Cheese of Canada
I had such fun the other day presenting recipe ideas at the MLCC Madison Square for the Assiniboine Park Conservatory. The theme was Cheese of Canada.
1. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Raclette, Pear and onion
2 whole wheat bread slices per sandwich
1-2 slices Raclette cheese per sandwich
2 slices pear (Bosc, red, golden, etc.)
2-4 onions, thinly sliced
2 tbs good olive oil
Salt and pepper
Port for deglazing
Dijon mustard on each slice of bread
Butter for outside of each sandwich
Slowly caramelize onions in a pan, season and deglaze with port when caramelized. To assemble sandwiches, spread mustard on inside of slices followed by pear, onion and cheese. Close sandwich and butter on both sides. Grill under the broiler or in a pan until browned and cheese has melted. Cut into quarters in the diagonal and serve immediately.
2. Fresh Mozzarella Tomato Salad
6-8 red ripe tomatoes, sliced
1-2 packages fresh mozzarella, cut into pieces or slices
1 cup basil leaves, whole or torn
Salt and pepper
Lay out tomatoes and cheese on a plate, alternating and layering between them Sprinkle basil leaves over the plate. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle good olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the plate.
3. Baked Cheesy Pasta
1 pkg pasta (penne, farfale, rigatoni, etc.)
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs butter
2 cups milk
1 tbs flour
½ tsp chipotle peppers
1 cup white wine
1 head roasted garlic
One cup each of grated cheeses (Trappist, Chevre- crumbled, Raclette, Ermite)
Bring a large pot of water to boil with salt and olive oil. Cook pasta under the time recommended on the package. In another large saucepot, heat olive oil and butter and sauté sliced onion. Add 1 tbs flour and cook through without browning flour. Add milk and incorporate all of onion flour mixture on the bottom of the pot. Bring to a gentle boil and add white wine. Season with dried chipotle peppers and roasted garlic.
In a large mixing bowl, combine cheese, cooked and drained pasta and sauce. Pour into a large baking dish and bake at 350F until sauce bubbles. Let rest and serve.
Options: Add cooked sausage, bacon or other smoked meats. Try a variety of cheeses. Sprinkle crisp onions on top.
4. Matar Paneer (peas with paneer)
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
~ 1 inch fresh ginger, grated or chopped
4-6 tbs vegetable oil
Paneer (available at Dino’s fresh or frozen or make at home)
1 whole dried hot red pepper
1 ½ cups light yoghurt with separated liquid
1 tbs ground coriander seeds
¼ tsp turmeric
3 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
3 cups shelled fresh or 2 packages thawed frozen peas
Blend onion and ginger in a blender with 1/3 cup water until you have a smooth paste. Heat oil in pot and place the hot red pepper and turn. Add blended onion mixture and cook until a light brown colour.
Add the coriander and turmeric, stirring for another minute. Add tomatoes and cook for another few minutes. Add yoghurt, salt and pepper. Mix well and let boil. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes. Add peas and paneer pieces and simmer until peas are cooked.
5. Quick(ish) Tiramisu
1 pkg lady fingers
1-2 pkgs mascarpone cheese
1 cup sugar
1 fresh egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup fine cocoa powder
2 tall espressos
1 shot each of coffee liqueur, kirsch, Frangelico (optional)
Mix mascarpone, sugar, egg and vanilla. In a shallow bowl, combine espresso with liqueurs. Dip lady fingers into bowl and place in serving dish. Cover with some of the cheese mixture and then top with a sprinkling of cocoa. Repeat layering for 2-3 layers. Top with cheese mixture and then with cocoa. Let chill and set and serve.