I doesn’t look like much, but I cannot even begin to put into words how amazing this is. Amazing! That’s all I can say. I was faced with the awkward situation of having a whole bunch of cheese, but not enough to make a legitimate cheese plate. You know that awkward spot where you’ve had a wine and cheese night and there is some cheese leftover, but not really anything worthwhile. It’s always a dark day. There are just tiny bits of that, something with a bit of a rind, some soft stuff that was kind of sad looking, a tad of blue begging to find a second chance. I poked around the internet for a bit and thanks to the magic of Google, I discovered the most glorious way to save the cheese! Fromage Fort! You can’t really go wrong with the combination of cheese. I used some blue, Boursin, goat, brie and parm. Delicious.
Serving wise, baguette, crackers, even some crudités would be great to serve with this. I used toasted gluten-free bread. If I had been by myself, I probably would have just used a spoon.
Final word of advice, get on this. Stat!
- 1 pound mix leftover cheese, harder cheeses grated, softer ones cut into chunks
- A couple pats of butter, if using mostly firm cheese varieties
- 1-3 small clove garlic, minced, or more to taste
- 1/2 to 1 cup leftover white wine
- 1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, thyme, rosemary or chives
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Blend cheese, butter (if using) and garlic in food processer until combined. Drizzle in wine with the motor running until you get your desired consistency — some like it completely smooth, others prefer chunks. Add herbs, pulsing the machine until just combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Fromage fort can be used right away, or kept in the fridge until needed. In the fridge, it will thicken and age a little; the flavors will mingle and deepen. Let sit out for a few minutes to slight soften and make serving easier.
Posted in Appetizer, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes, vegetarian
Tagged Appetizer, blue cheese, cheese, food, gluten free, goat cheese, recipes, vegetarian
I think this salad is a perfect for any 4th of July picnic or barbecue. Not only are the colors fun and spot on for the holiday, the ingredients are absolutely fantastic together! The salty blue cheese, earthy quinoa and sweet blueberries each bring great flavors that manage to complement each other perfectly.
I used balsamic raspberry vinegar, which unfortunately muddled the color of the quinoa and blue cheese a bit. I know if I used a lighter vinegar (white wine, cider) the color would be perfect. I also found the raspberry balsamic to be a bit too sweet for my personal taste. The tangy blue cheese helped tone it down slightly, but I think I would try a less sweet vinegar next time.
Red, White & Blue(berry) Quinoa Salad
For the Dressing:
- 5 Tablespoons balsamic raspberry vinegar (or vinegar of choice)
- 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the Salad:
- 1 cup uncooked red quinoa
- 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth (or water)
- 1 pint fresh blueberries
- 8 ounces fresh raspberries
- 8 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
- 3 Tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped
- Before cooking the quinoa, soak it in some cold water (about 20 minutes) to rinse off some of its natural bitterness.
- Add quinoa and broth to small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until all the broth has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender (about 15 minutes).
- While the quinoa is cooking, mix the dressing together and set aside.
- Add the blue cheese, chives and place this in with all the blueberries into a large bowl.
- Once you drain the quinoa, cool it off till it is slightly warm or room temperature and pour the raspberry vinaigrette and mix that through.
- Let the quinoa cool down some more before mixing in the cheese, blueberries and chives (otherwise your blue cheese will melt.)
- Gently fold in raspberries before serving, being careful not to smush them.
Posted in Cooking, Food, Gluten-free, Holidays, Recipes, Salad, Side Dish
Tagged blue cheese, blueberry, cheese, cooking, food, gluten free, quinoa, recipes, salad, side dish, vegetarian
My wonderful mother had this dip at a dinner party a few months ago. She raved about it. I decided to make it for my book club meeting shortly after that and we all raved about it. This dip is fantastic. I served it with veggies and crackers, but I think there are endless possibilities for serving it.
The only minor change I made was upping the number of garlic cloves from one to three, but I’m crazy like that. I made this dip ahead of time and let the flavors get all happy together. I left off the last drizzle of olive oil until serving time. If you do make this dip ahead of time, make sure you give it at least 30 minutes to sit out at room temperature so it is of dip consistency and not a brick of feta.
If you haven’t already be sure to check out my baking set giveaway! You have until July 1 to enter!
- 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 6 Tablespoons olive oil+ extra for serving
- Fresh thyme
- Place feta, lemon zest and juice, garlic and olive oil in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Spoon into a bowl and drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with thyme.
- Serve with grilled tomatoes and grilled pita bread drizzled with olive oil, salt and thyme.
Posted in Appetizer, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes, vegetarian
Tagged Appetizer, cheese, dip, feta, food, gluten free, lemon, recipes, vegetarian
Back when I was living in Budapest, there was this amazing Greek restaurant that I loved to go to. It was right on Danube and had a wonderful patio during the summer and was nice and cozy in the winter. At the time I was also a pescatarian and trust me when I say it can be a challenge to find tasty vegetarian options in a land full of szalámi and gulyásleves. (I never quite understood where fish in a landlocked country came from, so I either didn’t question it or steered clear completely.) Between good veggie dishes and an excellent wine list, it was one of my favorite places in Bp.
I have really had a hankering for Greek food recently. Unfortunately nearly every dish I could think of involved pita or phyllo… While attempting to make gluten-free phyllo dough sounds like a wonderful challenge, unfortunately I just don’t have the time or patience to attempt it. Being the resourceful type that I am, I took a look around the kitchen and decided to improvise. I made the executive decision that corn tortillas would make a perfect substitute (might sound strange to some, but corn tortillas are a staple in these parts, plus they are gluten-free and are very handy for holding/transporting food).
Spanakopita quesadillas were the perfect (gluten-free) fix for a Greek craving. Not authentic by any stretch, but the flavors were there and they were so, so, so easy to make. I threw in a few chopped kalamatas for fun and I served up these quesadillas with some delicious tomato pasta sauce (Trader Joe’s Roasted Garlic) and some Greek yogurt mixed with dill and a few spices in an attempt to make a totally illegitimate tzatziki. I do kind of , sort of, like tzatziki, but cucumber in general makes my skin crawl, so plain Greek yogurt and dill, garlic powder, pepper and lemon juice was the perfect compromise.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 4+ cloves garlic, minced
- 5 cups baby spinach
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground, or to taste
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
- 4 corn tortillas
- 1/2 cup grated mozzarella
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
- cooking spray
- 1/2 cup prepared pasta sauce
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon dill
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- First make the 'mock' tzatziki. Combine Greek yogurt, dill, garlic powder, pepper and lemon juice. Set aside.
- Heat oil in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is heated add onion and cooking until translucent and starting to brown, about 6 minutes. Add in minced garlic and cook another minute or two until fragrant. Add oregano, black pepper and red pepper flakes (if using). Stir until mixed.
- Next add the baby spinach. Stir to coat and cook until spinach has wilted.
- Remove pan from heat and put the spinach mix into a bowl or plate and set aside. Wipe down the pan return to medium heat and spray with cooking spray (you can use a new pan, but why do more dishes?). Place one tortilla in the pan and heat. Flip over when warmed and sprinkle with 1/4 cup mozzarella. Top the cheese with half the spinach mixture, 1/4 cup of the feta and half the olives.
- Place another tortilla on top, spray lightly with cooking spray and use a spatula to flip the quesadilla over. Cook until the tortilla is warmed through and slightly crisp, about 3 minutes.
- Repeat with the other tortillas to make a second quesadilla.
- Serve with pasta sauce and 'tzatziki'.
Posted in Cooking, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes, vegetarian
Tagged cheese, cooking, feta, food, gluten free, greek, mexican, olives, onion, recipes, spinach, vegetarian
This was my first attempt at making soufflés and I must say I was quite impressed. I know I have had soufflés in the past, but I only remember them being in dessert form, so I really had no idea what was going to happen once I closed the oven door. I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. The texture was wonderful, really light and airy with just a little bit of crisp from the top crust. I really like that you could taste the goat cheese in every bite as well.
I think for this recipe to be a success, a scale is going to be necessity. I absolutely adore my small little kitchen scale and it’s definitely one of the most worthwhile investments I’ve made in a kitchen accessory. At the time I didn’t have any one cup ramekins to bake these, so used half cup ramekins instead. I have since found bigger ramekins at Ikea for next to nothing, so next time I will try the bigger cup.
Gluten Free Goat Cheese SoufflÃ©s
- 25g/1 ounce butter
- 25g/1 ounce flour (I used Better Batter)
- 250g/8.8 ounces soft goat's cheese , crumbled
- 50g/2 ounces Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated
- 2 Tablespoons chopped chives
- 5 eggs, separated
- 250ml/1 cup milk
- Heat the oven to 400F/200C.
- Butter 4 x 250ml/1 cup soufflé dishes. (I used 8 half cup ramekins.)
- Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and cook for a minute or so. Slowly add the milk, stirring all the time to make a thick sauce. Cook for a couple of minutes to get rid of the floury taste.
- Stir in the cheeses and chives then add 4 of the egg yolks, season generously and mix well.
- In a clean bowl, whisk all the egg whites until they are stiff and form soft peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into the cheese mixture and pour into the buttered soufflé dishes.
- Cook for 12-15 minutes until the soufflés are risen and golden.
Posted in Cooking, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes, Side Dish, vegetarian
Tagged cheese, cooking, food, gluten free, recipes, side dish, vegetarian
I’m absolutely in love with this salad. Just writing about it makes me want to make it again. Even though it is still the middle of winter in most places, I’ve been on a huge salad kick thanks in part to our wacky weather (it was 80F/27C here over the weekend and now it’s cold and rainy…). This might be the perfect balance of light and salad-y and filling and hearty, which makes for a pretty good winter salad. The flavors in this salad combine perfectly. Every bite had the perfect balance of sweet, savory and tangy. I would preferred to use fresh apricots, and even though we are lucky enough to be getting in the start of our summer fruits here in Southern California, I just couldn’t find any fresh ones up to snuff. Dried worked just as well, but I personally like the fresh version over dried. I actually thought that the turkey was kind of lost in this salad. I would have enjoyed it just as much with out.
In theory this salad should be pretty quick to make. It’s easy enough to make if you are using regular bread and pre-cooked/leftover turkey, but since I like to make things difficult, that’s not the route I went. I made gluten-free focaccia and poached turkey tenders. Neither really took that much time at all, but definitely a little more work than the original recipe, but nothing over the top. You could still make this as a delicious weeknight meal even if you have to take a few extra gluten-free steps. It might be a bit strange to see bread as a major ingredient in a gluten-free salad, but I really liked how the [Chebe|http://www.chebe.com/] Focaccia worked. They reminded me of the croutons I used to make from ‘real’ bread many moons ago.
Turkey & Apricot Bread Salad
- 2 cups gluten-free focaccia bread, torn into bite-sized pieces (I recommend Chebe)
- 6 cups baby spinach
- 2 cups shredded cooked turkey or chicken, torn into pieces
- 1/4 cup dried apricots, cut in thin slivers
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons snipped fresh rosemary (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
- 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
- Cracked black pepper (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread bread on rimmed baking pan. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring twice.
- For dressing, in a medium bowl whisk together the white wine vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, mustard, rosemary, salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, in a large salad bowl toss together spinach and salad dressing. Top with turkey, dried apricots, cranberries, red onion, blue cheese and walnuts.
- Add bread when it is lightly toasted and toss everything together. Finish with freshly ground black pepper and serve.
Posted in Cooking, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes, Salad
Tagged apricot, cheese, cooking, cranberries, gluten free, onions, recipes, salad, turkey
Now that I’m kind of, sort of , nearly over my never-ending mystery illness (just can’t shake this sore throat), let’s get back to business.
It’s the Super Bowl next Sunday. Normally, I would be super excited and looking forward to it, but considering I have not watched a single football game (of any kind or level) this year, I’m really not into it. That being said, I do love any excuse for a party and parties must have food and drinks. I can always get behind party planning. This week I’ll be sharing some recipes perfect for your Super Bowl weekend.
Apparently there are people in this world who do not like garlic and don’t care for brie. Fortunately, I don’t know anyone like that, but if you are a little wary of the amount of garlic in this dip, fear not. When garlic is roasted, it gets this more caramelized, almost nutty flavor, which is much more subtle than fresh garlic. If you don’t like brie, well I really can’t help you all that much. Maybe substitute goat cheese? This was the first time I had ever used pimentos in anything or even had them outside of stuffed olives. I was hoping they would give the dip just a little extra kick or something to keep the taste buds happy. Maybe they just got too chopped up in the food processor, but they didn’t really bring much to the overall taste. I think I would stick with real hot sauce or chili powder if a subtle heat.
You could actually serve this dip two different ways. I decided to go with hot, but the end result was a little more fondue-y than I would have like. Once it cooled down about 5 or 10 minutes, it was the perfect consistency. I also tried it before I baked it and it was pretty close to perfect. I should have left it, but I really wanted a hot dip… You can definitely make this ahead of time, but remember to take it out and let it soften. It is brie base, so it will definitely need to soften.
Roasted Garlic, Spinach & Brie Dip
- 2 heads of garlic
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1-20 ounce round of brie, rind removed
- 1 cup 0% plain Greek yogurt (I like Fage)
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 4 green onions, sliced
- 2 Tablespoons diced pimentos, drained
- 1 teaspoon seasoned pepper (or freshly ground pepper, to taste)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut top 1/2" off the top of the garlic heads. Remove some of the loose, papery skin, leaving the heads intact. Place each on a square of tinfoil, drizzle each with the olive oil (about 1 teaspoon each), and wrap well. Bake 50-60 minutes, until the garlic is very soft and begins to brown. Cool until easy to handle. Squeeze each head to into a mixing bowl to remove the soft roasted cloves. Be careful to avoid getting any of the garlic skin/paper in the bowl.
- In a large skillet, add the remaining olive oil and heat over medium. When oil is shimmering, add the spinach and cook until wilted. Add in the green onions and cook until just softened. Remove skillet from heat and set aside. Attempt to drain any excess oil if necessary.
- In a food processor, process Brie cheese and cream cheese with the seasoned salt, pepper, and garlic cloves. (You can also cream these ingredients together using the back of a spoon and a lot of energy.) Refrigerate several hours to blend flavors. Serve with crackers, crostini, and sliced French bread.
- In a food processor, combine Brie cheese and greek yogurt with the seasoned pepper, garlic cloves and pimentos. Add in the spinach and green onions. Pulse in the food processor until blended.
- This dip can be served either hot or cold. For cold: Refrigerate several hours to allow flavors to blend. For hot: Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and serve.
- Serve with crackers/sliced bread/tortilla chips/veggies.
Posted in Appetizer, Cooking, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes, vegetarian
Tagged Appetizer, cheese, food, football, gluten free, recipes, spinach, vegetarian
This salad wasn’t really planned out. I set about making lunch one day, but was in one of those moods where nothing really sounded good. After hemming and hawing for a bit, I ended up grabbing several random ingredients. Anything I saw that seemed appealing at the time got put on the counter. Not surprisingly these basic ingredients are some of my favorites. Feeling accomplished about picking out items for lunch, I then realized I still had to figure out what to do with them. This salad is what ended up happening. Nothing too fancy, but delicious and filling nevertheless.
I don’t like overly oily salad dressing, so I just mixed lemon juice into the lentils instead of making an actual dressing. And olive oil lemon dressing or a light vinaigrette could definitely be used on the lettuce or lentils if you like. If you are looking for something a little warmer for this time of year, the lentils could also be served warm with all the ingredients mixed in. If serving warm, I would leave out the lettuce and substitute a bed of sautéed spinach.
Lentil, Olive & Goat Cheese Salad
For the Lentils:
- 1 cup dried green, brown, or French lentils
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water
- 1 bay leaf, 1 garlic clove, or other seasonings (optional)
- 1/4 - 3/4 teaspoon salt
For the Salad:
- 1 head butter lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1 small red onion, diced
- handful of kalamata olives, chopped
- 1 tomato, diced
- juice of 1 lemon
- olive oil (optional)
- 4 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
- bacon or pancetta, cooked until crispy and crumbled
For the Lentils:
- Wash Lentils in a strainer or colander. Pick over and remove any shriveled lentils, debris, or rocks. Thoroughly rinse under running water. Then transfer the rinsed lentils to a saucepan and pour in the broth/water. Add any seasonings being used, reserving the salt.
- Bring the broth/water to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a very gentle simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes. Add water as needed to make sure the lentils are just barely covered.
- When lentils are done, remove from pot and allow to cool in a serving dish.
For the Salad:
- While the lentils are cooking prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Divide lettuce onto individual serving dishes.
- When lentils are cooled, add onion, tomato and olives and top with lemon juice (and olive oil if using). Mix ingredients together. Crumble goat cheese and sprinkle bacon over the top. Divide the lentils between the lettuce plates and serve.
Posted in Cooking, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes, Side Dish
Tagged cheese, food, gluten free, lentils, olives, recipes, salad, side dish, tomato