Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Broccoli and Gruyere Gratin and Caprese Salad with Sleigh Bells, Darling New Neighbors and Duchess Says

A little over a year ago a cheese maker in Switzerland created a fresh batch of Gruyere cheese. Instead of rushing the cheese to market, it was put aside, in a cave of all places, and allowed to mingle with bacteria and the natural Swiss air. Eventually the cheese, ripe with its flavors of apple and pear, was shipped to the United States and delivered to the Whole Foods on Dale Mabry Avenue. There it sat until I came by, purchased it, and placed it here:

Gruyere and Broccoli Gratin
(printable version)

-3 bunches of broccoli
-1/2 stick of butter (4 tablespoons)
-1/4 cup of flour
-2 cups of skim milk
-8 oz of Gruyere Cheese (grated)
-pinch of red pepper flakes
-salt and black pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375. Fill a wok with water and cover with a bamboo steamer. Place the broccoli in the steamer. Steam until the broccoli turns bright green. Remove from heat and place the broccoli in a rectangular baking dish.

2. In a sauce pan, melt the butter. Add the flour and stir for about two minutes. Do not let the flour/butter mixture burn. Whisk in milk and cook until sauce is thickened. Remove from heat and stir in 4 ounces of Gruyere. Pour the mixture over the broccoli. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Stir.

3. Spread the remaining 4 ounces of cheese over the top of the broccoli. Bake until cheese is golden colored, about 40 minutes.

Allow Gratin to cool slightly before digging in.

Another cheese dish I planned on making recently was a caprese salad shaped like eyeballs. The inspiration came from this post on Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories. Unfortunately Halloween came and went and I ran out of time (or reasons) to dress the salad up. My version includes all the same ingredients as the Evil post, minus the fancy arrangement.


Brooklyn seems to keep churning out good music (I'm so jealous of my friend Annie). The latest Brooklyn band to get my toes tapping while my spoon is stirring is the Sleigh Bells. I enjoy their song "Crown on the Ground" but "AB Machines" is even better. This version of "AB Machines" is just a demo. The band plans to re-record it before officially releasing it as part of an album later this year or early next year.

Sleigh Bell-AB Machines

Another band I've been enjoying lately is the Darling New Neighbors from Austin, Texas. Their song "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" is one that didn't immediately catch my attention. But after a few listens the accordion wormed it's way into my brain and I couldn't get it out. Thanks to Eardrums Music for introducing me to this one.

Darling New Neighbors-Only Love Can Break Your Heart

Finally, fresh off their CMJ high, is Canada's Duchess Says. "Rabies (baby's got the)" is a brilliant celebration of screaming dance music that reminds me of a ride on a pogo stick. Below you will find a video with a short excerpt of the song. To download this slightly older track visit Nialler 9 blog right here.



By the way, something cool I came across today (thanks to Shmitten Kitten) is a mail order husband website. This is freaking hilarious.