Delicious, salty, bubbly, melting cheese.
My local grocery store does not have the most amazing cheese selection. But, they do try to have a decent variety for a non-specialty grocer, like Whole Foods or Trader Joe's who probably have it on hand at all times. While I would happily spend butt loads of money on fine cheese, my bank account is not (yet) fit for that, so I often troll the counter looking for specially marked down cheese. That is how I came across this beauty of funk. You may not think of Gouda as a generally offensive cheese with its mild, but distinct flavor and pleasantly firm texture with a creamy mouth-feel. But, let it age for 1000 days before shipping it out to cheese purveyors and it transforms into something else! It is denser and dryer that its young counterparts with a texture more similar to Asiago. The flavor concentrates and matures to become delightfully pungent.
The second I tasted it I knew I wanted to pair with earthy, sweet butternut squash. It was so rich and satisfying! Bonus, I got to use my lovely new piece ceramic bake wear that I found on clearance at World Market. I am absolutely making this for holiday get together this year.
Butternut Squash & 1K Day Gouda Gratin
1 med butternut squash, peeled and cubed into small chunks
2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 Tbsp flour
3/4 C 2% milk (room temp)
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp sage
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 C shredded 1000 day aged gouda (reserve 1/4 C)
1/2 C panko
1 Tbsp shredded parmesan
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Melt butter into olive oil over med heat. Whisk in flour to create a roux, stir for about 1 minute and make sure there are no lumps. Slowly whisk in milk. Add salt, pepper, sage, cayenne and nutmeg. Cook for 2-3 minutes until thick.
Add 1 1/4 C gouda. Fold in butternut squash. Pour into a lightly greased baking dish (8x8 is roughly the size you will need). Cover.
Bake at 350 deg F for 30 minutes.
Mix 1/4 C gouda, parm, panko and extra virgin olive oil.
Uncover. Sprinkle panko topping evenly over the dish.
Bake uncovered for 15 min at 350 deg F.
Serves 4-6. (6 is more likely because it is so rich.)
Order at Murray's Cheese or Di Bruno Bros.