Tag Archives: cheese

Now They Know

Cheesy Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins

Cheesy Jalapeno Cornbread

Apparently Mother Nature forgot to check her calender for it’s snowing in March in the Mid-Atlantic, and that’s just not right (or normal).  This is resulting in a very large number of soups in my household, and with that a lot of crusty bread for soaking up every last drop.  However one can not survive on crusty bread alone, so I decide to spice things up by adjusting one of my favorite cornbread recipes.  The first few times I made this by just topping the muffin dough with the pepper and cheese, but quickly realized that folding them in was the better option – even though it increases the risk of heavy muffins.   In my oh-so-scientific experimentation I found that adding folding in the pepper and cheese with the last bit of flour seems to keep the muffins fluffy while still insuring a mostly even distribution of the cheese and peppers.

Now They Know

Serves: Yields 12 Standard Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cornmeal (yellow or white)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 and lightly grease a muffin tin.
  2. Stir together the dry ingredients in a large bowl create a well in the middle, then set aside. Beat together the vegetable oil, milk, and egg.
  3. Pour the liquid ingredients in to the well and quickly mix together, right before fully mixed fold in the cheese and pepper.
  4. Spoon the batter in to the pre-greased tins, filling about 3/4 of the way.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until tops are a golden brown. Allow to cool on a rack for at least 5 minutes - then serve and enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/03/now-they-know.html

These muffins are the perfect addition to a nice comforting soup, allowing you to soak up all the goodness – with just the right little kick.  For those looking for a real boost serrano peppers can easily be switched in, either seeded or as is.   Just be warned that these muffins are rather addicting, so if you serve them to guests be prepared to share the recipe!  Or risk having them call you up at dinner time asking for the recipe…

His Way

 Stove Top Mac & Cheese

stove_top_mac_n_cheese

 

Pretty sure that if I allowed my husband to design our weekly menu this would come up at least every other week.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy cheese but I don’t have the same appreciation for it that my husband does.  Which is why when I make mac&cheese I tend to go a little over board with the cheeses that I use.  Normally I do a baked mac&cheese, but last week I decided to try doing a white stove top mac&cheese – after all variety is a good thing.   As for the cheeses, I decided to pick three different types of white cheese simply because I could!

His Way

Serves 5-6

Ingredients

  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter or margarine
  • 1 small vidalia onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of milk
  • 1 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup monterey jack, shredded
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • Pepper (or Old Bay)

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water per box instructions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking water. Pour cooked pasta back in the pot - keeping the reserve water on the side.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a deep saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5-7 minutes before adding the herbs. Cook for another minute, stirring constantly to prevent the spices from burning.
  3. Add the flour, stir well and then continue to stir while slowly pouring in the milk. Begin to add the shredded cheese, adding a few handfuls at a time while stirring to prevent large globs. Once all the shredded cheese has been added, stir in the ricotta along with the precooked macaroni and cheese. Season to taste with pepper or old bay
  4. Serve warm and enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2013/12/his_way.html

 

While I’ll always be partial to baked mac&cheese there is something to be said about its much quicker and creamier cousin.  I enjoyed mine as is while Joey decided to add some Old Bay to his – there is a reason why I buy that stuff in bulk after all!

Hear Me Roar

Black Bean and Mushroom Casserole

Black Bean and Mushroom Casserole

Time for September’s edition of the Secret Recipe Club!  This month I was assigned Mellissa’s awesome A Fit and Spicy Life blog, which was total perfection.   We are BIG fans of spice over here, and always trying to be good decisions when it comes to what we eat.  I found so many delicious recipes on her blog, including an incredible sounding summer chili, a very cheerful salad, and a new way to make a veggie friendly pasta sauce.  In the end I sent all my choices over to my better half who selected Mellissa’s twist on a Mexican Casserole.  I’ve done a few Mexican Lasagna/Casserole dishes but never one that included mushrooms so I was all on board for this dish!  I had tons of fresh peppers in my garden so I decided to toss a few of them in as well.

Hear Me Roar

Serves: Serves 5-6

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 lb mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 garlic gloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups black beans, pre-soaked and drained
  • 8 corn tortillas, halved
  • 2 cups salsa, I used homemade salsa verde
  • 4 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet, add garlic, onions, and mushrooms and cook for 7 minutes. Add he peppers along with the cayenne and cook for an additional 2 minutes before adding the black beans. Stir to combine and cook for a final 2 minutes.
  3. Place 5 tortilla halves in a 2 quart baking dish, top with half the mushroom mixture, 1/2 cup salsa, and cheese. Add another layer of tortillas, mushrooms, salsa and cheese. Top with remaining tortilla halves, salsa and cheese. Cover, bake for 15 minutes. Remove cover and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese is brown and bubbling.
  4. Serve and enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2013/09/hear-me-roar.html

Make sure to check out all of Mellissa’s delicious recipes, including her version of this simple dish.  It came together to quickly, and can easily be adapted by switching up the salsa or beans used in the dish.   I’m also sending this to /52weeksofcooking for their pepper entry, for while peppers aren’t front and center in this dish they certainly added a strong pop!

Let it Burn

Cannelloni al Forno

Cannelloni al Forno

Nothing like an Italian challenge to get back in the swing of things!  It’s been a bit of a challenge getting everything back in order, as I’m used to having at least a week’s worth of recipes ready at any time.  While I had prepared a number of posts for while I was on my trip I didn’t take in to account the adjustment time once I returned.  So with that in mind I have been going on a cooking/baking rampage in order to insure no more gaps in posts.  Thankfully I had a few blog challenges waiting for me when I got back, including the Italian challenge from r/52weeksofcooking.  I knew rather early on that I wanted to do a stuffed pasta, and that I wanted to focus on seasonal greens for the stuffing.  I decided to go with canneloni and two varieties of chard along with some young spinach.

Canneloni al Forno

Serves 5-6

Ingredients

  • 16 canneloni (fresh or dried)
  • 2 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 basil leaved, chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 1/2 cup red swiss chard (or rainbow chard)
  • 1/2 cup fordhook swiss chard
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup bechamel sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce

Instructions

  1. Preaheat oven to 375. Depending on type of noodle being used, precook and allow to cool before stuffing.
  2. While noodles are cooling mix together the ricotta, basil, onion, garlic, and greens in a large bowl. Add the egg and continue mixing.
  3. Stuff the canneloni with the cheese mixture, about 3 tbsp in each noodle and place in a single layer on the bottom of a 10x11 or other casserole dish. Top with the two sauces then cover in foil and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and then bake for a final 10 minutes, edges of the dish should start to brown and the sauce should be bubbling.
  4. Allow to sit for at least 5 minutes then serve and enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2013/05/letitburn.html

As an added bonus a friend joined us for dinner, supplying an amazing salad that went perfectly with the pasta and some sourdough bread.  Nothing like sharing a great meal with friends!

Goes On

Mega Tofu Nachos

Mega Tofu Nachos

This week the challenge for /52weeksofcooking wasn’t a real challenge, at least not for me.  This week we had to cook with tofu, something that I’m more than a little familiar with.  However I still wanted to get something out of this challenge so I started thinking about all the different ways that I could use tofu, as well as recipes that I could reinvent using tofu.  I also wanted to clean out my fridge of some leftovers from another challenge, namely homemade salsa and guacamole.  After much debate I was stuck between tofu rancheros and tofu nachos, with the nachos winning out.  For the tofu I decided I wanted it to be more than just a topping and decided to spice it up a bit.  In order to achieve that, this tofu was pressed for just over 30 minutes to make sure there was no liquid left.

Mega Tofu Nachos

Ingredients

  • 8 oz tofu, well pressed and cubed
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 3 cups chips, divided
  • 1/2 cup black olives, sliced
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup salsa verde
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, diced (optional)
  • sour cream (optional)
  • guacamole (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat, then add the cumin, chili, and cayenne powder. Heat up for a minute and then add the tofu. Cook the tofu for 7 minutes, breaking it up as it cooks. Set aside
  2. Meanwhile preheat oven to 400 degrees and spread half of the chips out in a rimmed cookie sheet or roasting pan. Top the chips with half of the tofu and half of the cheese. Add the remaining chips along with the onion, jalapeno, olives, and the remaining tofu and cheese. Bake for 10 minutes, or until chips and cheese are starting to brown.
  3. Serve topped with cilantro, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, or anything else!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2013/03/goes_on.html

The original idea was these nachos would be an appetizer but in the end they were so filling that they became the entree.  Precooking the tofu gave them a slight crunch which was perfect since I was slightly concerned the tofu was going to fall apart.  This might not have been the healthiest of dinners but it went well with our West Wing marathon so I’ll just have to behave the rest of the week.