I have been living in a cheese deprived state for the last four years, sequestered on the most isolated land mass in the world. I am happy to say that there is a special little shop on Church Street in Charleston that is full of wonderful and interesting cheeses from all over the world. They have more than cheese too; wonderful wines, breads, olives, honeycomb, crackers, nuts, condiments and a collection of incredible charcuterie ! To me this could be called Nirvana… Cheese Heaven!
Of course I brought along Mr. Garlic and we parked on the quiet street as a carriage rode past. Inside was a wonderland of cheese. My Facebook friend Trudi is one of the owners of this fabulous shop and she had lots of treats in store for us. We sampled, clicked pictures and yes, bought some awesome cheese!
Trudi and Mr. Garlic
Three partners brought this lovely shop from the Jersey Shore where it was called The Wine Concierge to Charleston where it gained the catchy new name and a city look and feel. We in Charleston can count ourselves blessed! Sommelier, Dr. Michael Cohen (a retired orthopedic surgeon) and his wife Patricia (former owner of a custom bridal business) joined forces with Trudi Wagner who held a seat on the NYSE for Goldman Sachs. They each bring to the table a group of talents that make this shop something very special.
You can find goat.cheese.cow on Facebook, on their website or by driving down Church Street and finding #106. Don’t live in Charleston? No problem, they also offer online shopping and direct shipping. Of course their selection changes frequently, so if you want something special you can also give Trudy a call at 843.480.2526. They are open Monday-Saturday from 11:00-6:00. They do party platters, picnic baskets and more.
Honeycomb from Savannah Bee
This recipe came about, as many do, with an inspiration from another cook. My friend Caterina Borg who has the fabulous food blog Good Food Gourmet. She made this post back in October about poached pears stuffed with Brie. She was inspired by another food blog Palachinka. Here is Palachinka’s original post with a different spin on the theme. Palachinka’s post was inspired by a recipe in Sale&Pepe magazine, Serbian issue for December 2009.
I had planned to make this as an appetizer, but could not find small pears, so I made it as a first course, served in bowls with a reduction of the poaching liquid spooned over. This would also go great on some lightly dressed greens.
My spin was of course quite different, from the poaching liquid to the finish, and yet all three of our dishes have the same basic components, pears, cheese and bacon. What is not to love? Here is my version of the concept which dazzled my dinner guests last night:
Enough wine to cover 6 pears in a pot (2-3 bottles). I used prosecco, but you could use any wine you like. Port is great for this as would be a merlot. Each with their own distinctions.
Aromatics: I used fennel, pink pepper corns, thyme, cinnamon sticks, big slices of orange peel and cloves. Star anise would be nice this too.
A small wheel of Brie Cheese (You will have leftover cheese.)
12-14 slices of bacon
1 1 /2 cups brown sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons of Chipotle powder
- Peel pears and place in a large pan so that they are in a single layer.
- Cover with wine and add aromatics
- Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, remove pears to another bowl for cooling.
- Turn the burner up to a rolling simmer and reduce the poaching liquid by half.
- When pears are cool, cut in half, scoop out the center with a melon baller and fill the cavities with peeled brie, then put back together.
- Wrap each pear with 2 slices of bacon, if you have a really large pear, you might need three slices. Hold together with toothpicks.
- Roll the pears in the seasoned brown sugar
- Place standing up on a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, or until the bacon is crispy.
- Place each pear in a bowl, mine were laying down, but you could place them standing up too. Spoon the remaining poaching liquid with the aromatics over each pear. Serve with a sharp knife so the bacon is easily cut through.