Smashed Blackberry and Goat Cheese Toasts


Smashed Blackberry and Goat Cheese Toasts
What’s great about this recipe is that it’s uniquely scaled for you, a duo, or a whole damn crew. The blackberry jam keeps nicely in the refrigerator for about two weeks, so this is a toast you can remake countless times. It’s hearty enough for a meal, delicate enough as a snack, and downright georgous as an appetizer.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups blackberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons cornstarch, sifted
  • 8 oz challah bread, sliced (or your bread of choice!)
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • Fresh mint to garnish

Procedure

  1. In a medium-sized saucepan combine the blackberries, blueberries, vanilla, sugar, and water (covered) over a medium low flame. Once simmering and the fruit begins to burst (about 5 minutes) gently mash with a fork or potato masher, then whisk in the cornstarch until well incorporated.* Cover once more and simmer over a low flame until needed.
  2. Meanwhile, toast the challah bread as desired — I recommend extra crispy.
  3. When ready, smear each slice of challah bread with a thick layer of goat cheese, then spoon over with the smashed blackberries. Garnish with mint, then eat!

* Add 1 teaspoon if you want the blackberries more runny, 2 teaspoons for a thicker texture!

Cook’s Notes

  • If eating for one, still follow the recipe! the leftover blackberries can be refrigerated in a glass container for up to two weeks, so you make this toast even quicker the next time you crave it.

Jalapeño Popper Deviled Eggs


Jalapeño Popper Deviled Eggs

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 12 hard cooked eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 Tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 1 Jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons sliced green onions
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 slices bacon, crisp cooked and finely crumbled
  • Chili powder

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Place about 1 tablespoon of the shredded cheese on prepared sheet; pat into a 2-inch circle.
  4. Repeat with remaining cheese, allowing 2 inches between circles.
  5. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes or until bubbly and lightly golden.
  6. Let stand on baking sheet for 1 to 2 minutes or until cooled but still pliable. Carefully peel off paper.
  7. Place cheese crisps on a wire rack; cool completely.
  8. Once cool, break cheese crisps into smaller pieces.
  9. Halve hard-cooked eggs lengthwise and remove yolks. Set whites aside.
  10. Place yolks in a small bowl; mash with a fork.
  11. Add mayo, cream cheese, jalapeno, green onions; mix well
  12. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  13. Fill the egg halves with the yolk mixture and top each egg half with a bit of crispy cheese and bacon.
  14. Sprinkle with chili powder

Tomato Juice


Tomato Juice
Ingredients

  • 46 ounces tomato juice
  • 3 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Worchestshire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon MSG

Procedure

  1. Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
  2. Select Variable 1.
  3. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
  4. Blend for 1 minute or until mixture is ultra-smooth.
  5. Cover and refrigerate until the flavors meld and the mix is chilled, at least 2 hours or preferably overnight.

Crispy Ham and Cheddar Roll


Crispy Ham and Cheddar Roll
Ingredients

  • 1 package sliced soft white bread
  • 1 jar red pepper jelly (1/2 cup reserved for serving)
  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced ham
  • 2 cups Borden® Cheese Mild cheddar Shreds (divided)
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Procedure

  1. Roll out each slice of white bread until 1/4-inch thick.
  2. Spread about 2 teaspoons of jam over the bread, lay 1 slice of ham on top and 1 tablespoon of Borden® Cheese Mild cheddar Shreds.
  3. Tightly roll the bread away from you, creating a cigar.
  4. Place onto a baking sheet seam-side down.
  5. Continue until all of the bread is used.
  6. Prepare a dredging station.
    • In the first baking dish add the flour.
    • In the second baking dish, whisk the eggs and milk.
    • Lastly, place 1 cup of Borden® Cheese Mild cheddar Shreds and panko bread crumbs into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground and remove to the third baking dish.
  7. Dredge each cheddar roll in the flour, then the egg, and lastly the cheddar bread crumb mixture.
  8. Heat a large non-stick saute pan over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons oil. Once melted, add the cheddar roll and brown on all sides.
  9. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate and season with salt and pepper. Add remaining butter and oil, if needed, and repeat with remaining ingredients.
  10. Serve warm with reserved red pepper jelly.

Cook’s Note

  • Prepare all of the rolls a day in advance and keep them in a baking dish tightly wrapped with plastic wrap.
  • Fry before the meal and keep warm in a 200ºF oven.

Nut and Cheese Gougères


NUT AND CHEESE GOUGÈRES
You can portion and freeze these gougères in advance, then bake them just before guests arrive (you may need to add a few minutes of baking time). This recipe makes soft gougères that are custardy in the center. If you prefer a firmer puff, use 4 eggs.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups (6 oz.) coarsely grated Comté, gruyere, or white cheddar cheeses

Preparation

  1. In a small, heavy-bottomed skillet, add the walnuts over medium heat. Cook, stirring or shaking the pan occasionally, until lightly toasted, 2 to 4 minutes.
  2. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
  3. Position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat to 425°.
  4. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  5. In a medium saucepan, add the milk, water, butter, and salt; bring to a rapid boil over high heat.
  6. Add the flour all at once, lower the heat and stir rapidly with a heavy spoon or whisk. The dough will form a ball and there will be a light film on the bottom of the pan. Keep stirring to dry the dough slightly, 1 to 2 minutes more.
  7. Turn the dough into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a medium mixing bowl. Let the dough sit for a minute, then add the eggs one by one, beating with the mixer or a wooden spoon until each egg is incorporated before adding the next. (The dough may look as though it’s separating or falling apart – just keep working; it will come together by the time the last egg goes in.)
  8. Beat in the mustard followed by the cheeses and the chopped pecans.
  9. Using a small (1 1/2 teaspoon) cookie scoop or spoon, scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between each.
  10. Transfer to the oven and immediately turn down the temperature to 375°F.
  11. Bake for 12 minutes, then rotate the pans from front to back and top to bottom.
  12. Continue baking until the gougères are puffed, golden and firm enough to pick up, 15-20 minutes more.
  13. Remove and serve immediately.

4-Ingredient Pecan Balls


4-INGREDIENT PECAN BALLSThese easy 4-ingredient Pecan Balls (5 for a chocolate version) make a great game day snack, appetizer or anytime treat!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 heaping cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Optional chocolate drizzle

  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

 

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 275.
  2. Cream together the butter, sugar and flour with a hand mixer or stand mixer.
  3. Fold in the pecans and salt and stir until combined. The mixture will be crumbly but will stick to itself.
  4. Roll the dough into small balls (about 1/2-inch across) and place on an ungreased baking sheet. (You can wet your hands to keep the dough from sticking to you.)
  5. Bake at 275 for 45 minutes.
  6. Let cool completely on the baking sheet before transferring to an airtight container. These pecan puffs keep for up to a week on the counter or in the pantry.
  7. To make the chocolate sauce: Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute. Stir and microwave in 30 seconds intervals until chocolate is melted and can be stirred together. Drizzle melted chocolate over cooled pecan balls or dunk balls in the chocolate sauce.

Cook’s Notes

  • If your butter isn’t at room temperature — mine never is — you can microwave it for about 20 seconds to soften it. You don’t want it melted.
  • I buy pecan pieces – they are cheaper than whole, in-tact pecans, and they just need a rough chop to break up the big pieces for this recipe.
  • The mixture is crumbly but the dough does stick to itself to be able to roll into balls. You can wet your hands to keep the dough from sticking to you.
  • These are crumbly straight out of the oven, too, so be sure to let them cool on the pan so they can set up. Then they’re ready to share or transport!

Bacon-Wrapped, Cream Cheese and Craisin-Stuffed Jalapeño Peppers


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Ingredients

  • 1 16 oz. package thick-sliced bacon
  • 8 – 10 medium Jalapeños
  • 1 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup Craisins

Preparation

  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and set a wire cooling rack on top of it.
  3. Lay out the bacon evenly. Bake for about 8 minutes. (The bacon will not be fully cooked; this is just to get it started.)
  4. In the meantime, prepare your Jalapeños by slicing them in half. Then remove the seeds and white flesh with a spoon. (It’s highly recommended that you wear gloves during this process.)
  5. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese and Craisins.
  6. Then use a spatula to fill the Jalapeño halves with the cream cheese mixture. The cream cheese should be level with the top of the jalapeño half.
  7. Next, wrap your filled Jalapeños with the partially-cooked bacon. Depending on the size of the Jalapeños, you can use a whole slice of bacon or cut it in half. A whole slice is recommended. Just tuck the bacon into itself or the jalapeño to keep it tightly wrapped.
  8. Place your wrapped Jalapeños back onto the wire cooling rack in your foil-lined baking pan. Return to the oven set at 350 degrees F and bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the bacon is fully cooked.