Archive | December, 2012

Tasty Recipe for Blue Cheese Mac and Cheese

28 Dec

Blue cheese can be used to completely change up your tired old stand-by recipes, from stuffed chicken and burgers to pancakes and steak. This simple recipe is a great way to try blue cheese for the first time or get the whole family to enjoy something new mixed into a classic recipe.

Mac and Bleu Cheese with Crumbled Bacon

Macaroni and cheese recipes are usually made with Cheddar or American cheese. Unfortunately, this can get old quickly and it’s really suited to a child’s taste, not an adult’s palate. This is one of those cheese recipes that allows you to introduce people — including your children — to something new by pairing it with a familiar taste: Cheddar. The taste of the Gruyere and bleu cheese goes so well with the salty bacon and this recipe is always a hit.

Ingredients

4 ounces of bacon, thick-sliced style

Vegetable oil for cooking pasta

Kosher salt, to taste

2 cups of elbow macaroni, uncooked

1 and a half cups milk

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

4 ounces grated Gruyere cheese

3 ounces grated extra sharp Cheddar cheese

2 ounces Castello crumbled Danish Blue

Dash of nutmeg, ground pepper and salt

2 slices of white sandwich bread with the crusts removed, or bread crumbs

2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking dish with butter or cooking spray.

2. Bake bacon in the oven until crispy, about 20 minutes. Remove and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. When cool, crumble and set aside.

3. Cook pasta according to package directions with a bit of vegetable oil to prevent sticking.

4. Heat milk in a large saucepan over medium heat, watching carefully so it doesn’t boil. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a separate pot and add in the flour, whisking until incorporated. Cook the butter and flour over low for about two minutes while whisking.

5. Add the warm milk to the flour mixture and continue whisking until smooth and thickened. Remove the sauce from the heat and add all three cheeses, the nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Add the cooked pasta and crumbled bacon and stir. Pour into a prepared baking dish.

6. Pulse the bread in a food processor until crumbled; add basil and pulse once more to incorporate. Sprinkle crumbs over the pasta and bake around 40 minutes or until browned.

More excellent recipes for blue cheese are available at Castello USA.

Advertisements

Substituting Cheeses in Your Favorite Recipe — From Edam to Gouda

2 Dec

Cheese VarietiesWant to spice up your favorite cheese recipes by switching out the old stand-bys cheddar and mozzarella for something more exotic? Whether you’re preparing a casserole, chicken off the grill or a delicious skillet meal for your family, try using some of these cheeses instead to try something new and delicious.

Instead of Cheddar Try…
Cheddar cheese is the most commonly eaten cheese in the world, although many cooks throughout the world would not think of using Cheddar in their favorite recipes. The next time you’re making mac and cheese or anything else that calls for Cheddar, try another cheese such as havarti, gouda or Gruyere.

Havarti cheese is a semi-soft variety originally from Denmark. This tasty cheese has a buttery aroma and taste that’s slightly sweet, although it can take on hazelnut tastes as it ages. The fun thing about using havarti in a recipe instead of Cheddar is it adds a more grown-up taste to your favorite dish without an overpowering flavor or aroma. You can also try Dofino havarti cheese in many flavors, including jalapeno, caraway, smoked and the popular Havarti with dill.

Gouda cheese, on the other hand, is very versatile with a mild flavor. It melts very well so it’s a great choice for recipes and casseroles. This semi-hard cheese originated in the  Netherlands and also comes in many varieties if you want to spice up your recipe. Young gouda is mild while aged gouda has a strong aroma. You can also try gouda with chili lime, chipotle or pesto flavor.

Instead of Mozzarella Try…
Tired of using mozzarella for everything? There are two cheeses that make great replacements: stracchino and havarti. Before you throw mozzarella into your casserole again, try using one of these cheeses for an interesting new flavor.

Stracchino cheese comes from the Italian word stracca, which means tired. This cheese is very young with a creamy texture and a very mild flavor. The cheese gets its name because the milk was taken from cows who were coming down into the pastures during the fall, as it was believed their milk was richer in fat.

Any type of havarti also goes well in most cheese recipes, whether you want something mild or something with a kick, like Havarti with Jalapeno.

Instead of Provolone Try…
Provolone is a semi-hard cheese produced in Italy, Japan and the United States. This type of cheese is popular on pizzas, casseroles and sandwiches. Want to try something new? Try switching out the provolone for Dofino Edam cheese, which is very subtle and salty with a wonderful nutty flavor. Edam can be a little difficult to find but it goes so well with dark beers, Zinfandel wine, pasta, casseroles and hot sandwiches. Make sure you look for it before you turn to provolone again!