Posts Tagged 'cheddar cheese'

Cheddar-Pecan Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

Cheddar-Pecan Green Bean Casserole

Green bean casserole is an iconic dish that most Americans expect on their Thanksgiving holiday table. Originally made with canned green beans and condensed cream of mushroom soup, I took the basic elements of this classic dish and gave it a fresher, modern spin.

First, I substituted tender haricots verts for the canned green beans.

What are haricots verts? Quite simply, they are very small and slender French green beans. (Haricot verts is French for green beans.) They tend to be more tender and flavorful than the thicker American green beans. Most markets now carry them both fresh and frozen.

Next, instead of using canned soup as my sauce, I made a quick cream sauce and flavored it with some shredded sharp white cheddar cheese. (Isn’t everything made better with cheese?!)

Lastly, I tossed chopped pecans and panko bread crumbs with the classic French fried onions for a crunchy topping that makes the dish in my opinion.

This homemade version of the classic canned soup green bean dish is sure to become a favorite at your house. The haricots verts, pecans, and the touch of sharp cheddar in the sauce elevate this dish to new heights. It’s so good you’ll serve it year round!

Cheddar-Pecan Green Bean Casserole

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra to grease the baking dish
1 1/2 pounds fresh or frozen haricots verts, trimmed
8 oz. button mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoons freshly ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup chicken stock
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup French fried onions
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 395 degrees. Lightly grease a 9- x 13-inch casserole dish with butter and set aside.

Over high heat, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the beans and cook until just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain and immediately plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain again and set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to give up some of their liquid, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and nutmeg and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and stir to combine. Slowly stir in the broth and heavy cream. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the green beans and stir until well coated. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan.

In a medium mixing bowl toss together the French fried onions, bread crumbs, and pecans. In a small saucepan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir the melted butter into the onion mixture. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the green beans. Transfer to the oven and bake until golden and bubbly, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Excepted from “Simply Suppers” by Jennifer Chandler.

 

 

 

Tex-Mex Corn Dip

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Tex-Mex Corn Dip

A good dip makes a party!

When I first tasted this dip at a party thrown by my friend Jenny Vergos, I knew I needed the recipe!

Jenny is always whipping up something yummy. This simple dip is no exception. Made with pantry staples, it is packed with flavor. I decided to feature it in my cookbook “The Southern Pantry Cookbook” because it was so good.

I can guarantee folks at your next party will be asking you for the recipe just like I asked Jenny.

Enjoy!

Tex-Mex Corn Dip

1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 cups corn kernels, thawed if using frozen
1 jar (4-ounce) diced pimientos, drained
1 can (4-ounce) chopped green chilies
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sour cream, mayonnaise, and garlic powder. Add the corn, pimentos, green chilies, and cheddar cheese. Stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the mixture in a 2-quart baking dish. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Serve warm.

Serves 6.

Cooking Tip: For a spicier dip, add a 1/4 cup diced jalapeños.

Do-Ahead: This dip can be assembled one day in advance. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to bake.

 

Excerpted from The Southern Pantry Cookbook by Jennifer Chandler

Photo by the talented Justin Fox Burks. Food styling by Jennifer Chandler.

 

Tomato Pie

 

There is nothing better than a ripe, juicy summer tomato. I sometimes find it hard to believe that these bright red, juicy fruits are even in the same family as the bland, pinkish variety available at supermarkets the rest of the year.

Tomato pie is a classic recipe that is a delicious way to enjoy this summer treat. Tomatoes take center stage in this dish that is made with simple ingredients.  In this recipe, the taste and texture of the tomatoes don’t get lost in a rich custard. Instead, the additions of cheese and a flaky crust compliment the tomatoes to make this dish irresistible.

Summer tomatoes tend to be very juicy. To make your tomato pie less watery, place the tomatoes in a colander over the sink.  Sprinkle a little bit of salt on them and allow to drain for about ten minutes. This simple step will make your pie easier to slice. If you don’t mind the juiciness, you can skip this step.

When reading the ingredient list, you may question the mayonnaise. Be assured it is an essential addition to this recipe. The thin layer of mayonnaise on top offers a crusty golden top to the creamy, juicy interior of the pie.

Perfect hot from the oven, or equally as good at room temperature as well, tomato pie is perfect summertime fare. Pair it with a leafy green salad and you have a complete meal.

Tomato Pie

1 unbaked pie crust (9-inch), homemade or store-bought
4 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp. thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup mayonnaise

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the pie crust in a deep-dish pie pan. Flute the edges, if desired. Bake until lightly golden brown, about 10 minutes.

While the crust is baking, place tomato slices in a single layer in a colander; sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 10  minutes. Pat dry with paper towels.

Remove the crust from the oven. Layer 1/2 the tomatoes slices on the bottom of the crust. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle 1 clove of minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of sliced basil evenly over the top. Sprinkle 1/3 cup cheddar cheese and 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese over the tomatoes. Arrange remaining tomato slices over the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the remaining garlic, basil, and cheeses evenly over the top of the tomatoes. Evenly spread the mayonnaise over the entire pie.

Bake until golden, about 30 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 6.

 

Pimento Cheese Tartlets with Pepper Jelly and Crispy Bacon

Ok!  These cute little tartlets may be these easiest appetizers ever!

The secret is using store-bought ingredients to help you take the stress out of entertaining.

This simple appetizer was inspired by a amuse buche I had at one of my favorite restaurants … Felicia Suzanne’s in downtown Memphis, Tennessee.  Chef Felicia Willett not only makes her own signature pimento cheese using Tennessee sharp cheddar, but she also makes her own Five Pepper Jelly from peppers she procured at the local Farmers Market. Even her tartlet shells are made from scratch using locally sourced cornmeal.  It is a heavenly little bite of all things Southern.

Recently, I decided to have friends over for cocktails before dinner at the last minute.  I made an emergency run to the grocery store to see what munchies I could whip up … and I remembered the little bites of goodness I had enjoyed from Felicia. My local grocery had all the ingredients I needed to quickly pull this appetizer together.  The only cooking that would be needed was to fry up some bacon … the rest would be just assembly.

It took me minutes to assemble these little tartlets … and even less time for them to be devoured by my friends!  They were the easiest to prepare item on my menu … and probably the most popular.

Hope your friends enjoy them as much as mine did!

Enjoy!

Pimento Cheese Tartlets

1 cup pimento cheese (store-bought or homemade)
16 dozen mini tart shells (store-bought or homemade)
1/2 cup pepper jelly
1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon

Spoon pimento cheese into the tart shell. Top with a dollop of pepper jelly and crumbled bacon.

Makes 16 bite-size tarts.

 

Broccoli-Cheddar Cornbread

 

I was first introduced to this yummy cornbread by my friend Dawn Looney. In her usual sweet Southern way, she had brought us supper after the birth of my second child. In her goodie basket was a huge Mason jar full of soup and a tin full of the moisted, most unique cornbread I had ever tasted.

What makes this cornbread so moist is the cottage cheese. It truly makes it stand out from that dry, crumbly cornbread most folks make.  My kids never have been a fan of cornbread … probably because most versions are dry and tasteless. But even with the broccoli, they love this version! Dawn didn’t have cheddar in her recipe … but I couldn’t resist adding it.

Oh … and I have to admit, I stole Dawn’s cute idea of bringing friends a Mason jar full of soup when they have just had a baby, been ill, or just need a happy!  It makes a healthy yet delicious meal that can be served that night or frozen for later. My hearty Vegetable Beef Soup is my go-to for this gift because it is loved by all and is so simple to make. This cornbread makes the meal complete.

Enjoy!

Broccoli-Cheddar Cornbread

2 8.5-ounce boxes corn bread mix (I use Jiffy)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
4 eggs
8 ounces cottage cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
10 ounces frozen chopped broccoli, defrosted and drained

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×9-inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together the corn bread mix, melted butter, eggs, and cottage cheese until well blended.  Stir in the cheddar cheese, onion and broccoli until evenly combined.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes.

Serves 8 to 10.

Crunchy Roast Beef Sandwiches

This is one of my favorite ways to make a roast beef sandwich. Since my friends and family enjoyed it so much, I knew I had to put on the menu of our new restaurant Cheffie’s Cafe. Not surprisingly, it is one of the most popular items on our Signature Sandwich menu!

The secret ingredient is French’s French Fried Onions! They add both a delicious crunch and flavor that turns an ordinary sandwich into a tasty treat!

Enjoy!

Crunchy Roast Beef Sandwiches

4 tablespoons horseradish mayonnaise
8 slices Ciabatta Roll or French bread
4 leaves green leaf lettuce
8 slices tomato
8 slices Cheddar cheese
8 oz. deli Roast Beef
1 cup FRENCH’S® French Fried Onions

Spread the horseradish mayonnaise on 4 slices of bread, dividing evenly. Top each slice of bread with 1 leaf lettuce, 2 slices tomato, 2 slices Cheddar cheese, 2 oz. roast beef, and ¼ cup  FRENCH’S® French Fried Onions

Cover each sandwich with a second slice of bread. Cut in half to serve.

Serves 4.

Cooking Tip: Horseradish mayonnaise is really easy to make and can add great flavor to a sandwich. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup mayonnaise and 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish.

***Photo by Justin Fox Burks. Food styled by Jennifer Chandler.

Cheddar Cheese Biscuits with Honey-Baked Ham

Cheddar Cheese Biscuits with Honey-Baked Ham

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup cold buttermilk, shaken
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 pound honey-baked ham, sliced

To make the biscuits:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the butter and mix until coarse crumbs form, about 30 to 45 seconds.

Combine the buttermilk and egg in a small bowl and beat lightly with a fork. With the mixer on low, add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and mix only until moistened. Add the cheese to the dough and mix only until roughly combined.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead gently until well combined, about 5 or 6 times. Pat out dough to 3/4-inch thickness. Using 3-inch-diameter cookie cutter, cut out biscuits. Gather scraps, pat out to 3/4-inch thickness and cut additional biscuits.

Place biscuits on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops with the beaten egg. Bake until the tops are browned and the biscuits are cooked through, about 18 to 22 minutes.

To assemble the sandwiches:

Cut the ham slices into pieces slightly larger than the biscuits. Using a sharp bread knife, split the biscuits. Fill each biscuit with 1 or 2 pieces of the ham to make a sandwich. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 12 biscuits.

Cooking Tip: Don’t feel like cutting out the biscuits? No worries. This recipe also works for drop biscuits. Just scoop about 3 to 4 tablespoons of the dough, roll into a ball, lightly press to flatten, and bake as directed above.

 

 

Grilled Jalapeno Pimento Cheese Sandwich

There is no better comfort food than warm melted cheese oozing between two slices of crisp buttered bread…that is unless you make it ultra-indulgent by using pimento cheese!

Enjoy!

Grilled Jalapeno Pimento Cheese Sandwich
From Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler

For the Jalapeno Pimento Cheese:

1/2 cup cream cheese (4 ounces), at room temperature
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup finely diced roasted red peppers (1 peppers)
2 tablespoons seeded and finely diced fresh jalapenos
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Dash of hot sauce (optional)

For the sandwich:
8 slices white bread
8 teaspoons unsalted butter

To make the pimento cheese: In a large mixing bowl stir together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, and sugar until smooth. Add the cheddar cheese, red peppers, and the jalapenos. Stir, mashing with a fork, until well combined and relatively smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add a dash of the hot sauce if desired. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To assemble the sandwich: Evenly butter one side of each slice of bread. Place 4 slices, buttered side down, on a work surface. On each slice, evenly spread 1/2 cup of the pimento cheese. Top each sandwich half with 1 of the remaining buttered slices of bread, buttered side up.

Preheat a griddle (or a large skillet) over medium heat. Place the sandwiches on the warm griddle and cook until the bottom is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Using a flat spatula, carefully turn the sandwiches over. Cook until the second side is golden brown, about 4 minutes.

Serves 4.

Cooking Tip: I prefer the texture of the pimento cheese better when I grate the cheddar cheese myself. But if you are in a hurry, you can use packaged grated cheese.

This recipe makes approximately 3 1/2 cups of pimento cheese. Pimento cheese will keep for up to 4 days in your refrigerator. (That is if it lasts that long!)

Back-to-the-Basics: I love the kick that the jalapenos give to this pimento cheese. But if you prefer a milder version, omit the jalapenos.

 

Cheeseburger Pie

I had to laugh when my good friend Gay Landaiche gave me this recipe. Cheeseburger Pie?!  Whoever heard of such a thing? But Gay is a great cook, so I gave it a try. And just as she said it would be, this dish was a big hit for my whole family!

In fact when I was writing my cookbook Simply Suppers, my girls insisted that I include it in the book.  It is one of their favorite dishes.  It’s a cinch to make and fun to eat … so it’s a favorite of a busy mom like myself too!

Enjoy!

Cheeseburger Pie
From Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler

1 unbaked pie crust (9-inch), homemade or store-bought
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion (1 small onion)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1 cup small-curd cottage cheese
2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 395 degrees.

Place the pie crust in a deep-dish pie pan. Flute the edges, if desired. Place the prepared pie crust in the refrigerator until ready to fill.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the skillet. Add the meat and onion and cook, breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon, until the meat is browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the cooked meat to a colander and drain off the excess fat. Transfer the drained meat to a large bowl and stir in the flour and Worcestershire sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pie crust.

In a small bowl stir together the eggs and cottage cheese. Spoon the cottage cheese mixture evenly over the beef. Arrange tomato slices on top of the cottage cheese and sprinkle the cheddar cheese evenly over the top.

Bake until set and the cheese has melted, about 30 minutes.

Serves 6.

 

Baked Cheese Grits

It’s just one of those days.  You know … one of those days when you are just craving something warm, cheesy and delicious. For a Southerner like me, nothing fits that bill like a big bowl full of Cheese Grits.

I always joke with my friends up North … “Do y’all even know what grits are?!”  (By the way, if you haven’t heard of them … it is always plural … never refer to this iconic Southern staple in the singular!) Basically, grits are made from coarsely ground corn. It’s the Southern version of Italy’s polenta.

Good old Martha White (of the flour fame) offers a very comprehensive definition on her Martha White’s Southern Cooking Glossary:

Grits are related to corn meal, since both are made from dried corn. Grits are just more coarsely ground than corn meal. White grits made from white corn are the most familiar; however, yellow grits made from yellow corn also are available. Whole ground grits are made by grinding the whole corn kernel, including the bran, germ and hard starchy endosperm. Quick and regular grits, the two most popular types, cook much more quickly. They’re made by tempering dried corn, removing the brand and germ, then grinding the hard starchy endosperm. Instant grits are cooked and dehydrated before packaging and are prepared by adding hot water.

In my baked cheese grits recipe, I use quick-cooking white grits since they give this dish a deliciously creamy texture. For a “grittier” texture, you can substitute stone-ground grits.  (Just keep in mind that stone-ground grits take much longer to cook so be sure to prepare them per the package directions before adding the cheese, butter, and eggs.)

This dish is one of those few exceptions that can be perfectly served at any meal … breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Enjoy!

Baked Cheese Grits
From Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus extra to grease the baking dish
4 1/2 cups water
1 1/4 cups quick-cooking grits
3 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
3 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9- x 13-inch baking dish with butter and set aside.

In a large saucepan over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Stir in the grits and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Remove the grits from the heat and stir in the butter and 3 cups of the cheese until the cheese has melted, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the garlic and eggs until well combined.

Pour the grits into the prepared baking dish. Evenly sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of the cheese across the top. Bake, uncovered, until bubbly and lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Serve warm.

Serves 8 to 10. 

Cooking Tip: For an added kick, add chopped jalapeno peppers.


Jennifer Chandler

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