Hats off to Chef Eric J. Minnich, recent graduate of Johnson & Wales University and supporter of Florida strawberries. In this recipe Chef Minnich combines the rich, distinct flavor of Gorgonzola cheese with the refreshing fruitiness of Florida strawberries.
Gorgonzola cheese originated in the Italian town of its namesake around AD 879 and continues to be produced in the northern Italian regions of Piedmont and Lombardy. Much like Champagne which is only truly Champagne when it comes from Champagne France, Gorgonzola cheese is only Gorgonzola when it comes from Gorgonzola Italy. Anything else is just bleu cheese.
Which brings us to the heart of Gorgonzola cheese’s sharp bite, its bleu veining. Cheese makers add Penicillium glaucum to the unskimmed cow or goat’s milk and let it age around four months, giving it the blue marbling and dry, sharp bite.
Gorgonzola cheese, as with any cheese, gets firmer the longer it is aged. Parmesan cheese can be aged up to three years to get its hard, dry body. So for the purpose of this recipe, look for a softer, less aged cheese.
- 8 ounces Gorgonzola cheese
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 12 Florida strawberries
- 3 tbsp light cream
Let Gorgonzola cheese and cream cheese reach room temperature; we want the cheeses to be soft and easily mixable.
Meanwhile, wash the strawberries under cold water and remove the tops of each strawberry and a small portion of the tip of the strawberry. This will help the strawberries stand upright when displayed.
With a melon baller, gently scoop out the top of each strawberry.
Once your cheese has reached room temperature, combine together the Gorgonzola cheese, cream cheese and light cream. Fold gently just until mixed.
Using a piping bag with a medium-sized tip and pipe the cheese mixture into the scooped out strawberries. Don’t have a piping bag? No problem. Just fill a Ziploc bag with the cheese mixture and cut out one of the tips. Instant piping bag without all the extra cost!
Chill for fifteen minutes before serving.