recipes with cheese

here's some of my favorite family meal ideas using cheese. The recipes are easy and suitable for beginners. Kitchen idea

How to make cheese

Cheese is especially difficult to make because of the difficulty of finding what is called a starter --the bacteria culture added to the milk to start  the curd formation.  It is possible to make cheese without a starter, but the starter is what gives  different cheeses their distinctive flavor, and  without one the cheese almost always ends up  tasting like pot cheese, more commonly known as  farmer's cheese or cottage cheese.  To make cheese:  Take a hell of a lot of milk  (10 gallons will make less then 1/2 a gallon of cheese) and cook it slowly on the stove.  For  flavorful cheese, it is best to use unpasturized  milk, which is almost impossible to buy and must be obtained from a cow, or goats milk, which tastes  good even when pasturized.  As the curds form, add  a cube or two of rennet, found at most specialty  stores.  This will cause the curds to coagulate.   Constantly stirring the curds at this point will  give you something more like mozzerella, which can be great.  Instead, let the curds for naturally  for something more like a jack cheese.  Let the  curds cook until you aresatisfied with your yield,  and then remove, placing them in cheese cloth and  allowing them to drain.  Then press into a mold.  Before you begin this adventure, remember that the  reason there are 1000's of varieties of cheese is  because there are 1000's of variations on the process  outlined above.  Whatever the case, good luck--you'll need it.

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Cheese Fondue

4 oz. Gruyere cheese
8 oz. Swiss cheese
1+ tbsp. cornstarch
1 clove garlic
3/4 to 1 cup white wine
1 tbsp. kirsch
French bread cut into 1" cubes

Grate cheese and mix with cornstarch.  Cut garlic clove in half.  Rub
1/2 of garlic over inside of fondue pot.  Cut the other 1/2 clove up
finely and add to pot.  Add wine to pot and heat slowly until it just
bubbles.  Slowly add the cheese mixture, stirring as it melts.  When
smooth, add kirsch and serve with French bread.  Serves 3-4.

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BEER AND CHEESE SOUP

Ingredients:
------------
1 cup    diced onions
1 cup    diced celery
1 cup    diced carrots
1 cup    diced mushrooms
3/4 cup  butter
1/2 cup  flour
1 tsp    dry mustard
5 cups   chicken or vegetable stock
1 bunch  broccoli
11 fl oz  beer (use a can or bottle and save a swallow for the cook!)
6 oz     cheddar cheese, grated
2 tblsp  grated parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:
-------------
Saute' the diced vegetables in butter.

Mix flour and mustard into sautaed vegetables.  Add the chicken or
vegetable stock to mixture and cook for five minutes.

Break broccoli into small flowerets; cut stems into bite-sizes pieces.
Steam until tender-crisp.  Add beer and cheeses to the soup.  Simmer
10-15 minutes.  Check seasonings.

To serve, place some broccoli into a soup bowl and ladle the soup over it.

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Brie En Croute

1 sheet Pepperidge Farm frozen Puff Pastry
1 lb    Brie Cheese (round)
1 pkg   Boursin Cheese
1       egg
1 tsp   water

Beat the egg and water together in a small bowl.

Thaw pastry 20 minutes; on a floured surface roll to a 15-inch circle.

Preheat oven to 400F degrees.

Slice Brie in half horizontally. Spread Boursin cheese on one half.
Re-assemble Brie and place in the center of pastry.

Brush pastry edges with egg wash, and pull up sides to enclose Brie.
Place seam side down on ungreased baking sheet. If desired, decorate
the top with pastry scraps. Brush with egg wash.

Bake for 20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes (at least) before serving.

Makes 12 servings.

Source: Adapted from recipe included with Pepperidge Farms Puff Pastry
        (They 'stuff' the Brie with 1/4 cup sliced, toasted almonds and
         1/4 cup chopped parsley instead of Boursin)

* Boursin cheese is a spreadable garlic and herb cheese. Boursin Poivre
  contains a lot of black pepper for those who like pepper. Boursin is
  available in many grocery stores but can almost certainly be found in
  higher quality produce and specialty stores. If Boursin or Boursin Poivre
  cannot be found, Alouette can be used as a substitute although it is not
  as high quality as Boursin, in my opinion.

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Cheese Souffle

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set pan of water in oven. Prepare an 8 cup
  couffle dish (4" to 5" high). Butter dish and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons
  dry bread crumbs. Cook 2 1/2 tablespoons butter and 3 tablespoons flour
  together slowly to make roux (foamy and frothy). Pour 3/4 cup scalded
  milk into roux, stirring with wire whisk; cook until thick. Add 1/2
  teaspoon salt, dash each pepper and nutmeg. Add 3 egg yolks to sauce.
  Beat 6 egg whites (3/4 cup); add dash salt and 1/4 teaspoon cream of
  tartar, continue beating until soft peaks form. Put big dolop of egg
  white into sauce. Add 1 cup grated Swiss chees (Gruyere) or 1 cup
  chopped seafood. Fold egg whites into sauce. Fill mold to 2/3. Set in
  pan of water in oven. Bake 1 hr. to 1 hr. 15 minutes. Can leave in
  warm oven for 1/2 hr. if necessary.      Serves 6 to 8

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Greek Cheese Pie

the dough :
-----------
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup warm water
2 tbl spoons oil
1/2 spoon oregano
dash of salt

mix ingredients; knead for about 2-3 minutes; adding flour to until it
doesn't stick to the hands - separate into 3 equal parts

the filling :
------------

a couple of chopped green shallots (can replace with 1/3 white onion)
1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
2 cups feta cheese , crumbled
1/3 cup freshly grated romano cheese
1/2 cup whole milk or better still, half & half
3 eggs
salt, pepper, thyme

beat eggs;
mix all other ingredients; heat in pot until cheese starts melting;
allow to cool to room temperature; then mix in eggs

the assembly :
-------------
roll out the 3 dough balls- so that each one is a bit bigger than your
baking pan (i use 8x12 in.)- the amount of dough, for that size will
give you the right thickness

place the first layer on the greased pan, with ends hanging over the
pan rim - add half the filling

follow on with the second dough layer -add the rest of the filling

finish off with the last dough layer; fold the dough layers together

pluck a few holes, making sure you go through the second layer of
dough

bake for 3/4 hour at around 400F

enjoy, with a simple tomato and cucumber salad

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Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

Ingredients:

1 lb packaged mozzarella
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup flour
1 cup flavored bread crumbs
Vegetable oil for frying

Procedure:

Slice the mozzarella into flat wedges (it's easier to fry this way).
Set up 3 bowls, one with flour, one with egg, one with the bread crumbs.

Coat each piece of cheese first with flour, then egg, then bread
crumbs, then throw immediately into the hot oil to fry (the coating
doesn't turn out as well if you let it sit around inside its coating).

Fry for a minute or two on each side until coating is golden brown and
the cheese is melted.

Sprinkle with lemon juice and serve.

Note: The difficult part of this is keeping the cheese from escaping
the coating while it's frying. For best results, don't let the oil get
too hot while frying, and try to keep the oil level at about 1/4 inch
deep at all times during the process (i.e., do not deep fry).

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BROCCOLI AND CHEESE SOUP

Ingredients:
------------
olive oil
2 onions
6 medium potatoes
1 pint water/stock
2 heads of broccoli
8 oz cheddar cheese - mature cheddar is good, add more cheeses if
you want it only improves it
salt, peper, herbs and spices

Instructions:
-------------
heat oil, soften 2 onions and 6 medium potatoes.

When yellowish, add about 1 pint of water or stock and one head of
broccoli (broken into florets), salt and any herbs/spices you fancy.

Cook for about 20 minutes at a fast simmer.

Add another head of broccoli in florets, simmer for another 2/3 minutes.

Remove from pan while new broccoli is still crunchy and liquidise.

Add about 8 ounces grated mature cheddar to the serving dish and stir
until it melts - top with lots of freshly ground pepper. Serve with
fresh brown bread.

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BROCCOLI-CHEESE SOUP

Ingredients:
------------
1 1/2 pounds fresh broccoli
1 pint half-and-half (that's half milk, half cream for the non-US
        people, or substitute to your liking)
2 cups water
1 pound pasteurized process cheese spread (like Velveeta)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup cornstarch (cornflour) mixed with 1 cup cold water

Instructions:
-------------
Steam broccoli until tender (can cook in microwave on high power, 6
minutes per pound).  Place half-and-half and water in the top of a
double boiler.  Add cheese (cut in pieces), salt and pepper.  Heat until
all the cheese is melted.  Add broccoli.  Mix cornstarch and water in a
small bowl.  Stir into the cheese mixture in the double boiler, and heat
over simmering water until soup thickens.  Makes 10 1 cup servings.

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FARMER'S CHEESE SOUP

(Yield:  7 cups)

Ingredients:
------------
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup sliced carrot rounds
1/2 pound broccoli, separated into small flowerets (about 2-1/4 cups)
3 cups milk
1 cup (4 oz.) Dakota Farms cheddar cheese
6 to 8 slices French bread, toasted
Swiss cheese cut into thin wedges, two for each slice of bread
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Instructions:
-------------
Melt butter in 3-qt.  saucepan.  Add onion and celery.  Stir and cook 5
minutes.  Add carrots, broccoli and broth.  Cover, bring to a boil, then
turn to simmer and cook for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Add milk, bring to a simmer.  Add cheese, stirring until melted.  Pour
soup into a casserole.  Float bread slices on top of soup and cover each
with two wedges of Dakota Farms Swiss cheese.  Place under broiler for 2
to 3 minutes until the cheese melts and turns a delicate brown.
Sprinkle with crumbed bacon and serve.

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JALAPENO CHEESE SOUP

(Serves  6)

Ingredients:
------------
6 cup    Chicken broth
8        Celery stalks
2 cup    Diced onion
3/4 tsp  Garlic salt
1/4 tsp  White pepper
2 lb     Velveeta cheese
1 cup    Diced jalapeno peppers
Sour cream
Flour tortillas

Instructions:
-------------
Dice celery stalks, onions and jalapenos. Cut Velveeta into cubes.

In a large saucepan place the chicken broth, celery, onions, garlic
salt, and white pepper.  Cook over high heat for 10 minutes, or until
the mixture reduces and thickens slightly.

In a blender or food processor place the broth and the cheese.  Puree
them together until the mixture is smooth.  Return the pureed mixture to
the saucepan and simmer it for 5 minutes.  Add the diced peppers and mix
them in well.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and warm flour tortillas.

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JARLSBERG CHEESE AND BROCCOLI SOUP

Ingredients:
------------
1 c. chopped leek
1-2 c. mushrooms, chopped
2-3 T. margarine
1-2 T. flour
3 c. chicken broth
1 bunch broccoli, in florets
1 pint half and half
1 c. shredded Jarlsberg cheese

Instructions:
-------------
Saute leek and mushrooms in margarine till tender.  Add flour and heat
one minute more till bubbly.  Stir in broth till thick.  When heated,
add broccoli.  Simmer 20 min.  till tender.  Add half and half (less if
you want) and cheese.  Stir till cheese is all melted.  Good with a good
loaf of French bread.

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