So... cheese. I think you can't go wrong with cheese. Particularly with the cheese courses in The French Laundry Cookbook. Not only are they delicious, they are easy (well, easy is a relative term, but waaaay easier than anything else in the book). And with my favorite local cheese shop - Venissimo Cheese - easy to find the weird cheese.
This was no exception. Behold! Five easy pictures to get you to a beautiful composed cheese course.
First, I made the spice mix. After combining all of the spices in a bowl, I threw them in the vitamix. While it admittedly did not work as well as a spice grinder, my vitamix still rules.
Next I shredded some carrots. Thank you, Mr. Food Processor, for taking care of an otherwise time-consuming and arduous job in 10 seconds.
I also simmered down some carrot juice (bought in a gigantic jug from Costco, just because I happened to be there and saw it), added a little of the spice mix juice and shredded carrots, and tried some. It was like dessert! (now if I could only convince angry toddler this was true...)
Next up: raisins. Gently simmered in water with some lemon juice.
Then pureed... in the handy-dandy vitamix!
Because this was all so easy, I did the above steps in the morning.
Right before peopel were supposed to come over, I sliced the cheese.
And plated it. Pretty, even without the carrot powder (I had some, then it turned out to be funny-smelling, so I decided against using it) and the chervil (which is only found in like one freaking place in San Diego, and I didn't want to go to Specialty Produce just to get a garnish).
Tasty, although not astonishing. The sweetness of the carrots and raisins was a nice compliment to the "ripeness" (stinkiness) of the cheese. And it was easy! I don't think I can emphasize enough how easy. Lets just say... it took a total of 30 minutes of time. That's Rachel Ray-timed cooking, except without the insufferable abbreviations and shortcuts. Think about it... Thomas Keller or RR. I know which one i'd chose!