cover image Cowgirl Creamery Cooks

Cowgirl Creamery Cooks

Sue Conley & Peggy Smith, photos by Hirsheimer & Hamilton. Chronicle, $35 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4521-1163-6

Oft-lauded for their delectable cheeses, Cowgirl Creamery founders Conley and Smith take readers behind the counter to uncover the history of the company, including the stories behind many of their tasty cheeses. Inseparable since meeting during college in Tennessee, the two friends eventually made their way west in 1976, finding like-minded spirits in Berkeley, where Alice Waters and the natural foods movement were gaining momentum. Influenced by that approach, the duo eventually opened Cowgirl Creamery, home to such legendary cheeses as Humboldt Fog and Mt. Tam. The 75 recipes included in the book range from the familiar, such as the inevitable macaroni and cheese, to smart riffs like a blue cheese vinaigrette or a variation of grilled cheese with caramelized onions and pears. Their delicious Parmesan broth is a basic yet full-flavored vegetable stock enriched with various cheese rinds and dried mushrooms. Impractical cover notwithstanding (that die cut isn't long for this world), there are some gems here. (Nov.)