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Posts Tagged ‘cheddar’


Individual Bread Puddings - Meatballs&Milkshakes

Bread pudding is the perfect way to use up leftovers, whether it’s vegetables from last night’s dinner, bacon from yesterday’s breakfast (who has leftover bacon?!), or bits of cheese after that party. The important thing is to have some flavorings like onions, garlic, and herbs along with cheese and eggs to soak into day old bread and bake up into a lovely custardy breakfast. I like to make them in single servings or in cupcake pans so that I can take them with me on busy mornings. They also freeze well and you can heat straight from the freezer in single servings.

Individual Bread Puddings

5 eggs

1 cup milk

2 cups day old bread, cubed (small if making individual servings, they have to fit in the muffin cups)

1/2 cup grated cheddar

1/2 cup grated asiago

1/2 onion, minced (or leftover)

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup spinach, chopped (or leftover)

1 cup mushrooms, sliced (or leftover)

1 cup white wine

2 tablespoons sage, minced

Parmesan cheese for grating

Saute the onion, garlic,sage,  and mushrooms in a couple tablespoons olive oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the spinach and allow to wilt. Add the white wine and allow the alcohol to cook off, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

Meanwhile, in another bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Season with salt and pepper, and add in the cheddar and asiago. Add in the bread along with the vegetable mixture. Make sure the bread soaks up a lot of the liquid before cooking. Pour into lined muffin pans, individual ramekins, or a large baking dish. Top with grated parmesan and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes if using muffin pans and up to 45 minutes if using a baking dish. Make sure they have started to brown and puff up, to know they are done.

Individual Bread Puddings - Meatballs&Milkshakes

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Cheddar Oat Crackers - Meatballs&Milkshakes

I’ve had some rolled oats in the cabinet for a while, and I decided to try this recipe to use them up. It’s a healthier version of my cheddar parmesan crackers, and the oats give them a heft that makes them a more filling snack so you will eat fewer and get full faster. Perfect for the new year, as many try to balance out all the holiday eating.

Cheddar Oat Crackers

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup milk

3/4 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

4 ounces cheddar, grated

2 tablespoons cold butter, cubed

2 eggs, 1 beaten with a splash of water for egg wash

flaked sea salt such as Maldon

Soak the oats in the milk for a few minutes while you combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in a food processor and pulse a couple times. Add the cheese and butter and pulse until it starts to resemble sand. Add in the oats and 1 egg, and pulse until it comes together. Turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap and form into a disc. Refrigerate for 2 hours until chilled.

Roll out in two sections between two sheets of parchment paper as thinly as you can, to about 1/8″. Cut or use a ravioli cutter or cookie cutter to create crackers. Put them onto a silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the crackers with the egg wash and sprinkle sea salt on top.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 12-14 minutes, until they start to brown. Let cool before removing and serving.

Cheddar Oat Crackers - Meatballs&Milkshakes

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Gratins make anything better. A nice cheesy, crunchy crust on top of any vegetable is an improvement. I also love that you can make gratins ahead of time and finish the cooking in the oven, so you can leave the kitchen and entertain guests. And of course this makes them perfect for the holidays, when half my meal is made ahead of time so it’s no stress and I can focus on a few key things that require attention.

Parsnip Gratin

1 pound parsnips, sliced into thin discs

1/2 cup hazelnuts

1 strip bacon, cut into small batons (optional)

1 shallot, minced

2 tablespoons thyme

1 cup milk

1/2 cup grated gruyere

1/2 cup grated cheddar

2 tablespoons grated parmesan

1 slice bread, crumbled or ground into big breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons butter

If using bacon, render it in a frying pan until crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Add the shallots to the pan and soften, about 2 minutes. Remove to a bowl and combine with the parsnips, half the hazelnuts, most of the cheddar and gruyere, milk, bacon, and the thyme. Stir together and pour into a baking dish.

Combine the parmesan, remaining gruyere and cheddar, and breadcrumbs in a separate bowl and drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil. Sprinkle over the top of the parsnips along with the remaining hazelnuts. Dot the top with little pieces of the butter.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until the top gets brown and crispy. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.

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We survived the hurricane without any damage beyond getting a little stir-crazy, so I have to feel pretty grateful. We didn’t lose power or have any terrible flooding, but all we could do for days was watch the damage on TV. Of course, one of my first plans of action was to get to work on hurricane food.

Naturally, my first inclination was for mac & cheese, which was so delicious that it was gone before I could take pictures. For those curious, my mac & cheese is basically my tuna noodle casserole without the tuna. Next up, tomato soup and grilled cheese. I had some cherry tomatoes that were ready to be roasted, and combined them with some canned tomatoes to round out the soup. Perfect cold, rainy weather food. And it’s always a good time for a grilled cheese.

Roasted Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

1 pint cherry tomatoes

4 tablespoons olive oil

12 sprigs thyme

1/2 can San Marzano tomatoes, crushed or pureed

1 cup red wine

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 onion, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 slices whole grain bread

3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese

thin slices apple, a tablespoon apricot or fig jam, etc (optional)

Roast the cherry tomatoes with half the olive oil and half the thyme at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, saute the onion and garlic in the remaining olive oil for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add the tomato paste and allow to rust for another minute or two. Add the roasted tomatoes, canned tomatoes, sugar, and wine. Allow to cook together for 10-15 minutes while you prepare the grilled cheese. You may choose to puree the soup with a stick blender, but we wanted it chunky this time.

Toast the bread in a pan with olive oil or in a toaster until light brown. Add the cheese and any toppings you may like. Cook in a saute pan with a little olive oil or butter until the cheese melts and the bread is toasted. Make sure to flip halfway through and a lid can sometimes help the cheese to melt. Use medium heat so that the bread does not burn before the cheese has finish melting. Allow to cool a few minutes before cutting, so that the cheese does not run out.

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This is another recipe that I thought needed some new pictures. Crepes aren’t much more effort than pancakes, but I like them so much more. You can fill them with whatever you like; my favorite is nutella and strawberries.

I thought we needed something special for breakfast over the weekend, and crepes immediately came to mind. I’ve never made them before, but I’ve definitely made a lot of pancakes. I pulled out my copy of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” and I took Julia’s basic dessert crepe recipe.

Crepes inspired from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck

1 cup milk

1/2 cup water

3 egg yolks

1 tablespoon sugar

3 tablespoons Triple Sec or Grand Marnier

1 1/2 cups flour

5 tablespoons butter, melted

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until combined making sure to scrape down the sides as needed. Let it rest in the fridge for 2 hours if possible, up to a day.

Using a little butter or vegetable oil, just enough to very lightly coat the pan, pour a 1/4 cup of the mixture into the pan and swirl it into one even layer. This must be done quickly before the batter sets, and you need to have the heat down pretty low. I pick the pan up off the heat when I do it so that I can tilt to swirl. Once it starts to bubble up and become slightly browned on the bottom, it’s ready for a flip. 1 minute on the other side and it’s done. Fill with anything, we used nutella, peanut butter, nutella with strawberries and bananas, and lemon curd. And we even tried 2 with cheddar and pecorino and they were fantastic!

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I’ve never been all that excited by biscuits. I think it’s because most of the time, they turn out dry and somewhat tasteless if you get them at diners or restaurants. And don’t even get me started on the fast food version. But, now that I know how good these are, I’ll be stocking my freezer with loads of them. They bake up straight from the freezer and they are so light and flaky that they’re actually best all on their own. But that didn’t stop me from trying a fried egg sandwich with pancetta and cheddar.

Oh, and I should mention that once again this recipe came from the Flour Bakery cookbook. Still working my way through it and enjoying everything.

Sage Biscuits

2 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 stick cold butter, cut into pieces

1/2 cup cold buttermilk

1/2 cup cold heavy cream

1 cold egg

1 tablespoon chopped sage

1 tablespoon chopped scallions

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Scatter the butter pieces in and squeeze between your fingers so that they come together with the dry ingredients. Don’t over mix, you don’t want it to warm up either. The butter should still be in pea-sized pieces.

In another bowl or measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, cream, egg, sage, and scallion together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients while  mixing with a handmixer, just until it comes together.

Gather the dough together and roll around in the bowl to pick up any loose flour. Pour out onto a floured surface and pat into a 1″ thickness. Cut out with a 3″ round cutter. Bring together the scraps until you’ve used all the dough. This should make 8 biscuits. If you want to freeze them, wrap them individually in plastic wrap now.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or 45 minutes if they were frozen.

I love a fried egg sandwich with pancetta, but you can definitely substitute your favorite bacon. I also am partial to cheddar or asiago, but use whatever cheese you like best as well.

Fried Egg Sandwich

1 biscuit

1 egg

2 pieces pancetta or bacon

handful of arugula

2 basil leaves

a couple slices of cheese or some grated cheese to taste

Fry up the bacon or pancetta in a frying pan until crispy. Remove to a paper towel. Cook the egg in the rendered bacon fat and season with salt and pepper. I don’t usually flip my eggs because I like them runny, but I do baste them with the extra oil/fat in the pan. Layer the cheese, pancetta, and arugula on the bottom and place the egg on top of the cheese so it starts to melt. Top with a couple basil leaves and the top of your biscuit and dig in!

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I’ve been thinking about slow roasting a pork shoulder for a while now. I’ve always thought it was some big endeavor with an expensive piece of meat, but it turns out I was totally wrong. The meat was very inexpensive and it couldn’t have been easier. A dry rub on the outside, and you put it in the oven for a good long time. It comes out glistening and golden with a meaty, heavenly aroma that perfumes the whole apartment. No one can resist picking at it before it cools, either. And pork shoulder is so versatile, you could make it into tacos or any other Mexican food, or you could make a ragu, bbq pulled pork, or anything else porky you can think of.

Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder

1 pork shoulder

2 tablespoons salt

1 tablespoon ground pepper

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon coriander

1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper

1 tablespoon cayenne

1/4 cup brown sugar

4 sprigs of rosemary

6 garlic cloves, chopped

Combine the spices, brown sugar, and garlic together. Score the skin through the fat layer but not into the meat in about a 1 inch cross-hatch. Rub the spice rub all over the pork shoulder, making sure to get inside the cuts. Place the shoulder into a baking dish with some of the rosemary sprigs below. Add a couple on top and a couple extra whole garlic cloves if you want.

Put in a 350 degree oven for 4-5 hours, until the meat is tender and you can pull it apart with a fork. The skin should be crispy and the meat moist.

Pork Tacos

2-3 ounces shredded roasted pork shoulder

2 tablespoons grated cheddar

1 corn tortilla

2 tablespoons guacamole

hot sauce

Put the tortilla in a frying pan with a sprinkle of olive oil and spread the grated cheddar on top. The tortilla will brown a little and the cheese will melt. Remove from the pan and add the warm pork along with the guacamole and a sprinkle of hot sauce. Or add any other toppings you like for tacos!

Guacamole

1 avocado

Juice and zest of 2 limes

1 shallot, minced

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1 teaspoon agave nectar or honey

1 teaspoon aleppo pepper or cayenne if you like it spicier

1 tablespoon olive oil

Combine the lime, shallot, and garlic together and let sit for 20 minutes so the shallot and garlic soften and bloom. Add the avocado, spices, agave, and olive oil and mash together with a fork. Add the tomatoes and stir through gently. Let sit for at least an hour for best flavor.

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