06/5/14

National Cheese Day! – Texas Grilled Cheese with Honey Ham and Mango Hot Mustard

Texas Grilled Cheese with Honey Ham and Mango Hot Mustard

It’s National Cheese Day!

How ’bout THIS baby…

Cabot Vintage White Cheddar, shredded
El Diablo Mustards Mango Hot & Spicy Mustard
2 slices of honey ham
2 slices of Texas Toast
Butter

God Bless America, and pass the cream soda!

Chef Perry
SimplySmartDinnerPlans.com

05/16/14

Garden Scramble with “Everything Bagel” Cheddar

As part of the Cabot Creamery “Cheese Board”, I’m lucky enough to get a box of goodies delivered to my door once a month!

Cabot Cheese BoardYesterday I was once again greeted by the friendly FedEx man with a box filled with lots of great stuff. A heavy canvas shopping bag (look out Farmer’s Market!), a snazzy wine-bottle multi-tool, a huge dish cloth, and, of course, some more amazing cheeses!

Of the three samples I received this time, the “Everything Bagel Cheddar Cheese” caught my eye, and got my mouth watering.

I do love me a good everything bagel, and cheese is, of course, one of my favorite food groups, so the thought of combining the two…had my attention.

Cabot Everything Bagel Cheddar

Of course, Cabot nailed it. It’s exactly what a really good everything bagel would taste like, if topped with a thick slice of excellent white cheddar. Lovely stuff!

After I recovered from my initial swoon, my first thought was,”This would make some killer eggs!”

I was right…

Everything Bagel Scramble

Garden Scramble with “Everything Bagel” Cheddar

3 farm-fresh eggs
2 Tbsp. milk or cream
2 Tbs. butter, divided
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 cup each red/yellow/orange bell pepper
Dash of salt & pepper
1 Tbs. fresh parsley, divided
1 Tbs. fresh cilantro, divided
2 tsp. fresh chives, divided
3 oz. Cabot “Everything Bagel” Cheddar Cheese
1 round of flatbread (optional)

Mise en Place:

Whisk eggs until just combined, with milk, and a dash of salt and pepper. Mince garlic, dice peppers, and chop fresh herbs. Cut cheddar into 1/4 inch dice. Warm flatbread. Toss herbs to combine.

Prepare the Dish:

In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat and saute garlic, peppers, and 1/2 of the mixed herbs, until peppers just begin to soften. Remove from skillet, set aside and keep warm.

Add remaining butter to the skillet. When butter is hot, pour in the egg mixture and shake the pan until eggs are mostly set (see our post on Perfect Scrambled Eggs, here!)  Next, add the sauteed veggie, herb mixture and cheese cubes, toss, remove eggs from heat and cover until cheese has melted.

To serve, divide scramble between two plates, top with remaining pepper mixture and fresh herbs, and serve with warm flatbread.

Eating in the garden is optional.

Enjoy!

Chef Perry
SimplySmartDinnerPlans.com

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03/26/14

Candied-Onion Bacon Burgers with Steamed Cheddar Cheese

Candied Onion Bacon Burgers with Steamed Cheddar

Candied-Onion Bacon Burgers with Steamed Cheddar

Makes 3 burgers

1 lb 80%/20% ground beef
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 tsp. vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 garlic cloves
3 sprigs fresh thyme
6 oz Cabot extra-sharp cheddar cheese
6 slices of bacon (thin), for serving
3 pub rolls split and toasted
1 beefsteak tomato
1/2 cup candied onions

MISE EN PLACE

Peel and smash the garlic, cube cheese, split pub rolls, slice the tomatoes.

PREPARATION

Prepare the candied onions (see below).

Cook the bacon to not-quite crisp, 3-4 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.

Form the meat into 4 patties, about 3/4-inch thick. Using your thumb, make an indentation in the middle of each patty. (This keeps the burger from cooking unevenly and swelling in the middle). Season the patties on both sides, using 1 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper for each one.

(By the way, if you’re enjoying this article, you may want to subscribe to our free newsletter; we’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each week. Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk teens!)

Candied Onion Bacon Burgers with Steamed Cheddar
Heat 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat until just smoking. Place the patties in the pan and reduce the heat to medium-high, and cook for 4 minutes (never, never press on a burger – you’re just squeezing out the juices).

2

Flip the patties, add the butter, garlic cloves and thyme to the pan.

Once the butter has melted, tip the pan and baste each burger a few times, spooning the hot butter over it. Continue to cook, basting often, until the burgers are well-browned on the bottom and the meat is medium-rare, 5-6 minutes. Remove the burgers from the hot pan and let rest for 5 minutes.

While burgers are resting, steam the cheese and toast both halves of the pub rolls.

To build the burgers: spread onions on each bottom roll, top with 2 slices of tomato, then beef, bacon, and finally spoon the hot cheese over all, and top with the top of the roll.

Serve immediately.

Candied Onions

Candied Onions

Makes 1 cup

1 Tbsp. butter
1 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
Dash of freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp cup white wine vinegar

PREPARATION

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onions, garlic and thyme leaves, and stir. Cover and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are deep golden brown, 30-45 minutes.

Add the sugar, salt and pepper. Stir, replace the lid and cook for 10 minutes.

Add the vinegar and deglaze the pan. Cook away the excess liquid (about 10 minutes) then set aside. Use warm.

Steamed Cheese

Steamed Cheddar CheesePut about one inch of water in a pasta pot (with a strainer) and place it on the stove over medium heat.

Insert the strainer.

Divide 6 oz of Cabot extra-sharp cheddar cheese between 3 ramekins or small oven safe bowls. When the water begins to boil, set the ramekins in the strainer. Then cover the pasta pot, trapping the steam inside.

In about two minutes, check to see if the cheese has melted completely. Then use a spoon to scoop it out onto each hamburger. (Careful, it’s HOT!)

Steamed Cheddar Cheese

Enjoy!

-Chef Perry

02/10/14

Seriously Sharp Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese Egg Rolls

Here’s another in a series of cheesy recipes I’ve been toying with, last week we looked at Roast Beef and Horseradish Cheddar Pretzel Subs (and yes, they’re as good as they sound), this week we’re going to take it to the next level with…

Seriously Sharp Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese Egg Rolls.

Mac & Chese Egg Rolls

Yeah, we said that.

Thanks again to the folks at Cabot Creamery, who were kind enough to send me samples of several of their cheddar cheeses.

(By the way, if you’re enjoying this article, you may want to subscribe to our free newsletter; we’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each week. Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk teens!)

Founded in 1919, Cabot Creamery is a cooperative of 1,200 dairy farm families located throughout upstate New York and New England. They manage four plants in three states, employing over 1,000 people, who make award-winning cheeses, premium butter, light cheddars, flavored cheddars and rich Greek-Style Yogurt, cottage cheese and sour cream.

You can follow Cabot Creamery on Facebook, as well.


Seriously Sharp Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese Egg Rolls.

Mac & Cheese
1/2lb macaroni or other medium tubular pasta
2 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs.  flour
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1.5 cups 2% milk (1 1/2 gal + 1 cup)
2 cups + 1/2 cup Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar, grated
1/2 lbs thick bacon, cooked & crumbled

Egg Rolls
8 (7 inch square) egg roll wrappers
2 Tbs flour
2 Tbs water

Bacon Mac & Cheese Egg RollsMac & Cheese

Cook bacon. Boil the pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking, and return to the pan you boiled it in. Set aside. (Mix in a little butter to keep the noodles from sticking)Over medium heat, melt 2 Tbs. of butter.

Add the flour, salt, dry mustard, pepper, and the smoked paprika. Stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture has thickened, about 3-4 minutes.

Bacon Mac & Cheese Egg RollsTurn off the heat then add 2 cups of the freshly shredded cheddar cheese and stir until smooth.

Stir in the milk. Keeping on medium heat, whisk constantly for about 10 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Add bacon.

Bacon Mac & Cheese Egg Rolls
Pour the cheese sauce over the noodles and toss  gently until all noodles are covered. Let cool to room temp.

Bacon Mac & Cheese Egg RollsEgg Rolls

In another large skillet heat oil to about 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) or medium high heat. While oil is heating, combine flour and water in a bowl until they form a paste.

Bacon Mac & Cheese Egg RollsLay out one egg roll skin with a corner pointed toward you. Place about a 1/4 of the mac & cheese mixture, and a little of the remaining shredded cheese on egg roll paper and fold the bottom corner up over the mixture.

Bacon Mac & Cheese Egg RollsFold left and right corners toward the center and continue to roll.

Bacon Mac & Cheese Egg RollsBrush a bit of the flour paste on the final corner to help seal the egg roll.

Mac & Cheese Egg Roll
Place egg rolls into heated oil and fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown.
Mac & Cheese Egg Roll
Remove from oil and drain on paper towels or rack. Let cool 10-15 minutes before serving.
Mac & Chese Egg Rolls
02/4/14

Roast Beef and Horseradish Cheddar Pretzel Subs

Roast beef and horseradish cheddar

The folks at Cabot Creamery were kind enough to send me some samples of several of their cheddar cheeses.

Founded in 1919, Cabot Creamery is a cooperative of 1,200 dairy farm families located throughout upstate New York and New England. They manage four plants in three states, employing over 1,000 people, who make award-winning cheeses, premium butter, light cheddars, flavored cheddars and rich Greek-Style Yogurt, cottage cheese and sour cream.

You can follow Cabot Creamery on Facebook, as well.

Here’s the first of several recipes I’ve been toying with…this is some GREAT cheese!

Roast Beef and Horseradish Cheddar Pretzel SubsRoast Beef & Horseradish Cheddar Pretzel Subs
1 lb. premium rare roast beef, thinly sliced
4 Regular or pretzel-style hoagie rolls
1 cup pickled red onions (see recipe below)
4 oz. Cabot Horseradish Cheddar Cheese
2 cups au jus*

Mise en place:

Preheat broiler.

Roast Beef and Horseradish Cheddar Pretzel SubsHalve pretzel rolls. Shred cheese, and heat au jus to a simmer.

*Combine 3 tsp. of Better Than Bullion Au Jus, with 2 cups hot water.

Prepare the dish:

Place halved rolls, cut side up, on a baking sheet.

Dip the roast beef slices one at a time into the simmering au jus, just for a second, and then place them on the top half of each roll.

Top the roast beef with 1/4 of the cheese.

Roast Beef and Horseradish Cheddar Pretzel Subs

Place the sandwiches under the broiler until the bottoms are golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.

Close up sandwiches and serve immediately.

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Roast Beef and Horseradish Cheddar Pretzel Subs

Options: top with chilled tomato slices and fresh green lettuce leaves.

pickled onionsPickled Red Onions
1/2 cups rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 red onion, thinly sliced

Whisk first 3 ingredients and 1 cup water in a small bowl until sugar and salt dissolve.

Place onion in a bowl, add vinegar mixture, and let rest at room temperature for an hour.

Cover and chill. Drain onions before using.