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Cheesy Eggplant Flautas

Cheesy-Eggplant-Flautas_Yes,-more-please!-scrumptious

Roll e’m up, folks! These Flautas ~a.k.a~ rolled tacos are scrumptious! They are filled with quickly sauteed eggplant and a strip of Oaxaca stringy cheese in a thin flour tortilla. THis recipe is quite different from your regular eggplant recipes. The eggplant marries to the cheese inside of the crunchy warm rolled-up flour tortilla, making the filling into utterly creamy vegetable goodness.
They are best served on a bed of crisp fresh lettuce, drizzled with some liquid sour cream or Mexican cream. You can make my fabulous Tomato-Cinnamon sauce for dipping it is slightly spicy and sweet, the cinnamon warms up the tomato flavor is a match made in heaven with the eggplant. A Salsa Verde  also works divine… you choose, or make them both, why not?!

I struggle to find a great variety of quick dishes for eggplant. Cheesy Eggplant Flautas are a great way to utilize those extra eggplants and a fun vegetable option that makes for a great, simple and delicious entree.

Don’t feel like frying?…then brush the rolled flautas with some vegetable oil and bake them!…

Now, get those eggplants rolling. Have fun!

Cheesy-Eggplant-Flautas_EggplantsCheesy-Eggplant-Flautas_ingredients

Cheesy Eggplant Flautas

Makes 8 Flautas

1 large eggplant cut into thick strips.
½ pound of Oaxaca cheese.
8 thin flour tortillas
4 cups of corn oil for frying.
1-2 cups of finely shredded Romain lettuce.

For the Tomato – Cinnamon salsa:

1 large red tomato such as red prudence or 2 Roma tomatoes will do too.
¼ cup fine diced sweet onion.
1 pinch of ground clove
1 pinch red pepper flakes or one dry chile de arbol
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon.
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
1 small glug of grape seed oil or mild olive oil.

For the Salsa Verde click here

Preparation Method:

1. Make the Salsa

Cheesy-Eggplant-Flautas_tomatoe&cinnamon-salt
2. Boil the tomato and puree it.
3. In a small pot add oil and saute the onions until soft and translucent.
4. Add the spices and salt stir until well combined and fragrant.
5. Add the tomato puree and the sugar and cook for 3-5 minutes.
6. Turn off the heat and add the apple cider vinegar, adjust seasonings.

Make the Flautas:
1. Saute the thick eggplant stripes using a little olive oil, season salt and pepper. Set aside.

Cheesy-Eggplant-Flautas_eggplant-sauteed
2. String the cheese into a thinner stripes.
3. Slightly warm up the flour tortillas, place one or 2 eggplant stripes and some cheese strings roll it tightly and secure the end with a wooden toothpick. Proceed with the rest.

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4.  In a medium size heavy bottom pan add the 4 cups of oil and warm up until your thermometer reaches between 350-375 degrees.
NOTE: Take care while frying to avoid any skin contact with hot oil. Watch the pan and carefully monitor the temperature. Avoid all distractions since these flautas cook very quickly.
5. Fry the flautas until evenly golden brown around 2-3 minutes or less. Watch them at all times.

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6. Pull them out on a cooling wire rack

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7. Serve immediately on a bed of lettuce, drizzle the crema, dip into the salsa roja or verde…. bite, dip-bite-repeat. Enjoy!

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Where did I get this amazing Eggplants?…

At my favorite Urban Farm in Austin: Boggy Creek Farm

Hurry up and get yours before they are gone!

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Music Pairing: Tina Turner – Proud Mary

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Sir Kensington’s Spicy Brown Mustard Cheestaches

Sir-Kensington's_spicy-brown-mustard_Cheestaches_Yes,-moreplease!-above-good!

Not too long ago, roaming around whole foods supermarket aisles, I discovered on the shelves the magical Sir Kensington’s ketchup. Looking at me rom the wide mouth glass jar I noticed Sir Kensington’s top hat personality and I fell in love with his aristocratic moustache. That was my very first impression. But the man behind the monocle had way more to offer than just an attractive moustache. As I grabbed the jar and started to read the label my jaw just dropped, Non- GMO, 50% less sugar, 33%less sodium, and a short list of ingredients in which whole tomatoes take the first place ingredient. I was totally in love.

You all know my love affair with tomatoes, so you must know what this discovery meant to me. In my opinion this is the best ketchup I’ve had. Shortly after I discovered the whole condiment collection, mayo, chipotle mayo, spicy ketchup and their recent addition “The” Sir Kensington’s Spicy Brown Mustard. I’ve tried them all. You should, too. Period.

A condiment revolution is here! With all natural ingredients, this spicy brown mustard already has a place in the Mustard Museum with a silver medal on the 2014 world-wide competition. The distinctive spicy mustard flavor has a hint of maple syrup. I have smothered it on everything. I decided to come up with a recipe that enhanced the mustard flavor, and a tribute to Sir Kensington’s Moustache.

This is how this recipe was born. These cheese straws are the ‘piped’ kind  you can squeeze from a piping bag or a cookie gun. Not to be confused with the twisted puff-pastry kind. These  buttery, cheesy, crumbly, savory cheestaches have a spicy brown mustard kick!

Mild cheddar pairs fantastically with this spicy brown mustard. This easy and fun to make recipe has five ingredients and the result are this cheesy and spicy, utterly delicious moustaches. Most anyone with a love for creamy cheddar cheese and spicy brown mustard will appreciate a treat like this. This fun snack is a great treat to pamper your Dad on Father’s Day.  Even if your Dad does not have a mustache!

Apple juice, a cold glass of beer or a cold iced tea will be the perfect match for this Cheestaches on a summer afternoon. Top notch!
Enjoy!

Sir-Kensington's_spicy-mbrown-mustard_Cheestaches_ingredients_Yes,-moreplease!

Sir Kensington’s Spicy Brown Mustard Cheestaches

Makes 24 cheestaches

4 oz mild cheddar shredded and at room temperature
4 oz (1stick) unsalted butter room temperature
1 heaping Tablespoon of  Sir Kensington’s Brown Spicy Mustard
1/8 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1+1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour.

1 medium 12” piping bag
Metal decorating tip # 32 available at any craft store.
1 cookie sheet, parchment paper.

Preparation Method

1. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, whip the butter for about 4-5 minutes until the butter looks lighter color.
2. Add the shredded cheddar cheese mix for another 3-4 minutes. until you just see small speckles of cheese and the butter is fluffy and looks whipped.
3. Stop mixer, add the spicy brown mustard, cayenne and salt. Mix until combined. 1-2 minutes.
4. Stop the mixer and add the flour in two stages, mixing on medium low until well incorporated.
5. Mix on medium high for 2 minutes. the batter should look like a paste. (if the dough is to stiff, add a bit more mustard and bout a tablespoon more of butter. whip.)

Sir-Kensington's_spicy-brown-mustard_Cheestaches_mixing_the-batter_Yes,-moreplease!
6. Prepare the piping bag, follow instructions below.

Sir-Kensington's_spicy-brown-mustard_Cheestaches_piping-bag_Yes,-moreplease!

7.Line a Baking sheet with parchment paper, a silpad or reusable-parchment, mi favorite!; place the mustache stencil under the parchment.
I made a mustache stencil you can print for easy piping, you can look it up, down load it our Yes, more please! Facebook page click here to get it!
Not in the mood of mustaches?.. pipe 3”- 4” stripes and bake for about 12 minutes.

8. Now the fun begins!…Pipe the cheese- mustaches follow the instructions on the picture below, but first take a quick look on my easy way to handle a piping bag.

Sir-Kensington's_spicy-brown-mustard_Cheestaches_how-to-hold-a-pipping-bag_Yes,-moreplease!

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_Sir-Kensington's_spicy-brown-mustard_Cheestaches_ingredients_Yes,-moreplease!-Sir-Kensington's_spicy-brown-mustard_how-to-pipe-the-Cheestaches__Yes,-moreplease!

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9. Once you pipe the mustaches place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for at least 15- 25 minutes.
10. Preheat your oven at 350 F.
11. Bake cheese straws for 12-14 minutes, until the tips and base of the mustaches start looking golden brown on the edges.
12. Remove from oven, let them cool on the cooking tray for 4-5 minutes on the tray. Then with the help of a flat spatula transfer them to a cooling rack.

Sir-Kensington's_spicy-brown-mustard_Cheestaches_baked_out-of-the-oven_Yes,-moreplease!
13. This cheese mustaches can be dipped on a bit extra of spicy brown mustard if desired for more kick. But to tell you the truth they are great as they are!..and they taste fantastic the day after.

Serve with a nice cold glass of beer or Iced Tea. Enjoy!

Sir-Kensington's_Spicy-Brown-Mustard_Cheestaches__Yes,-moreplease!

This recipe post was sponsored by Sir Kensington’s brand condiments and the mustard used was furnished by the good folks at Sir Kensington’s.

Thank you much!

Cheestaches_wiggle-your-moustache_Yes,-more-please!_Sir-Kensingtons

Music Pairing: If You’ve Only Got a Moustache

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Caprese Tomato Spinach Soup

Tomato-Spinach-Soup-'caprese-style'-ingredients ~Yes, more please!ingredientsIs it Spring time yet?!!!…Well the thermometer is still going up and down like mad in Austin. And since yesterday was on the chilly side, I was craving tomato soup. I know I have to wait at least one more season to get great tomatoes at the farmers market. In the meantime what do you do when it seems only greens are in season?

So I had to improvise. I had two routes:
1. Try buy the best tomatoes I could find at the supermarket, roast them and enhance them…the problem with this solution, (even if it sounds the most viable route) is when you are truly committed to getting fresh organic produce you go to the supermarket and often the tomatoes look good but since your can’t sample them you get a lot of variation in flavor and sweetness. In my experience and in my opinion they often look better than they taste when out of season.

2. The short easy route: to buy a can of roasted organic tomatoes…
Well, sometimes you just have to use a salvation can when tomatoes are not in season and your frozen tomatoes are gone! If I know something for sure it is that I will learn how to can tomatoes for this coming season… fortunately there are plenty of options in canned tomatoes: from organic, no salt added, and no preservatives, (and in the case of Muir Glen, among others, no BPA’s if that concerns you , check this product list)  I find these canned options to have a more consistent quality if I can’t get them in season.

So I bought a can of tomatoes to satisfy my tomato soup craving. And here’s where I put my twist on things. I enhanced it with some dried herbs,sun-dried tomatoes, and aromatics. The result was scrumptious. It was good ‘ol tomato soup to warm us up on these strange cold March days. I added dried basil, a pinch of thyme, garlic, shallots and sun-dried tomatoes, plus a little Balsamic vinegar to balance the soup’s sweetness. I also added some sautéed spinach and mozzarella Ciliegine (cherry size mozzarella balls) as toppings before broiling in the oven. It turned out amazingly good. It reminded me of a caprese salad in soup form!.. I hope you like it as much as we did! And stay warm!

caprese-tomatoe-spinach-soup-yes-more-please

Caprese Tomato Spinach Soup

Serves 4

1 can (28 0z.) Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes (I used Muir Glen organic) this is a must! the fire roasted tomatoes give all the flavor to the soup.
3-4 cups water or vegetable stock …start with 3, then add more to desired consistency.
2-3 glugs extra virgin olive oil
5-7 Sun dried tomatoes, chopped.
2 small shallots finely chopped
1 medium garlic clove thinly sliced
½ teaspoon dry basil
1 good pinch dry thyme
1 large bay leaf
½ teaspoon celery salt
1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Toppings:

6-8 hand fulls of spinach
1 shallot
Extra virgin olive oil to saute
Salt and black pepper to taste.

Fresh Mozzarella Ciliegine
(if you can not find the Ciliegine, you can cut the mozzarella into small cubes)

Preparation:

1. In a medium soup pot over medium heat, warm up the extra virgin olive oil. Add in the chopped shallots, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, bay leaf saute for 3-4 minutes.
2. Add the dry basil, thyme salt and black pepper, saute for another minute.
3. Add the can of crushed fire roasted tomatoes, and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium.
4. Add the water, stir until well incorporated, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to low, simmer for 6-8 minutes. With an immersion blender puree the soup. ( I love this gadget in the kitchen, it is so practical and easy to puree your soup on the same pot!)

Tomatoe-Spinach-Soup-Caprese-style-sautee-base-for-soup
5. Once its pureed, add the Balsamic vinegar, taste, adjust salt and pepper if necessary. Bring to slow simmer, turn off the heat, cover with a lid and keep it warm.
6. Quick Saute the spinach in a skillet over medium -high heat, heat up some olive oil, add shallots, garlic and saute for 15 seconds then add the spinach and toss until they are partially wilted, and coated with the hot oil, add salt and pepper. Set a side.

Flash-sauteed-spinach~-Yes,-more-please!
7. Using oven friendly soup bowls, scoop 2-3 ladles of tomato soup, add some of the sauteed spinach and top with the mozzarella buccatinis.
8. Place bowls onto a baking sheet and broil the soups for about 4-5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and slightly crust. Be careful to watch them so they don’t burn.

Tomato-Spinach-Soup-Caprese-style-assambling-the-soup-

Tomatoe-Spinach-Soup-Caprese-style-broil-your-soup

9. Serve with some toasted ciabatta or crusty bread slices and rub some garlic on the bread for extra flavor… Enjoy!

Tomatoe-Spinach-Soup-Caprese-style-rub-garlic-on-toastTomatoe-Spinach-Soup-Caprese-style-toasty,-melty,-Yes,-more-please!Tomatoe-Spinach-Soup-Caprese-style-Yes,-more-please! Caprese Tomato Spinach Soup

Music Pairing: Frank Sinatra,  “Fly me to the moon”

https://youtu.be/mhZ2X9znPxM

Tomatoe-Spinach-Soup-Caprese-style-Yes,more-please!

 

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Caprese Tomato Spinach Soup

Course Lunch, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 28oz can Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes, I used Muir Glen organic) this is a must! the fire roasted tomatoes give all the flavor to the soup.
  • 3-4 cups water or vegetable stock, start with 3, then add more to desired consistency.
  • 2 glugs extra virgin olive oil
  • 5-7 Sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry basil, if fresh use about 5-6 leaves
  • 1 good pinch dry thyme
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic Vinegar

Toppings:

  • 6-8 handfulls fresh spinach
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • extra virgin olive oil to sautee the spinach
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Fresh Mozzarella Ciliegine, or frsh mozzarella cut into small cubes

Instructions

  1. 1. In a medium soup pot over medium heat, warm up the extra virgin olive oil. Add in the chopped shallots, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, bay leaf saute for 3-4 minutes.

    2. Add the dry basil, thyme salt and black pepper, saute for another minute.

    3. Add the can of crushed fire roasted tomatoes, and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium.

    4. Add the water, stir until well incorporated, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to low, simmer for 6-8 minutes. With an immersion blender puree the soup. ( I love this gadget in the kitchen, it is so practical and easy to puree your soup on the same pot!)

    5. Once its pureed, add the Balsamic vinegar, taste, adjust salt and pepper if necessary. Bring to slow simmer, turn off the heat, cover with a lid and keep it warm.

    6. Quick Saute the spinach in a skillet over medium -high heat, heat up some olive oil, add shallots, garlic and saute for 15 seconds then add the spinach and toss until they are partially wilted, and coated with the hot oil, add salt and pepper. Set a side.

    7. Using oven friendly soup bowls, scoop 2-3 ladles of tomato soup, add some of the sauteed spinach and top with the mozzarella buccatinis.

    8. Place bowls onto a baking sheet and broil the soups for about 4-5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and slightly crust. Be careful to watch them so they don’t burn. 

    Serve with some toasted ciabatta or crusty bread slices and rub some garlic on the bread for extra flavor… Enjoy!

 

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Warm Acorn Squash Salad

Acorn-Squash-Warm-Salad_ingredients

Full winter here in Austin! Yeah!!! I love cold weather and with it the delicious and comforting warm salads.
This scrumptious Warm Acorn Squash Salad is a great dish to keep up with the winter calories. If you know what I mean… I’m saving calories to spend them at Christmas… hehehe

Imagine a roasted wedge of acorn squash, topped with baby spinach watercress, green apples, toasted nuts, creamy goat cheese drizzled with a slightly warm lime-ginger-ancho chilli vinaigrette… super easy, and comforting. This recipe will make you crave salad in the winter.

So, keep warm and I hope you fall in love with this easy and healthy dinner. Enjoy

Acorn-Squash-warm-salad~Yes,-more-please!

Warm Acorn Squash Salad

Serves 4

1 acorn squash cut in 4 pieces
4 cups spinach
2 cups watercress
1 granny smith apple cut in long match sticks or similar.
¼ cup toasted chopped pecans
¼ cup salted toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
4-6 oz goat cheese

For the warm vinaigrette:

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Agave nectar
1 teaspoon ancho chilli powder
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
The zest and juice of one lime
½ teaspoon salt

Preparation:

1. Place the 4 acorn squash segments in a baking sheet lined with parchment or aluminum foil, salt and pepper, Roast at 450F for about 25-30 minutes, checking half way thru, rotate the pan. And bake until fork tender.

Acorn-squash-warm-salad_roasted-acorn 2. In a salad bowl combine, the spinach, watercress, cut apples, toasted pecans, toasted pumpkin seeds.

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3.To make the vinaigrette:
Slightly warm the Extra Virgin Olive Oil (warm to the touch). Add agave nectar, ancho chili, ginger, lemon zest, lemon juice and ½ teaspoon of kosher salt, whisk until well combined. Or place all this ingredients into a small clean glass jar and shake. The warm oil will marry the flavors and develop the aromas, as well to cozy up your greens.

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4. Once the Acorn squash is roasted, toss the salad with some of the dressing, and top each acorn squash wedge with the salad.
5. Crumble some goat cheese and drizzle a little more of the vinaigrette.Enjoy!

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Warm Acorn Squash Salad…warm up!~

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Lobster Mac and Brie

Lobster_Macaroni & Brie Cheese_oven tray

I was listening to the B-52’s http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aepSPpU4S2o when I started to crave Lobster… and then macaroni… and then cheese…eureka! Lobster Mac and Brie cheese!
My cooking process sometimes get fired up in mischievous ways… I definitely was craving macaroni and cheese… “the bad one”, the one that comes in a little blue box with radioactive namaste orange cheese powder…. yes, I must confess sometimes I do crave things that are not to good for me but they bring me a sense of un-complicated comfort…
No, I did not succumb to the blue box, in fact I Rock-ed it out and made a great version of Macaroni, throwing some lobster in it. (There goes my “un-complicated comfort” uh?)
By applying a few macaroni principles you can have the most luscious, silky cheese macaroni.

Lobster_Macaroni & Brie cheese_key ingredients

Four Macaroni Commandments:

1-Thou Shall Use Ridged macaroni elbows…

It makes a huge difference, the amount of cheese sauce that sticks to the pasta is extremely desirable.

2- Thou Shall Use No Flour or Rue In Your Sauce…

This is a controversial statement; I’m convinced that if you use the right amount of cheese and cream in the sauce, there is no need to add flour to thicken the sauce, the sauce will not curdle and it will make the sauce light and silky.

3-Thou Marry Thy Ingredients Before Baking….

‘Al dente’ pasta + silky sauce = perfect creamy and light consistency with out over cooking it.
When adding the pasta to the cheese sauce, let them talk to each other for a couple of minutes, this will allow the pasta to absorb the extra liquids in the cheese sauce and flavor the pasta before reaching a high temperature when it hits the oven.

4- Thou Shall Bake the macaroni cheese at a high temperature for a short period of time…

The high temperature will allow to form the desirable outside crust and the short period of time will allow the pasta to keep its creamy gooey inside.
I promise if you stick by these four commandments you will always have a great success in your mac & cheese!
Make sure you are listening to the B-52’s…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aepSPpU4S2o

Lobster_Macaroni & Brie_ingredients

Lobster Mac and Brie

Serves 4 mermaids or 2 sailors

3 cups -1 lbs. Ridged macaroni elbows (since the sauce does not have flour, you can easily substitute for any gluten-free pasta like quinoa which has great flavor and texture)
2-4 6oz Lobster tails
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup white wine (California Chardonnay or a Dry Riesling will work great)
8-10 oz triple cream Brie cheese (If you do not like Brie, you can substitute any creamy milder cheese you prefer…like cream cheese or baby cheddar)
2 tablespoons butter
1 garlic clove
1 lemon:
the juice and the zest of ½ a lemon
½ lemon sliced
½ teaspoon dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon of cornstarch diluted in 1 tablespoon of milk.
2 ears of sweet corn ( approx. 2-3 cups of corn kernels)
1 teaspoon kosher salt /plus more for cooking the pasta
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper.

To garnish:

3 green scallions finely chopped
1 or two pinches of smoked paprika
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon garlic powder.
Lemon wedges

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F/205 C

1.-

In a medium pot of boiling salted water add lemon slices and a bay leaf and cook the Lobster tails for about 4-5 minutes. Once cooked, immediately remove them and shock them in an ice cold water bowl to stop the cooking process.
After cooling them in ice water for a few minutes crack the back of the shell open with kitchen shears to make it easier to peel.
(See picture below). Remove the shells and slice into medallions. Set aside. (the lobster should appear a little under done, it will finish cooking in the oven)

LOBSTER-secuence ~ www.yes-moreplease.com

2.-

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.
While the pasta is cooking start your sauce in a separate pot. Bring wine to a simmer add garlic clove, turn down the heat and add the heavy cream, butter, salt, black pepper, lemon zest, dijon mustard. Bring to a slow simmer. Whisk in the cornstarch. With a wooden spoon stir slowly for about five minutes. Make sure it’s free of lumps. Simmer for ten more minutes. Remove the garlic clove. Stir in the Brie cheese until well combined. Adjust salt and pepper if needed. Add the corn kernels cook for 3-4 minutes. Fold the macaroni into the sauce, mix, and let it cook, stirring occasional on a low heat for 3-4 minutes until the sauce appears to have a little thicker consistency.

Lobster_Macaroni & Brie_how to make the sauce

3.-

Pour the macaroni into a 2 – 8” oval ramekins / or  4 – 4” ramekin dishes. Arrange the Lobster medallions on top of the macaroni and add a few dices of butter. Save the tales for garnish, see picture below.
Top the macaroni with chopped scallions, a pinch of smoked paprika and the seasoned panko bread crumbs. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Remove from oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Lobster_Macaroni & Brie_assambling

Lobster_Macaroni & Brie_ready to eat

ROCK- Lobster Macaroni & Brie Cheese…make it soon!

 

 

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Dos Lunas Grilled Cheese & Plum Chutney Sandwich

Dos-Lunas-Grilled-Cheese-&-Plum-Chutney-Sandwich_Delicious-cheese_Yes,-more-please!

Red juicy plums got me in trouble this time. I saw them at the market and when I grabbed them I could feel the juicy flesh of the fruit. I bought some and ate 3 on the way home, and then I went back to the market and bought some more. I think too many… so what to do with an extra pound of plums? “Chutney!”, I open my fridge what else did I have available? Oh! Yes, jalapenos! No matter what, I always have fresh jalapenos in my fridge.. (ask Ian) A little spicy green chile will always save you and kick up the flavor of any meal. I had some ginger (not too shabby) some cinnamon (great spice and aromatic) I was not even thinking about it when I realized I was already making the chutney… My mouth waters.. Juicy and sweet red plums chunks, a hint of spice from the jalapeno, aromatic cinnamon and fresh ginger to brighten up the flavor! The kitchen smelled like a sinful geisha wardrobe. (oops rewind that!) It smelled great, so I had to try it… where? In what? With what?… On a melted ham and cheese sandwich! Oh yes my friends, a sinful combination. One more time, before my eyes something so simple can become so ridiculously good.

Although, to be honest the major protagonist of this sandwich act, is the Classico cheese from Dos Lunas.

I first sampled Dos Lunas cheese at our local farmer’s market and I loved it from the start. Its made by a local artisan cheese maker named Joaquin Avellan, a Venezuelan transplant who missed his families’ cheese so much he began to make his own here in Texas. He makes several varieties from local UNPASTUERIZED cow’s milk. This allows his cheese a greater complexity of flavor which is normally ruined by heat when the milk is pasteurized. Due to regulations, unpasteurized cheese can only be sold in the US after being aged two months, hence Dos Lunas (Two Moons).

I chose his ‘Classico” cheese for this recipe because of its melting qualities and particular flavor. This cheese  has some nutty notes and taste like the grass in Schulenburg, Tx where 60 happy cows produce the milks that this amazing cheese is made off. Its creaminess greatly complements the plum chutney and smokey salty ham. This cheese Its also great as a stand alone to eat all on its own. If you’re curious about picking up some of this ‘Classico cheese’, follow the link at the end of this entry.

This delicious spicy plum chutney over melted Dos Lunas Classico cheese piled on some thinly sliced smoked ham on sprouted wheat bread will send you over the moon…or two.

Dos-Lunas-Grilled-Cheese-&-Plum-Chutney-Sandwich_warm-Gridle-ready-to-eat!_Yes,-more-please!

Dos Lunas Grilled Cheese & Plum Chutney Sandwich.

Makes 2

4 tablespoons of Red Plum, jalapeno chutney Enough cheese to make you smile!…I used Dos Lunas Classico it melts beautifully!, if you are not in Austin, Texas, you can use: Emmental, Swiss or Baby Swiss.

4 thin slices of smoked ham or Bavarian ham.

4 bread slices ( I used 7 seeds-sprouted whole wheat bread)

2-4 tablespoons of butter.

Vegans & Vegetarians: You can use any firm tofu, it will be fantastic if you saute the tofu to give extra crust. And shredded carrots with a little bit of sea salt to substitute the ham.

Use any Vegan margarine spread or coconut oil to give the bread a crusty top, It will be a fantastic sandwich!

Dos Lunas Grilled Cheese & Plum Chutney Sandwich_Red_Plums-bowl

Red Plum – Jalapeno & Ginger Chutney

Makes 2-3 cups

8-12 ripe Red plumps pitted and cut in quarters and eights.
¼ cup sugar (mascabado, or raw)
6 tablespoons of agave nectar
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1-2 small diced jalapenos
1-2 teaspoons of fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 stick of mexican cinnamon
A dash of ground clove.

Making the chutney:

Over medium high heat in a stainless steel pan place the plums, sugar, agave and cinnamon stick. Let the plums warm trough about 4-5 minutes. Once that the sugar and agave start looking bubbly, add the grated ginger, diced jalapenos, cider vinegar, olive oil and the dash of clove. Let simmer for about 5-6 minutes, until the juices look translucent and some of the plums have started to get soft and you can smash them easily with a spoon. Turn off the heat and set aside.

Dos Lunas Grilled Cheese & Plum Chutney Sandwich_Red_Plumps_halved

Ginger-+Jalapeno+Plum-Chutney_Yes,-more-please!

Dos-Lunas-Grilled-Cheese-&-Plum-Chutney-Sandwich_Red-Plum-chutney

Built your sandwich:

Spread butter one side of the two bread slices and place in hot griddle or pan. Build your sandwich on one slice starting with the ham, then 2 tablespoons of the chutney then cover with sliced Dos Lunas cheese. Toast the bread slices in the pan for 2-3 minutes until the buttered side gets color. Then place the pan under the broiler for about 2-3 minutes. Finally top the melted cheese and other ingredients with the plain toasted slice to create your sandwich. Eat while very warm!!! A nice glass of beer or milk will go great…enjoy.   To learn more about Dos Lunas and how to get some of their cheese:  www.doslunascheese.com Dos-Lunas-Grilled-Cheese-&-Plum-Chutney-Sandwich_triangles_Yes,-more-please!

Dos-Lunas-Grilled-Cheese-&-Plum-Chutney-Sandwich_Melted-cheese-craving

To learn more about Dos Lunas and how to get some of their cheese:  www.doslunascheese.com

The cheese used in this recipe was donated by Dos Lunas Cheese….Thank you Joaquin!

 

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