Posts Tagged ‘cheddar’

by Caitlin Saniga

Cheddar-garlic biscuits marbled with spinach

These super-crumbly biscuits were best fresh out of the oven with pats of butter oozing down into all of the crevices. For leftovers, I popped mine under the broiler with pats of butter already in place and toasted for about 1 minute. Dee-licious.


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by Sarah Steimer

I picked up this cranberry pepper jelly at a market in Lincoln Square (in Chicago) on a whim. I've had raspberry pepper jelly before, which I loved, and I wanted to try one that would seem a bit more seasonal. I still like the raspberry version better, but this was really delicious.

I picked up this cranberry pepper jelly at a market in Lincoln Square (in Chicago) on a whim. I’ve had raspberry pepper jelly before, which I loved, and I wanted to try one that would seem a bit more seasonal. I still like the raspberry version best, but this was really delicious.

  • 2 slices of good bread
  • 1/2 small onion (or a little less than 1/4 cup), thinly sliced
  • about 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pepper jelly (I used cranberry, but most often see either plain pepper jelly or raspberry pepper jelly)
  • a few slices of a sharp cheddar cheese OR a few slices of pepper jack cheese

Heat a small sauté pan before adding the olive oil to the pan. Once the oil is warm, add the onions and caramelize for about 10 minutes.

Place the cheese and onions on the bread. Smear the opposite slice with the jelly. Grill in a panini press or in a pan until the cheese has melted and the bread is crisp.

Makes one panini.

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by Sarah Steimer

There's very little that's healthy about mac and cheese - it uses tons of cheese, butter, flour and so forth. But pureed spinach at least throws a few extra vitamins into the mix.

There’s very little that’s healthy about mac and cheese – it uses tons of cheese, butter, flour and so forth. But pureed spinach at least throws a few extra vitamins into the mix. P.S. this is the reheated version, the original looked much creamier.

  • 1/2 pound macaroni noodles
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 3 cups packed fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk (I used skim, had to cut back the fat somewhere!)
  • 4 ounces white cheddar, grated
  • 4 ounces fontina, grated
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a small saute pan. Add the onions and jalapenos, cooking until soft. Set aside.

Add the spinach and the hot water to a blender. Puree until smooth.

In a medium or large pot, melt the butter and add the flour. Stir until smooth and cook over low heat for about 1 minute. Add the milk and stir until very smooth. Simmer for 1-2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add the cheese, stirring until melted and smooth, followed by the spinach puree and salt and pepper to taste.

Add the pasta, onions and jalapenos to the sauce, tossing until everything is well combined. Pour the mac and cheese into a 9-by-9 (or 8-by-8)-inch square baking dish.

At this point I actually covered the dish and refrigerated until I had it for dinner the next day, but you can cook it immediately.

Before serving, bake the mac and cheese, uncovered, for about 30 minutes or until the edges are browned.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Heather Cristo Cooks

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by Caitlin Saniga

I made this galette when my mom came to visit for a few days. This was our first dish with heirloom tomatoes of the summer, and we were thrilled with it, having it for lunch and then for a snack after a day of sightseeing on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I wish I could cook for Mom every day.


  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons cold lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoons ice water


  • 1 disk savory galette dough
  • 3 medium heirloom tomatoes, any color
  • 1/2 small onion, cut into thin rings
  • salt
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 ounces mild cheddar cheese, cut into thin slices + 1 ounce grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 green onions, chopped

Maybe this goes without saying, but it’s always a nice reminder. If you want the dough to be flaky and light, knead it as little as possible.  The ingredients should be just barely combined for the best results.

To prepare the dough, combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, pepper, and salt with a fork in a large bowl. Scatter the cubed butter over top. Cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter until the butter is in small pea-sized pieces.

Drizzle the lemon juice and water over the butter-flour mixture and combine using fork. The dough will come together just barely. Gently pat the dough into a ball and then a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and set it on the counter.

Slice the tomatoes. Remove the seeds with your fingers or a knife, and place them on paper towels to soak up some of the juice. Sprinkle with salt.

Line a baking sheet with parchment. Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin. Set the disk onto the floured surface and gently hit it a few times with the rolling pin to flatten it. Roll it into a 12-inch circle, flipping it over one time, and re-flouring the pin as necessary to prevent it from sticking. Hang the dough over the rolling pin to transfer it to the parchment-lined baking sheet.

In a small bowl, combine Dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar using a fork or whisk. Pour onto the dough and spread into a roughly 10-inch circle.

Pat the tomatoes dry with paper towels and arrange them, alternating with slices of cheese in a spiral on top of the dough. Top with onion rings, sprinkle with the shredded cheese.

Fold the 2-inch edge of dough over top of the filling, making a few pinches as you go. Brush the egg wash on the dough.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack, along with the parchment paper, and cool for 15 minutes. Top with green onions.

Cut into slices and serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 4 days. To reheat the galette, place it on a baking sheet and heat at 350 degrees for about 4 minutes.

Makes 8 servings.

Recipe adapted from: 20 Something Cupcakes

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by Sarah Steimer

The inspiration for this pie came from a dessert at Owen & Engine here in Chicago. On the restaurant’s menu right now is a blueberry pie with a cheddar crust, caramel popcorn cobbler and sweet corn ice cream.

For the crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup ice water

Combine the flour, sugar and salt. In a food processor, combine the flour mixture with the butter and pulse until pea-sized pieces appear. Pulse in cheddar cheese. With the food processor running, add the water and mix just until the crust comes together.

Remove the dough from the machine and form into a block-like shape. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to two days.

Once the crust has chilled properly, cut it in half and roll out one half on a lightly floured surface, making it wide enough to overlap the lip of your pie dish by about 1 inch or so. Place the crust in the pie dish and refrigerate. Roll the second half out on a piece of parchment paper, again slightly larger than the dish itself. Refrigerate this half as well, allowing it to remain flat on the parchment paper in the fridge until firm, about 20 minutes.

For the filling

  • 8 cups (about 4 pints) blueberries, picked over
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 egg

Place the blueberries in a large bowl and crush about 1/2 cup’s worth with your hands. Add sugar, butter, cornstarch, flour and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Pour the berry mixture into the prepared pie dish once the crust has set. Allow the berries to mound slightly higher in the center of the dish.

Top the pie with the other half of the crust that has been rolled out, tucking the edges underneath and crimping if desired. Using a sharp knife, cut slits in the crust for steam to escape.

My mom told me my grandfather used to eat apple pie with a slice of cheese, and the idea never appealed to me until more recently. Apple pie and cheese is, however, much more common than blueberry with cheese, so I may use this crust recipe with an apple pie in the fall.

Whisk the egg with 1-2 teaspoons of water and brush the top of the pie crust with the egg mixture, making sure it does not pool. Refrigerate the pie for an additional 30 minutes.

Place the pie on a parchment paper-covered baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees in the lower third of the oven. After 20 minutes, once the crust has begun to golden, lower the heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 40-50 minutes, or until the berry juices begin to bubble and thicken and the crust is golden brown. NOTE: Always check the edges of your crust. If they begin to brown quickly, cover the edges with aluminium foil.

If not eating the pie immediately, cover and refrigerate.

Makes one 9- or 10-inch pie.

Crust recipe adapted from: Martha Stewart

Pie recipe adapted from: Martha Stewart

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by Sarah Steimer

OK – I’ll admit it, these were supposed to be corn fritters — I even saved the photos of this dish under the name “cornflop.” But this was one of those rare and wonderful moments when the recipe still held up, even if its shape did not. If you can keep it in a fritter form, then good for you! But I urge you to try this recipe no matter what. The smoky corn, cheddar and arugula flavors are like a perfect Midwest summer salad.

  • 3 ears of corn, enough to yield  1 1/2 cups
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 scallions, including 1 inch of the greens, finely sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat parsley
  • 1 tablespoons shredded basil
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 2-3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • salt and pepper
  • butter or oil
  • 2 handfuls arugula

Slice the kernels off the corn. Mix the corn with the eggs, scallions, herbs, cheese and as much flour as can easily be absorbed. Season with salt and pepper.

Melt enough butter or heat enough oil to cover a medium skillet generously. Divide the batter roughly into fourths and drop into the skillet. Fry over medium heat until golden, about 2 minutes, then turn and brown on the other side. <– this part did not work for me. At all. I tried to flip and ended up with corn piles. So I just sautéed everything until browned! I promise the flavors are worth the semi-failure.

Place the fritters on top of the arugula leaves and serve immediately.

Serves 2-4.

Recipe adapted from: Local Flavors by Deborah Madison

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by Sarah Steimer

I like the crisp edges you get with baked mac and cheese - like any other human - but sometimes I'd rather have a mac that's nice and creamy.

  • 8 ounces Fusilli pasta (spirals)
  • 1 heaping cup smoked Gouda, shredded
  • 1/3 cup cheddar, shredded
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup skim milk, divided
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 packed cups of fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Cook the pasta until al dente. Meanwhile, saute the onion in a pan with olive oil until translucent. When both are ready, drain the pasta and add it, along with the onions, into a slow-cooker.

In a sauce pan, melt the butter and add flour, mixing with a whisk until you’ve made a rue. Add 1/2 cup milk and continue whisking until it thickens to the consistency of cream. Add the cheeses, eggs, Greek yogurt, broth and salt and pepper. Mix until the cheese has melted then add to the slow cooker. Add remaining 1/2 cup milk.

Fold in the spinach. Cook on low for about an hour.

Serves four.

Recipe adapted (very loosely) from: a recipe my sister, Jess Sweeney, sent me – she made a different crock pot mac & cheese once and it stayed way more moist than what you usually pop in the oven.

*Throughout November, “Out of the Box” will guide you away from prepackaged mac and cheese and will feature oodles of our favorite recipes   –  all of which can be found here.

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