I still have butternut squash in my basement, but as the basement warms up, the squash will be in peril. I’m glad they lasted as long as they did, since this is the first year we tried basement storage. Last year we kept the winter squash upstairs, and they didn’t last as long. I’m going to make Butternut Squash Under a Swiss Cheese Crust for our family Easter gathering. I made it for dinner one night and my husband was really impressed, so impressed he wants me to make it again. I used curry in the dish to keep it from being too sweet, but also added nutmeg and cinnamon because I love the taste with butternut squash and I also added nutmeg to the cheese sauce. The swiss cheese was hand delivered from Wisconsin. A friend of my husband’s brought us back cheese from a recent trip. Isn’t it cool to have a friend like that? My favorite prep method for butternut squash is to slice it down the middle, scooping the seeds and pulp out, but leaving the meat behind. Then it is brushed with olive oil, and placed cut side down in a glass pan. It goes into the oven at about 350 and bakes until a knife slides in easily. Ingredients:
- 1 butternut squashed prepped(see above)
- 1/2 cup half & half
- 1 tsp curry
- 1 tsp nutmeg -grated
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbs butter
- 2 tbs flour
- 1 cup half & half
- 1 cup swiss cheese shredded
- 1 tsp nutmeg – grated
Bake butternut squash until soft. Cool and then scoop butternut squash out of the shell into a bowl. Use a mixer to combine the squash milk, nutmeg, cinnamon and curry. Place in a buttered casserole dish. In a small saucepan melt butter and whisk in flour. Slowly whisk in cold milk until smooth. Take off heat and whisk in the cheese. Spread cheese sauce over top of the squash (add more cheese if you need a thicker consistency). Bake in oven at 350 until cheese starts to brown and crusty.Diana
Lately, I’ve been experimenting with three ingredients and my cast iron pan. I like that I can stick the pan under the broiler and bake some eggs, after I’ve partially cooked the other ingredients on the stove top. Cast iron is really great for even heat and works well even on my glass top, too. Trying the same dish over and over in different ways should give you perfection sooner or later, but I’m always thinking what if I did this, or this, or this. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
This combination of sweet potatoes, greens and fresh eggs has become family favorite. These aren’t the only ingredients I’m using, because often I add luna burgers broken up and I also use onions, shallots or leeks. Fresh herbs are good to sprinkle over top, and a little bit of chevre and swiss ( two of the lowest sodium cheeses my husband can eat). The greens are whatever I have on hand, sometimes spinach or chard, but this week tatsoi was in the market bag. Tatsoi is similar in look to bok choy, but a little milder in taste. Reading about tatsoi, it seems to be pretty winter hardy and may be something to grow in my garden next year.
Sweet potatoes are the base. They are grated, and the water squeezed out in order to form a bottom crust . If you’d like softer potatoes, squeeze only some of the water or none depending on how crusty you want it. I added ginger and rosemary to the potatoes. If you use salt, add it to each layer; the potato layer, the greens layer and the egg layer. We left it out because of my husband’s diet but the herbs give the dish a really nice flavor.
I’ve also added winter squash to the greens layer before. My mother in law thought it was really pretty with the light orange in with the bright greens. The greens layer is on top of the sweet potato base, but is started in another pan first. Then using a finger or spoon make a well in the greens to add the eggs. If you don’t make the well, your eggs slide out of place and they might anyway as I found out. Try as I might the eggs never stay perfectly placed. Move something around and they just slide another way.
- 1 large sweet potato or 2 medium.
- ¼ cup onion divided
- 1 knob of ginger
- handful of rosemary minced
- olive or canola oil
- 2 bunches tatsoi
- 6 large eggs
- 2 ounces chevre
- 1 ounce of swiss cheese grated
- fresh thyme
- Grate sweet potato(es), onion and ginger together.
- Place in a dish towel and squeeze liquid out.
- Add two tablespoons of whole wheat flour and minced rosemary and mix ingredients together.
- Heat Cast Iron or other pan and add 4 tbs oil.
- When the oil is hot sprinkle the sweet potato mixture all around until it covers the bottom in a layer. (and leave it alone).
- In a separate smaller pan – non stick, heat up 1 tbs of oil.
- Large dice onions, and the stems of the tatsoi.
- Separately chop the tatsoi leaves.
- Saute the onions and stems until they start to turn translucent.
- Add the tatsoi leaves to the pan and let cook down – the leaves will wilt down like most greens.
- You may need to add a little oil to the sweet potatoes as they cook.
- When the potatoes seem like they’ve formed a crust on the bottom, using a plate, flip the potatoes over and slide it back into the pan on the other side.
- Pile the greens mixture on top of the sweet potatoes and using your fingers, or a spoon make little wells for eggs.
- Dollop chevre around the pan.
- Crack eggs and place them with the yolk in the center of the wells.
- With the oven on low broil, place the cast iron pan into the oven.
- The yolks will start to firm and the translucent whiltes will become opaque, you’ll have to watch to make sure that you get it out of the oven on time.
- Sprinkle the top with grated swiss cheese and herbs (thyme, parsley, etc.)
This is my way of dealing with my husband’s new low sodium diet – by coming up with new ways to eat without using salt or high sodium ingredients. Macaroni and cheese was out, because cheese has too much sodium unless it’s something a little on the bland side like lower sodium Swiss. So, I kicked it up with a Hot Sweet Pepper Relish and Kapow it was tasty without much sodium. This casserole had plenty of veggies, the creaminess of a good mac n cheese, and a nice kick to it. My husband had trouble backing away from the bowl even after eating two plates of it.
This is a much lower calorie version since we can’t use a lot of cheese, and it’s not as thick as a lot of other macaroni and cheese recipes. I like to add a veggie to my mac and cheese too, so this one had sauteed cabbage and leeks. I found a low sodium brown rice bread. The bread was too dry and bland for a sandwich, but toasted, ground up and sauteed in a little butter and sprinkled on top of the macaroni and cheese, it added a nice texture and bit of crunch to the top. Believe me, bread crumbs was a much better use of the bread than in a sandwich. The photo doesn’t show the bread crumbs, but the next time I did this – I used the bread crumbs and liked it better. So that’s how I do it now.
- Cheese Sauce:
- 2 tbs unsalted butter
- 2 tbs flour
- 2 cups milk
- 2 ounces chevre
- 4-6 ounces low sodium Swiss Cheese
- 2 tbs zesty pepper relish
- 1 tsp stoneground mustard
- Casserole ingredients:
- ½ lb macaroni prepared according to box directions
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 leek
- ¼ cabbage
- 1 medium red pepper
- 1lb ground lamb
- Crumb Topping:
- ¼ cup bread crumbs
- 2 tbs butter
- Cook ground lamb, pour off grease and let drain on paper towel.
- Cut the cabbage into 1 in X 1 in pieces.
- Dice red pepper.
- Dice the white part of the leek, removing the green stem and root.
- Saute the leek, red pepper and cabbage in olive oil, in a non-stick pan.
- When soft and translucent, remove to a bowl, wipe out pan and use for cheese sauce.
- In non-stick pan melt butter, add in the flour and combine.
- Add in milk and chevre whisking as it thickens.
- Chop swiss cheese and add to the sauce mixture, stir in zesty pepper relish, mustard, cumin and paprika.
- Whisk it all together.
- Add together the lamb/cabbage mixture, the drained pasta and the sauce and toss.
- Pour into a casserole dish.
- Melt butter and stir in bread crumbs.
- Sprinkle over top of the mac and cheese.
- Bake at 400 for 20 min or until crust is browned nicely.
Eggs are a lovely protein, don’t you think? We often turn to eggs when we want something quick and delicious for breakfast or dinner. I made this frittata the other day using eggs, farm market veggies and a vegetarian burger(okay, it’s a Luna Burger – anything tastes good with a Luna Burger in it) crumbled up, plus some cheese. My husband took a bite and told me it wasn’t right, because his eggs don’t taste this good, and aren’t this filling when he makes them. The end of summer is bittersweet because the fresh locally grown veggie supply starts to wane, but at the same time they have their best flavor. Get’em while their fresh.
- 5 eggs
- 1 small onion
- 1 small green pepper
- 2 baby eggplant
- ¼ cup crookneck squash
- vegetarian or grain sausage patty
- 4 small cherry tomatoes
- shredded cheddar
- 4 oz goat cheese
- Scramble eggs with 1 tbs water, and set aside.
- Dice and saute in warm pan with olive oil – onions and green pepper.
- I used baby eggplant but didn’t peel, just sliced little circles.
- The squash was peeled and sliced to about the same size.
- When the onion is almost translucent and soft, add the squash and eggplant to the onion and pepper.
- When the eggplant starts to soften, place the veggies in a bowl and set aside temporarily.
- Add a little oil to the pan and warm the vegetarian burger. Remove, break into a little smaller than bite size pieces and set aside.
- Swish lightly with oil, pour the eggs into the pan, let start to cook.
- Add in the sauteed veggies, and the tomatoes.
- Dollop the goat cheese into the eggs and place the pieces of vegetarian sausage in under the egg.
- Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
- Place pan in oven under a low broil until egg is firm and cheese is melted.
- Serve slices on plate and grate a little more cheese over top.
I made this to go with the barbecued ribs we had for dinner the other night. Macaroni and Cheese is a classic meal to go with barbecued ribs, but I had Smoky Cheddar Goat Cheese, so I thought I’d put in a few little twists. The campanelle is a nice sturdy pasta that holds cheese well and the pancetta ups the smoky factor nicely. The Smoky Cheddar Goat Cheese looked and tasted drier than I expected, so adding a little extra milk or cream was necessary. However, in a sauce it was terrific tasting. The cheese is Misty Creek Goat Dairy Cheddar Goat Cheese Smoked from U.S. Wellness Meats. I didn’t want a thick creamy sauce because I thought it would overpower the pancetta, so it was more of a light cheese sauce – at least for me.
- 8 oz Campanelle pasta
- 3 oz pancetta sliced in to strips.
- 2 tbs butter
- 2 tbs wheat flour
- 2 cups whole milk or cream
- 1 cup shredded Smoky Cheddar Goat Cheese
- grated parmesan
Cook up Campanelle according to box instructions, drain in colander. In a deep pan, cook up the pancetta removing it from the pan right before it is crispy. Add the butter to the pan and turn down the heat a little so it melts and doesn’t burn. When it is melted stir in the flour until all the liquid is absorbed, and pour in the milk and whisk until thickened. Add in the cheese and stir until evenly melted. Add Salt and Pepper as desired. Transfer to another pan for use in the oven, top with grated parmesan and broil for a minute.
Because this cheese is a white, and I used whole wheat flour, the sauce is a little brown looking, as opposed to a yellow cheddar sauce, but was still delicious. I loved the extra smoky bites whenever you got a bite of pancetta.
I also used the Smoked Cheddar Goat Cheese for an egg dish the next day and it melted nicely in with the eggs and veggies. This is more of a shredding cheese and melting cheese, than a cheese and cracker cheese because it’s a little dry. Delicious in your Campanelle and Pancetta, or your egg dishes. Great topping for potatoes or sloppy joes or cauliflower.Diana
My husband and son would declare every night sandwich night if it will get them out of cooking. Some nights I make Panini though I don’t consider it sandwich night then, it’s real food. My husband asked what the difference is between grilled cheese and Panini; my daughter said, “it’s the grill marks”. Yes, grill marks make all the difference – and the cheese. I’m not a big American cheese food fan, I like delicious flavorful cheese. Sargento’s has some nice cheese in the dairy case to try out in your Panini.
Panini is actually the plural of panino. According to Wikipedia -A panino (Italian pronunciation: [paˈniːno]) is a sandwich made from a small roll or loaf of bread, typically a ciabatta or a rosetta. The loaf is cut horizontally and filled with salami, ham, cheese, mortadella or other food, and sometimes served hot after having pressed in a grill. I cheat because I don’t own a Panini grill. I use my grill pan and put a pot on top of the sandwich. When it’s done, I turn it over and put the pot on top again for the other side. We love our Panini. It goes great with a salad, soup, potato or other side.
Sargento has some great cheese to experiment with.
Reduced Fat Pepper Jack Sliced Natural Cheese incorporates both habañero and jalapeño peppers, adding a “heat” not found in any other sliced cheese, for a delicious flavor combination and only 50 calories a slice.
Sargento Sharp Provolone Cheese is aged 60 days and boasts a bold taste. It is not smoked like traditional milder Provolone. With smooth and creamy texture, this semi-hard cheese is ideal for sandwiches, burgers,Panini and “melts.”
Previously a Sargento Limited Edition cheese, the Vermont Sharp White Cheddar Sliced Natural Cheese is back by popular demand. Naturally aged to deliver a rich, full-bodied taste, its tangy cheese signature flavor is perfect for sandwiches, grilled Panini or any recipe that calls for sensational sliced cheese.
The Vermont Sharp White Cheddar is the cheese we used to make our Bacon Tomato White Cheddar Panini. I added pepper dijonaise to give it a little zing. We’re planning on trying out all these cheeses in different combinations to make our Panini this month!Diana
As a working parent of active teens, we are always on the go and looking for shortcuts to help out with dinner. Sargentos has some new products in your market that can provide you with some of those shortcuts.
Salad Finishers – Salad finishers are great for dropping on top of your fresh picked salad leaves or in your cold pasta to finish up that salad. The other day we had a meet to attend. My daughter picked some Chard and lettuce, rinsed and put in a bowl, cut up an apple and a banana and combined it all together with the salad finisher. I didn’t have enough time to eat right then, so I grabbed the salad and stuck it into a lidded bowl added some dressing and took it with me to the meet. No hotdogs or hamburgers for me, I had the good stuff. Later on, my husband ate the rest, straight from the bowl. The Salad Finishers are just enough for one bag of salad – or go out to the garden and pick like I did.
- Blue Cheese – Contains blue cheese, , lightly candied almonds and sweet cranberries and cherries.
- Classic Chef Salad Finishers - Combination of smoked strips of turkey and ham, crispy smoked bacon, toasted multi-grain croutons, and a natural blend of our Cheddar, Monterey Jack and Swiss Cheeses.
- Bistro Chicken - flame-grilled chicken breast, roasted sliced almonds and our natural blend of Mozzarella Shredded Cheese with Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Basil. This was my favorite.
- Crispy Bacon – crispy bacon crumbles, our blend of natural Sharp and Mild Cheddar Shredded Cheeses and crispy, golden-baked croutons with a touch of ranch seasoning.
- Cheddar Chicken – flame-grilled chicken breast, our blend of natural Sharp and Mild Cheddar Shredded Cheeses and crispy, golden-baked croutons seasoned with a touch of garlic
- Chicken Cesar – flame-grilled chicken breast, our nutty, natural Parmesan Shredded Cheese and crispy, golden-baked croutons seasoned with Caesar seasoning and Romano cheese.
- Cranberry Pecan – dried, sweetened cranberries, crunchy dry-roasted pecans, and our flavorful blend of natural Low Moisture Part Skim Mozzarella and Asiago Shredded Cheeses.
Potato Finishers – Some evenings we bake potatoes in the toaster oven and dump cheeses on top or chili. These finishers come with one sauce pack, a cheese pack and Something else. First you heat up the potato – by baking in the oven or microwave, pour on the sauce and put it into the microwave to heat the sauce, then dump the other toppings on. My son would like this because he’s not a fan of chili, which is what I usually dump on the potatoes along with cheese.
- Southwest – creamy Southwestern cheese sauce, natural Pepper Jack and Monterey Jack Shredded Cheese and blue and yellow corn tortilla strips.
- All American – natural White Cheddar Cheese, sour cream, seasonings and chives, natural Sharp Cheddar Shredded Cheese and crispy smoked bacon bits.
- Au Gratin – a creamy sauce made with natural Cheddar Cheese, natural Monterey Jack Shredded Cheese and a flavorful, buttery blend of toasted breadcrumbs, crispy toasted onions and seasonings.
- Cheddar Broccoli – a creamy sauce made with natural Cheddar Cheese and broccoli florets, natural Monterey Jack Shredded Cheese and crispy smoked bacon bits. I’d have to add more broccoli florets to this – I like lots of big broccoli with my potatoes.
Sargento’s also has Artisan blend cheeses. I made macaroni and cheese with the Mexican blend. It was an ooey, gooey delicious melted cheese sauce. Much better than that stuff my brother in law loves, that I love to hate. Parmesan and Romano would probably make a really great alfredo. The Artisan Blends are very finely pre-shredded cheeses, makes the melting happen really quickly.
The only negative is too much packaging for the product. I don’t see a way around it though. In order to have crispy croutons, they need to be packaged separately. Plus that allows you to customize the salad or potato with the Finisher Ingredients you like best.
Another positive – Sargento’s is a Wisconsin cheese company! Lastly, I’d like it if you’d admire the lettuce in the pics – that’s from my raised bed gardens.
My grade – an all around A/A- the packaging took it down a little and the serving size is for about two people, so it can be a little costly when not on sale or you don’t have a coupon.Diana
Sargento’s helped me out with a recipe just perfect for Cinco De Mayo. You’ve got to try out their Artisan Blend – Authentic Mexican Cheese.
* 2 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
* 1 cup chopped onion
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 Tbsp. ancho or chipotle chili powder
* 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme or 1tsp. dried
* 1/8 tsp. each: cinnamon, cloves, allspice
* 3 cups chicken stock or broth, divided
* 1 cup peeled chopped tomatoes or
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced fire roasted tomatoes, drained
* ½ cup (4 oz.) cashew butter*
* 2 chipotle chilies in adobe sauce from 7 oz. can
* 4 saltine crackers
* 1 rotisserie roasted whole chicken, skinned, boned and cut into chunks (4 cups)
* 12 large or 24 small Boston lettuce leaves
* 2 cups (8 oz.) Sargento® Artisan Blends™ Shredded Authentic Mexican Cheese
* 1 ripe avocado, peeled, seeded, cut into chunks
Heat oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add chili powder, thyme, cinnamon, cloves and allspice; sauté 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a blender container; add 1 cup of the broth, tomatoes, cashew butter, chilies and crackers. Cover; blend until mixture is pureed and smooth, at least 1 minute. Return to same saucepan; add remaining broth; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes or until mixture is reduced to about 3 cups, stirring frequently.
Combine chicken and 2 cups of the sauce in same saucepan; heat through. Add additional mole sauce to taste if desired. Spoon chicken mixture into centers of lettuce leaves; top with cheese and avocado. Refrigerate remaining mole sauce up to 5 days to serve with pork, beef or chicken dishes.
Since it’s National Garlic Day, I wanted to come up with a dinner that had some nice garlic flavor. Originally I was going to make a salad with garlic chicken and asparagus, but while I was at the store other thoughts entered my mind and I went with it. I grilled asparagus on a grill pan first, but maybe it doesn’t really need it. We loved the whole meal and I will definitely do it again when my daughter’s home, she enjoys it when I come up with something delicious.
- 2 large chicken breasts – sliced in half, then pounded flat.
- 16 spears of asparagus
- Herbed Garlic Chevre
- Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Herbs – basil, parsley
Dollop the Herbed Garlic Chevre on the flattened chicken breast and place 4 spears of asparagus on top. Roll the chicken up around the asparagus. Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese, Salt, Garlic Pepper and Herbs. Place in glass pan, or casserole dish, and cover with aluminum foil. Bake in the oven on 350 until Chicken is done. About 10 minutes before it will be done take the aluminum foil off.
Herbed Garlic Chevre
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 oz basil garlic chevre
Sauté garlic in oil to soften. Peel parsley, basil and thyme off stems and coarsely chop. Put it into bullet or other small processor or chop finely, and chevre, and whirl to combine. Use this to dollop on the chicken breasts.
You could really smell the garlic in the kitchen while it was cooking and taste it in the cheese.
I served this with resmashed potatoes. I added a little cream, some gouda, and parmesan, salt, garlic pepper and herbs. Place in ramekins, sprinkle with garlic pepper, then parmesan cheese – It will have a nice cooked brown parmesan top to it when it’s ready. Throw it in the oven with the chicken for about 20 minutes (place in pan with water).
Dinner was a success. Though the chicken didn’t need a sauce or gravy – it wasn’t dry, the bottom of the pan was filled with good stuff my husband and I kept scraping, so maybe deglazing the pan and making a sauce with it is something I might try next time.