Posts Tagged ‘cheese’

Simple Sandwich Spreads: Pimento Cheese and Olive Cream Cheese

Simple Sandwich Spreads: Pimento Cheese and Olive Cream CheeseSimple Sandwich Spreads: Pimento Cheese and Olive Cream Cheese

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Over-the-Top Loaded Potato Nachos

Over-the-Top Loaded Potato NachosOver-the-Top Loaded Potato Nachos

Thanks to Tasteful Selections for sponsoring this recipe! Through January, profits from their Ruby Sensation and Honey Gold potatoes support the non-profit Katie’s Krops, which empowers youth across the country to end hunger in their communities one vegetable garden at a time.

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Taco Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Taco Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Taco Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

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Smoked Salmon and Whitefish Salad Melts

Smoked Salmon and Whitefish Salad Melts

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How to Put Together a Cheese Plate (and Other Summer Picnic Recipes)

Check out 13 Breezy Summer Picnic Recipes

by Julie Ruble at Foodie.com

Thanks, Foodie, for sponsoring this post.

How to Put Together a Cheese Plate

3. Splurge a bit. I’m a pretty cheap foodie: I usually skip the most expensive cheeses. But this time around, since cheese was the main part of our meal (and since I figured I’d use leftovers in other recipes), I let myself grab a few blocks of the expensive stuff. When it’s the primary flavor of your meal, it’s worth it!

4. Make it pretty. Again, we’re maximizing easiness, here, so I don’t mean make it fancy. Just pretty. I threw a table runner on our patio table, put the cheeses on a platter with grape bunches as a buffer, and poured the snacks into nice jars and ramekins. Things just taste better when they look good. Thankfully, it’s not hard to make a plate of cheese look fantastic.

Any other tips, veteran cheese platers?

Don’t miss these fancier Willow Bird picnics: The Secret Garden Party, A Heartfelt Birthday Do-Over, and School’s IN for Summer

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Fresh Summer Pasta with Plugra Ricotta Sauce

Fresh Summer Pasta with Plugra Ricotta Sauce - Willow Bird Baking

Fresh Summer Pasta with Plugra Ricotta Sauce


Recipe by: Adapted from Chef Kevin Kidd
Yield: 4 servings

Start with super fresh ingredients to create this simple, fresh pasta dish! I love how quick and easy this recipe is.

Ingredients:
28 ounces fresh OR 19 ounces dried tagliatelle or fettucine
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 shallot, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, sliced diagonally
1/4 cup white wine
2 ounces unsalted Plugrá European-Style Butter, sliced into 1/2-inch slices
8 spears asparagus, sliced into 2-inch chunks
8 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
1/4 bunch fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, rough chopped
12 fresh basil leaves, rough chopped
lemon juice, salt, freshly ground pepper, Parmigiana Reggiano as needed

Directions:
Prepare an ice water bath in a medium bowl. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil over high heat and blanch the asparagus for 2-3 minutes before plunging them into the ice water to stop cooking. Drain the asparagus and set it aside.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a rolling boil over high heat and add fresh or dried pasta. Cook 3 minutes (fresh pasta) or according to package directions (dried pasta). Going to Italy made me realize I’d been overcooking my pasta my whole life: al dente means your pasta should have a definite toothiness to it when bitten. Be careful not to overcook! Drain the finished pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water for the sauce later.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add shallots and cook for a minute before adding garlic and sautéing for close to a minute or until lightly caramelized but not burnt. Add white wine to deglaze the pan. Whisk in Plugrá butter until it’s melted and blended into the sauce. Add the green onions and asparagus and stir to heat them briefly before reducing the heat to low and adding chunks of ricotta cheese. Salt this to taste — for me, this meant a LOT of salt, because it has to salt all the pasta as well. So don’t be shy.

Add the pasta into the pan (and a little of the pasta water if you need it) and toss it in the sauce over low heat. Add most of the parsley and all of the basil and toss. Drizzle the rest of the olive oil over the top. Now comes the adjusting: taste your pasta and add salt, more olive oil, a healthy grating of Parmigiana Reggiano, freshly ground pepper, a spritz of lemon juice, etc., as needed to balance the flavors. You should end up with a bright, flavorful, fresh tasting pasta.

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Open-Faced Sausage Sliders on Rosemary Waffles

Open-Faced Sausage Sliders on Rosemary Waffles

Open-Faced Sausage Sliders on Rosemary Waffles


Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking
Yield: 4 servings

Waffles aren’t just for breakfast anymore. These meatball slider-style waffles were sophisticated and delicious, but quick and easy to prepare. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes (I use San Marzano)
2 heaping tablespoons julienned sundried tomatoes in oil
1 tablespoon red wine
3 basil leaves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 links hot Italian sausage
4 frozen Homestyle Eggo waffles
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
4-8 slices provolone cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and chili flakes and cook for around 30 seconds. Add in canned and sundried tomatoes and red wine. Raise the heat to high to bring the pot to a simmer before lowering it back to medium. Stir occasionally as it simmers for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, brown the sausage in a separate skillet over medium-high heat and then add it into the sauce. After the sauce has simmered for around 30 minutes, add in the basil and stir to combine.

Mix softened butter and rosemary in a bowl until combined. Prepare 4 waffles by smearing each with equal amounts of rosemary butter. Bake the waffles on prepared baking sheet for about 10 minutes, adding a slice of provolone to each for the last minute. Remove them from the oven and top each waffle with a heaping ladle of sausage and tomato sauce. Serve sprinkled with basil or with more provolone on top.

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Open Faced Chili Grilled Cheese with a Runny Egg (The Perfect Grilled Cheese)

The Perfect Grilled Cheese
Open Faced Chili Grilled Cheese with a Runny Egg (The Perfect Grilled Cheese)

Open Faced Chili Grilled Cheese with a Runny Egg (The Perfect Grilled Cheese)


Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking, with chili recipe adapted from Cooks’ Illustrated, as found on Brown Eyed Baker. Sandwich inspired by BS’ in the Kitchen.
Yield: 4 servings

This meal was insaaane. Turns out, the perfect grilled cheese requires the perfect homemade chili. You can use any leftover chili for this sandwich, but it’s so worth it to make the chili linked below; it’s the best I’ve ever had, hands down. It looks complicated, but it’s actually a cinch to prepare and can be made a few days ahead and refrigerated until you’re ready to assemble your sandwiches. The recipe below makes about three times the amount of chili you need, but I make the whole batch because I know I’ll want to freeze some for other uses.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
lots of butter (around 1/2 cup), softened to room temperature, plus more butter for cooking
2 slices of a sourdough bread boule (about 1 inch thick and 8 inches long)
about 3 cups homemade chili from this recipe
sharp cheddar cheese, sliced thin
2 eggs
salt and pepper
2 green onions, chopped
cilantro, chopped
optional serving suggestions: guacamole, sour cream, avocados, salsa

Directions:
Preheat broiler. Mix softened butter and mayonnaise in a small bowl and spread a good layer on both sides of each slice of bread.

Heat a heavy, oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Toast one side of the bread in the hot skillet until golden. Flip the bread and pile on the chili. Top with cheese strips and place the skillet immediately under the broiler to melt for 2-3 minutes, watching closely. Pull the skillet out of the oven when the cheese is melty and remove the sandwiches to a plate.

Melt another tablespoon of butter in the skillet over medium heat and break two eggs into it. Cook the eggs just until you can flip them, cooking them only slightly on the other side. Remove the over-easy eggs to the tops of the waiting sandwiches and top with salt, pepper, cilantro, and green onions. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, and salsa if desired.

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8 Cinco de Mayo Recipes from Willow Bird Baking


Thanks, Foodie, for sponsoring this post, 8 Cinco de Mayo Recipes from Willow Bird Baking!

Mexican and Tex-Mex food is my all-time favorite. I love Thai, Indian, Japanese, Greek, French, Cuban — I could eat my way through just about every country — but Mexican is the cuisine I always crave. Want to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year with a Tex-Mex feast? Above are some of my favorite recipes from around the webz, and below are 8 of my own Tex-Mex creations! Enjoy!

Easy Taco Grilled Mini Pizzas
Easy Taco Grilled Mini Pizzas

This is the quick and easy way to get Tex-Mex deliciousness on your table. Difficulty level: Easy.


Sweet Tater & Chorizo Hand Tarts
Sweet Tater & Chorizo Hand Tarts

Tender pie pastry with a delicious sweet potato and chorizo filling! Difficulty level: Intermediate (includes a quick and easy adaptation using ready-made crescent rolls!)


Creamy Chicken and Green Chile Enchiladas
Creamy Chicken and Green Chile Enchiladas

I made this recipe a LONG time ago before I took very good photos, but trust me: these things are so good! A ready-made rotisserie chicken makes this a quick and easy choice. Difficulty level: Easy.


Naked Vegan Tacos with Corn Relish and Cilantro-Lime Slaw
Naked Vegan Tacos with Corn Relish and Cilantro-Lime Slaw

Bright, healthy, and so delicious! Difficulty level: Easy.


Taco Stuffed Crescent Rolls
Taco Stuffed Crescent Rolls

Again, don’t let the old photo fool you. This is one of the BEST recipes on Willow Bird Baking! So quick, easy, and incredibly delicious! Difficulty level: Easy.


Cheap and Simple Taco Pockets
Cheap and Simple Taco Pockets

Want some taco pockets, but don’t want to use ready made dough? Here’s an all-homemade version! Difficulty level: Intermediate.


Savory Sweet Potato & Chorizo “Cinnamon Rolls”
Savory Sweet Potato & Chorizo 'Cinnamon Rolls'

These savory cinnamon rolls are so delectable with dinner! Difficulty level: Intermediate.


Sausage & Corn Chile Con Queso Taco Ring
Sausage & Corn Chile Con Queso Taco Ring

My all-time favorite Willow Bird Baking Tex-Mex recipe! The filling in this baby is INSANE. The ring itself also looks impressive but is so easy to make! Difficulty level: Easy


Tres Leches Coconut Cake Trifle
Tres Leches Coconut Cake Trifle

Don’t forget dessert! If you love coconut cake and tres leches cake, you’re gonna want to throw yourself face first into this. Difficulty level: Intermediate.


Flan Tres Leches Cake
Flan Tres Leches Cake

Can’t decide between flan and tres leches cake? I got ya covered! Difficulty level: Intermediate.


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Insane Chili Cheese Dip (with an emergency quick adaptation!)

Insane Chili Cheese Dip
Insane Chili Cheese Dip

Insane Chili Cheese Dip


Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking, with chili recipe adapted from Cooks’ Illustrated, as found on Brown Eyed Baker
Yield: serves 4-6 people

If you want a quick (and still delicious) version of this dip, use a can or two of Hormel Chili without beans in place of homemade chili. But if you have the time, it’s so worth it to make this incredible homemade chili. It’s the best I’ve ever had, hands down. It looks complicated, but it’s actually a cinch to prepare and can be made a few days ahead and refrigerated until you’re ready to assemble and bake your dip. The recipe below makes about twice the amount of chili you need, but I make the whole batch because I know I’ll want to freeze some for other uses.

Chili Paste Ingredients:
6 dried ancho chiles (about 7/8 ounces), stems and seeds removed, and flesh torn into 1-inch pieces
2-4 dried árbol chiles, stems removed, pods split, seeds removed*
3 tablespoons cornmeal
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups chicken broth, divided

Chili Ingredients:
Table salt
2 medium onions, cut into ¾-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
3 jalapeño peppers, stems and seeds removed, cut into ½-inch pieces
2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
2 teaspoons light molasses
1 pound chorizo, with casings removed
3 strips of bacon
1 (12-ounce) bottle beer (I’ve used Red Stripe and Guinness before and both have come out perfectly)**
1 tablespoon flour

Other Dip Ingredients:
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
green onions for garnish (optional)
tortilla chips for serving

Directions:
NOTES: *Make sure to wear gloves when working with chiles and avoid touching your eyeballs (or other people’s eyeballs. But why would you be doing that? Weirdo.) You can substitute 1/2 cup chili powder and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper if you don’t want to use the dried chiles, but I highly, highly recommend you give it a try. It’s so easy, and very gratifying.

**If you don’t cook drink alcohol, you should know that according to this chart, only about 5-10% of alcohol will remain in the entire dish by the time you’re done. The beer is very important to the flavor and I don’t recommend skipping it.

Make the chili: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Begin to prepare the chili paste by toasting ancho chiles in a skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until they’re fragrant (4 to 6 minutes). Reduce the heat if they start to smoke. Place the chiles into the bowl of a food processor and let them cool. Leave the skillet unwashed for future use.

Add the árbol chiles, cornmeal, oregano, cumin, cocoa, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the food processor with the ancho chiles and pulverize for about 2 minutes, or until finely ground. Then, with the food processor still running, slowly add 1/2 cup of chicken broth until a smooth paste forms (about 45 seconds). Use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Transfer the paste to a bowl and set aside.

Put the onions in the food processor and pulse them until they’re chopped (about 4 pulses). Add the jalapeños and pulse until the mixture reaches the consistency of a chunky salsa, about 4 more pulses, scraping the bowl if needed.

In your stock pot or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are softened and the moisture has cooked off, about 7 to 9 minutes. Then add the garlic and saute until it’s fragrant, just about 1 minute. Add the chili paste, tomatoes, and molasses and stir to combine thoroughly. Add the remaining 2 cups of chicken broth and bring the whole mixture to a boil before reducing the heat to simmer.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon over medium-high heat in your skillet to your desired crispiness. Remove it to drain on a paper towel lined plate. In the same skillet, cook the chorizo until browned through (add 1 1/2 teaspoons of vegetable oil if needed to supplement the bacon grease). Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chorizo and bacon to the Dutch oven. Discard any liquid in the skillet (but don’t rub off the stuck-on bits!) and return to the heat. Add the bottle of beer to the skillet, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits, and bring it to a simmer. Pour the lager into the Dutch oven. Stir to combine and return the mixture to a simmer.

Cover the pot and transfer it to the oven. Cook until the meat is fully tender and the flavors have melded, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. About an hour into cooking, ladle some of the hot chili liquid into a small bowl and whisk the flour into it until smooth. Add this to back to the chili pot and stir together. Continue cooking.

When the chili is finished, let it stand, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. Stir the chili well and season to taste with salt. (Afterwards, you can store it in a tupperware in the refrigerator if you’re not using it right away.)

Assemble and bake the dip: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the cream cheese evenly over the bottom of a baking dish (I use a 2-quart oval one). Pour 2 heaping cups of the chili over the cream cheese and top with grated sharp cheddar. Bake the dip until the cheese is melted and the dip is bubbly, around 20 minutes. Top with chopped green onions and serve immediately with tortilla chips.

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