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Entries in Cheese (5)

Monday
Mar092015

Cauliflower Cheddar Soup

Cauliflower cheddar soup

We’ve been in a funk lately. Neither cooking, nor eating, has given us any joy. Perhaps it’s the winter we’ve been experiencing. Now that March is here, things aren’t much better. It is my least favorite month. It just seems so long, especially when temperatures are still frigid, snow is piled high, and spring is nowhere to be found. To spice things up a bit, and perhaps to bring some happiness back to our meals, I’ve decided to challenge myself to go meatless for the whole month. We’ve done it before, but we’ve taken break over the past few years, so why not bring it back? I sat down at my computer and planned out meals for the entire month of March so as to go into the challenge prepared. I have to say, the whole first week was a success. It has been a while since I have liked every single thing that has come out of my kitchen, but this week surprised me in the best way possible. This soup was one of the recipes we made this week. Besides the fact that it was incredibly easy to prepare, I had seconds and Joel had thirds(!) which is basically unheard of around here! To say we enjoyed it is an understatement! Here’s hoping that the next few weeks come with just as much success in the kitchen, and in the challenge, as this one. 

2 tablespoons Butter
1 Onion, diced
1 head Cauliflower, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
4 cups Vegetable Broth
1 cup Water
6 ounces White Cheddar, grated
1/4 teaspoon Salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon Pepper, or to taste 
1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper, or to taste

In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter, then add the onion and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add the cauliflower and cook until it begins to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the broth and water, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer until the cauliflower is tender, about 20 minutes. Puree the soup with an immersion blender (or in batches in the blender).Add the cheese and stir until melted. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne.

SOURCE: Prevention RD 

Tuesday
Apr152014

Roast Beef, Pepper, and Cheddar Sandwiches

Beef and cheese sandwiches

Sometimes I just don’t feel like cooking. It’s nights like those when I need quick meals in my repertoire to keep me from eating out. Like this one. Reminiscent of a fast-food beef and cheese sandwich I remember from my youth, but way better and more grown up. Perfectly cooked roast beef, sautéed onions and peppers, and a sauce actually made of cheese make for a very quick and very delicious weeknight meal. A word of warning…leftovers make for a messy lunch, but so worth it!

1 pound Roast Beef, medium-rare and thinly sliced
1 Onion, thinly sliced
1 Green Pepper, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons Olive Oil
2 cups Cheddar Cheese, grated
1/2 cup Evaporated Milk
4 Hoagie Rolls, split in half

Divide the roast beef between the 4 rolls on a baking sheet, and heat in an oven at 350 degrees for about 5-8 minutes, or until heated through. Meanwhile, sauté onions and peppers with olive oil in a medium pan until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. In a small saucepan, stir together the cheese and evaporated milk over medium-low heat until the cheese has melted. Season with salt and pepper. Top the roast beef with the sautéed onions and peppers and drizzle with the cheese sauce. Serve immediately. 

SOURCE: Cooking For Keeps

Saturday
Jan182014

Stuffed Poblanos

Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Joel likes to tease me about my apparent obsession with making “stuffed” food. Things like stuffed peppers, stuffed mushrooms, stuffed squash, and the like. I guess I’ve never thought about how much I enjoy stuffing food inside of food and calling it a meal. Unfortunately, Joel doesn’t share my interest in stuffed food. I don’t know why. Sure, he likes the components separately, but together? No, thanks. Well, maybe it’s mean of me, but I continue to make stuffed food, in hopes that he might someday change his mind. It may be working, because guess who liked this meal? Simple, slightly spicy, and meatless stuffing inside of a poblano makes for a delicious meal that leaves you stuffed! (see what I did there? haha)

1 can (28 ounces) Whole Tomatoes in Puree
1 Jalapeño, minced
1 Onion, chopped
3 Garlic cloves, 2 whole and 1 minced
Salt and Pepper
1 can (19 ounces) Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup Yellow Cornmeal
1 cup Pepper Jack Cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
3/4 cup Water
4 Poblano Chiles, halved lengthwise, ribs and seeds removed

In a blender, puree the tomatoes, jalapeño, half of the onions, and the 2 whole garlic cloves. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce into a 9x13 baking dish. In a medium bowl, combine the beans, cornmeal, 1/2 cup of cheese, remaining onions, minced garlic, cumin, and water. Season with salt and pepper. Evenly spoon the filling into the poblano halves. Place the poblanos on top of the sauce in the baking dish, then evenly sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil. Bake at 425 degrees for 45 minutes, or until the poblanos are tender. Uncover and continue to cook until the cheese is brown and bubbly and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 10-15 minutes.

SOURCE: Martha Stewart

Friday
Jul122013

Roasted Garlic Macaroni and Cheese

Roasted garlic mac

Yes, you read that right. Mac and cheese…in July. Yes, I did it, and no I don't regret it one bit. I know that I have five other mac and cheese recipes on my blog at this moment, but this mac and cheese is outstanding and quite possibly the best one I've had (at home) to date, so I couldn't help but add a sixth to the mix! When we sat down to eat, in between bites I kept announcing how delicious it was and I noticed Joel didn't seem to share in my excitement. When I tried to call him out on it, he just smiled and said "this is how mac and cheese is SUPPOSED to taste!" as he took another bite. I guess he did share in my excitement, but he just does a better job at hiding it than me…or I'm just a freak who gets overly excited about food (although if you are reading this, you probably do to…right? Please tell me I'm not alone!).

For the Crumb Topping:
4 tablespoons Butter
2 cups Panko Breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons Fresh Chives, chopped

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the Panko and chives, stirring to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until toasted and slightly browned. Transfer the crumb mixture to a small bowl and set aside. 

For the Pasta and Sauce:
1 Garlic Head
Olive Oil
1 pound Uncooked Pasta
1 stick Butter
6 tablespoons Flour
5 cups Whole Milk
5 1/2 cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded (I used a mix of yellow and white)
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon Ground Mustard Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Black Pepper

Slice the top third off of the head of garlic. Place the bottom portion on a piece of foil, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place the top portion back on the head of garlic and wrap tightly in the foil. Roast the garlic at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. When it has slightly cooled, squeeze the cloves into a bowl and mash them into a paste using a fork; set aside (this part can be done a day ahead of time, which is what I did). Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. In a large, heavy sauce pot, melt the stick of putter over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour and garlic paste. Cook the roux, whisking constantly, for 3 minutes until golden brown, then whisk in the milk. Bring the sauce to a boil, whisking constantly, then reduce to a simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in the cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, mustard powder, salt, and pepper until well combined. Add the drained pasta to the cheese sauce and stir to combine. Pour the macaroni and cheese into a baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle the top with the crumb topping. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until the macaroni and cheese is golden brown and bubbling. 

*Yield: One 9x13 baking dish, or two 8x8 baking dishes. I opted for two 8x8 dishes, one of which was foil. After it was cooled (but not baked), I wrapped the foil baking dish in plastic wrap and tinfoil, and placed it in a gallon-size freezer bag, then froze it for future use.

**Edited to add (7/21/13): We baked the frozen dish of mac and cheese for dinner tonight and it worked out perfectly. We pulled it from the freezer a few hours before baking so that it could defrost a bit before baking. To bake, I simply put it in the oven while the oven was preheating, and baked for 30 minutes, until the cheese was bubbly and slightly browned.

SOURCE: Just A Taste

Thursday
Jan102013

Cheddar Ale Soup

Cheddar ale soup

Living in an area that is prone to freezing temperatures, a piping hot bowl of soup seems to make winter more bearable. Because of that, we are always looking for a new soup recipe to try. Homemade tomato soup with a side of grilled cheese usually reigns supreme in our house, with broth-based vegetable soup and a crusty loaf of bread being a close second. However, every once in a great while, we crave something more rich and filling. Tonight, I made the ultimate rich and creamy soup. This cheddar ale soup was incredibly rich and delicious. How could it not be? It is basically vegetables cooked in bacon fat, then doused in melted cheese and beer! Healthy? Not so much. But I would be alright with making this a once a year "regular" in our house. Rather than pairing this soup with a crusty bread, we decided to bake up a batch of jalapeño-cheddar scones…truly a match made in heaven!

4 slices Thick-Cut Bacon, cut into 3 inch strips
2 tablespoons Butter
1 Onion, diced
2 Carrots, peeled and diced
2 Celery Stalks, diced
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/3 cup Flour
1 cup Pale Ale (we used Smuttynose)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
2 cups Milk
2 cups Vegetable Broth
1 1/4 pounds Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1 Scallion, sliced (for garnish)

In a 4 quart dutch oven over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the pot. Reduce the heat to medium and melt the butter in the pan with the bacon fat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 20 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the flour and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes. Add the beer and cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes. Add the Worcestershire, milk, and broth, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and puree the soup with an immersion blender until smooth. Once smooth, return the pot to medium-low heat and add the cheese, stirring constantly. Do not allow the soup to boil. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with bacon and scallions.

SOURCE: Barely adapted from Williams-Sonoma