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Showing posts with label cheese. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cheese. Show all posts

Monday, April 4, 2011

Ham and Cheese Rösti with Spinach and Pan Roasted Asparagus


Rösti.  Seriously, I think that is just a fun word. Don't ask me why... maybe it's because with those little dots over the 'o' it looks like the 'o' is ready to eat a slice of this ridiculously easy and yummy dinner, lunch or breakfast.  I don't know where this idea has been hiding my whole life either, but it was so good, everyone loved it and dinner was ready in 15 minutes flat.

Not too shabby, huh?!

So. It is basically a thinnish, pan fried, potato pancake with extras mixed in - ham and swiss cheese and spinach in this particular case.  You could vary what you mix in there however you like I'm sure, but those are ingredients I generally have on hand.

For a double bit of green with our dinner I also quick pan roasted some asparagus.  Including all the prep (which isn't much) and cooking time on everything, seriously, who wouldn't want dinner ready in 15 to 20 minutes tops (including very little to clean up).  Genius.

Speaking of genius moves... PheMOMenon is being redesigned in the next couple of weeks, so I hope you'll stay tuned for lots of fun changes! I'll be taking a little break in the meantime while all those details are worked out, but I'll be back soon!


Ham and Cheese Rösti 

Printable Version

1 large egg
5 ounces (approximately 1 cup) diced ham, whatever you have - I just used deli ham
1 cup shredded cheese, swiss, gruyere or whatever you like
1-2 shallot cloves, minced or about 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary or other herbs of your choice, finely minced (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large russet potato, peeled, grated and rinsed in cold water, then patted dry between paper towels
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
pinch of freshly ground red pepper flake or ground cayenne pepper
1 cup baby spinach leaves, chopped

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients, except for the olive oil and 1/4 cup of the cheese, and beat well.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet (9 to 10 inch) over medium-high heat.  Pour the potato mixture into the pan and cook until golden, about 6 to 7 minutes.  Cover the pan with a plate (or use the pan lid) and flip the potato cake out onto the plate by holding it over the pan and flipping the pan over (like you would a cake out of a cake pan onto a rack).  Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the skillet and slide the potato cake - uncooked side down - back into the pan.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese onto the top (cooked) side of the cake and cook the cake until golden, about another 5 to 6 minutes and the cheese is melted.  Remove the cake from the pan, cut into wedges and serve warm.

Pan Roasted Asparagus

1 lb asparagus spears, ends trimmed
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add the asparagus spears, cook 1 minute moving the spears around the pan gently and season with the salt and pepper.  Cook 1 to 2 minutes more until bright green, still crisp and hot. Sprinkle with a little lemon juice and serve hot.


Friday, October 1, 2010

French Fridays with Dorie (FFwD): Gougeres


Hooray for Dorie's new book - Around My French Table is here at last!  Which makes today, October 1st the very first day for the new group - French Fridays with Dorie (FFwD)!

Today is the first post for the group and all of October's recipe selections were chosen by Dorie herself, who is currently on tour with her new book (see the schedule here).

The first recipe for the group to make together is appropriately enough the first recipe in the book - gougeres.

These are light little cheese puff rolls made of the same type of dough (pate au choux) like cream puffs.  These really are a lot easier to make than most people tend to think - but the results are so amazing that it's hard to believe.  After all, can anything with a significant amount of gruyere melted in it not be delicious?!

I actually made the recipe twice in the past couple of weeks.  The first time we ate them with soup and the second time we just munched on them before dinner. Both times they were wonderful.  The second time I actually froze half the dough on the baking sheet. It was several days in the freezer before I ended up baking them - they had thawed a little bit before I put them in the oven to bake, but they baked up just as beautifully as the fresh batch did.

My most favorite way that I ate some of these this time was split with a little piece of leftover steak that I had - that was one heck of a little sandwich.

Make sure to visit the new French Fridays with Dorie site and see more gougeres on the Leave Your Link post.

You can also see the gougeres I posted over on last year that we made for a picnic.  They really are a wonderful little finger food and those ones had a little black pepper in them for an extra kick - so good!


Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Complete Meal: Vanilla Buttermilk Fresh Cheese

Recently, the wonderful and always brilliant Cath over at A Blithe Palate emailed and asked if I would like to participate in a new occasional event she was putting together. The idea was to take a cookbook and review several sections in the book that would basically put together an entire dinner from start to finish - appetizers, soups, entrees, sides, desserts, and so forth - effectively and simply, Cath is calling the event The Complete Meal. I thought it sounded like a wonderful idea and couldn't wait to jump on board.

The first book we are reviewing is the fairly new (it was only released at the beginning of November) The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern: Knockout Dishes with Down-Home Flavor. The book really delivers too! There are lots and lots of fabulous and incredibly appetizing photos of the different dishes, steps, ideas, tips and southern life all throughout the book. I felt a bit like I was getting a southern vacation and just wanted to kick back and read their stories, memories and recipes. All in all I thought the book is very well done and has lots of great ideas.

Since I am kicking off the event this week, my course was to make an appetizer of some kind from the book. While there were several shrimp dishes that sounded delicious, while trying to decide what I was going to make there was one idea that I just couldn't get past - a section on Buttermilk Fresh Cheese and several (11 I think) ideas of what you could do with it.

An unknown fact about me is that for the past year or so I've had this burgeoning curiosity about cheese making. As in, I reeeaaallly wanted to try it. I did try to make some mascarpone a few months ago - which failed miserably (I'm still not sure why - probably impatience on my part).

Anyway, I just kept coming back to the cheese recipe! The directions were simple. The ingredients were simple - just milk, buttermilk and flavoring - in my case the vanilla version with a little sugar added in. Mix and heat in a pot for a few minutes until it separates, strain into some cheese cloth, wring out the whey and within a few minutes - literally about 20 minutes start to finish - I had CHEESE! Crumbly, tender, flavorful and beautiful homemade fresh cheese! Seriously! Now, I don't know about you, but for me, it just doesn't get much cooler than that! I decided to use my cheese just like they suggest in the book, crumbled over some fruit. I would also like to try making it into a completely homemade cheeseball some time, which I think would really be a great treat.

Due to copyright I can't print the recipe here, but let me tell you, you need this book if you like simple fresh ideas, seafood, and Southern hospitality at all! I couldn't even share all the great versions and ideas they had for this cheese and I'm sure you could come up with dozens of more ideas on your own too.

Thanks again to Cath for putting together such a fun event! Be sure to head over to Peabody's blog for next week's course at Culinary Concoctions by Peabody. There will be a course posted each Sunday from now through each section till The Complete Meal is achieved!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Kid Friendly Friday #1: Mr. Crunch Sandwich


In an effort to keep track of ideas for things to feed the crazy five-year old monster (and yes, monster is a term of endearment in our house) I live with (and an effort to be more creative in feeding him) I am instigating Kid-Friendly Friday's. It is pretty much to keep me in line.

I need more ideas of easy to make, easy to eat, Aidan friendly meals that, hopefully, are somewhat healthy. I'm not saying these are going to be earth-shattering ideas or that they will be super duper nutritious. But, it will help me keep track of what he likes and what works.

Since Aidan's main source of food is still currently pretty much pancakes all the time, well, things could pretty much only go up from here.

For my first attempt I made something I am hereby dubbing a "Mr. Crunch Sandwich." Why? Well, to protect the innocent in this attempt and not have anyone accuse me of butchering any sacred cooking traditions I am not calling this what the idea was inspired from. The long and short of it is this is a grilled cheese and ham sandwich, dipped like french toast in a simple mixture of egg with a little salt, pepper and milk and fried in a little butter until hot, melty and a little crispy on the outside.

The Kiddo rated this one as five stars - which for him is the tops! We served along side some cold, crisp apple slices. We will be doing this one again I can tell.

Mr. Crunch Sandwich
Makes 1 sandwich

2 slices of sandwich bread of your choice, I had white on hand
1 slice American cheese (not my favorite choice, but this is what the kiddo likes)
1 slice black forest ham
1 teaspoon butter
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon non-fat milk
salt and pepper to taste

In a small, shallow bowl, beat the egg with the salt, pepper and milk to combine well.

Heat a grill pan to about 350 degrees (moderately high heat). Briefly heat the slice of ham to heat it well. Butter each slice of bread on the 'inside' of the sandwich and layer with the cheese and ham. Put the bread slices together and briefly dunk the sandwich on both sides in the egg mixture. Lightly butter the grill/griddle pan surface and place the egg-dipped sandwich in the buttered area. Cook until well browned and golden. Flip the sandwich and repeat the browning process on the other side, pressing the sandwich as flat as you can with the back of the spatula and browning the sandwich well.

Slice and serve.

Side ideas: Apple slices, carrots and ranch dressing, red seedless grapes, tomato soup, honey mustard sauce.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cheese Muffins & Awards


There are several "new" awards making their way around the blogs right now and I am so very happy to have received two more of them. When I get these awards it really makes my day and makes me feel really, really wonderful. Then, I remember, I am supposed to pass them on. I am breaking the rules a bit this time because I just can't decide anymore on who to pass these on to when I love so many, many blogs. 

So, if someone wants to smack me for this, so be it, but I'm doing it anyway. I think that it takes so much time, energy and motivation to share your creations and life online - so, 

(1) if you are listed in my sidebar - grab an award because I think you are brilliant and I love you! 

(2) if you are on my bloglines (ie, all the TWD members) grab and award because you inspire me with your dedication and passion for baking/blogging and 

(3) if I have commented on your blog it means you inspired me to type how your post made me feel (which, since I am most often only left one hand to type with while holding a very wiggly baby takes some motivation from me).

So, I think that you all are amazing and I dearly love you for being a part of this food blogging community and for letting me be a part of it as well.  Hugs to you all! 

Just so you don't leave here today without a recipe, here is the link to these wonderful, cheesey muffins recently featured in PW's dairy contest. They were really simple to make with ingredients that are most often on hand at our house, so they made an easy week-night addition to dinner.

Special thank you's to the lovely ladies who awarded me! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Thank You Tea Lady!

Thank you Cristine!


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie: Apple Cheddar Scones


So, I'm going to have to keep this post short and sweet because as usual lately, I am running behind - and it feels like I'm running in a million directions. So, while I have no clever words I can think of this week, I did make some little tweaks to this week's recipe choice from Karina of The Floured Apron for Apple Cheddar Scones.

Bacon. Oh yeah. In my humble opinion, there are few things that aren't better with bacon.

I also switched things up a bit by using about half of a fresh Granny Smith apple instead of dried. I just diced it really small and sauteed it with about 1 tablespoon of butter and about a 1/4 cup of chopped pecans.

As for the bacon I just rendered some small pieces of bacon in a skillet and added about 1 tablespoon of brown sugar here too til nice and cooked, then just chopped it a bit smaller - it was about 1/4 cup too.

There was plenty of moisture in the dough to incorporate all my little additions and these were pretty simple to make. We served them warm with some butter and they were great. They would definitely make a great little breakfast edition for a nice change.


Don't forget to check out the others over at Tuesdays with Dorie!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Ricotta Pancakes with Brown Sugar Cherry Sauce


I just have to share this recipe with you so that if you want to make a special breakfast for any Dad in your life on Sunday, you give this one a shot. The recipe is from the latest issue of Bon Appetit (June 2008). For me anyway, the name pretty much sells itself, but in case you aren't convinced - take a look.


These pancakes aren't heavy, but they are slightly more substantial than a plain ole pancake. They use egg white to help keep them light and fluffy. They are richer and have a bit of a 'creamy' texture to them from the ricotta. With the addition of the cherry sauce (and did I mention it has brown sugar in it... seriously, can you ever go wrong with brown sugar?) these are flat out awesome. I added a bit of almond flavored lightly whipped cream on top which pretty much melted for the most part as you can see because the cherry sauce was still nice and warm.

One tip I can share with you is that this "lightly whipped cream" of mine, is actually my lazy version of whipping cream. You see, I hate dirtying up an extra bowl, just to whip some cream just for me - especially when *sigh* I still don't have a hand mixer (just whisk and stand mixer - weird, I know). I also don't have one of those cool whipping gadgets (and as much of a gadget junkie as I am, just can't justify it...anyway, I digress - I was just so distracted by the pretty red color of the gadget - which actually brings us back to the pretty red cherries!).

So, what's a girl to do? Here you go, it's not terribly earth shattering, but you never know right?

Cream Topping - Shaken, Not Whipped
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tablespoon confectioners' sugar (or a bit less, depending on how sweet you like the cream to be)
1/4 teaspoon extract (I used almond here, but I usually use vanilla)

Combine all three ingredients in an empty, clean jelly jar or Mason jar. Put on the lid and shake vigorously until thick. (It only takes about a minute - incidentally, if you keep shaking, eventually you'll have butter - as a random aside, this is how Pioneers made their butter when they were walking across the Country to Utah. It is a fun thing to do with kids some time and the butter is great and creamy. Just omit the sugar and flavoring and shake the cream. You could add a small pinch of salt if you wish.)

Ricotta Pancakes with Brown Sugar Cherry Sauce
(Source: Bon Appetit June 2008 via Epicurious)

1/2 cup (or more) water, divided
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups halved pitted fresh Bing cherries or other dark sweet cherries (about 14 ounces unpitted cherries)
2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup whole milk
3 large egg whites

Vegetable oil (for brushing)

For sauce:
Whisk 1/4 cup water and cornstarch in small bowl. Melt butter in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add cherries, 1/4 cup water, and brown sugar; stir until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high; add cornstarch mixture and stir until mixture boils and thickens, adding water by tablespoonfuls if sauce is very thick, about 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice.

For pancakes:
Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in small bowl. Using electric mixer, beat ricotta cheese and egg yolks in large bowl at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Reduce mixer speed to low; add flour mixture alternately with milk in 2 additions each, beating just until blended and scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

Using electric mixer fitted with clean beaters, beat egg whites in medium bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold 1/4 of whites into ricotta mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites in 3 more additions.

Heat griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium heat; brush griddle lightly with oil. Drop batter by generous 1/4 cupfuls onto griddle; spread each pancake with offset spatula to form 3 1/2-inch round. Cook until bubbles form on tops of pancakes and bottoms are golden, about 3 minutes. Turn pancakes over and cook until golden brown on bottoms, about 2 minutes.

Transfer pancakes to plates. Top with cherry sauce and cream, if desired, and serve.


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Gruyere Cheese Stuffed Bread


Before I made this bread I had a whole lot of wonderful ideas in mind to write about how much I love visiting Farmers' Markets and how great they are. The problem is that now every time I think about this bread everything else just fades away into oblivion while my eyes and mind start to glaze over and I completely lose my train of thought. It is just that good. Ridiculously good.

So, this post is going to be abnormally short for me with just a lot of pictures. The bread, hot out of the oven is stellar, but even cold it is just so ridiculously good that I will now openly admit that I ate all of this for lunch, without even anything to go with it, and literally decided to hoard it all for myself. I did offer some to Aidan, but he was too focused on trying to get candy from me that he declined. Oh, so sad... more for me!! Now, before you think I am a complete glutton, I did only make half the recipe shown below, and I savored the bread over the span of a few hours - but, I could eat this everyday and be a very happy girl.

Park across the street from Gardners' Market - so beautiful!

I do think that the quality of the cheese you use makes a difference, and I was very excited that I did get to go to the Gardners' Market while visiting my parents and that I got to get some Rock Hill Creamery gruyere cheese. They are a small, artisan type operation and they even have a blog, with the too cute name Holy Cows. If you are in the Continental U.S. you can even buy their cheese online. It was so worth it.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go get groceries and buy more cheeses to try this bread with.



Gruyère-Stuffed Crusty Loaves
Adapted from the King Arthur Flour website

Step-by-step photos illustrating how to make this bread are available at Bakers’ Banter, the King Arthur blog.

1 1/4 cups (5 1/4 ounces) unbleached bread flour (I used all-purpose flour)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1/2 cup (4 ounces) cool water

To make the starter:
Mix the 1 1/4 cups flour, salt, yeast, and 1/2 cup water in a medium-sized bowl. Mix till well combined. Cover and let rest overnight at room temperature.

All of the starter
1 cup + 2 tablespoons (9 ounces) to 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) lukewarm water*
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups (14 3/4 ounces) unbleached bread flour (I used all-purpose flour)
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast

* Use the greater amount of water in winter, when conditions are dry; and the lesser amount in summer, when the weather is humid.

2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) grated Gruyère cheese, or the grated/shredded cheese of your choice

To make the dough:
Combine the risen starter with the water, salt, flour, and yeast. Knead—by hand, mixer, or bread machine set on the dough cycle—to make a smooth dough. Place it in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, till it’s nearly doubled in bulk.

Gently deflate the dough, and pat and stretch it into a ¾"-thick rectangle, about 9" x 12". Spritz with water, and sprinkle with the grated cheese. Starting with a long side, roll it into a log, pinching the seam to seal. Place the log, seam-side down, on a lightly floured or lightly oiled surface. Cover it and let it rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, till it’s puffy though not doubled in bulk.

Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F. Gently cut the log into four crosswise slices, for mini-breads; or simply cut the dough in half, for two normal-sized loaves.

Place them on one (for two loaves) or two (for four mini-loaves) lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheets, cut side up. Spread them open a bit, if necessary, to more fully expose the cheese. Spritz with warm water, and immediately place them in the preheated oven. Bake for 20 minutes (for the mini-loaves), or 35 minutes (for the full-sized loaves), or until the cheese is melted and the loaves are a very deep golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack.

four mini-loaves or two standard-size loaves.

©2007 The King Arthur Flour Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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