Most mac and cheeses are made with one or two, maybe three, cheeses, and sure, they turn out plenty gooey and creamy. But what happens when you more than triple that melty, buttery goodness and stir in a whopping 10 kinds of cheeses? Richness and decadence of the best sort, of course. On this morning’s cheese-focused episode of The Kitchen, Sunny Anderson, the unofficial queen of all things mac and cheese, debuted this showstopper, with wowing results. And perhaps best of all, it’s both easy to make and shockingly easy on your wallet. Here’s how.
I’d like to introduce you to your new favorite grain, farro. Similar in taste and texture to barley, this hearty Italian ingredient is prepared just as you’d make rice, by boiling it, and is a culinary blank canvas of sorts — you can pair it with countless other flavors, just as you can quinoa or couscous. While you can indeed make a batch of farro while you’re planning the week’s meals on Sunday and count on it starring in simple salads for a few days thereafter, you can also turn the heat up on farro and serve it in a hot casserole, as Giada De Laurentiis has done in her recipe for Farro with Cheese and Herbs.
When it comes to sandwiches, you can skip the bread in favor of a wrap or skip the meat in favor of hearty veggies, but you absolutely, positively cannot skip the cheese. It’s the glue that holds everything together and usually the best part of any between-the-bread meal, so do yourself a favor and indulge in one of these masterfully cheesy creations.
Mac and Cheese Grilled Cheese (pictured above)
No need for spoons with your mac and cheese when you’ve got Jeff Mauro’s recipe. Refrigerate a sheet of mac and cheese before you add two slices of bread, more cheese and bacon. Cheese level: expert.
Wine and cheese, the perfect pair? Well, yes, but there’s also beer.
The porters, stouts and ales we favor in winter — rich and sweet, with subtle notes of chocolate and caramel, fruit and spice — make solid companions for a panoply of cheeses, from earthy Stiltons to pungent Epoisses to Basque sheep-milk cheeses, Eater notes. However, the site contends that we shouldn’t overlook summer’s saisons, Pilsners and pale ales for cheese pairings, as long as we make sure these subtler brews are not overwhelmed by a too-strong fromage.
Cheesy does it, cheese lovers. In addition to taking your favorite food by the block, don’t forget that one of the most-splendid ways to use cheese is in go-to side dishes.
1. Mashed Potatoes + Cheese
Mashed potatoes are normally improved upon with a lake of gravy in the center, but they’re even better than that when a little cheese gets involved. Ina Garten stirs garlicky herb goat cheese (as well as sour cream, butter and half-and-half) into her Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes for Food Network Magazine (pictured above). After sprinkling the creamy side with Parmesan, she sets it in the oven so it gets a nice golden-browned top. You might never take your mashed taters without cheese again.
Move over, meat. There’s a new star player in the kitchen, and I’m not talking about leafy greens. Recently, firmer cheeses — such as halloumi, Indian paneer and Finnish bread cheese (leipäjuusto) — have been getting a lot of attention in the culinary world. And it’s for good reason: Magically, they keep their shape when heated. Their high melting points and low acid content make them perfect for grilling and frying, which gives them that oh-so-desirable crispy brown crust (like in Michael Symon’s Watermelon and Halloumi, pictured above). These melt-and-flow-resistant cheeses also star as a meal’s main ingredient more readily than their silky counterparts. Here are a few ways to experiment with these cheeses at home.
It’s no secret that cheese may be the ultimate in comfort food, but at the White House, it’s apparently known for its crowd-pleasing properties as well.
In 1837 then-President Andrew Jackson welcomed Americans into the White House for an open house, where he served visitors slices of cheese off a 1,400-pound block of cheddar and invited them to speak about the most-topical issues of the time. For the second year in a row, the Obama administration is paying tribute to President Jackson’s approachability by hosting a virtual Big Block of Cheese Day wherein all Americans can discuss the key points heard during President Obama’s State of the Union address yesterday. All day today, you can join the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #AskTheWH; pose questions on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr for political figures like the White House Press Secretary and Madam Vice President, Dr. Jill Biden, as well as several departments, including the departments of Labor and Transportation.
For many people who see their favorite chef grating salty slivers of it over a plate of perfectly cooked pasta or a New Haven-style pizza, pecorino cheese has become almost interchangeable with Parmesan.
There is so much more to this beautiful, traditionally crafted cheese than just being an alternative garnish, however, and I hope that after reading this, you will not only realize just how much hard work goes into getting pecorino to your table, but you will also be tempted to make it a star ingredient in some of your future culinary endeavors.
What Is Pecorino?
The name pecorino is actually taken from the Italian word pecora, which means “sheep.” It links back to a time when sheep were an essential source of food and materials for rural families in what is now Italy. And the first historical records of the cheese being made come from nearly 2,000 years ago, in the works of the Roman writer Pliny the Elder.
On a lazy weekend morning, whether you set an alarm or not, what better way to wake up than with melted cheese stringing from a pan to your plate? FN Dish is down for cheesy dishes all day long, but some of our favorite cheesy sides are a match made in heaven for eggs, sausage, toast and more. Especially with these recipes on your plate, you can bet a weekend brunch featuring cheesy sides is in the works.
Peeling and shredding potatoes can be a process, especially when you wake up hungry. Buy frozen hash brown potatoes — pre-peeled and shredded — to satisfy a last-minute potato craving. Easy Cheesy Potato and Sharp Cheddar Hash is so crispy and good that you won’t need ketchup.
This Southern staple is made that much better when a cheesy trinity is involved: Food Network Magazine’s Bruleed Cheese Grits are rich with a blend of cheddar, Gruyere and gouda. Placing the grits in the broiler at the very end leaves the cheesy top nice and bubbly.
These make the perfect special-occasion food — kids can help make them and they’re also delicious (to children and adults). Between the rolling, covering with cranberries and poking of pretzel sticks, there are at least three jobs fit for small fingers. Then there’s the fact that the recipe requires only a handful of ingredients (four to be exact). Now that’s something to make parents swoon. Get the recipe for these kid-friendly cheese balls at Foodlets.com.