As a Sam’s Club Sharing the Savings Blogger, we are sometimes to asked to share NEW product offerings with you, and this time the new products are cheesy!
Around 2 dozen different varieties of internationally acclaimed cheeses are coming to your local Sam’s Club store and I had the opportunity to try a few of them and create a recipe from them.
If you’d like to learn more about all the cheeses and enter to win a trip to France (um…hello? FRANCE? I probably am not allowed to enter that…) you can check out the Sam’s Club New Cheeses Facebook application. You can also learn more about the cheeses and other great fall offerings from Sam’s Club on their Fall Harvest site.
This is some info about the new cheeses direct from Sam’s Club:
Cheese is one of the world’s favorite foods and Sam’s Club is adding more than a dozen internationally acclaimed varieties to its fresh department. Some of the finest artisan cheese products from England, France, Ireland, Italy and Spain will begin to arrive in select Sam’s Club locations in August, and in the coming months.
Sam’s Club expects to offer the new imported cheeses in more than 150 clubs late this fall. The additional product will include both regular and special seasonal items to complement Sam’s Club domestic cheese offering, which includes sliced deli cheese as well as hard and soft cheeses.
“Consumers are hungry for new food products because they are experimenting more with food at home and see it as form of entertainment,” said Shawn Baldwin, vice president, Fresh and Deli, Sam’s Club. “We have identified some of the highest quality European brands and will be bringing them to the U.S. for the first time. These family owned operations are thrilled to serve Sam’s Club members.”
Some of the most notable imports include Parmiagiano Reggiano, a prestigious Italian Cheese that is aged for a minimum of two years and the Irish Dairy Board’s Ballyshannon Cheddar.
Many of the imported cheeses at Sam’s Club are D.O.P certified (Product Denominazione of Origin) to ensure the quality and production methods meet exact standards, and that the product is developed only in the region specified. In addition to verifying authenticity, by working with its suppliers, Sam’s Club can identify the exact production of many of the imported cheeses, bringing greater visibility from the farm, to the manufacturer, to the club, which is another step in ensuring superior quality and consistency.
Sam’s Club actually sent me 14 of the new varieties and asked me to prepare a recipe with my favorite from among them.
It is no secret that I am not the best cook around, but I was determined to find a recipe that I could prepare myself and not mess up. After eating gourmet Macaroni and Cheese in New Orleans, I was pretty sure that a 4-cheese mac-n-cheese was the way to go, so I scoured the web for a recipe and found a fairly simple one on the Food Network site that I modified slightly based upon the cheeses I had available. I also looked at some other recipes to see what cheeses tended to be used more frequently so I made sure that the cheeses I combined actually tasted good together.
The 4 cheeses I selected:
- Monti Trentini Asiago Fresco:Asiago Fresco is made from full-fat milk, specifically chosen from the high mountain and valley pastures of the Trentino region.
- DaVinci Gouda: This full cream cheese is made from pure Dutch cow’s milk and filled with a subtle balance of tomatoes, olives and seasonings. A dash of garlic completes the masterpiece.
- Mario Batali Parmigiano Reggiano: Parmigiano Reggiano is a hard Italian cheese made from cow’s milk; its origins date back to the 13th century. This cheese is aged for 22-24 months to three years, and has a compact grainy texture.
- Fromage D’ Affinois: This French double-cream cheese is similar to brie in production, appearance and flavor; the difference being that before turning the milk into cheese, the milk undergoes a process called ultra filtration, which removes moisture from the pasteurized milk.
Below is my modified recipe:
4-cheese Gourmet Macaroni & Cheese Recipe
- 1 tablespoon salt, plus more for pasta water
- 1 pound large elbow macaroni (I used mini ziti)
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 12 oz. Asiago (I used the Sam’s Club Monti Trentini Asiago Fresco)
- 6 oz. Gouda (I used the Sam’s Club DaVinci Gouda)
- 6 oz. Parmigiano Reggiano (I used the Sam’s Club Mario Batali Parmigiano Reggiano)
- 6 oz. French double cream cheese (I used the Sam’s Club Fromage D’ Affinois)
- 2 cups bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In large pot filled with water add 3 pinches of salt and the macaroni and place over high heat. Bring to a boil and let cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt butter. Sprinkle flour over butter and cook 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat, whisking until a roux or paste forms. Add cold milk and whisk vigorously until dissolved. Cook sauce on medium-low heat until thick and bubbly. Add heavy cream, all cheeses, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon pepper. Cook until cheeses are fully melted, stirring occasionally.
Add cooked macaroni to cheese mixture and mix thoroughly. Place macaroni mixture in a 13 by 9 baking dish and top with bread crumbs. Place in the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Let me tell you how this turned out….
Wait for it….
This was THE BEST macaroni and cheese I have ever had, and I’m not just saying that because I made it. It was so good that while I wrote this post I had to have another bowl of it and I NEVER eat after 8 pm. It’s 11:20 pm as I write this. And the best news is that I have more cheese left and can make another batch or two!
I was amazed at the depth of flavor using all these different cheeses added to the dish, and as I made it, I was sampling the cheese as well. I had no idea what I was missing. Since I still had a lot of cheese left over I served it to my family a couple of weekends ago at a birthday celebration for myself, my Dad and my nephew. We all sampled the the different cheeses and had a lot of fun experiencing new types of cheese that we had never had before.
Also, I have been having salads for lunch every day. I am following the South Beach Diet and it allows me to have lots of different cheeses, so every day I have been shredding a different type of my Sam’s Club cheese onto the salad. YUM-MY!
I’d love to know what food or recipe you think you’d like to try out some of this gourmet cheese with?
Remember to enter to win a trip to France and learn more about all the new cheeses Sam’s Club will be offering on their Facebook page and their Fall Harvest site!