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Dedicated to the notion that one of the things that’s wrong with the world is that there aren’t enough waffles in it and everyone should sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes order “one for the table”.

-Amy Ephron

 
 

Watercress, Seckel Pear, and Brie Salad: Safe to Serve for Company

by Susan Russo
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watercresspeargoatcheesesaladI don't think there is a cheese that my father doesn't like. He once received a pungent, powerfully-smelly Italian cheese from a friend; he described it as: "Good. Very tasty. With the smell though, you could never serve it for company, but if it's just for close family, yeah, it's good."

It certainly didn't stop him, or my family, from eating it.

At my house we ate a lot of cheese -- as a appetizer, on dishes, after dinner, or just for a snack. Unlike Reggiano-Parmesan and Grana Padano, brie was not a staple cheese growing up, but it's a staple in our refrigerator now.

In fact, there is currently a wheel of brie made from goat's milk in my refrigerator courtesy of Steve at Ile de France, (he has no idea how happy he has made Jeff). It has a remarkably silky texture and pleasingly tart flavor.

Though most typically served as an appetizer with crackers and cured meats, or baked into a puff pastry, brie is quite versatile. It enlivens paninis, enriches pastas, and makes delectable crostini and quesadillas. For a rustic dessert, pair it with nuts and fresh fruit such as grapes, figs, dates, and pears.

Grilled Brie and Mango Quesadilla

by Nancy Ellison
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mangoqueso2.jpgMy first Brie Quesadilla was devoured somewhere in Arizona, and it is truly an indulgence that is impossible to resist.  Since I love cheese, I use Brie with the rind intact, but if you like a smoother taste, I recommend Alouette Crème de Brie spreadable cheese- either the original or fine herbs style.

If you are making a grilled Brie sandwich, sour dough bread is perfect, if you making quesadillas use corn tortillas.

My Dad's Sleep Disorder and His Amazing Grilled Cheese Sandwich - Amy Ephron

by Amy Ephron
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chocolate cake milkMy dad wasn’t much of a cook! He even burned the bacon. His idea of making baked beans was to put them in a pan of boiling water – in the can with the top still on. This might actually work, although the only time I remember him doing it, he forgot about them, the water boiled down, the can exploded (EXPLODED!!!), luckily no one was in the kitchen at the time, and a lot of the baked beans flew up to the ceiling and rested there. I do not remember if my mother thought this was funny.

He was a great barbeq-uer but that’s a different story.

He, also, had a ridiculously high metabolism and ate more than anyone in the family practically until his dying day, (seemingly without much of a weight problem, or cholesterol problem, I might add.) When we were little, he used to get up in the middle of the night sometimes, wake one of us, and we’d tiptoe down to the kitchen for a slice of home-made pie or chocolate cake OR Dad’s one and only specialty not cooked on a grill -- although curiously with grill in its title -- grilled cheese sandwiches.

My dad had a theory that one of the reasons people wake up in the middle of the night is because they’re hungry, so if you ate a piece of pie or cake or a grilled cheese sandwich (preferably with a glass of milk), you would fall right back to sleep. Note: I have not tested this theory since childhood.

Best Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwich

by Joseph Erdos
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hamandcheeseLunches for me have been a mixed bag of sorts, I'm never sure what to eat, and I'm not always satisfied with what I get. But the sandwich shop near my workplace always seems to have the right sandwich for me. It's my standby.

'Wichcraft, pretty much a chain restaurant in New York City, in my opinion, has the best pressed sandwiches, among them the grilled Gruyère and caramelized onions. It is just mouthwateringly good with its oozy cheese and sweet caramelized onions. Whenever I need a comfort food fix, I always seem to gravitate toward this sandwich. It's simple and it always hits the spot. I've decided to come up with my own personalized version.

My version of this popular sandwich includes ham, for extra flavor. I use a panini press to make the sandwich, but you can also use a regular skillet, and just simply weight the sandwich with a foil-wrapped brick between flips. The caramelized onions can be prepared a day in advance, making this lunch come together even faster. Use either Gruyère or Emmental cheese for the best results in both flavor and texture.

Cafe Lulu Macaroni and Cheese

by Lou Jane Temple
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the Cafe Lulu version by Lou Jane Temple

I had a restaurant in Kansas City in the 90’s and one of the most popular items was this version of macaroni and cheese.  The key to a good mac and cheese is the timing.  Don’t add the sauce to the noodles until you are ready to pop it in the oven and serve it as soon as you can when you take it out of the oven.  Despite its popularity with school cafeterias, it is not a dish that holds well.  The pasta absorbs the sauce and you end up with sticky, dry noodles.


Ingredients:
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus additional for the
baking dish
¼ cup butter (1/2 stick)
¼ cup flour
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups half and half
½ cup grated Gruyere cheese
1-2 cups grated cheddar cheese, medium or sharp
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon each of kosher salt and ground white
pepper
¼ teaspoon paprika, sweet or hot


For the Topping:
1 package (10 oz) potato chips
½ cup butter (1 stick)
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Blue Bloods Cookbook Cheesecake

by Bridget Moynahan & Wendy Howard Goldberg
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CoverBlueBloodsCookbookFrom the Blue Bloods Cookbook

There are two types of cheesecake in the world: coarse-textured Italian cheesecake made with ricotta cheese, and the smooth and creamy New York–style cheesecake made with cream cheese and sour cream. If you’re a New York Irish family, you go for the New York–style. Ours has a blue topping in honor of the NYPD and their uniforms—see below for the recipe.

This cheesecake is silky smooth with a melt-on-your-tongue texture. We make our crust with walnuts in addition to the classic graham crackers, which give it a crunchier, slightly more interesting taste and texture. The secret to a crack-free New York–style cheesecake is a water bath underneath the cake while baking. Bake it carefully, and this super-creamy dessert will look as beautiful as it tastes. Serves 6 to 8

 

 

 

 

Icebergs

by Oyvind Tangen

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