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Jenney Tapper’s Goat Cheese Biscuits
By Charlie Burke

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One might not think of wineries and wine making when New Hampshire is
mentioned, but technological advances in wine making and the development
of grape varietals which are both hardy in our zones and productive of grapes
suitable for wine have been combined with Yankee ingenuity and plain hard
work resulting in nine wineries in New Hampshire.

Recently, the
New Hampshire Winery Association was formed to promote
these efforts. World class cheese is also made throughout the state, and makers
of cheese from milk from cows, sheep and goats have recently organized the
New Hampshire Cheese Makers Guild which is currently developing its web
site.

Both organizations will be associated with
New Hampshire Made, and the
cheese makers will also be part of
Granite State Dairy Promotion.  Since wine
and cheese is a natural pairing, the  
New Hampshire Division of Travel and
Tourism Development has organized New Hampshire’s Wine and Cheese
Trails, printing a brochure which outlines three itineraries for visiting wineries
and cheese making dairies in the Seacoast, the Connecticut River Valley and
throughout the Merrimack Valley in central and southern New Hampshire.
Look for these brochures at state tourist offices or request one from the
Department Travel and Tourism for a unique way to see rural New
Hampshire, meet the great people involved and to sample their products.

Because my work with
The New Hampshire Farm to Restaurant Connection
involves introducing chefs and consumers to local agricultural products, I
regularly recommend our great cheeses to restaurants. I recently attended a
meeting of the Cheese Makers Guild, held at Jenny and Andy Tappers
beautiful
Via Lactea Farm in Brookfield, New Hampshire, where they produce
wonderful goat cheese which is valued by chefs and consumers, alike, under
the brand name of Brookfield Farm.

They have restored an eighteenth century farm house, and Andy has built all
the barns and outbuildings, both an ultramodern goat barn and a reproduction
barn built with classic post and beam construction. While we were there, Andy
came in with two newborn kids, just minutes old, and later Jenny and Andy led
us on a tour of their operation. Evident were their love of what they are doing
and how hard they work to produce their products, and young pigs, playfully
chasing each other, reminded us of the importance of raising livestock
humanely.

Of course, we got to sample their cheese, and I bought some perfect fresh
chevre and a container of wonderful feta. Jenny’s kitchen is a cook’s kitchen
with well worn cookbooks and practical cast iron pans. I knew she would
oblige when I requested a recipe using her cheese, so I hope when you prepare
and enjoy these farm biscuits you think of this beautiful farm and the happy,
hard working couple who make it a success.

They are a great example of the new generation of New Hampshire farmers
working smaller but highly productive farms and giving us hope that they will
preserve our agricultural heritage and rural environment.

Chevre and Chive Biscuits

2 cups unbleached flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 tsp sea salt
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter-chilled
5 oz Chevre-chilled
3/4 cup goat milk
Chopped chives to taste approximately 1/3 – ½ cup

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Mix the dry ingredients, cutting in the butter and chevre by hand or in a
food processor to a grainy texture. Toss in the chives and mix with the flour.

Stir in the milk until the dry ingredients are just moistened and can be gathered
into a ball.

Dust a board lightly with flour and flatten and roll the dough into a rectangle
1/2" thick.

Fold the short edges into the center and roll out:  repeat one or two more times.
(This creates flaky layers in the finished biscuit)

Cut as desired and place on an ungreased pan. Brush with melted butter or
milk and bake until the biscuits double in size and are golden brown, about 12-
15 minutes.

My wife, Joanne, declared them “delicious” as they emerged from the oven,
and we agree they would be great with a hearty soup or chowder. I might
substitute chopped sage if serving them with poultry.

These biscuits come together very quickly. If entertaining, all ingredients
except the milk could be mixed ahead and refrigerated to be rolled out and
baked at serving time.

About the author: An organic farmer and avid cook, writer Charlie Burke is the vice
president of the
New Hampshire Farmer's Market Association, president of the NH Farm
to Restaurant Connection and helps run the Sanbornton (NH) Farmers' Market.  Along
with his wife, Joanne, Charlie grows certified organic herbs, greens and berries at
Weather Hill Farm in Sanbornton, NH.  
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