The Cheesemonger’s Kitchen: Getting Beyond the Cheesy Basics

October 14, 2011, 11:13 am

October is American Cheese Month, and what better way to celebrate than with this cookbook full of wonderfully delicious recipes that all feature cheese as the standout ingredient.

The Cheesemonger’s Kitchen: Celebrating Cheese in 90 Recipes, moves cheese into a meal’s starring role. The recipes are the product of chef and cheesemonger Chester Hastings’s 25 years of experience, and they take full advantage of the varied flavors of cheese in ways that are both traditional and innovative. The book also features wine pairing tips from acclaimed sommelier Brian Kalliel and photographs by Joseph De Leo.

The recipes go beyond our usual assumptions of how cheese finds its way onto the table. The Cheesemonger’s Kitchen includes instructions for tasty appetizers, savory vegetable dishes, pastas and soups, as well as main courses and desserts. From the expected artichoke frittata to the surprising parmigianino popovers, these recipes—accompanied by 50 mouth-watering color photographs—will have you running straight to your local cheesemonger, asking for their finest Roquefort or rogue river blue.

A seasonal standout was the recipe for butternut squash with fresh Tuscan pecorino and devil's honey, which we’ve managed to get our hands on to share with our readers.

We also loved the creative dessert recipes, including pecorino fritters with blackberry honey and olive oil cupcakes with lemon mascarpone frosting.

The Cheesemonger’s Kitchen also offers tips for pairing wine with cheese, arranging cheese boards, and advice for choosing and storing cheese. Reader will also find great tips for incorporating flavors that accentuate cheese characteristics, including pears, honey and nuts.

The Cheesemonger’s Kitchen is available online, or, if you happen to be in the Los Angeles Area, stop by the celebrated gourmet emporium Joan’s on Third, where you can taste first-hand some of Chester Hastings’s culinary creations.