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 Originally made with canned green beans and condensed cream of mushroom soup, I took the basic elements of this classic dish and gave it a fresher, modern spin.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.

 

 


Jennifer Chandler

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