Cooking The Best Cheese Recipes



Mortadella and Cheese Panini
1/2 cup plain yogurt, preferably goat's-milk
1 small scallion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated white horseradish (or drained jarred horseradish)
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt
Eight 3/4-inch-thick slices of peasant bread
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
1/2 pound thinly sliced mortadella
1/2 pound Robiola Bosina cheese, cut into 4 equal slices with the rind, or fresh ricotta

1.In a small bowl, combine the yogurt with the scallion, horseradish and mustard. Season with salt.
2.Heat a panini press or griddle. Brush both sides of each bread slice with oil. Arrange 4 bread slices on a work surface and spread with the horseradish yogurt. Layer the mortadella and Robiola on top and close the sandwiches with the remaining 4 bread slices. Set them on the preheated press or griddle. If using a griddle, top the panini with a large baking sheet and weigh down with heavy cans. Cook the panini over moderate heat until browned and crisp outside: 3 minutes in a press, 3 minutes per side on a griddle. Cut the panini in half and serve hot.
Grilled Ham-and-Cheese Sandwiches with Tapenade
2 ounces Spanish green olives, pitted and coarsely chopped (1/4 cup)
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more olive oil for brushing
Eight 1/2-inch-thick slices peasant bread from a 1-pound loaf
6 ounces sliced young Mahón or other young, mildly tangy cow's-milk cheese, such as Edam or Gouda
3 ounces thinly sliced lomo ham or thinly sliced Serrano ham trimmed of all fat

1.In a bowl, combine the olives with the garlic, parsley, lemon juice, crushed red pepper and 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil.
2.Preheat a grill pan or panini press. Arrange the bread slices on a work surface and brush one side of each slice with olive oil. Turn the oiled sides of the bread face down. Spread the olive tapenade on four slices of the bread. Top with the sliced Mahón cheese and lomo ham and close the sandwiches with the remaining slices of bread. Grill the sandwiches over moderate heat, turning once until the bread is lightly toasted and the cheese is melted, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the ham-and-cheese sandwiches to a cutting board, halve and serve at once.
Grilled Gruyère and Sweet Onion Sandwiches
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced crosswise (4 cups)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Eight 1/2-inch-thick slices of whole-grain bread
Dijon mustard
8 ounces imported Gruyère cheese, thinly sliced
2 half-sour pickles, thinly sliced lengthwise

1.In a deep skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in the oil. Add the onion, cover and cook over high heat, stirring once or twice, until softened, about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is very tender and caramelized, about 25 minutes longer. Add water to the skillet as necessary, 1/4 cup at a time, to prevent the onion from scorching. Season the caramelized onion with salt and pepper.
2.Spread the bread with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and arrange, buttered side down, on a work surface. Spread a thin layer of mustard on each slice. Top half of the slices with the onion, Gruyère and pickles and close the sandwiches.
3.Preheat a skillet or panini press. Grill the sandwiches over low heat until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted, 10 minutes. If using a skillet, press the sandwiches with a spatula and flip them halfway through. Cut in half and serve right away.
Multigrain Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
4 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 thyme sprig, plus 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 small clove garlic, minced
8 slices of multigrain bread
3/4 cup shredded Manchego cheese
3/4 cup shredded smoked cheddar cheese
3/4 cup shredded Gouda cheese

1.Preheat the oven to 450°. In a bowl, toss the tomatoes with the 2 tablespoons of oil, the vinegar and thyme sprig and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the tomatoes cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet and roast in the upper third of the oven for 10 minutes, until the skins begin to shrivel. Remove the skins. Turn the tomatoes over and roast for 10 minutes longer, until softened and lightly browned. Sprinkle with the garlic and thyme leaves and season lightly with salt and pepper.
2.Preheat a panini press or grill pan. Arrange the bread slices in pairs and very lightly brush 1 side of each slice with oil. Turn the bread oiled side down and mound half of the cheeses on 4 of the slices. Top with the tomatoes, the remaining cheese and the remaining bread, oiled side up. Grill until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve.
Cabrales Phyllo Rolls with Sherry Dipping Sauce
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/2 cup for brushing and frying
1 medium leek, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 pound cream cheese
2 ounces Cabrales or other blue cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup sweet sherry
1/4 cup beef broth
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 teaspoon water
8 sheets of phyllo dough, plus more in case of breakage

1.In a skillet, heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil until shimmering. Add the leek and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the cream cheese and Cabrales and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper. Scrape the filling into a bowl; let cool.
2.Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the sherry, beef broth and raisins and simmer over moderate heat until the liquid is reduced by half, about 8 minutes. Stir the cornstarch mixture, whisk it into the sauce and cook until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
3.On a work surface, stack the phyllo sheets and cut them crosswise into 4 strips, each 4 inches wide by 12 inches long. Arrange 4 strips on a work surface with the short sides facing you; keep the remaining phyllo covered with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out. Brush the strips lightly with olive oil. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the cheese filling at one end of each strip and roll them up, making about 3 turns to create small cylinders, then fold in the sides. Brush the folded sides with olive oil and continue to roll up the cylinders. Set the rolls on a plate. Repeat with the remaining phyllo and filling.
4.Place a wire rack on a large baking sheet and cover with paper towels. In a large skillet, heat 1/4 inch of olive oil until shimmering. Add 10 to 12 of the rolls and fry over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden, about 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer the rolls to paper towels to drain while you fry the rest, adding more olive oil as needed. Transfer the phyllo rolls to a platter and serve with the sherry dipping sauce.
Cheese-Fried Piquillo Toasts

Eight 1/3-inch-thick slices crusty Italian bread, crusts removed
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
1 large garlic clove, halved
1/4 cup mild goat cheese, softened
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 ounces Manchego or Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
8 medium piquillo peppers

1.Preheat the oven to 375°. Arrange the bread on a large baking sheet, brush with olive oil and bake for about 8 minutes, or until golden brown. Rub the hot toasts with the garlic.
2.In a small bowl, season the goat cheese with salt and pepper and mix until creamy. Spread a thin layer of the goat cheese over each toast.
3.Spread the grated Manchego in a shallow bowl. Dredge the peppers in the cheese to generously coat. In a large nonstick skillet, cook the peppers over moderate heat, turning once with a spatula, until richly browned and crusty, about 2 minutes per side. Using a spatula, scrape the peppers from the pan, transfer to the toasts and serve.
Warm Feta with Sautéed Greens
1/2 pound feta cheese, sliced 3/4 inch thick
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons oregano leaves
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 pounds cooking greens, such as kale, Swiss chard or beet greens, stemmed and coarsely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Assorted olives and crusty bread, for serving

1.Preheat the oven to 375°. Cut the feta into large triangles and arrange them in a single layer in a baking dish. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the olive oil with the oregano, crushed red pepper, lemon zest and half of the garlic slices. Spread the marinade all over the feta cheese and let stand for at least 5 minutes or up to an hour.
2.In a large, deep skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering. Add the remaining garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until pale golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the greens, a handful at a time, and cook, stirring, until tender, about 4 minutes. Pour off any liquid, season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
3.Bake the feta for about 5 minutes, or until heated through. Spoon the greens onto 4 plates and add the feta, olives and bread. Drizzle any feta juices over the bread and serve immediately.
Fried Zucchini Blossoms
18 baby zucchini with blossoms attached
4 1/2 ounces feta cheese, cut into 18 pieces
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups fine dry bread crumbs
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt
Lemon wedges, for serving

1.Gently open each zucchini blossom and nip off the stamen. Place a piece of feta cheese inside each blossom and twist lightly to close.
2.Beat the eggs in a bowl. Spread the bread crumbs in a shallow bowl. Dip each zucchini in the beaten eggs, then dredge in the bread crumbs.
3.Set a large rack over a rimmed baking sheet. In each of 2 large skillets, heat 1/3 cup of the olive oil until shimmering. Carefully lay half of the zucchini in each skillet and fry over moderately high heat until crisp and golden, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Transfer to the rack to drain. Sprinkle with salt and serve with lemon wedges.
Grilled Mortadella and Robiola Packets
12 thin slices of mortadella
12 ounces fresh robiola or goat cheese
12 basil leaves
3 cups packed baby arugula leaves
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt

1.On a work surface, lay out 4 slices of the mortadella. Spoon some robiola in the center of each one and top it with a basil leaf. Fold the mortadella over the cheese, fold in the sides to form a neat packet and secure it with toothpicks. Repeat with the remaining mortadella, robiola and basil.
2.Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Grill the mortadella packets over high heat for about 1 minute per side, until they are lightly charred and the cheese has melted. Discard the toothpicks.
3.In a bowl, toss the arugula with the olive oil and vinegar and season with salt. Transfer to a platter. Arrange the packets around the arugula and serve right away.

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