Archive for the ‘Cheese’ Category

Baked Ziti

This is a new recipe for me. It is super easy so I am not sure why I have not done it before.

Preheat oven to 325

Cook Ziti – use directions on the box – time varies

In a sauce pan heat marina sauce – I buy a jarred version and doctor it by adding 1 can of chopped tomatoes, two cloves of chopped garlic, a cup of red wine and about a 1/2 tsp of red pepper.

Drain ziti; grease a casserole dish and add ziti, pour sauce over ziti – just enough to cover the pasta. Top with shredded mozarella and grated parmesan (I also added a bit of feta because I had some on hand to use up) Bake for about 20-25 minutes until bubbling. Serve with warm bread and whatever wine you have left after adding to sauce and waiting the 25 minutes for this to be ready

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Fresh Figs

Fresh Figs

Originally uploaded by lyricalmezzo

I am lucky to have a fig tree in my yard. Having just moved to this house, I am new to having this tree. It has been delightful. The figs are so beautiful – not to mention delicious. I have made a few things with them. The first thing I made was a fig and goat cheese pie. I sliced about 20 figs in half, drizzled balsamic vinegar over the top and then topped with crumbled goat cheese. I baked it in a ready made pie crust until it was heated through. It was so good and made a fig lover out of my sister who claims to have never had a fig before??? I will make this again if for no other reason – to get a better picture of the finished product!

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spinach, feta, rice pie

Originally uploaded by lyricalmezzo

I served this alongside the glazed salmon…it also makes great leftovers.

Saute 3/4 cup of chopped onion;
add salt and pepper (1/2 tsp. each);
and 2 tbls of flour;
slowly add 1 1/2 cups of milk;
whisk together and let simmer for 1 minute then remove from heat;
add thawed and drained 10 ounce package of chopped spinach 1 egg and 2 egg whites, 1/4 cup of feta and 2 cups of cooked rice.
Add all to a greased casserole dish sprinkle with Parmesan and put in 400 degree oven for about 35 minutes.

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Enchillada Casserole

Originally uploaded by lyricalmezzo

This is so yummy. I have done this countless times, but this time I made it slightly differently.

Preheat oven to 350
Lightly grease a casserole pan
In a saute pan add 1/2 pan of ground turkey and season with taco flavoring
Rinse and drain one can of black beans – when the turkey is cooked add the black beans and remove from heat

You will want to layer this like you would lasagna:
Tortillas (I used flour, though corn would work if you prefer that flavor)
heaping spoonful of beans/meat
sprinkle with cheese
spoon in some enchilada sauce
Repeat process until you are out of meat/bean mixture
Add a final layer of tortilla – top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.
Bake for about 25 minutes until it bubbling.
Cut and serve with salsa or tomatillo sauce (I chose tomatillo) and a dollop of plain yogurt (or sour cream if you are so inclined)

I have never made this with the ground turkey – so it works quite well without it – you really can’t go wrong with this – use your favorite ingredients and you will be more than satisfied with this dish.

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Vegetable Lasagne

Originally uploaded by lyricalmezzo

It has been a pretty gloomy and cool weekend so I decided to warm the house with a freshly prepared lasagna. You can’t go wrong with lasagna and in general you simply layer the noodles, sauce and cheese and bake and it will be good. I wanted to something a bit beyond that – it took a little more time, but the end result was well worth it.

I preheated the oven to 400 degrees

half and seed a red pepper – sprinkle with olive oil
cut the top off a head of garlic – place in olive oil and wrap in foil

Put both of these in the oven – remove peppers when the skin is blistered – place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and set aside until cool – when cool – remove skin and then slice peppers into bite size pieces – you can add to sauce or just add when you layer the cheese and sauce

Remove garlic when it is soft – let cool a bit and then extract the cloves and set aside.

In a cast iron skillet I put about 15 grape tomatoes and about a tablespoon of olive oil…I turned the burner on high – when the tomatoes soften and break – reduce heat. I then added marinara sauce, and random veggies I had left over – some broccoli, a few shredded carrots and I think a few pieces of cauliflower. Add about a cup of red wine and a dash of ground red pepper and let simmer for as long as you want – I think I let mine simmer about 45 minutes. Add roasted garlic cloves to the sauce then start the water to boil for the pasta. (don’t forget to salt and oil the water)

Prepare lasagna dish with some non stick spray. When the noodles are soft – drain and rinse with cold water – put a layer of noodles in the pan – top with some sauce, and fresh spinach, ricotta, feta and a layer of mozzarella cheese…repeat process for three layers – add fourth layer of noodles – top with sauce – cover with cheeses and bake in 375 degree oven for about 35 minutes until bubbling and cheese is slightly browned.

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Potato and Leek Gratin

Potato and Leek Gratin

Originally uploaded by lyricalmezzo

I saw an ad, which I promptly lost, with a recipe for potato and leek gratin. I went with what I could remember of the recipe and this is what I came up with.

2 leeks – washed and chopped (just use the tender white portion of the leek – I soaked them in water while I prepared the rest of the dish so they would be clean)
3lbs of potatoes, peeled (I used red potatoes – I am sure russets would work equally well)
6 oz of Jarlsberg grated cheese (the recipe calls for Gruyere, but that is too pricey for me)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Saute the leeks in about 2 tablespoons of butter until tender
Slice peeled potatoes into 1/4 inch slices
butter the sides and bottom of a casserole dish
Put one layer of sliced potatoes on the bottom of the casserole dish.
sprinkle with leeks and grated cheese
add another layer of potatoes – and top with leeks and cheese – repeat process until all ingredients are used – make sure you have enough cheese to cover the top layer of potatoes.

Bake covered for 20 minutes; after 20 minutes remove the cover and bake for another 25-30 minutes until potatoes are tender and the cheese is golden brown.

This is super delicious! I will definitely add this into the rotation.

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first lasagne of the fall

Originally uploaded by lyricalmezzo

I had a craving for lasagna but Savannah has had some really warm temps for late – especially for this time of year as October tends to be rather temperate and lovely. So I decided that I would ignore the 85 degree weather and high humidity and make the lasagna I craved. I started with the sauce. I let the marina simmer for quite a while; I added carrot slivers and spinach and let that cook for a while longer. Once the sauce had sufficiently festered I preheated the oven to about 350 degrees and started the layering process. One layer of lasagna noodles, drizzle with sauce, add ricotta, feta, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and then start another layer of noodles -what could be easier? I think I ended up with about three layers. I cooked the lasagna for about 30-45 minutes until it was bubbling. Remove from oven and let it cool, slice and enjoy with good friends and a bottle of Chianti.

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Originally uploaded by lyricalmezzo

So – sometime last week Mimi blogged about nachos and pictured her beautiful nachos with yummy leftovers and yes, they sounded good, but I wanted ooey gooey nachos – yes we differ on our likes and dislikes when it comes to food. Here are my nachos loaded with vegetarian refried beans; colby jack cheese, plain yogurt, and tomatillo sauce. So – while they are ooey gooey, really not too much in here that is bad for you….you could do much worse and I enjoyed the messiness of these nachos very much.

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Saturday Dinner


Originally uploaded by All Things Mimi

This dinner was good. I mean really good.

I’ll start with the roasted cauliflower cuz it was the easiest.

I defrosted a bag of frozen cauliflower florets. Yes- I said frozen. I was skeptical about the outcome, but it was fine. Actually, it was better than fine. After it was completely defrosted, I dried it on paper towels. I spread it out on a foil lined baking sheet and drizzled it with olive oil, then salted and peppered it. It roasted in a 400 degree oven for probably about 30 minutes. I roasted it while I was grilling the chicken. I wanted it to get a really deep, roasted color.

It tasted really good, and I think using frozen cauliflower was easier than cutting up a fresh head. But if you want to use fresh, I’m sure it will be even better!

Now…on to the mac and cheese…

I found a recipe in the Apr/May 2008 issue of “Cook’s Country” magazine for skillet mac and cheese. It did not require boiling the macaroni separately- meaning one pot start to finish. I like that- and Dev likes it even more, since he usually does the dishes.

Here’s the recipe:

Skillet Macaroni and Cheese

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups fresh bread crumbs (I used panko)
salt and pepper
3 3/4 cups water, plus more as needed
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
3 cups elbow macaroni
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons hot sauce (I used Sriracha)
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar
2 cups shredded monterey jack

Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add bread crumbs, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl and wipe out skillet.
Bring water, 1 1/4 cups evaporated milk and 1/2 teaspoon salt to simmer in skillet over medium high heat. Add macaroni and cook, stirring often, until macaroni is al dente, 8 to 10 minutes.
Whisk remaining evaporated milk, cornstarch and hot sauce in small bowl, then stir into skillet. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Off heat, stir in cheeses, one handful at a time, adding water or milk as needed to adjust consistency. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Serve.

You could get away with much less than 2 cups of bread crumbs. I think a cup would be plenty.

The flavor was really great, especially since I used the sriracha hot sauce. I could really taste the chile/garlic mixture.

Last but not least, let’s talk about the chicken. I defrosted 4 leg/thigh quarters. I put a very simple blackening rub on them and grilled them. Actually, I incinerated them. They were on fire several times. I guess I need to brush up on my grilling skills. Anyhoo…
When the internal temp reached 170 degrees, I glazed them with the following mixture:

2/3 cup hoison sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon veggie oil
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 small piece fresh ginger, skinned and sliced thin
2 medium garlic cloves, rough chopped
6 scallions, rough chopped
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Take everything for a spin in the food processor til smooth.

After brushing the chicken with the glaze, I let the meat coast to 175 degrees before pulling it off the grill.

I put additional glaze on my chicken after it went on my plate. The sauce is excellent! It would also be good over slaw or noodles.

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Originally uploaded by All Things Mimi

This is my kinda lunch. I have some flatbread crackers, sliced smoked gouda, pepper jack, dubliner, sliced apples, smoked turkey, smoked salmon and prunes. I know- gross. But I’m getting old, plus I just like the way they taste- everyone needs more fiber!

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