mentioning the coffee! Café au lait made with really strong Café du Monde New Orleans coffee, from a can that one Don Roberts of Otter Creek dropped off at our place some while back, with warmed raw milk from the Bartz's Bolen Vale Farm. This was the farthest thing from just-roasted arabica beans freshly ground and gently brewed, but it was delicious--tasted just like Paris.
|Bide-A-Wee breakfast table--liberally garnished with apples full of charcacter|
Text and photos copyright 2011 by Brett Laidlaw