Friday, October 1, 2010

Snofrisk: A Special Surprise From the Chicago Food Film Festival

Photo Credit

In my view, the first ever Chicago Food Film Festival was a resounding success. Purple Asparagus walked away with a big wad of cash from donations as the event's non-profit beneficiary; I got to try a few new varieties from my favorite burger joint, DMK Burger Bar; I drank my fill of Portuguese rose thanks to Lush Wine and Spirits; and spent two delightful evening with my two favorite farmers, Jenny and Bob Borchardt of Harvest Moon Farms. Oh, and, yes, the movies were pretty entertaining as well. Truthfully, unfortunately, I didn't get to see much of the film festival as I was helping the volunteers in the kitchen, but the bits I did see (including The Best Hamburger in America) seemed very well made.

But the most happy, unintended, consequence of the weekend was my discovery of Snowfrisk, a spreadable goat/cheese from the makers of Jarlsberg. Jarlsberg donated a whole bunch of cheese, what would have seemed like an endless supply, but for the seemingly endless line of people anxious to try it. When I saw the prominently displayed Norwegian flag, I knew I had to commandeer a package to bring home for my son.

As I've mentioned here many times, I love cheese, all kinds of cheese. And this one is no exception. 80% goat and 20%, the Snowfrisk has a delightful tangy taste, rounded out by its saltiness. Softer than chevre, more substantial than cream cheese, this is going to be my new favorite for bagels, dips, and cheese spreads, like my very favorite pimento cheese. This week, I spread it on corn cakes and sprinkled some zucchini-thyme compote on it for dinner side. Thor loved it minus the zucchini. I'm not sure where it's sold yet, that's on my "to investigate" list. For now, I'll enjoy the remaining package. Just this morning, I spread it onto a poor man's bagel (two pieces of toast sandwiched with Snowfrisk with a whole cut into it) at Thor's suggestion.

I use Alice Waters' recipe for Corn Cakes found in Chez Panisse Vegetables. It's flawless and cannot be improved upon, so I won't try. It's also a book that I recommend to anyone who shops regularly at a farmers' market or buys a CSA as it provides recipes for common ingredients as well as ones those off the beaten path. I then top them with this Zucchini Compote. I would only note that these cakes can be made ahead of time and reheated in the oven even though I know that Alice would not approve.

Zucchini-Thyme Compote
Makes approximately 1 1/2 cups

1 medium zucchini, cut into small dice
4 large garlic cloves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a non-stick saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant a few seconds. Add zucchini and cook until softened approximately 7 minutes. Add thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Use to top corn cakes.

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