Dairy Farmers of Canada

Last week the elves at the Dairy Farmers of Canada delivered a bag of treats for me to sample. Unsure of how these elves would protect their dairy treats, ripped into the package and found an insulated lunch bag (with freezer block) full of cheese. Much to the oohs and aahs of my coworkers, this made for a better afternoon. Other food items in the back include honey, fresh rosemary, nuts, and apples. There was also a simple apron and serving platter wrapped in tissue. I must say, this was a pleasant treat on a very cold day in Edmonton.

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But what was this for? Well see, those sneaky cheese loving farmers put the elves to work and developed delicious holiday recipes using category winners from the 2013 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix. Sounds impressive. So far so good! One of the recipes, an oven-roasted queso fresco cheese with apples, is supposed to be the perfect start to a party. And, we have lots of those at this time of year. Again, so far so good. The recipe was going to be simple, light and delicious, I’m sold. Not what is it! While, it is made using one of this year’s Grand Prix winners, Latin Foods Queso Fresco.

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So when I got home, I turned on my oven and started slicing and dicing. I put the cheese down as a base (no slicing; I would cube it next time so it mingles better) and scatter freshly chopped rosemary on topic. Followed by a drizzle of honey as well as melted butter, a handful of crushed walnut and surrounding fort of gala apple cut into wedges.  After 30 minutes in a hot oven, I sprinkled the dish with pepper and spread it over fresh bread and crackers. Was it good? Well, lets say good is a bit of an understatement. I love cheese, but rarely do I take the time to add these many additional ingredients and then roast it in an oven. The caramelized honey apples, savory notes of rosemary, earthy bite of nuts, and ooey gooey cheese. Winner winner, chicken dinner.

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