Tag Archives: extra sharp cheddar

‘Q’ is for quiche…

With the continued cold temperatures and brisk wind in the air, I decided tonight I would make one of my all time comfort foods… Quiche.
The beauty when making a quiche is you can’t really get it wrong, just add some of your favorite ingredients and you have yourself one hell of a ‘pie’!
To create my heavenly ‘pie’ I started by rendering pancetta until crispy, once done I sautéed a diced onion, followed by chopped green peppers in the rendered fat with these crispy pancetta critters. Once this three-way came together, I added small chunks of split breast chicken that I roasted earlier…
These darlings then were eased into a pie crust and topped with a blend of shredded monterey jack and extra sharp cheddar cheeses. Then a mix of five extra large eggs, a cup and a half milk, along with salt and crushed red pepper were poured over the cheese and chicken mixture…
This ‘pie’ was now ready for a 375 degree oven. The timer was set for forty-five minutes and it was the waiting game for this amazing ‘pie’ to make its appearance! Once cooked and slightly cooled I sliced a hearty piece and quietly savored every bite.
Deliciously simple and simply delicious is all I can say about this classic comfort food…

at a low simmer…
-R

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it’s a bit ‘chili’ in here…

So tonight I wanted something warm and hearty… something I don’t often venture into making… chili! This was not going to be a typical beef chili, but something with a slight edge to it.
I knew I had everything to whip up this stew-like concoction, so the mission began. I started by browning off hot and sweet bulk sausage. Once browned and gorgeous, into the pot went two spanish onions that I diced up. As soon as the onions became soft and a bit caramelized, in went a few cloves of garlic that I minced, along with some spicy green chilis! These all cooked together for a few minutes until the flavors started to marry.
After everyone was getting to know each other, in went cumin, ancho chili powder, cayenne pepper and salt [these are all to taste so go crazy or be gentle]… a quick stir to mix the spices and then one large can of crushed tomatoes and one large can of San Marzano tomatoes [these were puréed before I added them]. Another quick stir and as soon as the chili began to boil, then I dropped the heat to a simmer and put the lid on the pot. I let the chili cook for thirty-five minutes [twenty-five minutes into cooking I added a can of black beans…] Once cooking was finished, off the heat went in some chopped cilantro.
To plate up [or should I say bowl] this meal… some light and crisp tortillas, crème fraiche and extra sharp cheddar.
The flavors were intense… spicy, sweet, lemony and a touch acidic! This time two bowlfuls did just not satisfy…

at a low simmer…
-R

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uh oh… my soup bowl has a ‘leek’

As the evening set in and the air became a bit brisk, the idea of soup for dinner ran through my head…
This past Sunday, I was given a beautiful leek and thought making a potato and leek soup was the perfect way to use this mildly flavored veggie!
To start cooking up this soup, I rendered some pancetta. Once browned, the pancetta was put aside, while the chopped leeks and some minced garlic got a quick sauté in the pancetta fat. After cooking till softened, in went a quart of chicken broth, some water, along with five peeled and cubed yukon gold potatoes. Everything was brought to a boil, then reduced down to a simmer. As soon as the potatoes were fork tender, I puréed them with an immersion blender and then added in a touch of cream, as well as some shredded extra sharp cheddar for a bit of richness…
Back into the soup went some of the pancetta for texture and flavor. Once heated through, it was time to eat!
Creamy, velvety, slightly crunchy and perfectly seasoned… this soup warmed us completely! Seconds were definitely in order…

at a low simmer…
-R

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pretty in pink…

As a precursor to a delicious meal, I decided to make a nice, delicate little appetizer to enjoy…
I gently sliced pink pearl apples, which are sweet and slightly tart. They have a gorgeous vibrant pink flesh and are available sparingly in one of my favorite gourmet markets for a very brief timeframe so I had to get my hands on some!!
These slices of beauty were layered on a grilled slice of sourdough bread, followed by some applewood smoked bacon, arugula and topped with extra sharp cheddar. Under the broiler for just a moment until melted and bubbly and it was time to slice into and devour!
Salty, crunchy, tart and sweet… a perfect combination in a perfect bite!!

at a low simmer…
-R

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