Carrot Cheddar Bread Pudding
Who doesn’t love bread pudding? And this savory-sweet version — prepped the night before — can be the star at a weekend brunch or a ready main dish for a family supper. Leftovers can be quickly reheated in the microwave… a perfect after-school snack! by Annie Watts
1 pound peeled baby carrots
2 cups chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon marjoram leaves
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (8-ounce) can juice-pack crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup dried cranberries or raisins
6 slices whole wheat bread, toasted and cubed
2 cups skim milk
8 ounces Cabot® 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese, shredded (2 cups)
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Microwave the carrots in a tightly covered 8-cup glass measure with 1 cup water on High 4 minutes. Sauté the onion, garlic, marjoram, nutmeg and pepper in the olive oil in a large skillet.
Drain the carrots thoroughly; coarsely chop. Stir the carrots, pineapple and cranberries into the onion mixture. Place the bread in a large bowl; stir in the carrot mixture and mix well.
Whisk the eggs until frothy in the 8-cup glass measure; whisk in the milk. Spoon half the bread mixture into a 13x9-inch baking dish coated with vegetable cooking spray.
Top evenly with half the cheese and half the walnuts, then remaining bread mixture, cheese and walnuts. Pour the milk mixture evenly over the top; press down gently. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake 40 minutes; remove the foil and bake 10 minutes longer or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Makes 12 servings.
Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare the bread pudding; cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake as above, increasing the covered baking time to 50 minutes.
Turkey Taco Peppers
Stuff bell pepper halves with turkey or tuna, brown rice and colorful veggies for this quick delicious main dish. For a hint of sweetness, add ¼ cup raisins. by Annie Watts
3 large bell peppers (red, yellow or green)
½ pound ground turkey
½ cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ (1.25-ounce) package 30% less sodium taco seasoning mix (3 tablespoons)
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 cup packed fresh spinach, chopped
½ cup chopped tomato
2 cups cooked brown rice*
4 ounces Cabot® 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese, shredded (1 cup)
*1 (8.8-ounce) package microwave brown rice = 2 cups
Cut the bell peppers in half vertically through the stem ends; remove the seeds and membranes. Place 5 of the pepper halves, cut-side up, in a microwave-safe baking dish coated with vegetable cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap; microwave on High 4 minutes.
Chop the remaining bell pepper half. Brown the turkey, onion, garlic and chopped bell pepper in the olive oil in a large skillet, stirring to break up the turkey. Stir in the taco seasoning, pepper, spinach, tomato and rice; heat through, stirring occasionally.
Reserve ½ cup of the cheese; stir remainder into the turkey mixture. Drain the bell pepper halves on paper towels and return to the baking dish. Spoon the taco filling equally into the pepper halves. Top peppers with the reserved cheese. Microwave, loosely covered with waxed paper, 3 to 3 ½ minutes or until hot. Makes 5 servings
Oven Method: Prepare the peppers as above and cover with aluminum foil. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven 15 to 20 minutes or until hot.
Tuna Taco Peppers: Omit the turkey. Add 1 (12-ounce) can water-pack chuck tuna, drained, to the cooked onion mixture. Proceed as above.
Au Gratin Fish & Spinach
Choose your favorite fish and create this easy entrée. Need more servings? Just double or triple the ingredients. by Annie Watts
1 slice whole wheat bread
½ cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 ounces fresh spinach, chopped (2 cups)
¼ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
1 teaspoon salt-free lemon pepper seasoning
2 ounces Cabot® 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese, shredded (½ cup)
2 (4-ounce) fish fillets (flounder, catfish, tilapia, cod)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Toast the bread until crisp; process or crush into fine crumbs. Sauté the onion in the olive oil in a small skillet until tender; stir in the spinach and heat through until wilted. Remove from the heat.
Combine the yogurt, mayonnaise and seasoning in a small bowl; reserving 2 tablespoons, stir the reminder into the spinach mixture. Reserve 2 tablespoons cheese; stir remainder into the spinach mixture. Reserve 2 tablespoons bread crumbs; stir remainder into the spinach mixture.
Spoon the spinach mixture into 2 oval mounds in a small baking dish coated with vegetable cooking spray. Top each mound with a fish fillet. Spread with the reserved yogurt mixture. Combine the reserved cheese and crumbs; sprinkle evenly over the fish. Bake 15 minutes or until the fish is opaque. Makes 2 servings
Veggie Mac & Cheese
Whole grain pasta, reduced fat cheddar and the addition of veggies take this classic comfort food to new levels of good-for-you goodness. by Annie Watts
½ (13.25-ounce package) uncooked whole grain medium shells pasta (2 ½ cups)
1 slice whole wheat bread
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped broccoli or zucchini
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
½ teaspoon dry mustard or garlic powder
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
¼ to ½ teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 ½ cups skim milk
8 ounces Cabot® 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese, shredded (2 cups)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cook the shells as directed on the package; drain. Toast the bread until crisp; process or crush into fine crumbs. Sauté the bell pepper, broccoli and onion in the olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan 3 to 4 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in the seasonings and flour until the vegetables are coated. Whisk in the milk; cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat.
Reserve ½ cup cheese; add the remainder to the milk mixture, stirring until melted. Stir in the shells. Turn into an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish coated with vegetable cooking spray. Combine the reserved cheese and crumbs and sprinkle evenly over the top.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings
Couscous with Tomatoes, Sauteed Spinach & Two Cheeses
3 ½ cups packaged couscous (any flavor)
1 (8-ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes
¼ cup red onion, sliced into rings
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon olive oil
10 cups fresh spinach (10 ounces)
1 tablespoon water
6 ounces Cabot, grated (about 1 ½ cups)
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh basil sprigs for garnish
Prepare couscous according to package directions; set aside.
Heat tomatoes in small saucepan or microwave; set aside.
In large skillet over medium heat, combine onions, garlic and oil; stir until onions are heated and fragrant. Add spinach and water; stir until spinach is wilted and tender but still bright green, about 2 minutes.
On large platter, layer coucous, spinach mixture and tomatoes. Sprinkle with cheeses and garnish with basil. Serves 6.
Gluten-Free Golden Chicken Casserole
1 oz margarine
0.5 oz (gluten free) garlic powder
8 oz margarine
0.5 oz lemon juice or ½ cup white wine
0.5 oz Use ager or rice flour to thicken if needed (any gluten free thickener will do)
8 oz chicken broth
8 oz grated lactose free parmesan cheese
24 oz gluten free fettuccini noodles (or just gluten free noodles)
48 oz of bell peppers, (mixture of red, yellow, and green) cleaned and sliced into strips
32 oz boneless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch strips
1 teaspoon black pepper
16 oz lactose free milk
0.5 oz gluten free onion powder
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Cook pasta according to package, drain and set aside. Cut chicken into 1 inch stripes and place in a greased skillet (use 1 ounce margarine). Brown the chicken for 4 to 6 minutes or until golden brown on all sides, season with salt and pepper to taste. Place chicken into a medium pan.
With the chicken, stir in margarine, broth, lemon juice (or white wine), and seasonings. Heat over low heat until liquid is at a slow boil (add gluten free thicken if necessary). In a 6 quart bowl, place cooked pasta, chicken sauce, and parmesan cheese and mix well. Optional: warm in oven and melt more lactose free cheese on top.
Serve at once on plates with bell peppers on the side. Serves 12 4-ounce portions.
Spicy & Savory Sausage with Asparagus
16 oz white vinegar
32 oz asparagus cut in sections
16 oz lactose-free milk
1 oz salt and pepper to taste
8 oz shredded carrots
0.5 oz corn starch
2 oz vegetable oil
2–3oz chopped fresh dill
4 oz Dijon honey mustard
0.02 oz cayenne pepper
24 oz vegetarian sausage
10 oz water
24 oz vegetable noodles
Place vinegar, dill, salt, and 4 Tablespoons water in resealable bag and mix until salt is dissolved. Add asparagus and carrots. Marinate 10 minutes, tossing often. Drain marinate off vegetables. Blanch asparagus in boiling water for 20 to 30 seconds. Remove from boiling water and place into ice bath for 20 seconds. Drain and place onto plate.
Bring water to boil and cook noodles al dente. Drain and toss lightly with oil, to keep the noodles from sticking together. Place in a bowl and set to the side.
Meanwhile, whisk dill, mustard, Lactose free milk, (corn starch as needed for thickener mixed in little water), and 1 cup more water in saucepan. Season mustard sauce with salt and pepper. Always taste test! Cook sauce over a medium heat until boiling and then simmer until thick, but pourable. Set aside.
Brown the sausage in a skillet or on a grill and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Place sausage on top of the vegetable noodles. Drizzle on mustard sauce and finish cooking in oven. Garnish with dill, if desired. Serves 12 4-ounce portions.
Aparagus Ham Roll-Ups
1 lb. canned asparagus
8 slices (1 oz. each) boiled ham
½ c. sour cream
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
Hot cooked rice
2 tbsp. water
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) Campbell's condensed cream of celery soup
1/4 c. milk
1 tsp. prepared mustard
Arrange asparagus with tips toward center in 12 x 8 inch microwave-safe baking dish; add water. Cover with vented plastic wrap; microwave on HIGH 4 minutes or until asparagus is tender, rotating dish once during cooking. Drain well.
Divide asparagus spears among ham slices; roll ham around asparagus. Secure with wooden toothpicks if necessary. Arrange rolls in same baking dish.
In small bowl, stir soup until smooth; stir in sour cream, milk, parsley and mustard until well blended. Pour over ham rolls. Cover with vented plastic wrap; microwave at 50% power 13 minutes or until heated through. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Serve over rice. Makes 4 servings.
Note: Substitute 1 package (10 ounces) frozen asparagus spears or fresh asparagus. Cook frozen asparagus according to package directions. Drain well, then proceed as above in steps 2 and 3.
Lactose-Free Coffee-Rubbed Steak, Pepper-Cream Sauce & Portabello Sauté
6 5-ounce sirloin tip steaks
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground clove
1 tsp coarse black pepper
1 cup lactose free milk
4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lg. onion, thinly sliced
½ cup finely ground espresso coffee
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 cup beef broth
4 tbsp flour
9 lg Portobello caps, sliced
1 lb. bacon*, cooked and diced
*check ingredient list on bacon for
“not containing milk powder”.
Combine coffee, cayenne, paprika, ground clove, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Mix thoroughly.
Rub the mixture on each of the steaks. Let sit for at least an hour before cooking.
To make the sauce, fill a medium saucepan with 1 cup of Lactaid milk and 1 cup of beef broth. Turn on medium heat and bring to a simmer.
While the sauce is heating, melt the margarine in a separate, small pan. Add the flour, one tablespoon at a time, and whisk in to fully incorporate.
Remove the margarine & flour mixture from the heat and add to the sauce, whisking to incorporate. Let this mixture simmer down until it’s thick enough to nicely coat the back of a spoon.
Grill the steaks to the desired doneness. Let rest for 10 minutes while you cook the sauté.
In a medium sauté pan, heat margarine and olive oil over medium-high heat.
Cook the Portobello slices and onion until golden brown and slightly crisp. Add cooked, diced bacon and cook until heated through. Season to taste.
Serve the steak with the sauce on top and the mushroom sauté on the side. Enjoy! Serves 6.
Steak au Poivre
2 boneless beef top loin (strip) steaks, cut 1 inch thick (about 1-1/4 pounds)
1 to 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
½ teaspoon garlic salt
⅓ cup beef broth
3 tablespoons cognac or brandy
½ cup heavy cream
Combine pepper and garlic salt; press evenly onto beef steaks.
Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Place steaks in skillet; cook 12 to 15 minutes for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally. Remove from skillet; keep warm.
Add broth to skillet; cook and stir until browned bits attached to skillet are dissolved, about 2 minutes. Add cognac; simmer 2 minutes. Stir in cream; cook and stir over medium-high heat about 2 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened. Serve over steaks.
Summer Tuna Artichoke Casserole
½ lb mini fusilli pasta
4 cups Lactaid milk
4 Tbsp flour
zest of ½ lemon
1 Tbsp. paprika
4 Tbsp. margarine
1 Tbsp. chopped dill
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 13.75-oz can artichoke hearts, drained
2 12-oz cans white albacore tuna
salt & pepper, to taste
½ Onion, thinly sliced
Juice of 2 lemons
3 basil leaves, chopped
3 large portobello caps, gills scraped out, thinly sliced
1 Sleeve buttery crackers, crushed
1 Tbsp paprika
½ Tbsp cracked black pepper
Cook the pasta, rinse, drain and set aside.
Prepare the sauce; fill a medium saucepan with Lactaid milk. Turn on medium heat and bring to a simmer. In resealable bag combine butter and flour and blend. Add to the warm milk, and whisk in to fully incorporate.
Preheat the oven to broil, or 500˚F.
Prepare the filling ingredients; slice the onions, clean the Portobello caps and slice them into strips. Open the can of artichoke hearts and cut each heart in half. Put the artichokes in a bowl and sprinkle with the juice of two lemons.
Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions and cook them until soft and golden-brown. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until soft, add artichoke hearts and sauté further, mixing occasionally, until the whole mixture looks golden brown (about 5 minutes).
Add the cream sauce, basil, tuna, and pasta. Mix well and cook until heated through.
Pour mixture into a prepared casserole dish.
Evenly sprinkle the crunchy mix over the casserole until you have a nice, thick layer.
Bake for just a few minutes in the oven until the top is barely browned and crispy. Enjoy!
Classic Tuna Noodle Casserole
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 cup diced celery
1/4 cup water or milk
1 cup frozen baby sweet peas
2 (6-ounce) cans tuna packed in water, undrained
1 cup buttered bread crumbs or crushed plain potato chips
8 ounces packaged wide noodles, cooked al dente
½ cup diced onion
1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a glass baking dish with butter-flavored vegetable oil.
In a large saucepan, sauté onion and celery in the butter until vegetables are barely soft, not mushy. Add mushroom soup, water, peas, and black pepper. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve soup. When it begins to boil, turn off heat and gently fold in tuna with liquid.
Add cooked pasta noodles and toss to coat with sauce. Pour into prepared casserole and top with bread crumbs or potato chips. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes until heated through and topping is lightly browned. Serves 4 to 6.
1 lb. Gorgonzola cheese
1 2/3 c. roasted red peppers
2-3 T. chopped oions
2 T. sour cream
1 t. Sugar
1 ½ t. hot sauce
Puree all in food processor or blender. Refrigerate for a few hours to let the flavors marry before using. Serve with crusty bread, crackers or veggies. Enjoy! Makes 2 cups.
Toasted Rye Rounds:
Cut party rye into rounds. Spray olive oil on baking sheet, layer with rye, spray rye and dust with garlic powder. Bake at 400° for 18 minutes. Cool on tray. When cool, store in air tight container for up to one month.
Cheese Crostini with Fruit Tapenade
½ cup orange juice
2 tablespoons molasses
½ cup dried apricots, chopped
½ cup dried cherries, chopped
½ cup dried figs, stems removed and chopped
4 ounces 1/3-less-fat or fat-free cream cheese
4 ounces crumbled fat-free feta cheese
3 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk
Toasted baguette slices
Combine orange juice and molasses in a medium bowl; microwave on HIGH in 30 seconds or until hot. Add dried fruit; cover and let stand 30 minutes.
Drain, if necessary. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Meanwhile, combine cheeses and milk. Spread evenly over baguette slices. Serve with fruit tapenade.
Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
2 large room temperature eggs, beaten
1 cup sweet potato puree
6 tablespoons melted butter
approx. 5–6 cups all-purpose Flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
In food processor place 5 cups flour, yeast, eggs, puree, sugar, salt and butter.
Pulse for 10 seconds; add water and process until bowl sides are clean. May need to add more flour or water depending on humidity.
Turn out of processing bowl; place in buttered mixing bowl and cover until doubled in size.
Punch down and knead 10 times. Cut in half and roll each half into a 16” circle.
Brush with softened butter; roll into crescent shapes and place on parchment to raise for 15 minutes; put in oven at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.
Place on parchment after rolled into crescents and freeze on cookie sheets. Place in resealable bags until time to use.
To bake, remove from freezer for 20 minutes; place in 375 degree oven and bake until golden brown. Makes 36 rolls.
Smoked Gouda & Tomato Chutney Torte
16 ounce can diced tomatoes
½ cup chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup chopped almonds
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
1 (6-ounce) container low-fat Greek yogurt
1 cup shredded smoked Gouda cheese (about 4 ounces)
1 cup shredded 75% Reduced Fat Sharp Cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)
1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley, if desired
Whole wheat toast rounds or whole grain crackers
Combine tomatoes and next 7 ingredients (through rosemary) in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 35 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Meanwhile, beat yogurt, cheeses and parsley with electric mixer until well blended. Line a small bowl with plastic wrap. Spread cheese mixture in bowl. Cover and chill at least four hours.
To serve, invert bowl onto serving plate; remove bowl and plastic wrap. Spoon chutney over top of torte and serve with toast rounds or crackers.
Creamy Blue Cheese Dip / Dressing
3/4 cup Cabot 2% Plain Greek-Style Yogurt or Plain Greek-Style Yogurt (10%) divided
1/3 cup crumbled flavorful blue cheese
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 medium clove garlic
Sprinkle of salt
About 1/2 cup reduced-fat (2%) milk (for dressing only)
In small bowl, combine about 1/4 cup of yogurt and all of blue cheese; mash with fork into lumpy paste.
Add remaining yogurt, lemon juice, hot pepper sauce and mustard.
Peel garlic and chop coarsely. Sprinkle with salt and mash into puree with blade of knife held sideways. Scrape into yogurt mixture and stir until well blended. For salad dressing, stir in milk.
Cover dip or dressing and refrigerate for at least 1 hour for flavors to blend. Serve dip with fresh vegetables or crackers or as topping for baked potatoes. Serve dressing on green salads or grilled or roasted vegetables.
Spicy Cheddar & Roasted Pepper Dip
2 large unpeeled garlic cloves
1 1/3 cups Cabot Plain Greek-Style Lowfat Yogurt
8 ounces Cabot 50% Reduced Fat Jalapeno Cheddar, grated (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup finely chopped jarred roasted red peppers
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon Cholula Hot Sauce, or more to taste
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste
Place garlic cloves in small dry skillet over medium heat. Roast, shaking pan often, for 5 to 10 minutes or until cloves are softened and golden brown with spots of dark brown. Remove from pan and let cool. Slip off skins and mash/chop well.
Combine in bowl with remaining ingredients. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate (flavor improves overnight). (Can be made in advance and frozen in airtight container for several months.) Makes 2 ½ cups
Spread on sandwiches, bagels, pita pockets or wraps; Bring to room temperature and serve as dip with sturdy fruits and vegetables (apple slices, broccoli florets, celery sticks), pretzel sticks or hearty chips; Garnish chili or soups such as tomato, potato or butternut squash; Top baked potatoes or hot vegetables; Fill omelets and frittatas; Shape into ball and roll in chopped toasted nuts or minced fresh parsley; serve with favorite crackers.
Sour Cream Cheese Puffs
1 package (8 oz) neufchatel cheese, softened
1 cup (8 oz) Greek yogurt
⅓ cup finely chopped roasted sweet red pepper
¼ cup finely chopped onion
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon dill weed
¼ teaspoon pepper
24 phyllo cups (found in freezer)
¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, sour cream, red pepper,
onion, lemon juice, dill and pepper until blended.
Cut each biscuit in half horizontally; press into greased miniature
muffin cups. Place a rounded tablespoonful of cream cheese mixture
in each cup.
Bake at 375° for 14-16 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve warm. Makes 40 appetizers.
10-Minute Ricotta Cheese
2 cups whole milk
2 tsp. distilled vinegar
In a large glass bowl, heat milk to boiling on HIGH in microwave about 4 minutes. Remove from microwave, add vinegar, stir; cover and rest 5 minutes. Pour mixture through paper towl-lined sieve and drain 10 minutes (drain to desired dryness). Remove Ricotta from paper towl and place in bowl or add to a favorite recipe. Will keep for 5 days. To add more flavor, add a dash of salt. To use for desserts, use citrus juice instead of vinegar (it may take a few more minutes to form curds.) Makes ½ cup.
Savory Ricotta Tarts
1 cup Ricotta
4 slices prosciutto, diced
3 Tbsp. grated onion
½ red pepper, freshly roasted
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/8 cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 Tbsp. milk
3 Tbsp. fresh basil
1 large clove garlic, grated
6 dry-pack sundried tomatoes, diced
1 pkg. phyllo cups (24 count)
Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except phyllo cups and parmesan. Blend well. Fill cup and place on baking sheet, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese; bake for 10–12 minutes until bubble and golden. Remove and serve immediately. Serves 8.
Option 1: Brie Under Wraps - no pastry
Brie (hopefully something mildly French)
Honey (optional but tasty)
Fresh crusty bread
Bake on baking sheet at 375&dg; for 15–20 minutes; remove, drizzle with honey and almonds. Serve with crusty bread rounds.
Option 2: Baked Brie with Pastry
1 pkg. puff pastry, thawed
½ cup apricot jam
1 egg for wash
1 8oz. wheel Brie
½ cup dried cranberries
Gently roll out puff pastry with extra flour. Place Brie in center, top with jam and berries. Fold up edges of pastry to make a decorative pattern. Brush with beaten egg to make dough shine after baking. Bake at 350° for 25–30 minutes until pastry is golden brown.
Cheese Board Ideas: Place baked brie in the center; add crackers and bread. Use nice bunches of grapes, cherries, pears and two wedges of cheese — one stronger in flavor (like an aged cheddar) and one less robust such as a dill Havarti.
8 oz. sharp cheddar, shredded (2 cups)
1 ½ tsp. grated onion
3 dashes hot sauce
¼ tsp. cayenne
1 cup flour
½ stick butter
½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp. dry mustard
½ tsp. salt
¼ cup grated Parmesan (not the powder)
In food processor, place cheddar, butter, onion, Worcestershire, hot sauce, mustard, cayenne and salt. Process until smooth. Add flour and pulse just until flour is beginning to disappear and dough is a pea sized ball; be careful not to over-mix. On lightly floured surface, knead quickly and gently until dough comes together. Divide into thirds. Wrap each one separately in clear wrap and refrigerate one hour. Heat oven to 350&dg;F. Line baking sheet with parchment. Pat or roll dough into a 1-inch log. Cut into 1/8 inch slices and place on baking sheet.
Alternative: Roll into 1/8 inch sheet and cut into shapes with small cookie cutters.
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese before baking. Bake for 15–20 minutes (check after 10 minutes). Remove from oven, cool and store in air-tight container. They will go like goldfish. Makes 72 crackers (3 per serving).
Sweet Potato and Cheddar Polenta
1 medium-sized sweet potato
½ cup fine cornmeal
1 Tbsp. butter
2 tsp. fresh chives
2 cups milk
½ tsp. ground allspice
1 cup aged cheddar, coarsely grated
salt & pepper
Microwave the sweet potato on high until tender — about 4 minutes. Scoop out flesh and process until smooth. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, bring milk to a boil. Add the cornmeal in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Cook for 3–4 minutes, stirring, until think. Add allspice, butter and potato. Remove from burner when hot and stir in cheese. Add chives and season to taste. Serves 4.