Monday, June 13, 2011

Yarra Valley Feta - My Marinated Addiction!

Has anyone else noticed that Haagen Daz ice cream is no longer being sold in pints? Yup, it is now a 14 ounce package, not 16 ounces - the officially approved measurement for a pint of ice cream. I noticed this last night when I was at the store picking up some vanilla to use as a base for some tasty rhubarb/orange/thyme sauce I had whipped up (Check out my other blog for updates on my new preserving fetish, if you haven't already!).  I didn't notice until I got home, and boy was I peeved! Everywhere you look these days, people are cutting corners to save a few bucks. I'm usually ok with that except when it comes to my gastronomic addictions.

The good news is that I have a new addiction, and it somehow feels less dirty and corporate than Haagen Daz - though just as creamy and delicious - just think savory, not sweet. Yarra Valley Dairy in Australia produces the most addictive marinated Persian style Feta cheese I have ever tasted. And at just $12 a pound, I can get my cheese on for cheap. A little goes a long way stuffed into baby peppers and spread on morning (and afternoon snack) toast. With a couple of baby tomatoes, it's a perfect fix. I have been pondering blending some of it up with a little more olive oil to make a tasty vinaigrette for an arugula salad, or as a topping for a nice skirt steak. Pasta primavera could be nicely tarted up with the addition of some of this dreamy feta too.

The good farmers at the Yarra Valley Dairy make a delicious, creamy, tangy-sweet cow's milk feta and then they go and gild the lily by marinating it in Extra Virgin Olive oil, garlic and thyme. The feta itself is so much better than anything you can get at your local megamart, and then after steeping in the bath of the gods (Can't you imagine Athena and Zeus getting comfy in a tub of olive oil? Just saying...), it is just to die for.

If you can find this marinated beauty, buy it, take it home and use and abuse it in as many ways as you can think of. After coming back from the cheese shop, I hit the grocery store for a few staples, and found Yarra Valley Feta in the fancy cheese section. Hooray! A little more pricey at $6.99/6 oz, but not bad in a  pinch. If you can't find it, you can perk up a little grocery store feta with olive oil, peppercorns, rosemary, thyme, tarragon, or what have you and be almost as happy. David Lebovitz has some helpful instructions here.

So now I have two dairy addictions - Haagen Daz and Yarra Valley Feta. (Well, and basically any cheese you put in front of me) Sweet and savoury. New and exciting cheese dreams, here I come!

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