Tag Archives: Cheese

Cheesy Cauliflower Dippers

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Photo Credit: Super Health Kids, 2014.

Cauliflower is kind of a rockstar when it comes to eating well. Not only is it a delicious side veggie to include with dinners or a great veggie to serve raw on a veggie platter; it can also turn many of your favorite guilty pleasure foods into healthier, but still tasty, options. This idea from Super Healthy Kids is another great way for cauliflower to shine as a snack or meal. Check it out.

Ingredients:

1 medium head cauliflower
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided in half
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 ° F.

Rinse a head of cauliflower thoroughly. Then, roughly chop. Put chopped cauliflower into the food processor until it has broken down into very fine bits.

Heat an inch of water in a pot until it boils. Put the cauliflower mixture into the water and steam for 4-5 minutes. Cover with a lid while it cooks, but be sure to keep an eye on it so the water doesn’t boil over.

Once steamed, put cauliflower through a fine mesh strainer to drain the water. Use a spoon to squeeze as much water out as you can. Then, use a clean dry towel to squeeze out the rest of the extra water. Be careful though – water will be hot!

Combine cauliflower with the rest of your ingredients (using half the mozzarella and none of the Parmesan). Mix until well combined.

Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.

Spoon cauliflower mixture onto parchment paper and form a kind of “loaf” with your hands – recipe should form a rectangle that’s about 8 1/2″ x 11″.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and set. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

Bake for another 10 or so minutes, until cheese is bubbly.

Remove from oven, slice and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

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Mushroom and Fontina Stuffed Roasted Potatoes

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Are you bored with you ordinary loaded baked potatoes. Why not dress them up with an elegant topping of  buttery mushrooms and a wonderful ooey gooey melted cheese? The perfect comfort food for a Meatless Monday!

Serves 4

Ingredients:
4  russet baking potatoes
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 pounds mixed mushrooms (i.e. maitake, oyster and enoki), cut into small pieces
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup Italian Fontina cheese, shredded
Chopped parsley, for garnish

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Wash or potatoes  thoroughly with a stiff brush and cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels.

Using a fork, pierce the potatoes several times all over. This will allow the moisture to escape during cooking.

Place  the potatoes in a large  bowl and coat lightly with oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt.

Place the potatoes on a baking sheet, and bake the potatoes for about 1 hour, until tender or until  the skin feels crisp but flesh beneath feels soft.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in the olive oil. Cook the mushrooms over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Slice halfway down the length of each potato, then crack  each of the spuds open by squeezing the ends towards one another. It will pop right open. Be very careful; there will be some steam released. Spoon 1 tablespoon of butter and 2 tablespoons of cheese into each one. Season with salt. Top with the mushrooms and the remaining cheese. Bake for 3 minutes, until the cheese melts. Garnish with parsley and serve hot.

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Thank you so much!

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Sautéed Mushrooms with Polenta

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A savory appetizer or main dish full with of flavorful mushrooms sautéed in herbs and a rich balsamic vinegar sauce, spooned over creamy polenta with melted  smoked gouda cheese.

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

For the  mushrooms:
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds Baby Bella  mushrooms, sliced
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup chicken broth
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt, to taste

For the  polenta  (See Cook’s Notes):
2 1/2 cups milk
2 1/4 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups instant polenta
8 ounces  smoked gouda  cheese, shredded (See Cook’s Notes)
Salt, to taste

Directions:

For  the mushrooms:Warm a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil. When oil begins to shimmer, add mushrooms; and cook stirring occasionally for 7 minutes. Stir in thyme, oregano, pepper and garlic; continue to cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in balsamic vinegar, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of pan, stirring constantly about 30 seconds. Stir in chicken broth, reduce to low. Stir in butter.  Adjust the seasoning with salt to taste. Keep warm.

For polenta: In a saucepan, bring 2 1/2 cups milk and 2 1/4 cups chicken broth to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; gradually stir in polenta; cook, stirring constantly until mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Add more liquid (broth, milk or water) as needed to achieve desired consistency. Remove from heat. Add shredded cheese; stir to combine until smooth. Salt to taste. Serve polenta warm topped with mushrooms.

*Cook’s Notes:
Other cheeses may be substituted. A few recommendations: Gouda, Gruyère, Havarti, Fontina,  or Cheddar.

For a homemade polenta, follow the link here: Creamy Polenta

 

 

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

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Croque Madame

Bonjour !

Je vous présente la tartine du petit déjeuner ultime… la Croque Madame!

The croque madame, the classic French ham and cheese sandwich covered in cheesy bechamel, with a fried egg placed on top of it.  Ham and cheese never tasted so good!

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Hello Friends!

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

Truffled Lobster Macaroni and Cheese

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This is the perfect dish for when you want to indulge and eat like royalty! This Truffle Lobster Mac n’ Cheese is filled with succulent chunks of lobster meat, black  truffle butter, and packed with an assortment of cheeses.This is the pinnacle of elevated comfort food. It’s sophisticated, yet  laid back; a grown up mac n’ cheese!

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients:
1 pound dried macaroni pasta
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped white onion
2 medium leeks, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 pound  cooked lobster meat, chopped*
8 ounces Gruyere cheese, cubed
½ cup Mozzarella cheese, cubed
1/3 cup Fontina cheese, cubed
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup smoked Gouda cheese, cubed
1/2 cup heavy cream
½ cup D’artagnan Black Truffle Butter
All-purpose flour, if needed
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt, to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 º F.

Grease a 3-quart baking dish and set aside.

In a large stockpot, bring the water  and chicken broth to a  boil.Add  the  pasta  to the  boiling liquids and cook 12 to 15 minutes, or to desired tenderness.Drain pasta, return to the same pot and set aside.

Meanwhile,  add  the oil to a large skillet and heat on medium heat. Add the  onions,leek, thyme and a pinch salt and cook for about 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent and the leeks are tender. Remove from  heat and set aside.

Heat a large  saucepan over medium heat, and add the cook pasta. Stir in the onion and leek  mixture, lobster meat, the cheeses, heavy cream, truffle butter,salt, white pepper, cayenne pepper and parsley into the cooked pasta. If the mixture is loose or too soupy stir in the flour if needed. Stir gently and transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.

Bake, covered, for 20 minutes, or until mixture is heated through. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

*Cook’s Notes:

For 8 ounces cooked lobster meat, start with two 8-ounce fresh or frozen lobster tails. Thaw lobster, if frozen. Preheat broiler. Butterfly the lobster tails by cutting through the center of the hard top shells and meat. Spread the tail halves apart. Place lobster tails, meat sides up, on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil 4 inches from the heat for 12 to 14 minutes or until lobster meat is opaque. Remove meat from shells.

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

Spaghetti with Arugula and Mint Pesto

Here is a peppery update to a classic basil pesto: arugula and fresh mint are combined to create a sprightly, fragrant pesto that’s wonderful with spaghetti. Add a salad and some crusty bread for an easy vegetarian supper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serves 4

Ingredients:
5 cups packed arugula
3/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup shaved aged hard cheese such as Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for sprinkling
2 garlic cloves
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 pound spaghetti

 

Directions:
In a blender, combine the arugula, mint, olive oil, the 1/2 cup cheese, the garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper and blend until smooth. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.

Refrigerate the pesto until ready to serve.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente , tender but firm to the bite,  10 to 12 minutes, or according to the package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta and return it to the empty pot.

Toss the pesto with the spaghetti. Thin it out with a small amount of reserved cooking water if needed. Taste, season with salt and pepper, and toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Divide among warmed serving bowls. Sprinkle cheese over each portion and serve immediately.

 

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Chicken Roquefort with Whisky Sauce

Adapted from Deliceline by Celine, 2013

 

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Serves 2

Ingredients:
2  Boneless chicken breasts
1 package of Roquefort  or Gorgonzola cheese
2 Tablespoons unsalted  butter
1 Tablespoon whisky (Bushmills Irish Whisky was used)
4  Slices of serrano ham
Salt, to  taste
Ground black pepper, to taste

 

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Using a paring knife, create a small pocket in each chicken breast. Season inside with salt and pepper.

in a medium bowl, mash the butter, Roquefort and whisky into a paste.

Take half of the cheese mixture and gently stuff  one of the chicken breasts.

Lay two slices of the serrano ham flat on the counter, making sure they over lap. Roll the chicken breast in the ham and secure with kitchen twine.

Repeat with the remaining chicken breast, cheese mixture, and ham.

Season the bundles with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and brown chicken breast on all sides, untl golden brown. Transfer to a parchment covered baking sheet.

Deglaze the skillet  with whisky and let the sauce reduce Pour the sauce over the chicken bundles and roast for 20-30 minutes, basting occasionally. To check for doneness, insert a  thermometer inserted into the chicken and it should reads 170°F.

Transfer the chicken breast to a cutting board and let stand 10 minutes. Slice each roast in half or in medallions.

This dish is best served as a main course with a  green salad and risotto.

 

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Quick and Easy Nacho Cheese Sauce

Whether its game night, movie night or you just want to have a quick snack, nachos are always a go to. But why leave your house to go pay for nachos when you already have the ingredients at home to make them? Forget heading to the store. And who needs Velveta! You can make nacho cheese sauce right at home.  Here’s the step by step recipe in making the cheesiest of nacho cheeses!

Makes About 2 Cups

Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flout
1 cup whole milk
8 ounces good quality shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For Serving:
Corn tortilla chips
Sour cream
Chopped fresh tomatoes
Slice scallions
Pickled jalapeno slices



Step 1:

Melt butter in your skillet.

 

 



Step 2:

Add 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour.

 

 

Step 3:

Add 1 cup of whole milk.

 

 



Step 4:

Add a 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt and ⅛ teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Then stir.

 

 

Step 5:

Add 8 ounces of  good quality cheddar cheese. Stir until cheese melts.

 

Step 6:

Take a ladle and add cheese to your tortilla chips.

 

 

 



Step 7:

Add tomatoes on top of the cheese, and scallions or jalapenos for extra flavor. Serve with sour cream on the side.

 

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Cheese and Pomegranate Stuffed Figs

 

Robiola-Stuffed Figs with Pomegranate
Photo Credit: Maxime Iattoni, 2011

Simple, sweet, and totally indulgent, these figs will be the talk of your party… even though they will be the easiest appetizer to make! Pungent robiola cheese can be substituted with brie, ricotta, or any other soft cheese in this simple no-cook appetizer.

Makes 15 Individual Figs
Ingredients:
1 pint fresh figs (about 15 figs), stemmed
8 ounces of soft cheese, like robiola cheese, rind removed, at room temperature
2 Tablespoons honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 Tablespoons fresh  pomegranate seeds
Dill sprigs, for garnish

 

Directions:
Working from the stem end of each fig and using a paring knife, cut an “x”, about halfway toward the base; set aside. Mix robiola, honey, salt and pepper in a bowl.

Spoon filling into a piping bag with a plain 1⁄2″ tip; pipe about 1 teaspoon into each fig. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and dill sprigs and serve.

 

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor