by Steven Doyle
We have always been a great fan of Deep Ellum’s cheese factory run by the esteemed Paula Lambert, the Mozzarella Company. Our love for Mozzarella Company dates back to the very early 80’s when Lambert would create a handful of balls of mozzarella selling her products at the Dallas Farmers Market out of an ice chest in Shed 2 where you may now buy tacos. I would visit with Lambert and she would regale me with stories of cheese. Pure heaven.
In 1982 Lambert opened her shop in 1982, and today sells more than 30 artisanal cheeses shipped worldwide. Always open to new ideas she gathers from her world travels you are sure to find something new, something tasty in the same Deep Ellum store located at 2944 Elm Street. Her cheeses are also found across Dallas and Fort Worth in Central Market, Whole Foods and all the mainstream stores such as Kroger and Tom Thumb locally.
Today we explore one of her cheese that is a bit piquant and a whole lot delicious.
Dolce Habanero is made by mixing sweet apricots and firey habanero chiles into curds that are made from cow’s milk. The cheese is pressed into round discs and voila a cheese that you just can’t stop eating. Dolce Habanero delivers its unique characteristics perfectly timed to tantalize your palate with every bite: First a creamy sensation, then a pleasant sweetness, and finally exiting Fire! It is a great cheese for snacking and also good for melting into gooey deliciousness.
A recipe for the use of Dolce Habanero will excite your family and friends alike.
4 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts(1 1/2 pounds total)
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup fresh bread crumbs made from dense, homestyle bread (about 3 slices)
4 ounces Dolce Habanero, crumbled (1 cup)
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
2 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oiil
8 fresh thyme sprigs, for garnish
1 lemon, thinly sliced, for garnish
Combine the bread crumbs, Dolce Habanero, thyme, and lemon zest on a plate or wax paper and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350º and lightly oil a baking pan large enough to hold the chicken in one layer.
Wash and clean the chicken. Pat dry with paper towels. Season breasts well with salt and pepper. Place the flour on a plate or waxed paper and place the beaten eggs in a shallow bowl. Dredge each chicken breast in the flour, shaking off any excess. Then dip the chicken in the egg, and finally into the bread crumb mixture. Be sure to evenly coat the chicken at each step. Place on the pan. Divide any remaining crumbs equally among the breasts, patting them onto the chicken breasts. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and drizzle or brush the olive oil onto the bread-crumb crust. Return to the oven and cook for15 to 25 minutes, or until the breasts are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow the breasts to rest for a few minutes
To serve, place on a serving platter and garnish with thyme sprigs and lemon slices