Tag Archives: Cheddar cheese

Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwiches – South Carolina

If you are in need of comfort, nothing is more soothing than a bowl of tomato soup and grilled cheese. We recently saw grilled pimento

Grilled Pimento Cheese- South Carolina

cheese as a menu item at a fancy sandwich shop and thought it was genius.

We’ve talked before about how pimento cheese spread did not become a home prepared item until after WWII. This delicious cheese dip can be made as zippy as you want with the addition of hot sauce. Spread between slices of sturdy bread and grilled until the cheese is oozing and melted, this is the definition of a culinary hug.

Congaree National Park, near Hopkins, encompasses almost 27,000 acres and is a designated Wilderness Area, an International Biosphere Reserve, a Globally Important Bird Area and a National Natural Landmark. The largest intact expanse of old growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the southeastern United States is its claim to fame.

Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwiches

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 ounces pimentos, drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worchester sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Dash of hot sauce (optional)
  • 6 slices sturdy seeded Italian bread

Instructions

In the bowl of a food processor, add first six ingredients. Pulse until combined. Season with salt and pepper and hot sauce, if desired.

Divide mixture evenly on 3 slices of Italian bread. Place top on each sandwich. Butter each side of bread. Grill sandwiches in a hot pan on each side until golden brown and cheese is melted.

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Baked Potato Chips with Beer Cheese Dip – Idaho

The Gem State loooves their potatoes and who can blame them? Potatoes are like a warm, comforting hug. They are an excellent source of Vitamin C and a good source of potassium (even more

Baked Potato Chips with Beer Cheese Dip - Idaho than a banana), and the cost – cheap. Idaho’s most famous product is also versatile. Potatoes can be baked, mashed or fried, or made into soup, bread, cake, or candy.

If you are looking for something to serve for the Big Game next week, consider homemade Baked Potato Chips. Because they only use a little bit of canola oil, they are healthier than fried chips. The Beer Cheese Dip that we made to go along with the chips comes together very quickly and is tres delicious. Just play around with the amount of the seasonings until it tastes good.

For a fun and quirky experience, visit the Museum of Clean in Pocatello. See nearly 1,000 vacuums dating back to the mid-nineteenth century, as well as a Texas sized trash can, washing machines, brooms and tubs. Dedicated to “clean homes, clean minds, clean language, clean community, and a clean world.”

Baked Potato Chips with Beer Cheese Dip

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

For the chips:

  • 1 lb. small, gold potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin

For the dip:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup beer
  • Onion powder to taste
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • Paprika to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)
  • 2 green onions, diced, divided

Instructions

To make chips: Cut potatoes 1/4 inch thick. Take sliced potatoes and plunge them into a bowl filled with ice water. Let soak for 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry. In medium bowl, combine oil and seasonings. Add potatoes, tossing until well coated. Lay potatoes in a single layer on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees, then flip and bake another 10 minutes (watching carefully so the chips do not burn), or until potatoes are crisp and golden.

To make dip: In a medium bowl, combine softened cream cheese, half of the shredded cheddar, beer, spices, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and half the green onions until well mixed. Transfer to serving bowl. Top mixture with the remaining cheddar, then remaining green onions.     

 

Cheese Crisps – Arizona

We’ve talked before about Arizona’s unique state symbols. Any state that has an official march song, an official state neckwear and an official state fossil also needs an official state snack. We suggest Cheese Crisps.

Cheese Crisps - Arizona

Purportedly first invented in Tuscon at El Charro Cafe, this tasty treat is sort of an open faced quesadilla. It works best with thin flour tortillas so leave those thick tortillas for your burritos and fajitas. Use whatever cheese you like — we used a combo of cheddar and asiago — and top with mild (or spicy if you dare) chili peppers.

Check out the array of night programs at Saguaro National Park with two distinct districts, each outside of Tucson, including moonrise hikes, night walks, and star parties.

Cheese Crisps

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 flour tortillas
  • 2-3 teaspoons butter
  • 2 cups grated cheese (we used cheddar and asiago)
  • ¼ cup anaheim or poblano chili pepper, chopped

Instructions

Lightly butter both sides of tortillas. Place them on a wire rack and then place on top of baking sheet. Place in 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until tortillas are crisp and beginning to brown. Remove from oven and place one cup of grated cheese on each tortilla and then add chopped chili peppers. Change to broil setting and then return tortillas to oven until cheese is melted and bubbling on the edges.

 

 

Life is Gouda: Trio of Grilled Cheese Sammies – Wisconsin

Today is National Grilled Cheese Day – a bona fide holiday if you ask us. Who doesn’t love an ooey, gooey, straight-from-the-griddle-to-plate melted cheese sandwich? Of course, Wisconsin is the natural pairing here as we’ve talked before about how Wisconsin has led the United States in cheese making for over a century. The Badger State produced a staggering 11.5 billion pounds of cheese in 2014.  Americans sure do love their cheese; we consume about 34 pounds of it annually.

Because we are celebrating the day in excess style we bring to you not, one, not two but three fancy-schmancy grilled cheese recipes. You’re welcome. First up is muenster, with tomato, avocado and bacon on whole wheat. If you like BLTs, you’ll love this combo.

Grilled Cheese with muenster, tomato, avocado and bacon on whole wheat

Next we have cheddar with fig preserves and caramelized onions on sourdough. This is for those of you who like a sweet/salty flavor profile.

Grilled cheese with cheddar, fig preserves and caramelized onions

Mmmmmm, look at all that melty cheese goodness (and if you look very closely you can see the back of the StateEats dog who licked up the fig preserves that dripped on the floor).

Last but certainly not least, we bring you mozzarella, pesto, and tomato on rustic Italian bread.

Grilled cheese with mozzarella, pesto, and tomato

One StateEats kid who is a carnivore extraordinaire took a bite of this sandwich and declared it “almost like a burger.” High praise, there.

Get yourself to Madison to attend the 2016 Wisconsin Film Festival, April 14-21, 2016.

Trio of Grilled Cheese Sammies

Ingredients

For Muenster with Tomato, Avocado and Bacon:

  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • 4 slices Muenster cheese
  • 2-3 slices tomato
  • 4 slices cooked bacon
  • Butter

For Cheddar with Fig Preserves and Caramelized Onions:

  • 2 slices sourdough bread
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese
  • 1-2 tablespoons fig preserves
  • 1-2 tablespoons caramelized onions*
  • Butter

For Mozzarella with Pesto and Tomato:

  • 2 slices rustic Italian bread
  • 2-3 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons prepared pesto
  • 2-3 slices tomato
  • Butter

Instructions

Place half of cheese on top of one slice of bread. Add fixings. Add remaining cheese, then bread. Generously butter both sides of sandwich. Cook on medium heat until cheese is melted and both sides of the sandwich are golden brown.

*To caramelize onions – slice one onion very thin, cook on medium heat with olive oil until onion begins to brown, stirring occasionally. Add a pinch of salt after 10 minutes. Cook another 10-15 minutes or until onions are a deep golden brown. Can add a pinch of sugar if desired to finish.

True Grit: Shrimp and Grits – North Carolina

Grits are about as synonymous with the South as sweet tea and pulled pork barbeque. For those unfamiliar, grits are made with stone-ground cornmeal. Think of them as the southern version of polenta.

Shrimp and grits North Carolina

 

Grits are a carb that can be dressed up sweet — with a little pat of butter and maple syrup — or like in this recipe, savory — with cheese. The quintessential pairing of shrimp and grits is one that you will find in kitchens from Wilmington to Charlotte with tons of variations in between. We like this version, which is slightly adapted from Saveur. Just don’t use instant grits which are gluey and bland. To quote the 1992 film classic My Cousin Vinny, “no self-respectin’ Southerner uses instant grits.”

Wilmington is home to the annual North Carolina Azalea Festival, April 6-10, 2016. Celebrate spring with arts and crafts shows, entertainment, kids’ activities, a street fair and live music.

Shrimp and Grits

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup white stone ground grits
  • 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 1 lb. medium peeled shrimp (about 30)
  • 6 white mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to boil. Reduce heat to low and stir in grits. Cook on low, whisking frequently, until grits are cooked through and are tender and creamy, about 30-40 minutes. Add cheeses and 1 tablespoon butter. Salt to taste. Set aside.

Cook bacon in a medium skillet until browned and crisp. Remove to paper towel. Set aside. Reserve the bacon fat.

Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Using the same pan over medium-high heat, cook the shrimp until pink and no longer opaque. Transfer shrimp to a plate. Lower heat to medium. Add mushrooms and cook until browned. Add garlic and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Return heat to high, add broth. Scrape browned bits from pan and then let liquid reduce by about half. Return shrimp to pan, then add lemon juice, remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, and hot sauce. Cook until sauce thickens, stirring constantly. Season again with salt and pepper if necessary.

To serve, divide grits into 4 portions. Add shrimp and sauce. Top with bacon and scallions.

Ooooh La La: Lobster Stuffed Mushrooms – Maine

Lobster is not the official state food of Maine, but it should be, with the love of the crustacean evident from lobster shacks that dot the coastline from Portland to Bar Harbor.  We’ve talked before about

Lobster Stuffed Mushrooms - Maine

how lobster is a major component of the Pine Tree state’s economy with 121 million pounds landed in 2015 with a value of over $495 million, according to the state’s Department of Marine Resources.

So rich and delicious, lobster is a once-in-a while pricy indulgence that usually marks special occasions. However, if you want to fancify your next dinner or cocktail party without shelling out the major bucks, this recipe is perfect. One cup of lobster meat goes a long way with these stuffed mushrooms. Since it’s chopped finely, you can opt for the claws rather than the more expensive tail meat and no one will be the wiser.

The Maine Science Festival takes place March 18-20, 2016, in Bangor. Enjoy free lectures, demonstrations and exhibits on everything from brain anatomy to aquaculture.

Lobster Stuffed Mushrooms

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 12 large mushrooms
  • 1 cup cooked lobster (about 1/2 lb.)
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Sharp cheddar cheese
  • Parsley, chopped (optional)

Instructions

In a small sauté pan, add olive oil and heat on medium-high. Add chopped shallot and garlic and sauté until shallot becomes translucent. While the shallot and garlic is cooking, gently wipe the mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Remove the stems and set on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, add cooked lobster, cooked shallot and garlic, oregano, breadcrumbs, and parmesan. Mix well and then season with salt and pepper. Stuff each of the mushrooms with the breadcrumb lobster mixture. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Add small slice of cheddar cheese on top of each mushroom and parsley if using. Bake five more minutes or until cheese on top is melted and bubbling.

 

 

Five-Way Any Day: Cincinnati Chili – Ohio

If you are a Buckeye, then you know Skyline Chili, the ubiquitous Cincinnati chain that began in 1949. Legend has it that the business got its name from the city view of the chili parlor’s original Glenway Avenue location. What makes Cincy chili unique is its distinctive

Cincinnati Chili

spices including cinnamon, allspice and cocoa powder, reminiscent of the Greek dish moussaka, not surprising given that the chain was founded by Nicholas Lambrinides, a Greek immigrant. Just as unique is that the chili is almost always served on a bed of spaghetti and fans know just how to order: either 3-way (chili with spaghetti and cheese); 4-way (chili with spaghetti and cheese and either onions or beans) or 5-way (chili with spaghetti, cheese, onions and beans). We’re a fan of the 5-way ourselves, but the beauty of Cincy Chili is that is entirely customizable. Put out bowls of cheese, onion and beans and let everyone help themselves.

If Queen City is your destination, don’t miss Findlay Market. On the National Register of Historic Places, the state’s oldest continuously operated market offers meat, fish, poultry, produce, cheese, and lots of dining options. In the summer months the market hosts a biergarten with live entertainment.

Cincinnati Chili

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe courtesy of Jessica Hudacek Ried

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 cups onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 3 pounds lamb, ground beef or ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 2/3 cup beef broth
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 15 oz. cans kidney beans, drained
  • Spaghetti
  • Chopped onion
  • Cheddar cheese

Instructions

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until soft. Add meat, cooking until no longer pink. Add cocoa, allspice, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and cumin. Stir in broth and then tomato paste, vinegar, chili powder, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered until thickened, about 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper. Heat beans separately, tossed with 2 tablespoons oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.

To serve, ladle chili over spaghetti. Top with beans, cheese, and onions or any combination thereof.

Olive U: Pimento Cheese Spread – South Carolina

Pimento cheese, that iconic Southern food, evokes images of sitting on the front porch on a lazy afternoon, munching on a sandwich while sipping lemonade and reading a good book. Made with just six or so ingredients, this creamy/zesty cheese dip elevates boring

Pimento cheese spread - South Carolina

white bread and celery sticks to something bordering brilliance. At the turn of the century, most pimento cheese was commercially prepared, but after WWII, home cooks began making this treasured cheese spread and crackers haven’t been the same since.

While the Varsity in Atlanta puts pimento cheese on their hot dogs and hamburgers, and golf enthusiasts can indulge in a cheap lunch during the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Food & Wine picked Burbage’s Grocery in Charleston, South Carolina, as having one of the best pimento cheese sandwich in the South. We’ll go with that.

Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor is the site of the first shots fired in the Civil War. Accessible only by boat, this former military post is now a national park worth exploring.

Pimento Cheese Spread

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 ounces pimentos, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worchester sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Dash of hot sauce (optional)

Instructions

In the bowl of a food processor, add first six ingredients. Pulse until combined. Season with salt and pepper and hot sauce, if desired. Spread on bread to make sandwiches or use as a dip with crudité or crackers.

Pimento cheese sandwiches - South Carolina

Badger State Trinity in a Bowl: Cheesy Brat and Beer Soup – Wisconsin

When you think of the Badger State, you think of three things: beer, brats and of course, cheese. Wisconsin has led the United States in cheese making since 1910, producing a whopping 2.9 billion pounds in 2013. What a lotta gouda! As for the beer and brats, we can thank the influx of German immigrants, who came in waves in the second

Cheddar, Brat and Beer Soup - Wisconsin
half of the nineteenth century. Many of these immigrants were lured by inexpensive farmland, which in turn led to the state’s large dairy production. In 1940, license plates in Wisconsin boasted the slogan “America’s Dairyland.” This soup is a delicious combination of all three Wisconsin products. If you’re cheering on the Wisconsin Badgers this weekend or hosting a viewing party for the Final Four, this soup would be a perfect addition.

Get a taste of beer, brats and cheese at the Dairy State Cheese and Beer Fest, April 18, 2015, in Kenosha.

Cheesy Brat and Beer Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe adapted from the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board

Ingredients
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 medium onions, finely chopped
• 1 medium carrot, coarsely chopped
• 14 oz. chicken or vegetable broth
• 1/3 cup flour
• 1 cup milk (2 percent preferred)
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 10 ounces Wisconsin cheddar cheese
• 4 links of grilled bratwurst (can substitute Polish sausage), sliced ½ inch thick
• 12 ounces beer (Pilsner style)

Instructions

Heat oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add onions and carrots, cook until they are soft. In a separate bowl, whisk flour into the broth, breaking up any lumps. Stir into the vegetable mixture. Add milk, pepper and mustard. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes until the mixture thickens. Gradually stir in the cheese, taking care not to overheat or the cheese will become stringy. Add the sliced brats and beer. Cook until heated through. Top with additional shredded cheddar if desired.