We’re Thankful for Cheese.

We hope everyone had a ~spooky~ Halloween! The best part of November is arguably the discount candy at the drugstore, but the second best part is that it’s officially Thanksgiving season! What’s more heart warming than good food, spending time with family, and giving thanks?

This holiday season, we’re thankful for cheese: sharp, savory parmesan; ooey, gooey brie; bright, tangy cheddar. But we also want to remind all you less-than-adventurous eaters out there that there’s more to life than cheddar. The next time you’re at the deli, why not go for that surprising manchego or that stinky taleggio? Personally, we at Countryman are partial to chèvre, especially for cooking—it’s spreadable, creamy, and distinctively different from cow’s milk cheese in flavor and texture.

Here are two recipes to start you off on your journey of cheesy exploration, just in time for the holidays, from our Farm Table Cookbook series:

Roasted Root Vegetable and Artisan Handcrafted Sausage Stuffing
Recipe by Tracey Medeiros, from The Connecticut Farm Table Cookbook

9781581576412

This rustic stuffing is all about subtle layers of flavor. It has a creamy tang from the goat cheese and a sweet earthiness from the roasted rutabaga, red beets, carrot, and onion. The citrus notes from the lemon zest provide an extra punch of brightness, which is the perfect counterpoint to the savory artisan handcrafted sausage. Serve this stuffing with beef, pork, roast chicken, or turkey.

SERVES 12 TO 14

Ingredients

  • 1 (2-pound) rutabaga, ends trimmed, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 pound red beets, scrubbed, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces

    Roasted Root Vegetable and Sausage Stuffing

    Roasted Root Vegetable and Sausage Stuffing

  • 1 small onion, cut into 1/3-inch-wide wedges
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh sage or thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Connecticut honey, or to taste
  • 1 (1- to 1 1/2-pound) loaf artisan bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 pound artisan handcrafted sausage, such as red wine and garlic pork sausage, casings removed
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1 (4-ounce) log chèvre cheese (We recommend Vermont Creamery’s chèvre—it’s delicious!)
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock, or as needed

Method of Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a baking sheet and set aside.
  2. Place the rutabaga, beets, carrot, onion, garlic, rosemary, and sage in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with the olive oil and honey and toss to combine, making sure to coat all the vegetables well.
  3. Spread the vegetable mixture on the prepared baking sheet. Roast, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just fork-tender, about 45 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Place the bread cubes on an ungreased baking sheet and toast in the oven, tossing occasionally, until crisp and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  5. While the bread cubes are toasting, cook the sausage: Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, crumbling with a fork, until just browned and slightly pink in the center, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  6. Lightly butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Place the bread cubes in a large bowl. Mash the garlic with the back of a fork or spoon. Add the vegetable mixture, including the mashed garlic, to the bread cubes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to the bread stuffing. Stir in the eggs, chèvre, lemon zest, and parsley. Gently mix all the ingredients together; do not over mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the stuffing into the prepared baking dish. Pour the stock over the surface of the stuffing. If the mixture seems too dry, add more stock until the desired consistency is achieved.
  7. Lightly coat the dull side of a sheet of foil with nonstick cooking spray and cover the baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover the stuffing and continue to bake until the top is crisp and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let the stuffing rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Cumin-Roasted Tri-colored Carrots with Chèvre
Recipe by Tracey Medeiros, from The Vermont Farm Table Cookbook

vermont

If you ask most people what color a carrot is, the immediate response is usually “orange.”  However, the very first carrots, which were grown over 1,000 years ago, were actually purple, red, and yellow.  Today these many-colored carrots have made a comeback.  They vary slightly in sweetness and crispness from standard orange carrots, but they can be prepared the same way.  If you are unable to find rainbow carrots, your typical carrot will also work well for this dish.

SERVES 6

Ingredients

  • 12 rainbow carrots, assorted colors, scrubbed, thick ends halved lengthwise, and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Vermont apple cider
  • 1 1/2 ounces chèvre, crumbled (1/3 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro

Method of Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a baking sheet and set aside.
  2. Place the carrots in a large bowl, add the olive oil, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until evenly coated.
  3. Place the carrots in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Roast, tossing occasionally, until tender and golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle the carrots with the cider and salt to taste, and toss to coat. Transfer the carrots to a platter and sprinkle the goat cheese and cilantro over the top.

Tracey Medeiros is a food writer, food stylist, and recipe developer
and tester. traceyShe writes “The Farmhouse Kitchen: A Guide To Eating Local” column for Edible Green Mountains Magazine. Tracey is also the author of Dishing Up Vermont and was honored as 2010 National Indie Excellence Awards Finalist and 2009 Best Books Award Finalist. She travels regionally as a guest cooking instructor sharing her commitment to the sustainable food movement while providing skillful cooking demonstrations. You can read more at her website: www.traceymedeiros.com.

The Connecticut Farm Table Cookbook can be found at any of these retailers:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
IndieBound (Support your local bookseller!)

The Vermont Farm Table Cookbook can also be found at any of these retailers:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
IndieBound

Both cookbooks can also be found at many farmer’s markets, boutiques, and restaurants. Happy cooking!

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