cheese


If you haven’t met Mary you need to do that right away. Along with her chickens, goats, emus, cows, and donkeys. Living on a 5 acre farm all of the creatures keep her busy as does all the wonderful cooking and baking she finds time to do. The pictures of her lovely house and all of the animals are lovely.

Mary – in case you haven’t recognized it yet – is the author of The Egg Farm and my assignment for the Secret Recipe Club for October. I perused her recipes for days, pinning more than I will ever cook, and finally ended up with a few I really really wanted to make asap. The other 20 or so can wait.

The garden gave us tons of tomatoes this year. I put up quite a few and they were still bearing in September when my assignment came through I managed to save two large green ones so I could make Mary’s Fried Green Tomatoes.

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I haven’t made them in ages. These were so good. Nice and crispy. Lots of flavor. I didn’t change her recipe at all.

    2 large green tomatoes, sliced into ½ inch slabs
    Buttermilk sufficient to cover the tomato slices
    Dash of hot sauce
    ½ cup all purpose flour
    ¾ cup panko bread crumbs
    ½ TBS kosher salt
    Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
    Canola oil for frying

Place sliced tomatoes in a glass pie dish. Add a dash of your favorite hot sauce. Pour buttermilk over the tomatoes to cover. This can be done ahead of time and refrigerated for a few hours or overnight. The great thing about letting them set overnight is that the water separated from the solids of the buttermilk leaving a nice thick white layer of buttermilk solids.
In a medium bowl, mix remaining ingredients except the oil. Remove the tomato slices from the buttermilk and carefully press each into the bread crumb/flour mixture. Have oil pre-heated to medium in a large frying pan. Add the tomatoes to the oil as soon as the are coated. Fry the tomatoes until each side is golden brown, turning only once. Remove from oil and allow the oil to drain a bit before placing the fried tomatoes on a plate. Serve immediately.

I usually just use a little flour and cornmeal, but Mary’s addition of the Panko bread crumbs added a great texture.


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Needing something for lunch I made

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The picture doesn’t do it justice. Full of basil and lots of cheese – I used Asiago, Parmesean, and Pecorino/Romano – the flavors really shined through. The only think I did different was to make it crustless. Delicious. Writing this I want it NOW for lunch.


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I love a good simple but filling dish for lunch. I really don’t like sandwiches unless they are hot. I went back to Mary’s blog and found –

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her Asparagus Fritata. And I had just bought some asparagus so I figured it was an omen! Especially since she had JUST posted it. A fritatta is much like a quiche except it is finished under the broiler and is crustless. Perfect!!

    2 tablespoons butter
    ¼ cup diced shallots
    ½ teaspoon salt
    Few turns of black pepper
    1 pound thin spear asparagus spears cut diagonally into 1-inch lengths
    ½ baked potato, cubed
    4 large eggs = 6Tbl egg whites
    1 Tbsp minced fresh chives
    1 cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese

Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until soft and translucent.
Add the asparagus cook for an additional 3 minutes. Add in the potatoes (mine were still hot so I added them later.) Save a some spears to top the frittata.
Mix the eggs, ¾ of the cheese, chives, salt and pepper and beat them until a little fluffy. Pour the egg mixture over the onions and asparagus in the skillet. Arrange the reserved asparagus spears on top. Cook until almost set. Pre-heat broiler.
Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the eggs broil until cheese is melted and browned, and the center is set. Carefully remove pan from oven and slide frittata onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges. Can be served warm or room temperature.

It was a yummy lunch. I had to stop myself from eating the whole thing. Happily, now I have leftovers!!

We wenyto a huge car show in Mississippi with 6 other people I took dessert. Mary’s Irish Cream Cupcakes caught my eye for two reasons. First – I love chocolate and second so does our cousin, Randy. Cuppys it is! These were so good and gone quickly. I did take pics but they are lost in cyberspace. You’ll just to trust me.

Thanks, Mary for some amazing recipes.

If you want to visit with the other members of Secret Recipe Club check out the link below. Lots of good stuff there!!

If you want, you can have your cake and eat it, too. You can have your indulgence and your veggies. By mixing them together as Donna did in this creamy cheesy mac and cheese by adding cauliflower.

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A creamy mix of shredded cheddar, grated Parmesan combined with milk, cream, and a crunchy bread crumb topping was a perfect side for our chicken.

While Donna called for elbow I used a brown rice/quinoa pasta I found at Trader Joe’s. I didn’t have the “chunky fresh sourdough breadcrumbs ” she asked for so I mixed the butter and garlic with Panko. It was nice a tasty. And easy to put together. The cauliflower is boiled with the pasta which helps with time and then mixed with the other ingredients. NICE!!

Oh, I did leave out the rosemary simply because I don’t like it. I thought about adding basil, but it just didn’t seem to fit with the other ingredients. 1/3 of the recipe was more than enough for the two of us.

The recipe is on Donna’s website

Visit with

for their tasty mac and cheese.

This week’s recipe, chosen by Chaya, was not one that would even have been on my radar. Because it called for white beans. I simply do not like beans and peas that are soft. Black eyed peas. Crowder peas, Red beans. White beans. YUCK!! So I almost skipped this one just because of the beans. I KNEW I wouldn’t like it.

    I. Was. Wrong!

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Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! So thank you, Chaya, for once again broadening my food horizons.

What we have here is a mix of cooked quinoa, brocalli, bacon (duh!), basil, mashed white beans, seasonings, and cheese. Then fried. How could this be wrong? The bacon and brocalli definitely cover the taste, and texture, of the beans which serve only as a filler. I am glad I didn’t make but 1/2 of the recipe because I could easily fill up on these. Easily!!

You can find the recipe on Donna’s website.And after you read the recipe check with

Chaya
Gaye

      who made hers with Couscous.

Sarah

and see how they liked the fritters.

If you need something quick to cook up for breakfast or lunch (or dinner) you might try a Frittata. Similar to a quiche it is crustless and finished in a broiler rather than baked in the oven. This frittata of Donna’s is super simple, super quick and super tasty.

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This is her zucchini and ricotta frittata and it is loaded with zucchini and and flavor from the ricotta and Parmesean cheese. It requires 6 eggs but I think you could get by with less. The recipe is HERE on Donna’s site. It was Chaya’s choice for WWDH this week. Good one, Chaya! I am sure Gaye, Kayte, and Sarah enjoyed it as well.

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If you have lots of people to feed and you don’t want or need to spend lots of money, PASTA is always budget friendly. Especially when it doesn’t include a lot of meat or poultry – which is getting more expensive daily. How about a creamy, garlicky pasta?

    With bacon?
      Yep! Perfect!

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Bucatini Pasta Alfredo Bake

    250 g bucatini, speghetti or your favorite large-ish pasta {I used rotini so all the sauce would stick to the pasta!}
    12 rashers/slices bacon or pancetta
    400 ml heavy cream
    200 ml vegetable stock
    4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
    Parmesan Cheese, grated.
    salt and pepper to taste.

Boil the pasta until al dente (about 8 minutes). Drain and place under cold running water until cooled.
Cut bacon into thick slices. Cook in a shallow, non-stick pan until crispy. Add the garlic cloves.
In a bowl mix together the pasta, cream, veggie stock, bacon, garlic, and season to taste.
Place all into a large baking dish and sprinkle a good bit of Parmesan (Or Asiago) over the top.
Bake for about 30 minutes at 350 until top is lightly browned. (Serves 4) {Original Recipe}

I made this for a Church Dinner – 5x recipe – and it was a big hit. Hit with us, too! But pasta, bacon, cream? How can you EVER go wrong with THAT!!!

If making it again, I would use less cream and veggie broth. It came out rather liquidy. But by the next day all the liquid had been absrobed so it was still okay!

What else is on the PotLuck Buffet? Mosey on over to I Heart Cooking Clubs and grab a look-see, and a plate!!

The whole time I was eating one of these CHEESE SCONES from Nigel Slater I was thinking how good these would be with a nice thick slice of ham. What could be better than ham and cheese? Especially when the cheese is already IN the bread.

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Can you believe all that cheesy goodness oozing from that HUGE scone?? I filled mine with gruyere and sprinkled sharp cheddar on top. It was wonderful!!

    450g/1lb plain flour, plus extra for dusting
    4 tsp baking powder
    85g/3oz cold butter, cubed
    350ml/12fl oz milk, plus extra for glazing
    250g/9oz assorted cheeses, cut into 1/4″ cubes, plus extra grated cheese to sprinkle on top

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
In a food processor mix the flour and baking powder.
Add in the butter and process only until the mixture resembles coarse, fresh breadcrumbs.
Pour in the milk to create a soft dough.
Add the chunks of cheese and ensure it is evenly distributed by pulsing the mix only once or twice for a short period.
Remove the dough from the processor and shape the dough into a rough round and place on a baking tray dusted with flour.
Press down on the top of the ball to flatten it slightly, then brush it with a little milk to glaze.
Sprinkle the extra cheese over the top, then cut the dough into four pieces, Or six if you want smaller scones, with a sharp knife but do not separate the pieces..
Bake in the preheated oven for around 30 minutes, or until the cheese topping looks golden-brown and crisp. {Original recipe}

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This was only 1/2 of the recipe and the scones were HUGE!!!

BTW this weeks theme for Nigel Slater was CHEESE!!! Check out the other’s cheesy goodness at I Heart Cooking Clubs

Actually, as Donna wrote it, it’s supposed to be rosemary on the tarts, but since I am not a big fan I subbed in basil. Which was a good thing since my goat cheese is harb and garlic, specifically, basil. How can you go wrong with doubling up on a good flavor?

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The pick this week is Kayte’s, who has been awol for a while and is now back and making great picks for us as usual. What do you need for this one? Puff pastry, potatoes, goat cheese (Donna called for slices but all I buy is a local soft cheese), and rosemary basil. Drizzle with a little EVOO and some cracked pepper. Delish!!

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The recipe is on page 158 of Donna’s modern classics: Book 1

And don’t forget to visit with

for their tarts.

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