cheese


When I think of strudel I think fruit, sweet, crunchy, dessert.
When Ellie thinks of strudel she thinks basil, spinach, cheese, tomatoes.
Guess we don’t think alike.
But I like her thoughts.

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I think it was darn delicious.

Simple whole wheat pizza dough {she listed frozen but I made my own using Bittman’s no-knead WW dough} wrapped around lots of good stuff including ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, basil, spinach, and sundried tomatoes. SO GOOD! Definitely a repeat.

I have to say, though, I would use less ricotta but then it’s not my fave. And now that i’ve made it I can see it with black olives or green olives or mushrooms.

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Yes, indeed!

The recipe is on page 222 of Ellie’s Weeknight Wonders and it was my pick for this week. I hope the other Eaters liked it as well. Check on our website and see.

And if you would like to join in with our healthy eating the upcoming recipes are listed there. Just cook, blog, and leave comment. Love to have you.

In case you hadn’t noticed, this week’s theme for I Heart Cooking Clubs is CHEESE!! Any kind of cheese in any kind of dish just as long as it is from Jacques Pepin’scollection of recipes. And believe me, there are plenty to choose from.

Fulfilling this week’s theme…

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    Gruyère Cheese Soufflé

I made just 1/2 of the recipe because I wasn’t sure if The Man would like it. What I ended up with was three ramekins of deliciousness.

    1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
    1 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
    1 3/4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup cold whole milk
    3 large eggs, separated
    1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    1 1/2 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded (1/2 cup) {I used a smoked Gruyère.}
    1 tablespoons chopped chives
    1 slices of yellow American cheese, each cut into 6 strips

Preheat the oven to 400°. Grease 3 4″ ramekins with butter and dust with the Parmigiano. Put in the fridge until ready to fill.
Melt the butter over moderate heat then whisk in the flour and cook, whisking, for 1 minute. Add in the milk, bring to a boil and cook, whisking, until thickened, 1 minute.
Remove the béchamel from the heat, then whisk in 2 egg yolks along with the salt and pepper.
Beat the whites until firm peaks form. Whisk one-third of the whites into the béchamel. Gently fold in the rest of the whites. <font color="green"}I have found that if you just need a small amount of whipped whites my small electric chopper works very well and so much easier than pulling out a mixer.}</font}
Fold in the Gruyère and chives; scrape into the prepared dishes.
Top each ramekin with a small piece of American Cheese.
Bake for 23 – 25 minutes, until puffed and golden. Serve. Original Recipe from Food and Wine

Had to photograph this one quickly because Soufflés collapse very quickly. But the collapse doesn’t affect the taste. Creamy. Cheesy. So much flavor. Now I wish I had the whole recipe. Even The Man liked it, kinda…..

For the rest of the cheesy dishes visit IHCC.

For supper last night I made pizza. I have been craving pizza FOREVER. This might NOT what I had in mind when I pictured pizza but it hit the spot just fine.

Peggy chose an out of the box form of America’s favorite savory pie – one with asparagus and mozzarella. YES!! Two of my favorite things.

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The cheese was bubbly and delicious. The flavor of the crust was nice. The asparagus was lovely but I think it hid too much behind the cheeses, Mozz and Parm. Definitely one I would make again, tho.

Instead of a frozen crust as Ellie listed I used a recipe from Mark Bittman for his Whole Wheat Crust.

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You can find the recipe on page 215 of Weeknight Wonders.

And check with the other “Eaters” to see how they liked Peggy’s choice this week.

If you are looking for your Italian Grandmother’s Ravioli, this is NOT the recipe you want. However, if you want you Chinese Auntie’s Ravioli then thank Donna Hay.

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What we have here is a tasty spinach/ricotta/Parm/basil mix stuffed into Wonton Wrappers and quickly boiled. Then drizzled with a lemon basil oil and topped with Mozzarella. Maybe your Italian Grandmother and HER Chinese Auntie got together on this one.

These were so good. While they took a little time to put together it was well worth it.

The original recipe called for gow gee wrappers. Gow gee wrappers are similar to Wonton wraps but lighter in color and a little thicker. I had to use the wonton because Gow Gee wrappers simply aren’t available here. Maybe next time I visit the Vietnamese market….

Anyway, since wonton wrappers are thinner they cook quicker, and fall apart quicker, so I would suggest steaming rather than boiling them. I have filling left over so I will steam the next batch. The recipe is from Donna Hay’s Seasons, page 174, But Gaye, who chose this week’s recipe, also found it on Dreams of a Baker website.

Check on the other Haysters and see what they thought of this one.

{NB I tried to make these pretty, but they simply are not photogenic!}

And…BTW, and maybe you already know this, but THIS is the way to finely chop lots of spinach!!

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Whay haven’t I done this before???

This week’s choice for Eating with Ellie was mine. As I read through her book, Weeknight Wonders the word Parmesan caught my eye. That was all it took for me to latch on to this recipe for this week.

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The idea of crusting something with Parmesan just sounded like the right thing to do. So I did.

The flavor of the Parmesan with a little salt and pepper was just about perfect. Except for the fact that I simply could not get the Parm to stay on the chicken while cooking. Maybe I had too little of the Dijon mustard on the chicken. But I did scrape up all the tasty bits and placed them back on the chicken and it was very tasty.

Check out the rest of the Chicken dishes from Peggy, Chaya, Kayte, and Sarah.

And if you want to cook along all you need is Ellie’s book – Weekend Wonders and the need/desire to cook healthy tasty meals.

This recipe is on page 134.

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.

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