We’re mixing things up a bit today. In addition to a recipe, we’re bringing you some cheese board eye candy. So pour yourself a glass of wine and join us for this post that is sponsored by Castello Cheese and created in partnership with our friends at Folie à Deux Wines and Honest Cooking.
Read on to see what we came up with for Castello’s #CheeseChallenge campaign and for a chance to win a trip for two to Napa. Because what goes great with cheese? Wine of course!
The key to a beautiful cheese board is variety, right? To celebrate spring, we loved this combination of color, texture and flavor. This board has:
Color – Red from those radishes, pink from savory sausage, gold from grainy mustard, blue from that super textured Castello Danish Blue.
Texture – Crunch from fresh radishes dipped in butter and salt, creaminess from smooth Castello Creamy Havarti, chew from Marcona almonds.
Flavor – The most fun thing about a great cheese board is enjoying all the different flavor combinations it presents. And the possibilities here are endless. There’s salty, savory, tangy notes in all the elements of the board, including the cheese. Warm, puffy gougeres provide a light and irresistible base for each bite.
Filled with fresh herbs and tart, slightly sweet pickled ramps, these gougeresare an addition that will surely impress, but are actually incredibly easy to execute.
Gougeres are one of those fancy-sounding appetizers that seem like they’d be the sole territory of fancy French restaurants. But the truth is, they are made out of ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen, freeze great, and come out of the oven as warm lighter-than-air puffs that snack dreams are made of.
And if you really want to make your own cheese board with an eye towards spring, be sure to include fresh, red radishes alongside those creamy cheeses.
Ever tried radishes dipped in butter and salt? It’s darn near life-changing. The creamy butter is the perfect complement to the bite of tart radishes. And a little bite of radish in butter and salt offers a fresh counterpoint to the rich, addictive flavors of the cheese.
But that’s not all, of course. No cheese board is complete without wine. At least not in the Inquiring Chef kitchen.
We loved the bold, dark berry flavors of Folie à Deux Cabernet Sauvignon. Want to try it yourself at the source? Click here to enter to win a trip for two to the Folie à Deux tasting room in Napa Valley!
All this cheese and wine talk is putting a serious damper on productivity here today. As is the early Spring weather that has hit Kansas and has all of us, including Molly and Clara, itching for any opportunity to get outside. Sending spring thoughts your way, wherever you may be!
And if you’re looking for other great ideas for your next cheese board, try this super easy carrot chutney or check out the Castello site for tons of great ideas.
- 1 cup Water
- 8 Tbsp (1 stick) Unsalted Butter
- 1½ tsp Salt
- 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 4 Eggs + 1 Egg (for brushing the tops)
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped Chives (or substitute any fresh herbs)
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped Pickled Ramps (store-bought or homemade)
- Preheat oven to 400F / 204C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray it lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
- Combine water, butter and salt in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Remove the pan from heat and whisk in the flour. Return the pan to heat and stir until the batter forms a smooth paste and pulls away from the sides of the pan.
- Transfer dough to the bowl of a standing mixer and mix a few times on low to cool (this will prevent the eggs from scrambling in the hot dough).
- Turn the mixer on low speed and add 4 eggs one at a time, allowing each to incorporate fully before adding the next. Increase the speed and beat on medium until smooth.
- Add chives and ramps and mix just until evenly incorporated.
- Use a pastry bag or Tablespoon to transfer even portions of dough to prepared baking sheet (this should make about 30 Tablespoon-sized gougeres). Whisk the final egg and brush it over the top of the gougeres.
- Bake gougeres until lightly golden on top and puffed (the insides should sound hollow when you tap the outside), 20 to 25 minutes.
- Serve warm.