Category Archives: Cheese

Baked Avocado Eggs

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What’s even better than avocado toast? Baked Avocado Eggs! We used chopped chives, but please feel free to serve this baked egg dish with whatever fresh herbs, like cilantro and any other toppings that you may have available on hand. For those of you that like a hint of spice, a tablespoon of salsa or a little hot sauce would do just nicely!

Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 ripe Haas avocados
1/2 a lemon
4 eggs
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese, or a cheese of your choice
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 tablespoon chopped chives

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 °F.

Slice avocados in half and remove the pits. Using a large spoon, scoop out some of the avocado to make the center hole bigger.

Place avocados in a muffin baking tin, facing up.

Squeeze over the juice of the lemon over the tops of the avocado halves. This will stop them turning brown in the oven. Now crack your eggs into each of the avocado halves. Lightly season with salt and pepper, and top with a sprinkling of shredded cheese and bacon.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until the egg is cooked to your liking. Once they are done, let them stand for 1 minute before serving them.

Garnish with chives, serve and enjoy!

Cook’s Notes:
One of the many great things about avocados is the fact that they are really good for you. Being a healthy fat, they are high in omega 3 fatty acids which means they are perfect as a breakfast meal– packed full of protein, fiber, vitamin C, A and B-6.

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Roasted Red Beet, Spinach and Goat Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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All photographs and content are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

Thank you so much!

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Kentucky Bibb Lettuce Salad with Bourbon Vinaigrette

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Bibb lettuce is named for its original cultivator, John Bibb. In 1865 he grew his special Bibb lettuce in Kentucky’s alkaline soil. This variety, also called limestone, would become the first American gourmet lettuce. Bibb lettuce varieties are known for tolerating varied soils and heat and resisting blight during summer months, making them a choice lettuce for home gardeners. Not only does tender Bibb lettuce comes from Kentucky,  but  so does the best Bourbon whisky, both coming together in a perfect combination of Southern flavors that is fits nicely on the menu for a Kentucky Derby brunch.

 

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
8 chicken breast skins
1 1/2 cups pecan halves and pieces
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
8 cups torn Bibb lettuce (2 to 3 medium heads)
4 cups trimmed watercress
4 large peaches, pitted and sliced
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

For the Bourbon Vinaigrette:
Makes 1 1/4 cups
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
3 Tablespoons Woodford Reserve Bourbon
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2/3 cup canola oil

Directions:
For the Chicken Skins:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Pat chicken skins dry.Bake skins on parchment paper-lined sheet pan for 15 minutes.Remove from the oven to cool.Crumble the skins into medium -sized bits and set aside.

For the Pecans:
Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Toss pecans in butter. Stir together brown sugar and red pepper in a bowl; add pecans, tossing to coat. Spread pecans in a single layer in a lightly greased aluminum foil-lined shallow pan. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned, toasted, and fragrant. Remove from oven.Cool in pan on a wire rack 20 minutes; separate pecans with a fork and set aside.

For the Bourbon Vinaigrette:
Whisk together vinegar, brown sugar, bourbon, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Add canola oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth.Set aside.

For the Salad:
Gently combine the watercress, peaches,red onion slices and pecans in a large bowl.

To serve, place several Bibb leaves on a salad plate. Place the peach mixture on top of leaves. Sprinkle the crumbled cheese and chicken skins bits on top of the peach mixture and lightly drizzle with the vinaigrette.

 

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Broccoli Rabe with Sausage

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Don’t be daunted by the vegetable’s wild and unruly appearance; broccoli rabe is easy to cook. It’s great simply blanched and sautéed in olive oil, roasted until crisp or even pureed into a piquant pesto. Here, is a  fantastic recipe for broccoli rabe with sausage. Not only is is a great main dish that is quick and easy to make, but it also makes for a delicious filling for an Italian style sandwich.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 pound broccoli rabe
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces hot Italian sausage—casings removed, meat crumbled
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Salt, to taste
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup grated Pecorino cheese

Directions:
In a pot of salted boiling water, cook the broccoli rabe until nearly tender, 4 minutes. Drain and cool under cold water. Squeeze and pat dry, then chop.

In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the sausage and cook over moderately high heat, breaking it up into small pieces, until browned. Add 3 more tablespoons of oil, the garlic and red pepper to the skillet and cook for 1 minute. Add the broccoli rabe and cook, stirring, until tender, 3 minutes. Season with salt. Add the lemon juice and toss. Serve with Pecorino.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Fugazetta

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In 1893 Don Augustin Banchero arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina from Genoa, Italy and opened one of the country’s first pizzerias. The Banchero family, who now have four branches, claim to have invented the fugazza con queso, and this cheese and onion pizza, has since practically become part of the Argentinian staple diet. Fugazzetta is a variation of the popular Argentinian treat, and is very similar to Italian-style.

What makes it different?  Well, fugazzetta is a double crusted version of fugazza, stuffed with cheese and topped with the same sweet onions and slices of green olives. Fugazzetta de verdura has all of this plus a layer of sautéed spinach and vegetables. Fugazetta is more than a  century-old Argentine pizza and it has actually been listed as a food of ‘patrimonial value’ by the Argentine Parliament.

The fugazetta reminds me of the pissaladière , a  savory caramelized onion tart with black olives, that originated from Nice in Southern France, taking  its name from pissala, a pungent anchovy paste that gives the flatbread its distinctive flavor. May I will make that one day and post the results.

Traditionally topped with a copious amount of provolone cheese, finely shredded raw onions, green olives, and dusted with a bit of oregano and red pepper flakes, fugazetta  is a wondrous creation, that is completely vegetarian.

Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients:
*For the Pizza dough:
1 teaspoons Rapid-Rising Dry Yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 Tablespoons sugar
1 3/4 to  2 cups flour
1/2 Tablespoon coarse salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Extra olive oil, for Brushing the crust
*(Or a good-quality store-bought crust.)

For the Toppings:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 Vidalia onions, halved, thinly sliced
4 cups shredded Provolone Cheese (or Mozzarella)
3/4 cup Green Spanish  Manzanilla olives, sliced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

Directions:
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, proof the yeast by combining it with the warm water and sugar. Stir gently to dissolve. Let stand 3 minutes until foam appears. Turn mixer on low and slowly add the flour to the bowl. Dissolve salt in 1 tablespoons of warm water and add it to the mixture. Pour in the olive oil. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium. Stop the machine periodically to scrape the dough off the hook. Mix until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and fold over itself a few times. Form the dough into a round and place in an oiled bowl, turn to coat the entire ball with oil so it doesn’t form a skin. Cover with plastic wrap or damp towel and let rise over a gas pilot light on the stovetop or other warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes

Coat a sheet pan with a little olive oil and corn meal. Once the dough is doubled and domed, turn it out onto the counter. Roll and stretch the dough out to an oblong shape about 1/4-inch thick. Lay the flattened dough on the pan and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, coat a small saute pan with olive oil, add the onions, and cook over low heat for 30-45 minutes until the onions are deep brown and caramelized. Add a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper, then cook for another few minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Uncover the dough. Brush the crust with a bit of olive oil, then Scatter the provolone cheese, caramelized onions, olives, oregano and red pepper flakes over he surface of the dough.  Bake on the bottom rack for 10 to 15 minutes.

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TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Hot Honey Apple Tartlets

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For years hot honey has been used as a condiment on pizza in Brazil.    Introduced to the States by Michael Kurtz , he discovered the spicy honey while on a hike in Brazil in 2003. In a small mountain town there, he found a pizzeria that had the concoction on every table. When he got home to Brooklyn, he set about duplicating it. Years down the road, in 2010 Kurtz gets a job at a Brooklyn pizzeria Paulie Gee’s a approached the owner about his sweet concoction, with “Hey, I’ve got something you should try on your pizza.” And so, Mike’s Hot Honey was born and  the rest, as the say, was history.

Drizzled on a pizza, hot honey is especially good with salty meats like soppressata or pepperoni, the heat of hot honey isn’t as pronounced and the sweetness of the honey shines through even more.

Today, Mike’s Hot Honey serves retailers and restaurants in the borough of Brooklyn, New York and beyond with Mike’s original recipe, chili pepper-infused hot honey.

For this recipe, I used a dark  honey forest honey, which is available at specialty foods stores and from kalustyans.com. I was also able to get my hands on some malagueta peppers from Brazil, but  you can also use Fresno, Holland, Vietnamese or Thai chiles to get the same heat effect of  Brazillian chile infused honey. Another alternative is to substitute a mix of  2 green thai chiles  and 1 habanero  to every 3 malaguetas.

And I have discovered that you can also use hot honey as a sauce for fruit desserts. Cooked fruit has a robust flavor that can stand up to hot honey. Just squirting sriracha on everything doesn’t work on all  things eaten, but hot honey sure does. Try it on fried chicken, it is to die for!

 

Serves 8

Ingredients:
For the Hot Honey:
Makes About 1 Cup
2–4 hot chiles , thinly sliced
1 cup Langnese Forest Honey

Directions:
Bring 2 chiles and honey to a bare simmer in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Reduce heat to low and let the chiles simmer in the honey for 1 hour to 185°F . to infuse. Taste honey and adjust heat with another chile or 2. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes. Strain  into s sterilized jar while still warm and cap with a sterilized lid. Store honey chilled  in a refrigerator to slow oxidation.

Make  Ahead:  The hot honey can be made up to 3 months ahead of time. Keep chilled.

 

For the Tartlets:
Two  17.3-ounce packages frozen puff pastry (4 sheets), thawed
1 egg, beaten to blend
6 ounces soft fresh goat cheese (about 3/4 cup packed)
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
3 medium Gala apples,peeled,quartered,cored, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup hot honey, divided
1/2 teaspoon  ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 

Directions:
Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out each puff pastry sheet on lightly floured surface to 11-inch square. Using 5-inch-diameter cookie cutter or bowl, cut out 4 rounds from each pastry sheet, forming 16 rounds total. Divide 8 pastry rounds between prepared baking sheets; pierce rounds all over with fork. Using 3 1/2-inch-diameter cookie cutter or bowl, cut out smaller rounds from center of remaining 8 rounds (reserve 3 1/2-inch rounds for another use), forming eight 5-inch-diameter rings. Brush outer 1-inch edges of 5-inch rounds on baking sheets with beaten egg; top each with 1 pastry ring. Freeze at least 30 minutes.

MAKE AHEAD:  Pastry shells can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep frozen. Do not thaw before continuing. 

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a small bowl mix the ground allspice and cinnamon. Set aside.

Mix cheese, lemon juice, and salt in bowl; spread mixture inside rings on frozen pastry rounds. Overlap apple slices atop cheese. Mix butter and 1/4 cup honey in small bowl; brush over apples. Sprinkle with the allspice and cinnamon mixture. Bake until apples are tender and pastry is golden, about 35 minutes. Place tartlets on plates. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the hot honey over each tartlet and serve warm or at room temperature.

Cook’s Notes:
Bake the tartlets four to six hours ahead, then store them uncovered at room temperature. Rewarm in a 350°F oven for five to ten minutes. Drizzle tartlets with honey just before serving.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Orzo with Sauteed Collard Greens

Recipe Adapted from
Nature’s Greens, W. P. Rawl & Sons, Inc.

 

Photo Credit: Marti, 2015

Collard greens have been cooked and used for centuries. The Southern style of cooking of greens came with the arrival of African slaves to the southern colonies and the need to satisfy their hunger and provide food for their families. As the slave diet began to evolve and spread when slaves entered the plantation houses as cooks, their African dishes, using the foods available in the region in which they lived in, began to evolve into present-day Southern cooking, becoming a huge part of the Southern American culinary tradition known as “soul food”.

This recipe uses collard greens in a unique way, borrowing for the Italian culture with the use of orzo, tomatoes and dried Italian herbs, which comes together for a quick and easy meal that can be served family style for a hungry crowd, that is both healthy and tasty at the same time.

Enjoy!

Serves 6

Ingredients:
1 cup uncooked orzo
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs
4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 pound collard greens, washed and chopped *
Juice of 1 large lemon
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add orzo and return to boil. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally until the pasta has thoroughly cooked, about 6 to 9 minutes. Drain pasta and return to the pot, add the Italian herbs and gently toss to mix. Cover and set aside.

In another large stock pot, heat on medium and  add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add garlic and tomatoes and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the garlic and tomatoes and set aside.

Add the remaining tablespoons of olive oil to the same stock pot. Add the collard greens and toss to coat. Saute the greens for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the orzo, garlic, tomatoes and lemon juice. Stir and continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes. Stir in Parmesan cheese and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve warm or at room temperature with a rustic crusty bread, if desired.

Cook’s Notes:
* If fresh collard green are not available, an excellent alternative substitute are the commercially available “Natures Green Collard Greens” which can be found in the produce section of most local supermarkets and grocery stores.

For a variation, you can add sweet Italian sausage to this dish. Pinch little pieces of the sausage from the casing and roll them into 1-inch balls. Brown them in a skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through. Remove the  sausage meatballs out of skillet and set aside.  Following the recipe, add the sausage to the stock pot when adding the orzo, tomatoes, collard greens and lemon juice. Stir to combine and proceed with the recipe.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Bacon Pimento Cheese Dip

Pimento cheese is a staple in the Southern United States, but in the last few years, it has been  gaining popularity outside the South.  Here is an easy recipe where you can make your own pimento cheese spread with a bacony twist. Served with Ritz crackers, this is the perfect dip to be served as a appetizer for any given party.Enjoy!

 

Serves 8

Ingredients:
8 slices hickory smoked bacon
1 cup gluten-free mayonnaise
4 ounces cream cheese
One 4 -ounce jar diced pimentos, drained
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
2-3 scallions, diced
2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups pepper jack cheese, shredded
Kosher salt, to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cook bacon in a large deep skillet or sauté pan over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to paper towel; allow to cool and crumble.

In medium bowl, stir together bacon, mayonnaise, cream cheese, pimentos, jalapeño peppers, scallions and shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Evenly spread the mixture in an ovenproof 2-quart casserole dish. Bake for 25 minutes or until cheese is completely melted and bubbly.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

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