My friend served delicious pimento cheese sandwiches recently- reminding me how much I enjoy them. 🙂 Eating them also reminded me that I wanted to try this version from Charleston, South Carolina.
The recipe is from The New York Times, contributed by the Lee Brothers. I used Cabot 3-year sharp cheddar cheese. I served it on the Fourth of July as a dip with crackers and pita chips. Alternatively, it could be used to fill about 4 sandwiches. Easy and fabulous.
Yield: about 1 1/2 cups
- 8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated with a food processor or hand grater (not pre-grated)
- 1/4 cup softened cream cheese (2 ounces), pulled into several pieces
- scant 1/2 cup jarred pimento or other roasted red peppers (from a 7-ounce jar), finely diced
- 3 tablespoons Duke’s, Hellmann’s or other high-quality store-bought mayonnaise (I used Trader Joe’s)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried red chile flakes
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a large mixing bowl, place the cheddar cheese in an even layer.
- Scatter the cream cheese, pimentos, mayonnaise and chile flakes over the cheddar cheese.
- Using a spatula, mix the pimento cheese until it is smooth and spreadable, about 1 1/2 minutes.
- Transfer the pimento cheese to a plastic container or bowl, cover tightly, and store in the refrigerator.
- Serve as a sandwich spread or as a dip.
Note: Pimento cheese keeps in the refrigerator for 1 week.
Posted in Appetizers, Holiday, Quick, Recipes, Vegetarian
Tags: brunch, cheddar, cream cheese, easy, fast, Fourth of July, July 4th, mayonnaise, pimento, pimento cheese, quick, sandwich spread, sandwiches, Southern, spread, tea sandwiches
I do have a few more desserts to share, but I am interrupting those posts to share this amazing savory pie. It was ridiculously good. Worth every calorie in every indulgent bite. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I incorporated whole wheat pastry flour in the cornmeal crust (delicious) and adapted the method.
I made it with fresh sweet corn but I can imagine it would also be wonderful with frozen corn. We ate it with roasted potatoes and a giant green salad- a very satisfying meal. Fluffy and fabulous!
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
For the Crust:
- 1/2 cup/65 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 1/2 cup/65 grams whole wheat pastry flour (can substitute all-purpose)
- 1/4 cup/40 grams cornmeal or polenta/grits
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup/115 grams cold unsalted butter (1 stick), cubed
- 3 to 6 tablespoons ice water
For the Filling:
- 1/2 large or 1 small red onion
- 1 T fresh lime juice, plus more to taste (from 1/2 lime)
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt, plus more as needed
- pinch of granulated sugar
- 4 ounces bacon (4 slices), diced
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (from 2 ears if fresh)
- 2 T chopped pickled jalapeño, plus more slices for topping (I used Trader Joe’s Fire Roasted Green Chilies)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup coarsely shredded sharp Cheddar (3 ounces)
- 3 T chopped parsley
To Prepare the Crust:
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, or in a large bowl, pulse or mix together flour(s), cornmeal and salt until combined.
- Add butter, and either pulse or use your finger to smoosh it in until butter is the size of lima beans.
- Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse or mix just until dough comes together. There should still be large flecks of butter left in dough.
- Shape dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. (At this point, I placed the disk in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.)
- Between 2 layers of plastic wrap, or on a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a 12-inch circle.
- Transfer dough to a 9-inch deep pie plate; trim and crimp edges. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before baking. (Dough can be made up to 5 days ahead.)(I made the dough the night before.)
To Make the Filling and Finish the Pie:
- Heat oven to 425 degrees, preferably on convection.
- Place the pie dish on a rimmed baking sheet. Prick the bottom of the pie crust with a fork. Line with foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights, dried beans or rice. Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove foil or paper and pie weights or beans. Bake until pale golden and dry to the touch, about 4 to 7 minutes more.
- Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees, preferably on convection.
- While crust is chilling and baking, prepare the filling: Cut red onion in half across the equator (not root to stem), then from the center, cut out two very thin, round slices. Separate onion slices into rings and put them in a bowl with lime juice and a pinch each of salt and sugar. Set aside while you assemble the rest of the tart. (I used half-moons because I used 1/2 of a red onion.)
- Coarsely chop remaining onion and set aside. (I used half-moons in the filling as well.)
- Scatter diced bacon in a cold 12-inch skillet. (I used a cast iron skillet.) Turn heat to medium, and cook until the bacon is golden and the fat has rendered, 8 to 14 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate. Leave fat in the skillet.
- Stir chopped onion into pan with bacon fat and place over medium heat. Sauté until golden-edged and translucent, about 6 minutes.
- Stir in corn, 1/2 teaspoon salt and chopped pickled jalapeño. Cook until corn is tender, 2 to 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and scoop 1/2 cup corn mixture into a blender. (I used a Vitamix.)
- Add cream, sour cream and eggs. Blend until you get a purée.
- Using a spatula, scrape corn purée back in pan with whole corn kernels.
- Stir in 1/2 cup Cheddar, the parsley and the cooked bacon.
- Scrape mixture into the baked pie shell.
- Top filling mixture with pickled red onion slices and jalapeño slices. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Cheddar.
- Cover the edge of the pie crust to prevent over-browning.
- Bake until puffed, golden and just set, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Posted in Quiches & Tarts, Recipes
Tags: bacon, brunch, cheddar, corn, cream, dinner, jalapeños, lunch, pickled jalapeno, pie, quiche, red onion, sharp cheddar, sharp cheddar cheese, summer, tart, whole wheat pastry flour
I have a couple family friendly comfort food pasta casseroles to share. In my house, this type of dish always seems to be the perfect meal in cold weather.
We recently enjoyed this one on a snowy evening- eating by candlelight. I thanked my lucky stars that it had finished baking before our power went out… hence the candlelight! 😉
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Chris Morocco. I used diced tomatoes and substituted fontina for provolone. I suppose half and half could be substituted for some (or all) of the heavy cream, but I went for the full indulgence on this (dark and cold) occasion.
1 pound pasta, such as medium shell or tube pasta (I used Capunti pasta)
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
8 ounces low-moisture whole-milk mozzarella, coarsely grated
4 ounces fontina, coarsely grated
2 ounces extra sharp cheddar, coarsely grated
2 ounces Parmesan, finely grated
1½ cups heavy cream
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ head of cauliflower, coarsely chopped
room-temperature butter or nonstick cooking oil spray (for pan)
- fresh herbs such as thyme, basil, or parsley, for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 350°, preferably on convection.
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until about halfway cooked (it needs to be very firm at this stage so that it doesn’t overcook when baked). Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta cooking liquid, and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Drain well.
Combine mozzarella, fontina, cheddar, Parmesan, cream, diced tomatoes, and reserved ½ cup pasta cooking liquid in a large bowl; mix to combine. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Add cauliflower and cooked pasta and toss to coat.
Grease a 3-qt. or 13x9x2″ baking dish with butter or cooking oil spray.
Scrape in pasta mixture and spread out into an even layer.
Cover dish tightly with foil and bake pasta until hot throughout and steaming when foil is lifted, 20–25 minutes.
Remove foil and increase oven temperature to 425◦, preferably on convection.
Continue to bake pasta until sauce is bubbling and top is browned and crunchy in spots, 20–30 minutes.
Let cool slightly before serving. Garnish with fresh herbs, as desired.
Posted in Casserole, Pasta, Recipes, Vegetarian
Tags: basil, Capunti, casserole, cauliflower, cheddar, fontina, Italian, kid friendly, kid-friendly dinner, macaroni and cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, Parmigiano Reggiani, parsley, pasta, sharp cheddar cheese, thyme, tomatoes, vegetarian
I love a quick skillet dinner- especially on a weeknight. This delicious family friendly meal is from my friend Mollie @Frugal Hausfrau. I have made it a couple of times, most recently for our Super Bowl celebration. Our meal has to complement the mandatory Super Bowl guacamole. 🙂
Even though it could be served as is straight from the skillet, we ate it in both soft and hard shell tacos. (The hard shells won as the favorite, by the way.) I think that eating it as a pre-mixed taco filling made it even more of a crowd-pleaser. I modified the recipe by using ground turkey and by increasing the beans, onions, and garlic. Great!
Yield: Serves 8
- 1.25 pounds ground turkey or ground beef
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
- 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce, such as Sriracha
- 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes (I used Trader Joe’s fire roasted diced tomatoes)
- 1/4 cup salsa (I used Trader Joe’s garlic chipotle salsa)
- 1 can (15.5 oz) black beans, rinsed
- 3/4 cup white Basmati rice
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack
- 1 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
- hard or soft taco shells, for serving, if desired
- 1/4 cup sliced scallions, for garnish, as desired
- sliced avocado, for garnish, as desired
- chopped cilantro, for garnish, as desired
- In a large skillet with a lid, over medium high heat, add ground meat and cook, crumbling as it cooks.
- As soon as it starts to give up the juices, add in the onion and bell pepper, continuing to cook until the vegetables have softened and the meat is cooked through.
- Add the garlic, stirring for a minute or so until it becomes fragrant.
- Add the chili powder, cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper; briefly stir.
- Stir in tomatoes with the juice, salsa, black beans, and hot sauce.
- Toss the rice on top and add the 1 1/4 cup of water. Gently stir together, bring to a boil.
- Cover with lid and reduce to a bare simmer. Cook for 25 minutes until rice is just done. If possible, don’t lift the lid or stir until rice is finished.
- Turn off the heat. Using a spatula, gently turn the mixture from top to bottom. Add cheese to the top. Cover with lid and let sit for five minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
- Serve in warm taco shells garnished with green onions, avocado, and/or minced cilantro, as desired.
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Posted in Casserole, Holiday, Recipes, Tacos
Tags: avocado, black beans, cheddar, cilantro, dinner, easy, ground beef, ground turkey, kid-friendly dinner, Mexican, Monterey Jack, one-pot, scallions, skillet, sriracha, Super Bowl, Tacos
So, this dish uses broccoli rabe instead of broccoli- but I’m still including it in my “series.” 🙂 This is a skillet version of one of my favorite classic Italian dishes. It was delightfully cheesy too.
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appetit, contributed by Claire Saffitz. I used large garlic cloves and decreased the broiling time to 2 minutes. We ate it with a large green salad. Absolutely delicious!!
Yield: Serves 6
12 ounces Fontina and/or aged cheddar cheese (about 4 1/2 cups), divided
6 large garlic cloves
2 large sprigs sage
1 bunch of broccoli rabe
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups half-and-half
1 pound ridged medium pasta shells, or large tube pasta, such as lumaconi or rigatoni
- Place racks in center and upper third of oven; preheat to 325, preferably on convection.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, for the pasta. Salt generously.
- Grate the Fontina cheese on the large holds of a box grater (you should have about 4½ cups).
- Smash the garlic cloves, peel, and coarsely chop.
- Pick all sage leaves from stems and set aside about 10. Finely chop remaining leaves (you should have about 1 tablespoon).
- Trim tough dried ends from the broccoli rabe, then cut stems into 2″ pieces. Leave leafy ends long.
- Heat a deep, large, ovenproof skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high. Add ¼ cup oil and swirl to coat.
- Remove sausage from casings and add to skillet. Break into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook, undisturbed, until sausage is browned, about 4 minutes. Stir a couple of times and continue to cook, undisturbed again, until sausage is fully cooked through, about 3 minutes longer.
- Add garlic, chopped sage, and red pepper flakes, and cook, stirring, until garlic is golden, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in half-and-half and simmer until sauce is thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low.
- Gradually add about two-thirds of cheese, bit by bit, stirring constantly and letting cheese melt completely before adding more, until sauce is smooth and thick, about 3 minutes; season with salt and remove from heat.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling salted water 2 minutes shy of package instructions (8–10 minutes depending on type).
- During the last 2 minutes, add all of broccoli rabe to pot with pasta. Drain in a colander and shake several times to remove excess water. Return pasta and broccoli rabe to empty pasta pot.
- Add cheesy sausage mixture from skillet to pot with pasta. Stir until pasta and broccoli rabe are coated in sauce, then transfer everything back to skillet.
- Cover skillet tightly with foil and bake on center rack until pasta is tender and sauce is bubbling, 30–40 minutes. Let rest a few minutes while you heat broiler.
- Remove foil and top with remaining cheese.
- Toss sage leaves with remaining 1 T oil in a small bowl and arrange over pasta.
- Broil until cheese is browned and bubbling in spots, about 2 to 5 minutes (depending on strength of broiler).
- Let pasta cool a minute or two before serving.
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Posted in Casserole, Greens, Pasta, Pork, Recipes
Tags: broccoli rabe, cast iron skillet, cheddar, fontina, half and half, Italian, one-pot, pasta, rigatoni, sage, sausage, shells, skillet, sweet Italian pork sausage
My husband likes soups that have a thicker consistency. As he loves our gold standard Cauliflower Cheese Soup, I knew that he would love this one too; I just used more potatoes to give it a heartier consistency. It was perfect. It would also be difficult to argue about eating a soup that is garnished with garlic-cheese toasts! The roasted broccoli floret topping was another bonus. 🙂
This soup is quick enough to prepare and serve on a weeknight, but is even more wonderful if made in advance. The recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart Living. I used some chicken stock for water and increased the amount of garlic, potatoes (unpeeled!), and lemon juice. I also used a sourdough baguette to make the cheese toasts instead of Italian bread. Great.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2 large shallots, halved and thinly sliced (1/4 cup)
- 6 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 pounds broccoli, stems peeled and chopped, florets cut into 1-inch pieces (about 5 cups florets, divided)
- 1 pound small Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 packed cups grated sharp white cheddar (from an 8-ounce block), divided
- freshly squeezed juice from 1 lemon, plus grated zest for serving, or to taste
- 8 slices (each 1/2 inch thick) sourdough baguette, sliced on a diagonal or 4 slices (each 1/2 inch thick) rustic Italian bread
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, preferably on convection roast.
In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium-high. Add shallots, 4 cloves of garlic, broccoli stems, potatoes, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add stock with 3 cups water; season with salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
Add 3 cups broccoli florets; cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes more. Let cool slightly. Transfer to a blender with 1 cup cheese; puree until smooth. (I used an immersion blender instead.)
Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
Stir together remaining cheese and garlic. Place bread on one side of a rimmed baking sheet, and remaining broccoli florets on other. Drizzle both with oil; season with salt and pepper. Top bread with cheese mixture.
Roast broccoli and cheese toasts for 15 minutes, tossing florets halfway through.
Serve soup topped with toasts, florets, and zest, as desired.
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Posted in Quick, Recipes, Soups, Stews, & Chowders, Vegetarian
Tags: broccoli, cheddar, cheese, cheese toasts, croutons, dinner, lemon, lemon juice, potato, roasted broccoli, shallots, sharp cheddar cheese, soup, vegetarian, yukon gold