A house-made San Marzano tomato tapenade from Chef Andrew at London, Ontario’s Craft Farmacy is the perfect partner for Ontario-crafted artisan cheeses delicately fried to further tease out the flavour and texture for an incredible treat. The two cheeses featured here are available in fine cheese shops across Ontario.
Guernsey Girl, from Upper Canada Cheese of Jordan Station, Ontario, is a grilling cheese crafted using milk from a local Guernsey cow herd. Guernsey milk is lusciously creamy and contains high amounts of protein and beta carotene, which gives it a golden yellow colour.
Oxford Harvest from Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese in Woodstock, Ontario is a milk and creamy washed rind cow’s milk cheese made in the style of the Swiss Mutchli.
From Chef Andrew Wolwowicz at Craft Farmacy…
“The inspiration for the 2-fry cheese comes directly for my love of cheese and tomatoes! What a combination eh?! Since there is only a small window for tomato season, I became obsessed with creating a dish that was somewhat bold, yet approachable, where I could feature the tomato through different seasons. So, I took two high quality ingredients—natures ‘partners in crime’ one can say—and executed what I feel is a dish that challenges your senses from start to finish. From the rich, savoury, aromatic San Marzano tomatoes to the tang and delicate texture of the local cheeses, both ingredients, while stunning on their own, become a whole new dramatic flavour experience. The magic is in the details when preparing this dish. Take your time, watch your heat and your senses will reap the reward! I truly feel this simple dish goes far beyond nourishment!”
For the San Marzano Tomato Tapenade…
In a large heavy bottom sauce pot, pour in oil, warm over medium heat.
Add slivered garlic and red onion and sweat for 5 minutes.
Add crushed tomatoes into pot and stir.
Place tightly wrapped bouquet garni into pot.
Add balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and simmer stirring occasionally for about 2.5 hours.
When tomatoes have cooked down by almost half, add manzanilla olives and caper and simmer over low heat for another 45 minutes. ( the tomatoes should look darker and have a thicker texture).
Remove bouquet garni and reserve finished tapenade.
For the Guernsey Girl cheese…
In a medium bowl, combine cornstarch, fennel pollen and salt.
Dip each piece of sliced Guernsey Girl cheese into seasoned cornstarch to coat and set aside on paper towel.
Repeat until all slices are coated.
For the Oxford Harvest cheese…
Place flour, egg wash and panko in 3 medium bowls to create a breading station for the Oxford Harvest cheese batons.
One at a time, roll each Oxford Harvest baton first in flour, then egg wash, then Panko and set aside on paper towel.
Repeat until all batons are breaded.
For frying the cheese…
In a deep fryer or deep cast iron pan, bring oil to 350°F (177°C).
Place cheese in heated fryer or pan and fry at 350°F (177°C) and shallow fry in oil until browned, then turn over until you have a crust on both sides and the cheese inside just starts to bubble.
For the grilled crostini…
Brush crostini with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with kosher salt.
Place on hot grill until golden and crusty, then flip to do the same on the other side of crostini.
Serve hot cheese with warm tapenade and warm grilled crostini
Speak Like a Chef:
Bouquet Garni: fresh herbs bundled in fresh leeks, twine or cheesecloth and used to flavour soups, stews and other dishes