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Thursday, June 7, 2012

CABRALES WITH 14TH C RECIPE FOR LETTUCE HEARTS SOPES IN ALMOND MILKAU GRATIN

Grahame B. Harrison
entering limestone caves in
Picos de Europa near Cabrales
Photo by: Lord-Williams 
queso cabraliego, Spain’s major blue-veined cheese is made with mixture of about 1/3 each of ewes, goats and cow’s milk. It is a soft cheese spread on bread, beaten with cider or diced and eaten alone as a snack or dessert. This is mixed as each animal is milked. Formerly, it was put in the stomach of a recently slaughtered goat as the rennin in its stomach contains casein (see cuajada/curds). Today special tubs are used which consist of double sides that are hallow in the middle. Hot water is run through them, which initiates the curdling process. The name for this cheese is derived from cabra, goat and Cabrales, one of the localities where it is made at mountain farms in Asturias, mainly around Cabrales and Penamellera Alta. It is a strong-smelling cheese with a powerful flavor. The paste is an uneven dull white with yellow-brown patches and irregular blue-brown patches and irregular veining. The rind is grayish-red and crusty and was wrapped in sycamore leaves before the invention of plastic bags. As it must be cured in humid and ventilated conditions, it is taken to the natural caves facing north in limestone mountains of karst formation with fissures, sinkholes and underground drainage. The process takes about six months or more depending on the degree of maturity desired. Today in the mountains around Cordiñanes (León), this tradition continues as well. Near by, a cheese factory in Posada advertises that it cures its cheese in caverns but that is questionable. Spaniards claim that French pilgrims on the Way of St James, which passes through this area, took the recipe home to Roquefort. The French protest declaring that they were the first producers of blue cheese and the Spaniards copied their recipe. See villalón. [Inventario. 1996:199-201; Misc. Conversations. Concha de Tielve. 4-5 Jun 03; and Trapiello. 1994:141]

LETTUCE HEART SOPES IN ALMOND MILK AU GRATIN ADAPTED FROM SENT SOVÍ CXIIII QUI PARLA CON SE FFA LETUGAT AB LET DE AMELLES. p 140
For 6 persons

cabrales
Photo by: Manolo-lopez
Ingredients

5 hearts of lettuce without green leaves
2 chopped onions
4 c mutton broth
4 c goat milk or almond milk
1 ½ c crumbled Cabrales cheese

Preparation

Wash the lettuce and boil it for 15 minutes in water with onions. Drain off the water and let cool.

Ring them out well by hand. Purée lettuce and onions in a food processer and put it in a pot to cook over moderate heat uncovered with the mutton broth. When almost done, about 10 minutes, and the broth has been reduced, add milk and continue cooking. Mix half the cheese into the mixture and add salt to taste. Pour this into soup bowls and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.


1 comment:

  1. Cabrales is one of most oustanding Spanish cheeses and one of the most imitated, too. When you buy it in origin, they pierce the cheese with a king of needle to try the degree of maduration (as they do with ham).
    When I was a child, it was not unfrequent (if you had adquired the cheese in one of those caves or villages nearby), to find not only a strong smell, but a population of small wriggling inhabitants that were supposed to add "taste" and "authenticity", to dismay of us children, who were compelled by the peasants to eat them as part of the "fun". In fact, insect larves were a consequence of the lack of higyene, and add nothing to the process of maduration of the cheese, as we were told...

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