I’ve often said I could live on bread and cheese alone. Cheese plates, pizza, grilled cheese sandwiches, and french onion soup would top my list.
This summer a friend brought us a chunk of manchego cheese. We feel in love with it. Manchego cheese is from Spain and has a uniquely colored and patterned rind.
While in Philadelphia this summer, we visited DiBruno’s House of Cheese in the Italian market on 9th street. The Cheesemonger was incredibly generous and let the kids and I try a variety of cheeses, some the kids enjoyed and others they did not. When he asked what we liked and I mentioned the kid’s affection for what we call in our house, “the flat white cheese” (aka, provolone), he offered up a sample. When the kids made that face that let me know they don’t like what they’ve just eaten and are looking for my approval to spit it out, I quickly nodded my head no. We obviously aren’t buying the good stuff. We left with some homemade pepperoni (which is the best I’ve ever had, seriously), a copy of Di Bruno Bros. House of Cheese: A Guide to Wedges, Recipes, and Pairings (I’ve decided I need to learn more, which of course leads to more tastings), and a chunk of manchego.
We’ve actually bought manchego about half a dozen times, with the intent of trying it in biscotti. But we’ve eaten it every time and it never lasted long enough for us to experiment. In fact, that little chunk of goodness our friend brought this summer prompted me to add a food related item to my bucket list: buy an entire wheel of cheese! You know, the big kind that you usually see on display that you have to tap to see if it is for real or fake? Call me crazy.
We sliced these biscotti super thin and baked them longer, so they resembled crackers or crisps. The savory manchego cheese and just a hint of sweetness are perfect for dunking in your favorite dip, topping with chicken salad, or using as croutons in soup.
We also used them to make a brushetta appetizer. We layered Manchego Biscotti with roasted garlic, which we smeared across the top before added a few slices of carmelized onion. We then added some oven roasted tomato and drizzled it with rosemary infused olive oil. We topped it all with a slice of manchego cheese and popped it under the broiler for 5-7 minutes. Goodness all around!
Photo credit: Most photos taken for this blog entry were styled, photographed, and edited by our daughter.
YIELD: approximately two dozen
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup finely grated manchego cheese, plus 1/2 cup for the top of the logs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg and 2 egg whites (keep the yolks to brush over the top of the logs)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the rack in the middle of the oven.
2. In a large flat-bottomed bowl, mix the flour and manchego cheese by hand to coat the cheese and keep it from sticking together. Whisk in the sugar, baking powder, and salt.
3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg whites.
4. With a rubber spatula, stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until the dough just starts to come together. Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough in the bowl until all the ingredients are incorporated and the dough is tacky.
5. Separate the dough in half. Form three logs, approximately 3 inches wide and 1 inch high on a parchment lined baking sheet. Leave several inches between the logs, the dough will spread as it bakes.
6. Whisk the two egg yolks and brush liberally over the top of each log. Sprinkle with additional grated manchego cheese.
7. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes, or until the tops begin to crack or split. Transfer logs to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
8. Transfer biscotti logs to a cutting board. Slice the biscotti on a diagonal and place cut side down on the same parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for an additional 30 minutes, turning the biscotti once halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
What to do with the ends #86: Feed them to your camel, if you’ve got one.