Potato, Bacon and Cheese Casserole

This dish is perfect for a holiday gathering and you can assemble ahead of time abs pop in the oven when it’s time to bake it. Just let it sit on the counter at room temp for 30 minutes.

  • 2 lbs. potatoes, boiled
  • 1⁄2 lb. bacon, cut in 1⁄2-inch slices
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
  • 2⁄3 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 lb. Reblochon or raclette cheese
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • Fill a large saucepan with cold water, add the potatoes, and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 20 minutes and drain.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium nonstick skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat. After 1 minute, add the slices of onions and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often with a wooden spatula.
  • Cut cooked potatoes in thin slices. Layer half of them at the bottom of a large baking dish. Add a layer of onion slices and bacon. Pour the cream on everything, then add a last layer of sliced potatoes on top.
  • If you have a whole Reblochon, slice it in two round, thinner cheeses. Put them on top of the dish, rind facing the top of the oven. If you’re cooking with slices of cheese, spread them all over the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Put in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Serve warm.

Cheesy Beef Epinadas

These are so yummy! It takes a bit of time, so it’s a good weekend project. They freeze beautifully for a quick weeknight meal. Just put them on a pan lined with parchment paper freeze then place in a zip lock or meal sealer bag.

For the dough:

3 c all-purpose flour, plus more for surface

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 cold butter, cut into cubes

3/4 c water

1 large egg

For the filling

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 ground beef

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

Salt and pepper

1/2 c chopped tomatoes

1/2 chopped pickled jalapeños

1 1/4 c shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese

Egg wash, for brushing 

Freshly chopped cilantro, for garnish

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder. Cut butter into flour using your hands or a pastry cutter until pea-sized. Add water and egg and mix until a dough forms. Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes.

Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

FOR OVEN

Preheat oven to 400° and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes, then add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Add ground beef and cook, breaking meat up with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 5 minutes. Drain fat.

Return pan to medium heat, and stir tomato paste into beef. Add oregano, cumin, and paprika, and season with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes and jalapeños and cook until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Place dough on a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Roll one half out to ¼” thick. Using a 4.5” round cookie cutter, cut out rounds. Repeat with remaining dough. Reroll scraps once to cut out more rounds.

Lightly moisten outer edge of a dough round with water and place about 2 tablespoons filling in center and top with cheddar and Monterey. Fold dough in half over filling. Use a fork to crimp edges together. Repeat with remaining filling and dough.

Place empanadas on prepared baking sheets and brush with egg wash. Bake until golden and filling is warmed through, about 25 minutes.

Garnish with cilantro and serve with sour cream.

Skillet Taco

This is a fun alternative to taco night and comes together super quick.

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, chipped
  • 1 can black beans, einsed
  • 1 4oz can chopped green chilies
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumjn
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 21/4 oz can sliced black ilives
  • 1 c shredded Mexi cheese blend
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • Sour cream
  • Tortillas

In a large skillet over medium heat cook onions and beef until almost brown, stir in spices, peppers and beans and cook until heated through. Remove from heat, add cheese, tomatoes, olives and a dollop of sour cream.

Serve with warn tortillas.

Serves 6.

Chive Cheese Crackers

These are so delicious. You can freeze the dough if you are not going to use both logs, you can freeze one for future use.

  • 5 ounces Boursin, at room temperature
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • ½ cup white whole-wheat flour
  • Poppy seeds or chopped nuts for garnish
  • Put Boursin in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add Parmesan, butter, salt and pepper and beat just to combine. Add egg and chives; beat to combine. Add all-purpose flour and whole-wheat flour and mix at low speed, adding more all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until a cohesive dough forms (it should have the feel of soft Play-Doh).nullADVERTISEMENT
  • divide the dough in half and shape each piece into a 6-inch log, 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs tightly in plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 1 hour, or refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Spread a layer of seeds or nuts, if using, on a rimmed baking sheet. Roll the chilled logs firmly in the seeds to coat. Slice into even 1/8- to 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake one pan of crackers at a time, rotating the pan halfway, until light golden around the edges and browned on the bottom, 12 to 16 minutes. Let cool completely on the pan on a wire rack, about 20 minutes.

Jalapeno Fromage Fort

This is a great way to use bits of cheese you have laying around! It needs to sit are room temp for about 2 hours so plan in advance.

4 oz mixed cheese bits

2 oz cheddar cheese

2 oz goat cheese

1/3 c cilantro leave and tender stems

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp wine

2 tbsp pickled jalapeños

2 tsp tequila

1 clove garlic

1/2 fresh jalapeños

Salt and pepper

Ritz crackers for serving

Coming all ingredients except crackers in a food processor and blend till smooth.

Scope into a pretty serving bowls and let rest at room temp for at least 2 hours.

Makes about 1 cup.

Cauliflower Egg Bites

I tried something very similar from Trader Joe’s, they were amazing, and then I looked at the packaging and knew I could come up with something just as tasty and not be left with a bunch of plastic wrap and cardboard. These are super quick to whip up and freeze beautifully. Just pop them in the oven for 15 min at 350, and let sit for 1 minutes after.

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped fine in the food processor
  • 1 c shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 400. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake wrappers. Spray with olive oil lightly.

Mix Cauliflower, shredded cheese and eggs into a mixing bowl and let it sit for a few minutes.

Scoop about 1/4 c of the mixture into each muffin tin, filling just below the top.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Edges with be golden brown.

Let sit for 5 minutes, pop out of muffin tin with a spoon. If freezing, let cool completely.

Makes 12.

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

This is a quick and easy dinner that is oh so tasty!

  • Trader Joe’s Red Pepper Spread with Eggplant and Garlic
  • 4 portobello mushrooms, cleaned and gills scraped
  • Vegan mozzarella cheese
  • Nut ricotta

Preheat oven to 425. Line a pan with parchment paper, spray with olive oil. Spray caps with olive oil and bake for 15 minutes.

Let mushrooms cook for a few minutes. Spread a couple tbsp into the class then top with ricotta and a little mozzarella.

Bake for 5 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Serves 2 – 4.

Pepperoni Pizza with Spring Onions and Garlic Scapes

 

We had some amazing pepperoni come in our Mantry box (I need to get more now) this is the pizza I came up with to honor it choke full of spring goodness.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ball of pizza dough
  • Olive oil
  • 1 bag 4 cheese blend of white cheese  Trader Joe’s 
  • Thick slices pepperoni or regular 
  • 4 garlic scapes sliced thin
  • 4 spring onions sliced thin
  • 1/4 c mozzarella cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 500 with baking steel or pizza stone inside.

Roll out dough. Drizzle with olive oil, tops with garlic scapes, 4 cheese blend, pepperoni, onions and mozzarella.

Bake 5 – 8 minutes until crust is crispy and cheese is starting to brown.

Serves 4. 

Phyllo Wrapped Fillets with Cheese and Mushrooms

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This one is from Fine Cooking. It is quite a bit of work, but worth the effort for a special meal.

Ingredients:
1 lb. fresh white button or cremini mushrooms, cleaned
2 medium shallots
1 clove garlic, cut in half
2 TBSP unsalted butter
1 TBSP olive oil
1/4 c chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Salt and pepper
6 filets mignons, 6 oz. each and about 1-3/4 inches thick
Salt
1 TBSP unsalted butter
1 cakes peppercorn Boursin cheese
1 package phyllo dough, thawed in the refrigerator overnight
1/2 c unsalted butter, melted; more if needed
1/4 c thinly sliced fresh chives

Put the mushrooms, shallots and garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped but not puréed; scrape the bowl as needed. Transfer the chopped mushrooms to the center of a clean dishtowel.

Heat the butter and oil in a 10-inch skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are very soft and fragrant and the liquid has evaporated, 5 – 8 minutes. Add the parsley; season with 1/2 tsp salt and pepper to taste.

Season the filets mignons generously on all sides with salt. Heat the butter in a 10-inch skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat until very hot and sizzling. Sear the fillets on sides. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Remove at least 24 sheets of phyllo from the package and cut to size that will wrap around the beef. Cover them with -plastic wrap and a damp dishtowel while you work to keep them from drying out.

Lay a single phyllo sheet on a clean, dry surface. With a pastry brush, lightly paint an even coat of the melted butter over the entire surface of the square. Sprinkle with about 1/2 tsp. of the chives. Set a second sheet over the first. Brush butter over it as well and sprinkle with another 1/2 tsp. chives.
Make four layers, omitting the chives from the last layer. Blot one filet dry with a paper towel, set it in the center and sprinkle it with salt. Spread about 2 TBSP of the Boursin on the filet and top that with 2 generous TBSP of the mushroom filling. Fold the phyllo over the fillet to make a package and place on parchment lined baking pan. Repeat with the remaining fillets. Don’t worry if you tear the phyllo it’s very forgiving. Keep in the fridge until ready to bake.

Take them out of the refrigerator about 20 minutes before you’re ready to bake them.

Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F.

Bake them for 17 – 22 min rotating the baking sheet after 10 minutes to ensure evening browning, until an instant-read thermometer inserted through the side of each packet and into the center of the filet reads 130°F for medium rare.

Serves 6.

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