Posts tagged Cheese

put these in your mouth

Pinterest to my food inspiration once more! Fried goat cheese found here. I tossed the herb garden salad mix with some pomegranate vinaigrette, tossed in some fresh strawberries and toasted pecans. Quite the delicious lunch. And beautiful too!

fried goat cheese salad

And sometimes I just don’t want to make a cake from scratch. And so I don’t. I doctor a cake mix. In this particular instance, I had a Paula Deen cake mix that I got for pennies on clearance that I doctored. Sour cream and extra eggs make it divine. Doctoring recipe can be found here. I also had a box of instant pumpkin spice pudding in my pantry. Also found on clearance. Seeing a theme here? I mixed it to ‘pie filling’ consistency and spooned it into the middle of the hollowed out cupcakes. And then I made buttercream frosting from scratch. The best frosting I have ever made and it’s from my favorite cookbook of all time, seriously, it’s never failed me – the New Best Recipe – put it on your Christmas wish list. And flavored it with pumpkin pie seasoning and maple syrup. Not bad for a box mix cake, right?

pumpkin pie filled, maple cinnamon frosting topped, cupcakes

 

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Steak with Mint Chimichurri and Creamed Truffled Swiss Chard

I do still cook new recipes. Really. We have just gotten lazy about taking pictures and my meal planning has gotten a little predictable because life has just gotten so busy. Crock pot tacos, pasta, oven roasted chicken . . . you know, we’re still eating good food, it’s just not exciting enough to share with the world! One night I decided to shed the ‘same-ol, same-ol’ that we were slipping into, try a new vegetable AND make good use of the mint overtaking my garden. The mint replaces the typically used parsley in the chimichurri sauce. I was curious how mint would play with garlic, but it brought a freshness that parsley couldn’t bring.

The creamed swiss chard was a play on creamed spinach that you typically find in steakhouses. I could only find red swiss chard which made the bechamel sauce turn pink! It was kinda funny to dig in and see that! But it was delicious! Definitely a rich, decadent side dish.

Steak with Mint Chimichurra and Creamed Truffled Swiss Chard

Steak with Mint Chimichurri

flank steak
olive oil
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper

1/2 C packed mint
1 clove garlic pressed or finely minced
1/4 C olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 lime juiced

If you just took the steaks out of the fridge give them 45 minutes to an 1 hour to come to room temperature. Rub both both sides of the steak with some olive oil and sprinkle a large pinch of salt and black pepper on both sides.

For the sauce, put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree. If you’re doing it by hand, you can mince the mint with sharp knife then combine the ingredients in a bowl.

Grill steaks to desired doneness, 5-7 minutes on each side is a good place to start. Serve immediately with the chimichurri sauce.

Truffled Swiss Chard

for bechamel
1 Tbs butter
1 Tbs flour
2/3 C milk (use 1/3 C milk and 1/3 C cream for something creamier)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp truffle oil

for the creamed chard
2 C cooked squeezed and chopped swiss chard (about 1 bunch)
1/2 C grated Gruyere
fresh ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Add the flour and stir together to form a paste, continue to stir and cook for a minute or two. Take the pan off the heat and with a whisk in hand, add the milk and whisk until all the chunks of roux have dissolved.

Put the pan back over medium heat and stir with a silicon spatula making sure to scrape up the bottom and sides of the pan to keep the bechamel from burning. Add the salt and continue to cook and stir until it’s about the consistency of gravy. Take it off the heat then add the truffle oil stirring to combine.

For the chard, seperate the white stems (or red!) from the leafy part and boil the stems in salted water until almost tender. Add the leaves and blanch for about 1 minute. Drain and rinse with cold water until it’s cool enough to handle. Grab a handful of chard and squeeze out enough water so the leaves aren’t watery.

Chop the chard up and add it to a bowl with the bechamel and about 1/4 cup of grated Gruyere. Mix in some fresh ground black pepper and taste for salt (adding more if need be). Divide between 4 ramekins. Top with the rest of the Gruyere and put it under a broiler until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melted and brown.

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Pear and Prosciutto Pizza

I think everyone needs a good pizza dough recipe in their back pocket. So few ingredients and there really is a difference between the fresh stuff and the stuff you buy frozen/in cans. This is my particular go-to recipe that I have used so often that I have it memorized. Sometimes I’ve even double the batch and freeze half, that way if I’m running short on time one day and still want pizza, I can just pull the dough out of my freezer and let it thaw. Perfect for a quick dinner.

On to this recipe. I don’t usually post many of the pizza recipes that I try, mainly because . . . it’s pizza. Not anything too exciting! Well, I got a little excited when I saw this recipe in cooking light. It’s pizza, but it’s so unique. I mean, pear? Arugula? Kinda strange. But strange is what peaks my interest when it comes to food so I gave this recipe a whirl. Yes, you should give it a whirl too. Maybe a twirl too while you’re at it.

I LOVE this combination. Who knew that pears were delicious on pizzas? Or that a putting a lightly dressed arugala salad on top of a pizza was a delicious way to get a little more veggie intake? Well, the chefs at cooking light, that’s who! Rarely do they steer me wrong. If you’re feeling adventurous and in the mood for pizza, I would definitely give the recipe a whirl, or a twirl. . . or just a try. 🙂

Pear, Provolone, Pecan and Arugula Pizza

Pear and Prosciutto Pizza

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 wedges)

Ingredients
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups vertically sliced Oso Sweet or other sweet onion
1 (12-ounce) prebaked pizza crust (such as Mama Mary’s)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded provolone cheese
1 medium pear, thinly sliced
2 ounces prosciutto, cut into thin strips
Dash of freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted
1 1/2 cups baby arugula leaves
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 450°.

2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; cover and cook for 3 minutes. Uncover and cook 10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently.

3. Place pizza crust on a baking sheet. Top evenly with onion mixture; sprinkle with cheese. Top evenly with pear and prosciutto. Sprinkle with pepper. Bake at 450° for 12 minutes or until cheese melts. Sprinkle with nuts. Place arugula in a medium bowl. Drizzle vinegar over greens; toss gently to coat. Top pizza evenly with arugula mixture. Cut pizza into 8 wedges.

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Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe

Hello everyone! I’m back! Thanks for being patient with me while I took some time off from the blog world – you will get something good out of this wait, I promise! (*cough* free pattern Friday, anyone?)

On to this recipe – it’s really just Spaghetti with Cheese and Pepper but it sounds fancier in Italian, so that’s what I’m gonna go with. This is a super simple recipe and it further reinforces the fact that sometimes the simple recipes are the best. I spotted this recipe on Smitten Kitchen (where else?) not long ago when I was looking for quick, cheap, healthy, vegetarian recipes. Ok. Ok. Maybe not ‘healthy’ as much as tasty. I figured I didn’t have anything to lose with this recipe, I mean, it has spaghetti, pepper, pecorino romano cheese, butter, pepper and olive oil. All fairly common ingredients in our household. So simple, and yet so delicious! I couldn’t stop eating it and even had some for leftovers the next day (which were good, but not quite as good as it was the day of). The only thing I would note is that you are going to get the best taste from freshly ground black pepper – this is a case of so few ingredients that you want to use the best available to you. I think this is a perfect recipe to have around as a ‘stand-by, just in case’ recipe . . . you know, just in case you don’t feel like cooking a full meal but still don’t want to spend an exorbitant amount of money on take out! Simple, easy and tasty. You can’t beat that!

Recipe for Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe

Spaghetti with Cheese and Black Pepper

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Spinach and Cheese Strata

I love breakfasts that you can prepare the night before and just pop in the oven. So little effort for such a great payout. This was another Deb classic (I mean, seriously, why do you even read my blog since I only seem to post recipes from Smitten Kitchen) and it lived up to the hype. Once more. Again. Yep. I love that you make it the night before and just stick it in the oven. I mean, who really wants to be slaving over a hot stove when you could be sitting and relaxing, enjoying company?

This recipe is essentially a savory bread pudding. I added some bacon because, really, bacon makes everything better (I need that on a shirt or something). This one even reheated the next day well. I think the one thing I would do differently is either reduce the recipe, cook for longer at a lower temperature, or use a bigger pan. The first day, the middles was a bit soggy and everyone enjoyed the edges the most. The second day, everything was cooked through more evenly and there were no complaints. Not that I get that many complaints when I feed people. 🙂

So yeah, come on over. You’ll get fed.

Recipe for Spinach and Cheese Strata

Spinach and Cheese Strata

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Mac and Two Cheeses with Caramelized Shallots

This was much easier than other mac and cheese recipes that I’ve tried, it had fewer ingredients, and it came together very quickly. I loved the creaminess of the goat cheese and the delicious sweetened onion-y/garlicky bite that the caramelized shallots gave. There was serious depth of flavor for so few ingredients. I didn’t use half and half because I didn’t have any (because I forgot to buy some) and 2% milk worked just fine! I also really liked the method of tossing the flour (the cheesy thickening agent) in with the shredded cheddar cheese before adding it to the hot milk. I’d never done a cheese sauce that way before (typically I make a roux with butter and flour and then add the milk, once that’s thickened, then I add the cheese . . .) and it worked awesome! I also subbed whole grain macaroni elbows to try and give this some sort of nutritional value – I couldn’t tell a difference from the non whole grain. This is definitely way better than any boxed mac and cheese you can buy and it’s worth the little bit of extra time! You should totally try it out. I mean, who doesn’t love mac and cheese?!

Recipe for Mac and Two Cheeses with Caramelized Shallots

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Homemade Ricotta

So ricotta is something you can buy at the grocery store very easily. It’s not too expensive, you can get low fat. . . it’s in plastic containers and kinda tastes like the plastic containers. You may not agree with me, but that’s only because you haven’t had this homemade ricotta. It. Is. Delicious. It’s simple too. Even if you’ve never made cheese before, this one only has two ingredients (milk and buttermilk) and you boil it. That’s it. It doesn’t get much easier than that. I made some today in about 15 minutes. It’s not even time consuming (like bread).

Why I love being able to make homemade ricotta? You can make it savory (lasagna, cannelloni, stuffed shells etc) or make it sweet (top it with berries and honey, make cannolis, ricotta cheesecake, etc). It’s so versatile. You should make it just so you have bragging rights to tell your friends that you are a ‘cheese maker’! 🙂 There’s a similar recipe but it’s for a cheese called paneer that I found on Angry Chicken’s blog . . .

Recipe for Homemade Ricotta

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