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.

Which translates into darn good fresh veggie quiche!! Lots of leeks {first time fresh from MY garden}, sweet peppers, celery, carrots, and very, very little custard.

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One of my favorite things to make is quiche. But I don’t make them as often as I would like because they usually call for TONS of eggs. Not this one – one whole egg and one yolk. {I used two whole eggs instead.} That’s it!! And some cream. I am wondering if I can use this little bit of custard in some other quiches!

While the veggies and custard were VERY tasty, the star of the show was the Gruyère sprinkled on top. The smoky flavor just took the quiche to a much higher level!! I will be very sad when this one is gone….oh, wait, I can make another. Maybe with some squash this summer from the garden, or eggplant, or Romas, or…shoot, the possibilities are endless.

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More quiche can be found on French Fridays with Dorie and the recipe is on page 158 in Dorie’s around my French table.

Once a month I get to cook/bake with an awesome bunch of bloggers who live all around the world. Each month a theme is announced and then we all get busy and find something that goes with the current theme. Sometimes it is easy – PIE! Sometimes it is hard – literary meal! This month I thought would be difficult but it turned out, once I got my thoughts straight, to be quite simple. Come up with a dish using just 3 ingredients!!!

Now how on earth can you make any…… nevermind. Lots of things are possible

How about MAC AND CHEESE?

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    2 cups elbow macaroni
    1 cup 1/2 and 1/2
    3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese

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Cook elbows in salted water until al dente and drain. Return to saucepan.
Add in 1/2 and 1/2 and grated cheese.
Stir until cheese melts and the mixture is thick and creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste.

OR how about Peanut Butter Cookies?

    1 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
    1 egg
    1/2 to 1 cup sugar (and you can sub out about 1/2 of that for Splenda if you like.)

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Peheat oven to 325.
Mix the three ingredients together.
Drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Bake 8 – 10 minutes.
EAT!!

Okay I could go on but thought I better quit with two goodies. But that’s not all there is for lunch. Check with the other Let’s Lunchers by visiting Linda over at Free Range Cookies who is hosting our lunch this month.

    Mac and Cheese!

I can do Mac and cheese.
Even when it’s call dressy pasta ‘risotto’! Next time you want to make mac and cheese, instead of your regular ingredients. use chicken broth, mascarpone, and Parm. And lots of pepper!

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This was nice and creamy and peppery. It was perfect with B’s ribs on New Years Day. Along with the cabbage and black eyed peas.

The only thing I would change would be to use less Parm cheese. We like it, but not THAT much (1/2 cup).

The recipe is on page369 of Dorie’s around my French table

And the rest of the Dorista’s mac and cheese can be found HERE!!

    Whatever you do, don’t slam the oven door or the Soufflé will fall!!

Turns out, that isn’t necessarily true: According to The Science of Good Cooking: Master 50 Simple Concepts to Enjoy a Lifetime of Success in the Kitchen

    “The sturdy muffins emerged unharmed, as did the yellow cake. Even the notoriously fragile angel food cake and the soufflé survived the vigorous slamming. Why? A properly developed foam – whether powered by baking soda, baking powder, or beaten egg whites – is pretty resilient.

But that is probably why so many people are afraid to try a soufflé. I know I was the first time I made one for Tuesdays with Dorie I kept a careful eye on the little babies. They came out just fine. AS did my Spinach and Cheddar ones I did 4 years later. And since this is DORIE, again, I was confident they would turn out just fine. And they did!

Since I was the only one home and the Hubs is NOT a cheese lover I had these all to my self. 1/2 of the recipe resulted in 3 little soufflés which I ate for dinner.

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Of course once they come out of the oven all the air that was nice and warm cools and the soufflés deflate IMMEDIATELY! But that’s okay.

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The flavor doesn’t deflate at all!

Muenster cheese is very mild and the cumin seemed to over power it. I think I like mine with a stronger cheese. But still good.

Visit the other members of French Fridays with Dorie and check out their soufflés. I already have and they are quite tall and lovely.

The recipe is on page 152 of Dorie’s around my French table

Moxie’s blog that is! And glad I did cause there are plenty of great recipes there to try. Which is the problem. Which one(s) to make for this months Secret Receipe Club. And if you don’t know what that is you need to visit SRC and get the low down! Every month we get a SECRET blog to cook from and then we all reveal it on the same day. You get to know so many great bloggers and their recipes. Like Moxie!

Moxie lives in Boston with her pug, Ginger. She grew up in Long Island with four siblings. A nice large Italian family with lots of great recipes passed down through the family. So it is no wonder it was hard to pick. I managed to narrow it down to 20 recipes which I pinned for later. I finally narrowed THAT down to three quick ones I knew we would enjoy – often!!

    Like her….

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    Green Beans with Caramelized Shallots

There is nothing better than good fresh beans with lovely onions cooked down in butter and brown sugar.

    1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed
    2 tablespoons butter
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    2 tablespoons brown sugar
    1 lb shallots, halved lengthwise and peeled
    1/2 tsp fresh thyme OR 1/4 tsp dried thyme
    2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook green beans in boiling salted water for 5 minutes or until semi-tender; drain. Dump green beans into ice water to stop cooking so they don’t get mushy. Drain and set aside.
In a large skillet, melt butter, olive oil and brown sugar over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté 5 minutes, breaking them apart with a wooden spoon. Stir frequently so the sugar does not burn. Reduce heat to medium-low, add thyme and vinegar, and sauté 10 minutes or until shallots are golden brown and tender.
Increase heat to medium-high and add the green beans back to the pan. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Sauté 3-5 minutes or until heated through. Serves 2 as a side dish.

The only thing I did different was to sautee the beans in a little butter and olive oil, instead of boiling them, and then add the cooked onions and cooked a little longer. So good!

One of my favorite soups is Tomato Basil so I am always looking for a good recipe. Moxie had one. And it so good. I am excited, also, because I got to use some Basil from the garden. She served hers with a grilled sandwich and that sounded like a perfect lunch.

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    2 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
    1/2 cup olive oil, divided
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    2 stalks celery, diced
    2 small carrots, diced
    1 large onion, diced
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    3 cups chicken broth
    2 bay leaves
    4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
    1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
    1/2 cup heavy cream, optional

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Drain cans of tomatoes, reserving juice for later. Pour 1/4 cup olive oil on foil-lined baking sheet along with diced tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, turning halfway through baking.
Meanwhile, in a large stockpot, heat remaining 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat. Add the celery, carrots, onion and garlic, cooking until softened, about 15 minutes. Add the roasted tomatoes, reserved juices, chicken broth, bay leaves and butter. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15-20 minutes. Add basil and cream, if using. Puree with a hand held immersion blender until smooth. Serves 4.


Instead of her basic grilled cheese, though, I made her

    Grilled Cheese with ‘Shrooms

    1 teaspoon olive oil
    4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
    Dash of thyme
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    2 ounces shredded mozzarella, divided
    2 slices of wheat bread
    Cooking spray

In a small skillet, heat olive oil on medium-high heat. Cook mushrooms until they start to turn golden brown, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. Set mushrooms aside in a bowl and wipe out your skillet with a paper towel.
Spray your skillet with cooking spray and turn back to medium-high heat. Place one slice of bread in pan and cover with one ounce mozzarella cheese, reserved mushrooms and then remaining one ounce mozzarella cheese. Top with the other slice of bread and spray more cooking spray right over the top.
Grill sandwich about 2-3 minutes per side, just until it starts to turn golden brown and the cheese melts, flipping once. Serves 1.
And I was right. It WAS the perfect lunch. So many more dishes I want to go back for, but until then, as Moxie would say:

    Tutti Mangia!

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