A Weekend Comté Cheese Plate
Almost every Saturday morning, Carlos goes to the Farmer’s Market to get veggies, fruits, homemade jams, fermented foods and pickles. Then he runs to the cheese store to buy cheese and bread. The last stop is always the wine store. After this intense morning, he gets home, starts making lunch and thinking about dinner for the two evenings. He normally makes a batch of their three favorite dips to snack on and also to have for the weekday lunches. He makes chickpea hummus following a recipe from friend Enda McEvoy, from when he lived in Ireland working as a cheesemonger. Then he makes a small amount of baba ghanoush following a recipe he picked up while a grad student in New York. Lastly, he makes a biggish batch of Sikil pak, a Maya pumpkin seed dip from Diana Kennedy’s book.
These dips can be enjoyed with some pickles and sometimes smoked fish or oysters, or even sardines. But the center of the board is always a good chunk of cheese. This can be Comté AOP or some hard sheep’s milk cheese. He eats a lot of Alpine style cheeses, mostly because their quality is always assured when buying from a good cheese-counter. Plus, they are the perfect snack food. The great thing about this cheese plate is that you are getting a bit of everything: protein, nuts, good fat, veggies, fermented foods, and some carbs. It normally fills him up for a couple of hours, so he doesn’t have to worry about an early dinner. This then allows him to go to the pottery studio in the early evening and get some good practice time. (The three bowls in the photos are his creations.)