Leeks with Crumbled Garrotxa Cheese

Food & Wine (www.foodandwine.com)

1 small red bell pepper

1/2 c plus 2 T olive oil

1/4 c blanched whole almonds

1/2 c cubed white bread without crust

2 cloves garlic

2 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded & coarsely chopped

3 T sherry vinegar

6 leeks, white and tender green parts only, halved lengthwise

1/4 c chicken stock

4 oz crumbled Garroxta cheese

Serve with crusty sourdough bread

Lightly brush bell pepper with olive oil and roast over gas flame or under broiler until charred all over. Transfer into bowl, cover, and let stand for 15 minutes. Peel, core and seed pepper and cut into thick strips (Alternative:  purchase roasted red bell peppers.)

Meanwhile, in medium skillet, heat 1 T olive oil, add almonds and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until golden, about 5 min. On cutting board, let cook slightly then coarsely chop.

Heat 1 T olive oil in skillet. Add bread cubes and cook over moderate heat until golden and crisp, about 5 min. Transfer to plate. Heat 1 T oil, add pepper strips, garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until garlic is lightly golden, about 5 min.  Add tomatoes and cook for 1 minute. Transfer to large mortar or food processor and let cool.

Add fried almonds to bell pepper mixture and using pestle, pound to a coarse paste, or pulse in the processor. Add the toasted bread cubes and 1 T of olive oil, then pound/pulse until mixture is emulsified. Stir in 2 T of sherry vinegar and season with salt and cayenne pepper.

In a large deep skillet, heat the remaining 2 T of olive oil until shimmering. Add leeks and cook over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until lightly browned and barely softened, about 10 min.  Add chicken stock and remaining 1 T of sherry vinegar. Let cool, then drain.

Arrange the braised leeks on a large platter. Spoon half of the sauce overr the leeks. Sprinkle the crumbled Garrotxta cheese on top and serve with crusty bread and the remaining sauce on the side.

Cinco de Mayo


4 cups grated  5-year Hooks cheddar (10 year for extra extra sharp)

1 1/2 cups grated Emmental or Gruyere

1 Tablespoon  cornstarch

1/4 cup milk

1 cup minced onion (1 small onion)

1 four oz can diced mild green chiles (juices preserved)

Place cheeses in a large saucepan, sprinkle with cornstarch, and toss to coat. Add milk. Over low heat, stir occasionally until mixture is smooth and melted, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

Stir in onions and chiles  with reserved juices until well combined.

To serve, place in crock pot on low or keep in sauce pan on low simmer for up to 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Serve with tortilla chips, cut up  raw carrots, jicama, celery and radishes.

For the Grill

Grilled Chicken Breast Stuffed with Prosciutto and Basil

Serves 2, but may be doubled or more. from "Gourmet'

Preheat grill

2 prosciutto slices

1 teaspoon coarse grain mustard

8 basil leaves

1/4 cup freshly grated mozzarella

1 skinless, boneless chicken breast, halved, tenders removed (approximately 1 pound) 

On a work surface, spread the prosciutto slices with mustard. Top slices with basil leaves. Sprinkle evenly with mozzarella. Starting with short end, roll up each prosciutto slice.

Pat dry chicken, place on work surface skinned side down. To form a long thin pocket for the prosciutto, beginning on thicker end, insert thin, sharp knife 3/4 of the way  through the center of each. Fit a prosciutto role into each pocket. Season with salt and pepper.

Grill chicken on lightly oiled rack until cooked through, about 6 minutes per side.

Mother's Day Brunch

Simple Cheese Quiche

While there are lots of wonderful quiche recipes, kids can make this linked recipe from William Sonoma. The the littlest ones can help by sprinkling the grated cheese.

Ingredients include:  8 strips bacon, 4 eggs, 1 3/4 cup milk, 12 oz of either Gruyere or Emmental, nutmeg, salt, and, to simplify the morning, a prepared pie crust (available in the frozen food section of your grocery store).

Kentucky Derby

The official Kentucky Derby website has more than you can imagine for planning a Derby party. We, of course, are interested in cheese. Here are a few links:

Brie Delight

Garlic Cheese Grits

Goat Cheese Gnudi with Basil, Prosciutto & Tomato Sauce

Cypress Grove Chevre's recipe page


Cypress Grove is the maker of Humboldt Fog, Lamb Chopper, Truffle Tremor and Midnight Moon, to name a few of their goat cheeses.

From ​Cowgirl Creamery Cooks and NPR May 28, 2014

Red Hawk Potato Gratin

Serves 6 to 8

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, sliced or julienned

3 garlic  cloves, diced

1 cup heavy cream

2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

10 ounces Red Hawk cheese, cut into 16 wedges

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat a sauce pan or cast iron skillet over high heat. Add butter and oil.

When butter has melted, add onion and garlic, and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat. Add cream and half of Parmesan.

Transfer half of the onion-cream mixture to a 13"X9" baking dish or casserole. 

Layer half of the potato slices in an overlapping flat layer on top of the sauce. 

Top with 8 of the Red Hawk wedges. 

Add remaining potato slices, layering them evenly, the remaining wedges of Red Hawk, and  the remaining onion-cream mixture. 

Sprinkle remaining Parmesan.

Cover with foil. Bake 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Let cassarole cool 10 to 20 minutes. 

May be baked a few days ahead and stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator. Heat up 10 to 15 minutes.

Ricotta Cake

From The Wall Street Journal
"A Ricotta Cake You Ought to Make," 7/19/14

With all of the berries available, this is the season to make this yummy cheesecake.

Gather the ingredients, and this cake is quick to make, not too sweet, and delightfully fluffy.

Recipe:  Click here

Ingredients perhaps not in your larder:   1 pound Ricotta, 1/4 cup Marscapone (at Fromagio's), orange zest, orange blossom water or Grand Marnier, 5 eggs.


Chilled Spring Garlic and Asparagus Soup with Crème Fraîche and Fresh Ricotta

Serves 4 The delicate flavor of spring garlic forms the base of this soup. Choose young, tender asparagus for this: You don't puree the asparagus but slice and add it to the soup base just before serving. To drain ricotta, gently place the cheese in a colander. Don't worry — it holds its mass and will drain. 3 medium spring garlic (with bulbs and stem), halved lengthwise 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 1/2 cups peeled, diced Yukon gold potatoes 1 1/2 cups diced yellow onions 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock 1/2 cup crème fraîche 12 tender asparagus spears 1 cup fresh, drained ricotta cheese 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt Freshly ground black pepper 1 teaspoon chopped fresh garlic chives Thoroughly clean the spring garlic halves under cold running water. Dice the garlic bulb and any section of the leafy green stem that is soft and pliable. Dice as much spring garlic as needed to produce 1 cup of diced garlic. In a medium pot with a lid, add the butter, and melt over medium heat. When it's melted, add the diced garlic, potatoes and onions. Cook in the covered pot, stirring often and covering between stirrings, until the potatoes are fork-tender and the onions are completely translucent and soft, about 8 minutes. Add the stock to the pot, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, keeping the liquid at a simmer while the ingredients come together. Remove from the heat and stir in the crème fraîche. While the soup cools slightly, set up an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and water. Carefully puree the soup in a blender or food processor. Pour the puree into a container, cover, and set the container in the ice bath in the refrigerator. Place four soup bowls in the refrigerator to chill. While the soup chills, prepare the asparagus. Snap off the woody stems and blanch the spears. Slice off the tip of each spear and set aside to use as a garnish. Cut the rest of each stalk crosswise into rounds. Slice the ricotta into bite-size cubes. When the soup base is chilled, stir in the asparagus rounds and salt and season with pepper. Halve the asparagus tips lengthwise.

Humboldt Fog & Prosciutto Grilled Cheese


Cinnamon raisin bread

3 pieces prosciutto

1/4 to 1/2 cup of Humboldt Fog, depending on how cheesy you like your sandwich.


Spread the cheese on the inside of both pieces of raisin bread.

Place the prosciutto  on ones slice and sandwich together.

Preheat a skillet over medium-high, Melt the butter on the skillet. Cook each side of the sandwich until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.

If you prefer crispy prosciutto, bake your prosciutto on parchment paper first.

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