Originally posted by sk8
ok... actually the real reason i came in here was for cheese suggestions but i got sidetracked.
I need cheese suggestions for my sister's b-day. I don't eat cheese so I have no idea. all cheeses must be able to be purchased at a grocery store (but a major big one).
her favourite cheeses include old cheddar, this soft one involving apricots and brie-type cheeses. I don't think she likes blue types.
ok ... GO!
in a big box grocer, just go with what you can get - loblaws has some interesting things sometimes.
Friulano is a mild cheese from northern italy that i know they always stock.
They have their own brand of aged cheddar which is good but pricy.
They always have some sort of brie or camembert type soft rind cheese too. If you want to go over the top here they also stock triple cremes the names of which escape me right now, they are like a brie in flavour but much more luscious (almost like eating room temp butter but with a cheesy flavour - it's obviously not terribly good for you because it tastes awesome)
They usually have oka, even the low fat version has some good flavour though not the same texture - it's kind of like a muenster cheese, pungent but soft and creamy.
Some parmesan cheese, picked into bit size shards can be nice too, there's a special tool for this but a flat screwdriver works well.
you can buy ricotta too and follow this very basic recipe. you cannot use low fat though as it's too watery - you can put the cheese in a cheese cloth, weight it down and drain for about 6 hours first but it's not necessary.
dump a container of ricotta onto an oiled baking tray. sprinkle with salt, pepper, dried oregano (or fresh) some chili flakes and then drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 500 for about 5 minutes. it should develop a hint of a crunchy crust and get molten inside - a very good use for ricotta.
There are ways to gild all of these lilies but i think it is nice to have some condiments on the side. Maybe some homemade (or not) jam, a little honey, some nuts, some fruits, some nice bread (thin sliced baguettes, toasted in the oven on low heat for about 15 minutes so that they're crunchy but not melba-fied). The thing with not living near a good cheese shop is that you have to do a bit of work (isntead of just leaving the cheese to shine) but you can put together an awesome spread.