Photo by Daphne Zepos
Springtime. Nanny goats are at the end of kidding season and producing more milk than at any other time of year. An abundance of fresh little goat cheeses floods the cheese market.
Among the imaginative cheesemongers who seek new ways to experience this seasonal wealth is Suzanne Wolcott at Binny's in Chicago, who marinates, spices, and enhances those little cheeses with incredible dexterity.
As an example: she uses one of Judy Shad's Capriole hand-ladled chèvre rounds to make a slightly sweet, lemony dessert. The idea, she points out, is to turn the little goat cheese into dessert without having to use it as an ingredient. This way, you keep the integrity and character of the cheese.
She blots the cheese with paper to dry off some of the whey, then adds a spoonful of lemon curd on the top. "I thought of the lemon curd because Judy's cheeses are mild and lemony in flavor," she says. Then she pours a mixture of pale wildflower honey syrup diluted with elderflower liqueur over the round and lets it soak for three days.
All the flavors meld and blend in with the cheese to transform it into a refreshing, mild, delicate, dessert. Here she has decorated it with unpeeled marcona almonds from Spain, a thin wedge of lemon, and a few lemon leaves.
At Binny's Bar, they serve Suzanne's cheese with an elderflower champagne cocktail, but it works well all on its own
Binny's Beverage Depot
1132 South Jefferson
Chicago, IL 60607