Monday, December 31, 2018

Cheese Ravioli with Piquillo Cream Sauce and Crispy Serrano Ham

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My last entry for the "Mahón-Menorca Cheese Holiday Blogger Recipe Challenge" is literally coming in at the last possible second! Maybe procrastination needs to be on my New Years resolution list? I'm going to say maybe this dish is the perfect example of "good things come to those who wait" because this is an absolute knock out! I used wonton skins to create ravioli and filled it with a cheesy white bean and kale mixture. Tossed in a piquillo cream sauce laced with the same Mahon-Menorca soft ripened cheese from the filling and topped with shards of crispy Spanish ham these ravioli are the perfect thing to ring in the New Year with!


Cheese Ravioli with Piquillo Cream Sauce and Crispy Serrano Ham
4 paper thin slices of Serrano Ham
1 Tablespoon butter
¼ cup minced shallot
1 cup finely chopped kale
½ teaspoon salt
1 (15 ounce) can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup shredded Mahon-Menorca soft ripened cheese
46 round wonton wrappers
2 Tablespoons butter
1/3 cup shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup piquillo peppers, drained
¾ cup cream
½ cup shredded Mahon-Menorca soft ripened cheese
½ teaspoon black pepper
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Lay the serrano ham slices flat on a large parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Top with another layer of parchment paper and another cookie sheet. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the ham has rendered and is crispy.

In a large non-stick sauté pan cook the butter, shallot, kale and salt for 5 minutes. Set aside and allow the mixture to cool. Puree the white beans and cheese in a food processor. Combine the cheese white bean mixture and the sautéed kale in a medium mixing bowl to combine. 

Lay about 6 wrappers onto a large cutting board. Scoop 1 tablespoon of filling into the center of each wrapper. Brush the edges lightly with water. Lay a second wrapper on top of each ravioli and press down the edges, sealing the ravioli pressing out as much air as possible from the centers. Repeat the process with remaining wrappers and filling. 
Bring a large pot of salted water to a low boil. Cook the ravioli in small batches for about 1-3 minutes, or until they float to the top and the wrapper is tender. 
Melt the butter in the same large sauté pan the kale was cooked in over medium high heat. Add the shallot, garlic and salt and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until softened. Place the sautéed mixture in the food processor along with the piquillo peppers, cream, cheese and pepper. Process until smooth and pour the sauce back into the sauté pan over low heat. 

Once the ravioli are floating, remove from water with a slotted spoon and place the ravioli in the pan of the warm sauce to coat.
Makes 23 ravioli

#mahón-menorcacheese #cheesefromspain #eruocheeses

Friday, December 28, 2018

Pisto Polenta Bowls

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My second dish for the "Mahón-Menorca Cheese Holiday Blogger Recipe Challenge" might be the best. Growing up in South Louisiana, grits were always a welcome addition to any meal. As I was researching Spanish dishes to see if I could find inspiration and really make these delicious cheeses shine, I found a traditional dish called Pisto- a Spanish style ratatouille or stewed vegetables. Once I saw it, I knew a quicker cooked version of that dish over cheesy polenta would be a delicious side dish to serve along with grilled meats, roasted chicken or even fried eggs. To top it off and really make the cheese shine, I made crispy cheese chips to give texture to all the creamy cheesy polenta and tender stewed vegetables.
Pisto Polenta Bowls
6 Tablespoons shredded cured hard Mahón-Menorca Cheese
3 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons olive oil
½ cup onion, diced
½ cup zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
½ cup red bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
½ cup green bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
½ cup yellow squash, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
¼ cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1 can (15 ounces) fire roasted tomatoes with garlic
2 cups whole milk
2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup polenta or stone ground grits
8 ounces shredded cured hard Mahón-Menorca Cheese
3 Tablespoons butter
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat the oven to 375°F and cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay the cheese in a thin even layer, creating a 6-inch-long by 5-inch rectangle. Bake until the cheese just begins to color, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool and harden. Once the cheese is completely cooled, break it into large pieces. 
Cook the butter, olive oil, onion, zucchini, red and green bell pepper, squash, broth and salt over medium low heat in a large sauté pan for about 20 minutes, or until softened but not brown. Add the garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes and allow to thicken and simmer, for 10 minutes.

Bring the milk and chicken stock to a low boil over medium-high heat in a large sauce pot. When the liquid is bubbling, slowly whisk in the salt and polenta and reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes. Once the polenta is tender and thickened, turn off the fire and stir in the cheese and butter. Cover to keep warm until ready to serve.
To serve, ladle the cheesy polenta into bowls, top with a small spoonful of pisto and top off with crispy cheese chips. Serve immediately. 

Makes 6-8 servings.
#mahón-menorcacheese #cheesefromspain #eruocheeses

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Cheese Beignets with Piquillo Pepper Aioli

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Growing up, my family always did a huge spread of appetizers in lieu of a plated dinner on New Years Eve and it was my absolute favorite thing! I loved being able to have all of my favorite snacks throughout the night instead of getting bogged down by one heavy plate at dinner.
 When I was asked to participate in the "Mahón-Menorca Cheese Holiday Blogger Recipe Challenge" I jumped at the chance and knew that I would create something perfect for ringing in the New Year.
I'm so excited to share with you what I made with the delicious cheeses they sent me to work with! First up is my Cheese Beignets with Piquillo Pepper Aioli. I don't know anything more perfect to serve on New Years Eve than a platter of puffy fried dough loaded with gooey melty cheese. Serve with a glass of Cava and your guests might never leave!
Cheese Beignets with Piquillo Pepper Aioli
6 cups vegetable oil for frying
 2/3 cup mayonnaise
½ cup piquillo peppers
1 small garlic clove
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
 2 cups flour
½ cup cornmeal
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 ½ teaspoons garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
2 Tablespoons finely minced shallots
12 ounces semi-hard Mahon-Menorca Cheese, cut into small cubes
1 Tablespoon flat leaf parsley, minced
In an electric fryer or large high sided skillet fitted with a candy thermometer, bring the oil up to 370 degrees over medium high heat.
In a small food processor puree the mayonnaise, peppers, garlic and paprika. Place in the fridge to chill.
In a small mixing bowl whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, garlic salt and baking soda. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and eggs. Add the shallot, diced cheese and the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
Once the oil is hot, using a small cookie scoop carefully drop balls of batter into the oil. Fry for about 4 minutes, turning halfway through, until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a paper towel lined cookie sheet and allow to drain. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately with the chilled dip.
Makes 40 Beignets
#mahón-menorcacheese #cheesefromspain #eruocheeses

Monday, December 17, 2018

Little's Lunches

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Hey there! It's been a while since I've posted Little's Lunches due to Thanksgiving break and 2 out of town trips but here is another week of lunchbox ideas to get you through this week! My kids will be out for Christmas break starting on Monday and my son has finals all week, so even though it's only Monday - I'm ready for it to be Friday!!
 Monday: deli ham slices, pepperoni, meunster cheese, wheat thins, cranberry sauce, coleslaw, cucumbers, carrots and baby tomatoes
 Tuesday: Five Bean Salad Mini Muffuletta, sweet mini bell pepper rings, dried apricots, cheddar cheese cubes
Wednesday: blackberries, wheat thins, cheddar cheese cubes, cucumber sticks, pepperoni, mini sweet bell peppers
Thursday: sliced grilled sausages, cornbread, BBQ sauce, cucumber sticks, baby tomatoes, dried pears and peaches, cheddar cheese stick
Friday: leftover ham cut into sticks, triscuits, rainbow carrot coins, raisins, raspberries, roasted broccoli

Monday, December 10, 2018

Southwest Bean Salad Panzanella

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My last entry into the Paisley Farm Holiday Blogger Recipe Challenge is definitely my favorite! I typically go for Southwest flavors anyway, and when I tasted their Southwest Bean Salad it was love at first bite! Mix that together with crispy crunchy cornbread croutons, cheese and cilantro and you've got the perfect potluck side dish for any occasion!
If you've never heard of panzanella before, it's pretty much a bread salad. A salad made of carbs. Hooray!
Traditionally, day old bread is cubed and tossed with whatever was in the garden; tomatoes, cucumbers and a vinaigrette and as it sits, the juices from the veggies soften the bread and make it perfectly delicious. In my version, I used cubed cornbread and added cheese, green onion and cilantro to go along with the black beans, corn, peppers and onion already in the Paisley Farm Southwest Bean Salad
Southwest Bean Salad Panzanella
4 cups cornbread cut into 1-inch cubes
1 ½ Tablespoons marinade from the jar of Paisley Farm Southwest Bean Salad
1 ½ Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon cumin
½ cup crumbled queso fresco cheese
¼ cup packed cilantro leaves, chopped
¼ cup sliced green onion

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

Lay the cornbread cubes on a small cookie sheet that has been sprayed with olive oil spray, and place in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned and toasted.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the marinade from the Bean Salad, red wine vinegar, olive oil, lime juice and cumin. Add the Bean Salad, cheese, cilantro and green onion and stir until it’s well mixed. Add the toasted cornbread cubes to the bowl and stir gently. Serve immediately.

Makes 6-8 servings
Paisley Farm Foods sent me their delicious line of products to test out and create recipes with for their Holiday Blogger Recipe Challenge. They've been making flavorful bean salads and marinated vegetables since 1945! Find their delicious line of products HERE
#paisleyfarm #paisleyfarmfresh #kroger

Monday, December 3, 2018

Crock Pot Hoisin Chicken Tacos with Asian Bean Salad Salsa and Sriracha Cream

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I don't know about you, but right now my family is in full blown "Holiday Schedule" mode. Christmas parties, half days of school, finals, Holiday class parties, work travel..... I could go on, but I think you get it and are probably juggling the same hectic schedule too. After a crazy busy day, we need an easy to make dinner that looks like it took way more effort than it actually did.
My solution: Crock Pot Hoisin Chicken Tacos with Asian Bean Salad Salsa and Sriracha Cream
The chicken takes care of itself in the crockpot and the Asian Bean Salad Salsa and Sriracha Cream literally take seconds to throw together. Make them in the morning when you're prepping the crock pot, or right before you're ready to serve!
Crock Pot Hoisin Chicken Tacos with Asian Bean Salad Salsa and Sriracha Cream
½ cup hoisin sauce
1 ½ Tablespoons minced ginger
1 ½ Tablespoons minced garlic
2 Tablespoons apricot preserves
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon Asian chili garlic paste
2 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch cubes
2 cups drained and chopped Paisley Farm Asian Bean Salad
1/3 cup sliced green onion
1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
1/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons sriracha hot sauce
16 small flour tortillas
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

 In a small mixing bowl whisk together the hoisin, ginger, garlic, apricot preserves, soy sauce, chili garlic paste and marinade from Paisley Farm Asian Bean Salad.

Place the cubed chicken a crock pot and pour the hoisin mixture over the chicken. Stir to coat the chicken and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Once tender, shred the chicken and stir to combine.

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the chopped Asian Bean Salad, green onion and sesame seeds. In a separate small mixing bowl whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise and sriracha.

Evenly fill each tortilla with an equal amount of chicken and Asian bean salsa. Sprinkle with cilantro and drizzle with the sriracha cream. Serve immediately.

Makes 16 tacos.
 Paisley Farm Foods sent me their delicious line of products to test out and create recipes with for their Holiday Blogger Recipe Challenge. They've been making flavorful bean salads and marinated vegetables since 1945! Find their delicious line of products HERE
#paisleyfarm #paisleyfarmfresh #kroger

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