Tampilkan posting dengan label Cheese. Tampilkan semua posting
Tampilkan posting dengan label Cheese. Tampilkan semua posting
Pancetta-Wrapped Leek Gratin – Simply Amazing

Pancetta-Wrapped Leek Gratin – Simply Amazing

I’m all about simply prepared vegetables, but every once in a while I need to cover them in caramelized pork and cheese, and this stunningly delicious pancetta-wrapped leek gratin was one of those times. I love those times.

This “umami bomb” is so flavorful and satisfying, it almost seems disrespectful to serve it as a side dish. Pair this with a slice of buttered bread, hedge your bets with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, and enjoy a truly special lunch.

For extra credit, after you finish your meal, call your best French friend and describe what you had. They will love and hate you for it. So, whether you make this for lunch, or use it to upstage a steak or grilled piece of salmon, I hope you give this great leek gratin a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 2 portions:
3 large leeks
about 4 oz pancetta
2 tsp olive oil
salt, pepper and cayenne to taste
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup drinkable white wine
1/3 cup heavy cream
finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese as needed
chives to garnish
Kentucky Beer Cheese – Love at Third Bite

Kentucky Beer Cheese – Love at Third Bite

Very few love Kentucky Beer Cheese at first bite. As you crunch your first taste, the palette quickly identifies a sharp cheddar cheese spread, but then stale beer fills the nose, and you instantly think, “I should have gone clam dip.”

But after three or four bites, you stop thinking about your college dorm room carpet, and your palette adjusts to the unusual flavor profile, and this humble cheese spread becomes as addicting as any I’ve ever had. In a way, it’s sort of analogous to drinking your first beer, but that’s a whole other post.

The texture is much smoother and creamier than it looks, and that little hint of raw alcohol provides a fermented funkiness in the background that is the key to the recipe. Well done, Bluegrass State. Well done. By the way, you can upgrade the beer if you wish, but then you will not be eating real Kentucky Beer Cheese.

People around those parts may argue about the amount of pepper, or if you should throw in a chunk of cream cheese or not, but everyone agrees that this spread requires a cheap, domestic beer. Preferably from a can.

So, if you’re looking for something a little different for your Super Bowl party, I hope you give this Kentucky Beer Cheese recipe a try. If it’s a big hit, you can bring it back for your Kentucky Derby party. I’m sure it’s fabulous with mint juleps. Enjoy!


Ingredients for  about 3 cups Kentucky Beer Cheese:
16 ounces of cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup flat beer
Chicken & Mushroom Chimichanga – A Thingamajig of Beauty

Chicken & Mushroom Chimichanga – A Thingamajig of Beauty

As legend has it, many years ago in Tucson, AZ, a woman accidentally dropped a burrito into a deep fryer. She started to blurt out a common Spanish swear word, but remembering her kids were in the kitchen, yelled out “chimichanga!” instead. She let it fry golden and crisp, and the rest is culinary history.

If you’re wondering, Chimichanga translates to “thingamajig,” which is fitting, since that’s kind of what this is. A thingamajig stuffed with whatever. In this case, whatever was a very tasty mixture of chicken, mushrooms, poblano chilies, and pepper Jack cheese.

While that particular combination is highly recommended, this is more of a technique video, so when it comes to the filling, I encourage wild experimentation. We used raw chicken here, but Chimichangas are also great for using up leftover, cooked meats. Just cube it up, toss it in when the vegetables are done, and proceed as shown.

And don't feel like you have to stay in the Tex-Mex zone. This versatile, folded and fried tortilla could make a fantastic delivery system for all kinds of ethnic foods. Anyway, no matter what kind of filling is used, or how it’s seasoned, I think everyone will agree that it’s never a good idea to curse in front of children. I hope you give this delicious son-of-a-gun a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 portions:
(exact measurements are not critical, as you can stuff these with anything that fits)

For the filling:
1 tbsp vegetable oil, divided (half for veggies, half to cook chicken)
1/2 cup diced onions
1/2 cup diced poblano peppers
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
12 oz boneless skinless chicken breast meat, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
salt, freshly ground black pepper, cayenne pepper to taste
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chipotle, smoked paprika, or other hot or mild ground chili pepper
pinch dried Mexican oregano
1 or 2 tbsp cold water to deglaze pan once chicken is browned
4 ounces grated pepper Jack cheese

Also:
4 large flour tortilla (at least 10-inch wide)
1 egg white
2 tbsp vegetable oil for pan-frying
sour cream, guacamole, and salsa to garnish, optional
Gorgonzola Cream Sauce – Now with Cream!

Gorgonzola Cream Sauce – Now with Cream!

Since we’re heading into rich and creamy sauce season, I thought I’d use a nice hunk of Gorgonzola as an excuse to post a tutorial for a classic “cream sauce.” 

Unlike what’s passed off as the real stuff at casual dining chains, a true cream sauce contains nothing but heavy cream, and is on another level when it comes to taste and texture. A regular diet of cream sauce isn’t recommended, but once in a while, it’s nice to take a break from the old 2%, and the technique is dead simple. Simmer cream in a saucepan until it reduces and thickens slightly, flavor it however, and toss in some hot (hopefully stuffed) pasta. Done and done.

I went with a fairly mild, crumbly Gorgonzola this time, but no matter which you choose, be careful not to “cook” the cheese. You just want to stir it in on low, until it’s almost gone, and then turn off the heat. Otherwise the cheese will “break,” and you’ll have a greasy mess.

Since my mini-ravioli delivery system featured a squash filling, I decided to finish with diced apples and toasted walnuts. It was perfect with the rich sauce, and I recommend it if you’re using a similar pasta. Since the sauce itself is so easy, as in one ingredient easy, you can spend all that extra brainpower thinking of things you can add to it. I hope you give this great sauce technique a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 2 large or 4 smaller portions:
1 cup heavy whipping cream (36% fat)
salt and pepper to taste
cayenne to taste
3 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp chopped Italian parsley
finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, optional
6 ounces dry mini-ravioli (double to 12-oz if using fresh ravioli or tortellini)
1/2 apple, diced
1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
“Local” Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese and Walnuts – Kill Once, Cook Twice

“Local” Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese and Walnuts – Kill Once, Cook Twice

They say if you video blog long enough, you’ll eventually post a snuff film. Okay, so no one says that, but that’s what this roasted beets with goat cheese and walnuts kind of felt like, as I harvested my homegrown, and completely defenseless beet.

I was obviously kidding about vegetables being able to sense pain, but the more I think about it, who knows? Anyway, until I find out otherwise, I’ll assume the bloody root didn’t suffer for my pleasure, and just enjoy its incredible goodness. It’s the same assumption I use when eating chicken wings.

There are very few things that pair as perfectly as roasted beets and goat cheese. Simply a match made in occasional-vegetarian heaven. When you toss in some crunchy walnuts, foraged greens, and a simple walnut oil/vinegar dressing, you have something that’s way beyond the sum of the parts. 

I really can’t think of a more perfect fall lunch. By the way, in addition to making a great mid-day meal, this would also work nicely as a fancy side dish come holiday time, and you have plenty of time to practice. I hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 2 portions:
1 or 2 tbsp walnut oil
1 roasted beet (*about 8 oz)
2 oz goat cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup roasted chopped walnuts
2 tbsp champagne or sherry vinegar
thinly sliced beet greens and fresh chives to top
toasted walnut bread to serve with

*Note: Since beets come in all sorts of sizes, you’ll just have to go by feel. Roast a beet or two, slice it up, see how much you have, pick a baking dish that large enough for one layer, cover the bottom with walnut oil, toss in the beets, fill in between with goat cheese, season, bake and dress as you see fit.
Apple & Cheddar Cheese Soufflés – Great for People Who Stink at Folding Egg Whites

Apple & Cheddar Cheese Soufflés – Great for People Who Stink at Folding Egg Whites

After doing such a great job folding the egg whites into this apple and cheddar soufflé batter, I celebrated by dropping a measuring cup into the bowl. By the time I fished it out, cleaned the sides of the bowl, and shook my fist at the heavens, I’d lost a lot of micro-bubbles.

I pressed on, and despite my tragic encounter with gravity, the resulting soufflés were simply fabulous, which just goes to show that maybe we need to relax about this whole folding thing. Sure, more bubbles would make it go a little higher, but if you’ve never made a soufflé before, I hope this gives you some new-found courage.

By the way, I don’t know why most similar recipes call for extra egg whites. Actually, I do know; it’s to make them more visually impressive, but I think this dilutes the flavor. I use about half the egg whites normally called for, and these are still light as a feather.

If you decide to give these a whirl, please promise me you'll use a great cheddar. I used a sharp and creamy Cabot, but any other quality, aged cheddar will work. These apple cheddar soufflés are very versatile, and would make a great appetizer, a special holiday brunch starter, or deliciously different dessert. I hope you give them a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4  (I used Le Creuset 4 3/4-ounce size):

For the apples:
1 tbsp butter, heated until edges start to turn brown
1 apple, cubed
1 tbsp sugar

For the batter:
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp butter
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
pinch freshly ground black pepper
pinch cayenne
pinch nutmeg
3 oz sharp white cheddar, or almost 1 cup grated
2 eggs, separated

Bake at 400 degrees F.  for about 22 minutes

*Assuming you don’t drop a measuring cup into your folded egg white fluffed batter, you should have about 2 cups of batter. You can divide each 1/2 cup portion into whatever sized ramekin you have, but a 4 3/4 to 5 oz size is ideal. Basically, when it’s fully puffed and browned, it’s done. And for goodness sake, serve very warm, but not piping hot!
Homemade Cream Cheese – The Labneh Way

Homemade Cream Cheese – The Labneh Way

This recipe video is inspired by a Lebanese yogurt cheese spread called Labneh, but I decided to call it homemade cream cheese because my sources deep inside Google tell me that “cream cheese” is searched for more often than “labneh.” In fairness, and with apologies to my Lebanese fans, it really is almost identical in texture and mouthfeel.

Like I say in the video, the taste is a bit bolder and tangier than that stuff from Philly, but when is that ever a bad thing? Michele found some amazing sheep’s milk yogurt at a local farmer’s market, and it was incredible in this, but I've used regular yogurt and it works wonderfully as well.

You can use it as you would any commercial cream cheese, but the honey and pistachio variation I tacked on to the end would make for a memorable holiday brunch addition. On the savory side, you can’t beat simply drizzling over some olive oil and eating as a spread with crispy bread or pita chips.

Most recipes for this say you can eat it after one day, but I really think the two-day “aging” and pressing process does great things. The taste mellows out a bit, and the texture gets even denser and richer feeling. Besides, if you don’t press it, you won’t get those signature, and ultra sexy cheesecloth fabric marks! I hope you give this homemade cream cheese a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for about two heaping cups of cream cheese:
1 quart yogurt, try to get something really nice from a dairy, or use Greek-style
1 tsp kosher salt or to taste
cheesecloth
*If needed, use a paper towel to blot off any additional moisture that come to the top during the 2-day pressing in the fridge.
Note: I’ve only made this one way, so I’m not sure what happens if you deviate from the recipe and use low-fat yogurt, etc. Let me know if you try something different!
Cheesy Crackers – The Simple Joy of Homemade Crackers

Cheesy Crackers – The Simple Joy of Homemade Crackers

Making homemade cheese crackers has never been very high on my must-do baking list, but with entertaining season rapidly approaching, I decided to give it a try to see just how vastly superior they are to their store-bought cousins.

I’m happy to report that they are better anything I’ve ever had out of a factory-sealed package. They have a much better texture with more crunch, and way more real, cheesy flavor. The only thing they have less of is ingredients; like by 45 to 5.


By the way, these cheesy crackers are based on a recipe I found on my friend, Joy the Baker’s blog. If you’re not familiar with her fine work, I encourage you to go check her out. She’s one of my favorites!

As far as the cheese goes, I went with three parts sharp cheddar to one part Parmigiano-Reggiano. I’m giving the cheese measurements below in weight, as the proportions to the rest of the ingredients are critical, and as you’ll see in the clip, measuring by cup is highly inaccurate. Since I used a fine grater on the very dry, hard cheese, it looks like well over a half-cup of cheese, but in fact was only one ounce.

This is why when recipes call for a cup of Parmesan cheese, some people will be adding 2-oz of cheese, and others 4-oz, simply depending on how they grated the cheese and packed the cup. But, when portioning cheese by weight, one ounce is always one ounce. 

Okay, I feel better. I hope you give these delicious homemade cheese crackers a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for about 36 crackers:
(Note: This is a half recipe, you should double to make enough for a party)
2 tablespoons room temperature unsalted butter
3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 3/4 cup lightly packed)
1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated (about 1/3 cup lightly packed)
1/2 tsp paprika
pinch of cayenne
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (2.25 oz by weight)
1 tablespoon cold water