Posts Tagged ‘cheese’

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Grilled Cheese Gone Wild

August 18, 2015

One of the top comfort foods around is the simple grilled cheese. It’s what Mom made for lunch with a steaming bowl of tomato soup, on a chilly fall day. Lately the grilled cheese has gone full scale gourmet, switching out American cheese for it’s fancier French sisters and tangy German brothers. With a glut of wild blueberries on hand, some spinach donated by the visiting vegetarian, a few slices of creamy Havarti and my favorite Muenster begging to be used, Grilled Cheese Gone Wild was born.A great combo encased between a hearty whole grain, you  almost might  consider it healthy!

3/4 C. blueberries

1 1/2 T. balsamic

1 T. brown sugar

4 slices dense bread, a whole grain or sourdough

4 slices of cheese- we used 2 Havarti and 2 Muenster- a perfect combo of creamy and a nice “bite”

2 handfuls cleaned dried spinach, stems removed

fresh cracked pepper to taste

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In a small pan, simmer the blueberries, balsamic, and brown sugar until the blueberries begin to burst. Smash them down a bit, to extract more juice. Simmer 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat to a mesh strainer and  push out most of the juice.This will leave you will a thick, tangy berry paste.Save the juice! Use it to flavor water, as a pancake syrup,  or do as we did, drizzle over some fresh watermelon – divine!

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On low heat, warm a frying pan large enough to hold two slices of bread. Butter one side of two slices of bread and put them face down in the pan. Spread one half of the blueberry balsamic paste on each,and cover with one slice of cheese.

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Top with the spinach and the other slice of cheese. Add a few generous turns of cracked pepper.

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It even looks  good just like that!

Butter the other two pieces of bread on one side. Lay the unbuttered side on top of the cheese.

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I recommend leaving it on low to brown, about 5 minutes,. Peek at the bottom, and when browned carefully flip over. Continue cooking on the other side until the cheese is nice and melty, and the bottom side of bread is browned.

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Slice in half  and serve. The blueberries should just be an accent to this ooey, gooey yummy creation. The spinach and the black pepper are the perfect balance to this sweet and tangy twist of an old favorite.

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That is serious goodness.

~ Enjoy~

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Baked Brie with Cranberry Salsa

December 31, 2013

We often have a variation of baked Brie and a sweet jam or preserve on our holiday appetizer tray. This year I saw several recipes with cranberry toppings. One with a kick appealed to me as a nice change, but I wasn’t fond of it’s uncooked  texture. So, revamped  and cooked a bit, slathered on cold, atop bubbling brie that has been blanketed in, (of course) light and crisp puff pastry.. You will want to make room for this.

1 C. fresh cranberries
1 medium size  jalapeno pepper
2 clementine tangerines, or 1 orange peeled
1/4 C.  sugar
1/2 C. orange juice, or water
2  scallions
grated zest and juice of 2  limes
1 1/2 t.  grated fresh ginger

In  processor pulse  cranberries, jalapeno and oranges .
Do NOT over process. your cranberries should be grainy, not mush. You can also slice the oranges by hand, and add the small pieces to give more texture.

In a saucepan, add the pulsed fruit mixture, the juice and zest of  limes, sugar, scallions, ginger, and a few turns of Himalayan Sea Salt. Stir and add liquid. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes. Refrigerate.  Best made the day before so flavors can intensify, and less work for you on  the day of serving!

For the brie you will need:

1 sheet of puff pastry

1 16 0z. wheel of Brie

Roll your sheet of pastry  just enough to removed the crease marks. Place on a cookie sheet lined with  PARCHMENT paper (don’t use foil!) or in an oven proof casserole (make sure it is  large enough to allow for puffing, and then cutting on serving table). As you can see I used foil, and then was unable to transfer the Brie. The parchment will allow it to just slide onto your serving platter. Place your Brie in the center of the rectangle.

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Swaddle the Brie by bringing the ends of the pastry towards the edge of the wheel and giving it a little turn. Continue around the circle, leaving the center open.

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Bake  approximately 30-35 minutes, until pastry is browned and your Brie is bubbling around the edges … refrain from loading some onto a slice of French bread!

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Generously top with your cold salsa. Serve immediately,with very fresh French bread slices.

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~HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM OUR HOME TO YOURS ~

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