Tag Archives: Gruyere

Easy Tomato Soup with Gruyere Grilled Cheese

Seasoned to Taste - Easy Tomato Soup with Gruyere Grilled Cheese

It has finally started smelling like fall. Damp leaves replaces humid heat rising from asphalt, hearty rosemary and sage replaces the floral basil and mint. Cold, achy darkness replaces sunny mornings.

And so you make soup. Because you need to smell onion caramelizing in oil, see steam rising from a bowl and taste something smoothing going down the ol’ pipe.

Most people grow up with Campbell’s tomato soup along with Goldfish crackers, Saltines or Kraft grilled cheese sandwiches. I wouldn’t allow tomato soup to touch my lips until a few years ago, and only if copious amounts of basil and cream were added. And only because children forced me too. Mom always said kids bring karma full circle.

I found a super simple, but excellent and satisfying tomato soup recipe in the recent Food Network magazine, which I adapted to my liking. Adding tomato paste really deepens the flavor, and using crushed tomatoes omits the need for a blender – unless you have an immersion blender and then I am jealous!

With it, I made Gruyere grilled cheese sandwiches – bread slathered with melted butter, then Dijon mustard, Gruyere cheese and a crack of pepper. Press on hot surface of your choice.

Easy Tomato Soup

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

  • 3 T EVOO
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 c. good chicken stock or broth
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes (splurge on San Marzano, please) – even the herbed kind are good
  • 1 T tomato paste
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream

In Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium, then add onions. Cook 15 min., stirring, until golden brown. Add garlic and cook 1 min. more. Stir in tomato paste, stock, tomatoes 1 T salt and 1 tsp pepper. Bring soup to boil, then reduce to simmer 15 min. Stir in cream and cook another 10 min.

Meanwhile, make up your favorite type of grilled cheese. You can even cut them into bits and use them like croutons. I went classic:

Seasoned to Taste - Easy Tomato Soup with Gruyere Grilled Cheese

Surprising how much flavor the soup had, when I was used to the canned variety.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

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Gruyere Risotto Cakes

The only way risotto leftovers can be made better? Form them into patties, roll in panko bread crumbs and fry lightly in extra-virgin olive oil.

Afraid of making risotto? Try making risotto cakes! Seriously – this is like an easy introduction to the beauty of thick, creamy risotto jazzed up with any flavors you desire. And the flaky panko breadcrumbs provide such a perfect crunch.

I must say that Grant declared these to be in his “top 3” meals I’ve made. Now if only I could remember the first two…

This recipe from Ina Garten is easy to tweak. For instance, I didn’t have Greek yogurt, so I used some low-fat sour cream that I already had. I didn’t have chives, so I used green onions. Gruyere was miraculously on sale, so I used that instead of fontina. In my opinion, Gruyere is a far superior cheese (and my favorite cooking cheese) to fontina, so it was an obvious switch.

Next time, I may try to freeze the cakes before frying – some of them still tried to fall apart on me. Don’t worry – it won’t affect the taste!

Lightly browned in the pan and then crisped up in the oven while I made the salad, these would be a wonderful appetizer if made smaller. But they are just as delicious and decadent as your entree, served on a bed of peppery arugula in a light lemon vinaigrette (with Parmesan shavings over the top, of course).

Gruyere Risotto Cakes

Ingredients:

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons minced green onions
  • 1 1/4 cups grated Gruyere cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Good olive oil
  • Baby arugula
  • Juice from 1 lemon

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-low heat and add 1/2 tablespoon salt and the Arborio rice. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. The grains of rice will be quite soft. Drain the rice in a sieve and run under cold water until cool. Drain well.

Meanwhile, whisk together the sour cream, eggs, green onions, cheeses, 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt, and the pepper in a medium bowl. Add the cooled rice and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight, until firm.

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

Spread the panko in a shallow dish. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Form balls of the rice mixture using an ice-cream scoop or a large spoon. Pat the balls into patties 3 inches in diameter and 3/4-inch thick. Place patties in the panko, turning once to coat. Place the patties in the hot oil and cook, turning once, for about 3 minutes on each side until the risotto cakes are crisp and nicely browned. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and keep warm in the oven for up to 30 minutes – increase the heat to 350 if the cakes fell apart in the frying process and need to be crisped.

Continue cooking in batches, adding oil as necessary, until all the cakes are fried.

Meanwhile, prepare your salad.

Whisk juice of 1 lemon with 1/3-1/2 c. EVOO and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over arugula and finish with Parmesan shavings.

To serve, place hot cakes on top of arugula salad and sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper. When you bite in, the rice will be creamy and flavored with all the nutty Gruyere and light onions. The arugula will wilt under the heat and the Parmesan will soften. Just fabulous!

To reheat, place cakes on baking sheet and heat in 350-degree oven until they start to sizzle.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Baked quinoa with kale and gruyere

I used to think that quinoa was the same as tabbouleh, and then couscous and then Israeli couscous. In other words, we have a history of misunderstanding each other.

From what I can learn, it is a grain. More like a super-grain – a complete protein with amino acids, lots of fiber, iron and gluten-free. Something you can feel good about eating. Until you cover it with cheese.

Mother began raving about this dish after she served it to her Bridge group. I imagine the women taking fork-fulls in between turns of “Two no trump” and “Please pass the Pims.”

On the list of things I never thought would taste good together, here we have quinoa, sage, garlic, onion, dark greens, Gruyere and Parmesan. But somehow in the chemistry of the cooking process, each of these ingredients links arms with the others, creating a beautiful dish that one vegetable-hating friend recently called “A revelation!”

I’ve now made this twice – once as a side dish, using spinach, and once as a main course with kale from the farmers market. You can use any dark, leafy green in here.

Baked quinoa with kale and Gruyere

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. kale, washed and roughly chopped
  • 2 T EVOO
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 plump garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 c. cooked quinoa (1 c. uncooked)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated (3/4 c.)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh sage
  • 1 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (1/4 c.)
  • Salt and pepper

To cook quinoa, rinse 1 c. in a small strainer, then place in saucepan with 2 c. Water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 min., until all water is absorbed.

Preheat oven to 400. Oil 2-quart baking dish.

Heat large frying pan over medium-heat, add onion and cook until tender, about 5 min. Add garlic and stir 1 min. Add kale and toss to wilt. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then remove from heat.

Beat eggs in a large bowl and add 1/2 tsp. salt. Stir in quinoa, onion and kale mixture, Gruyere and sage. Add freshly ground pepper and stir. Scrape into baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan and drizzle with 1 T olive oil. Bake until browned, about 25 min. Allow to sit for 5 min. and serve.

Honestly, what doesn’t taste good with Gruyere? Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Leek, prosciutto and goat cheese frittata

My perfect morning would go something like this: waking up to sun streaming through the blinds with a cat stretched at my feet; quietly walking down the hall so as not to wake the boy, cat trotting behind me; putting on a pot of coffee and opening the sun-room shades so my little prisms can reflect rainbows in my perfectly clean and tidy living room. While the cat chases the dancing rainbows, I would curl up on the couch with my hazelnut-scented coffee and watch my favorite Food Network shows, taking breaks to read lifestyle porn in my new Pottery Barn catalogs.

My favorite place to sit on the couch is in the corner, where the two sides hold me like a big, strong man. 🙂 It occurs to me that my ideal couch feels as comfortable as the soft embrace of a loved one.

Now, my house is never perfectly tidy and clean, but I can still enjoy the early-morning quiet with a yummy breakfast. Quiches and frittatas are perfect because you can add all your favorite flavors with eggs, and voila, you have a whole meal. I recently made one with leeks (a very underappreciated vegetable), thin slices of prosciutto, goat cheese and Gruyere. Sun-dried tomatoes and bacon would also be good, but I recommend the leeks for their delicate flavor that adds a bit of onion taste, and the goat cheese because it has a tangy, creamy bite that goes well with any other cheese, such as the fabulous Gruyere.

I do not have a nonstick skillet that can go in the oven, so I just used my cast-iron. A bit more work cleaning up, but it cooked the frittata beautifully. Just use your largest skillet that can go from stovetop to oven. This recipe is adapted from Cook’s Illustrated.

Leek, prosciutto, goat cheese frittata

Ingredients:

  • 12 large eggs
  • 3 T milk or cream
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 3 leeks, white and light green parts halved, thoroughly cleaned and cut into thin slices
  • 3 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into strips
  • Handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • 4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled with your fingers
  • 4 oz. Gruyere cheese, or any other hard cheese, grated (use whatever is in your fridge)

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and preheat broiler.

Whisk eggs, milk, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in bowl. Set aside.

Heat butter in skillet over medium until foaming subsides. Add leeks and 1/4 tsp salt, reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until soft, stirring occasionally. Eight to 10 min. Grate in a pinch of fresh nutmeg, if you have it (leeks love nutmeg). Stir in prosciutto, half the goat cheese, parsley and eggs, stirring to distribute evenly. Use spatula to scrap up from the bottom until large curds have formed and the spatula leaves a wake, but eggs are still very wet, about 3-4 min. Shake skillet to distribute eggs evenly, let cook 30 more seconds.

Top with remaining goat cheese and Gruyere, then slide into oven. Cook until surface has puffed and is starting to brown, 4-5 min. Eggs should be slightly wet, but cooked. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 more min. Slice and serve!

No matter what makes YOU happy in the morning, a satisfying breakfast will help get you there. Promise.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Sausage and Gruyere egg bake

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One of the virtues of being home more often is the ability to watch a Food Network show, become inspired and make whatever you witnessed. Yesterday was such a day. I watched Giada on “Everyday Italian” make what she called an omelet but what I would call an egg bake. If it were cooked on the stove first, I would call it a frittata. If it had bread in it, it would be a strata. So I guess it is an oven-omelet? Whatever.

Oh my GOODNESS I love Gruyere. It has to be my favorite cheese to cook with. Melts perfectly, has a nice nutty flavor, mmmmm. The Gruyere makes this dish, although Jesse says that each ingredient was a star, like you can really taste each in every bite. Instead of following Giada’s recipe exactly (I don’t like bell peppers), I made it my own.

I used spicy Italian chicken sausage instead of turkey sausage and I used tomatoes instead of bell pepper. I also used more cheese (oops!) because the Gruyere only comes in 8 0z. packages and she called for 6 oz. Oh wells!

Ingredients:

Italian sausage

parsley

2 tomatoes

1 small onion

Gruyere cheese

eggs

milk

S&P

butter

olive oil

Here’s what I did:

Preheat the oven to 425 and butter a glass baking dish (mine is 8-inches square).

Heat 2 T EVOO in a large skillet and sautee one chopped yellow onion until translucent. Add in 1/2 lb. sausage, casings removed, and brown. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat seven eggs (she called for eight, I had seven) with 1/3 c. milk (I used 1 percent). Add a large pinch of salt and some cracked pepper to taste. Stir in two tomatoes, seeded and chopped, 1 c. shredded Gruyere and 1/4 c. parsley. Stir in the onion mixture.

Pour that into the buttered pan and cover with more cheese. Bake until the center is set, about 25-30 min. and the cheese is amber and bubbling. Just make sure the center is set – these things can take forever to bake! If your cheese is getting too brown and the middle still isn’t set, put the whole thing in the microwave for a couple minutes, or put foil over the top and keep baking until done.

While that bakes, make some toast and spiced apples. I peeled and sliced two gala apples and added them to a pan with 2 T. melted butter, over medium heat. Then I added a few shakes of cinnamon and some freshly grated nutmeg. Then the juice from one lemon and two tablespoons of brown sugar. Stir and cook until thick and bubbly.

A sweet side dish

A sweet side dish

For the toaste, I just sliced the rest of our ciabatta bread and toasted it with garlic-olive oil.

When the bake is done, let it rest a few minutes and then cut into wedges, sprinkling with more parsley. In my opinion, the corners are the best because they have all that crusty cheese…

Baked cheesy goodness

Baked cheesy goodness

Turns out, this meal was wonderful for dinner, but of course works for breakfast and brunch. You could even make it ahead and bake it off in the morning, although it really doesn’t take that long to prepare. I thought I didn’t like strata-type baked egg dishes, but this one proved me wrong. And it was dirt cheap – eggs go a lot farther if you mix them with vegetables, meat and cheese, then bake them. Nummy.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo