Blogging

4 Steps to Make Grilled Cheese Great

In order to transform your Grilled Cheese from “good” to “great,” follow these four simple steps:

1. Most importantly, a great Grilled Cheese starts with… great cheese. Sometimes we are tempted to use “easy-melting” artificial cheese. I’ll let you in on a little secret: most cheese is “easy-melting” when you shred it first. So, pick a great cheese (nothing too aged, as its moisture is so low), shred it, and spread evenly on the bread.

2. Use olive oil, not butter. Many recipes recommend butter, but in the time it takes to properly toast the bread and melt the cheese, butter tends to burn. Ick. I use olive oil instead – its higher smoke point is your friend here.

3. Cover the pan and cook over low heat. Once you place your sandwich in the hot oiled pan, give it a little press with a spatula and then cover the pan and cook on low until the bottom bread is nice and toasty. Then, flip the sandwich, press again, and cover again. Your cheese will melt nicely without burning the bread.

4. Let it sit for a minute after removing from the pan. This allows the melted cheese to settle in a bit before cutting. And remember – your cheesy creation will be HOT, so bite carefully.

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5 Reasons Halloumi is One of the Coolest Cheeses on Earth

Halloumi cheese (sheep & goat milk from Cypress) is one of the coolest cheeses on earth. Here’s why:

1. It has a crazy shelf-life (brine-soaked, it almost never goes bad)
2. Its salty flavor and chewy texture make it a perfect substitute for bacon (vegetarians rejoice!)
3. It squeaks when you chew it (yes, really)
4. Cook it in a hot pan or on the grill and it won’t melt (it just gets toasty and tender)
5. It’s been made the same way for over 1,500 years. Wowzas!

Watch our video for an intense slo-mo Halloumi flipping experience!

Filed in: Blogging, Cheeses

MarCheese Madness is ON!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Behold: the brackets!

Submit all three to TRIPLE your chances of winning a fantastic Cheesetique gift bucket!

 

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Del Ray & Shirlington OPEN; Ballston OPEN at 5pm

Cheesetique Del Ray and Shirlington are OOOOOOOOPEN all day today! Cheesetique Ballston will be OPEN starting at 5pm. Please join us so we’re not lonely!

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A Cheesy Moment: Ballston’s Chef Andrew

How long have you worked at Cheesetique?
It will be 4 years in June.
Why did you want to work at Cheesetique?
I grew up on an organic dairy farm in Wisconsin where our milk was turned into cheese. I loved the menu at Cheesetique, cheese-focused with a European flair. It was exactly the direction I wanted.
What is so special about cooking with cheese?
Whenever you specialize in one thing, you have to do it well. That’s what we do. Cheese is unique because you can use it in so many ways, whether raw or cooked. Each has its own characteristics and can pair with different things. The possibilities are endless.
Is there any cheese you WON’T eat?
Baked Lemon Ricotta. It’s super-popular, but I just Don’t. Like. It. Too sweet.
Cow, sheep, or goat?
Definitely goat. My favorite cheese is fresh Chèvre. The tangy flavor is so unique – and simply spread on bread, it’s the best.

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The Battle of the Goudas

Just for kicks, we decided to have our own little Battle of the Goudas at Chez Erber. The final decision was made by a toddler, so that’s always exciting.

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Beemster XO (left), with its deeper color, advanced crystallization, and brittle texture competes against Wilde Weide, with a more buttery color and firm but creamy texture.

The first contestant was the ever-popular (and eternal Cheesetique staple) Beemster XO, a 26-month pasteurized cow’s milk Gouda renowned for its deep butterscotchy flavor and dense, chewy texture. The second, a relative youngster, was Wilde Weide, a raw cow’s milk Gouda aged for about 15 months. Both cheeses hail from the Netherlands.

The big question is: will advanced age beat out raw milk?

Aroma: You can smell Beemster’s sweet richness a mile away. Your hands smell like butterscotch after you’ve handled it. Wilde Weide is more delicate so you don’t get that same aromatic punch. Winner: Beemster.

Texture: Beemster is chewy and crunchy, bordering on brittle. Wilde Weide is also super-firm, but raw milk makes it more creamy on the palate. Winner: Wilde Weide.

Flavor: Beemster is intensely sweet and savory at the same time, tasting of salty butterscotch. Wilde Weide is more subtle, still having butterscotch notes, but not so “in-your-face.” Winner: Wilde Weide.

Overall: For a more nuanced flavor with excellent creaminess, go for Wilde Weide. If you want an intense “a little goes a long way” experience, go for Beemster.

To make the final decision, I checked with the nearest 2-year-old child, who happens to be the exact same age as the Beemster we tested. Which did she prefer? The pictures speak for themselves.

The moment of anticipation. Which will she choose?

The moment of anticipation. Which will she choose?

The first bite. Not necessarily the method I'd recommend in good company.

The first bite. Not necessarily the method I’d recommend in good company.

Hmmm...

Hmmm…

The face says it all. The winner is... Wilde Weide! (at least for this toddler)

The face says it all. The winner is… Wilde Weide! (at least for this toddler)

Filed in: Blogging, Cheeses

Merry Christmas to all and to all a GREAT cheese!

For most Christmas celebrators, today will be crazy. Last-minute shopping, herculean cooking efforts, keeping the house orderly with all those darn kids running around. During all the cheerful chaos, we wish you the most joy possible.

If you’re stuck in gift limbo, run to Cheesetique and grab a few gift cards. Trust us; they will be much-appreciated. Want something more tangible (or edible)? Grab some cheese or cool serving items while you’re here. Just remember… today is also OUR craziest day of the year. There will be a line and you will most likely wait for jolly service from the next cheesemonger. My advice: when possible, make the line your friend. Discuss your selections with others; share recipes; tell jokes. If all else fails, this is a great time to meditate (about cheese).

Merry Christmas to all and to all a GREAT cheese!

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Cheesetique is Closed Today – Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you the healthiest and happiest of holidays! See you Friday for our regular hours.

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We’re Hiring Servers & Cheesemongers!

Cheesetique is hiring Cheesemongers for our cheese shops and and Servers for our restaurants (all three locations). This is your chance to join a thriving local business that LOVES its people, products, and visitors.

A Cheesemonger is a special person, sharing lots of cheese info with our retail guests while helping them take home the perfect selections. You must be quick, super-pleasant, and patient. Don’t know much about cheese? No worries – we can teach you that!

Our Servers are ambassadors of Cheesetique, educating our restaurant guests and making sure they enjoy every part of their dining experience. You must be cheerful, quick on your feet, and cool as a cucumber.

Click here to fill out an online application. OR pop into any of the shops in person!

Find us at these addresses:
Del Ray: 2411 Mount Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA 22301
Shirlington: 4056 Campbell Ave, Arlington, VA 22206
Ballston: 800 North Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA 22203

We look forward to hearing from you! And LONG LIVE CHEESE!!!

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Taste with us… every day!

14485070_1300318360003045_6970719961585455823_nAt Cheesetique, we know there’s no better way to choose than by tasting first. As always, you can try any of our cheeses, meats, and wine list wines. But now we have a daily featured cheese and wine in the retail shop for your sampling pleasure. Come by and test drive your new favorite!

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