January 2020 Cooking Challenge - cheese and veggies

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So December has passed, and the various holidays celebrated in various ways usually involve food. For instance, the Christmas dinner I had with my wife's family showcased a stunning crown roast of pork, getting the finishing touches applied:

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Complex preparations are very nice, tasty, and usually worth the effort. But sometimes just as worthwhile are simple and satisfying dishes like a grilled cheese sandwich. Especially a favorite variation of mine, with a slice of tomato added.

So after the extravagance of holiday wonders, let's get back to some basics. Grilled cheese and tomato is not a very broad approach conducive to many creative variations, so I'll expand it to dishes including cheese and vegetables. Like a bean and cheese burrito, eggplant parmesan, or a twice baked potato laden with cheddar.

By highlighting vegetables I am not excluding meat, you are more than welcome to crumble some crispy bacon on that loaded potato, or fry up some pancetta for that mozzarella stuffed portabella. And though I am touting simplicity, feel free to get really creative and go for some exotic souffle, innovative risotto, or stunning ravioli and sauce. Or just a big, greasy plate of poutine.

Have at it.

mjb.

ps: rules in next post
 
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Joined Nov 5, 2007
The Rules
  • The challenge begins on the 1st of every month. The last entry must be made by the last day of the month.
  • You may post multiple entries.
  • All entries must be cooked during the month of the challenge.
  • If you use a documented recipe, please cite your source.
  • Entries should include the name of your dish and a picture of the final product. Sharing personal recipes and pictures of the process are not mandatory but extremely helpful.
  • The winner is chosen by the person who posted the challenge, and is announced after the last day of submissions. The decision is final and falls entirely at the discretion of the challenger.
  • Submitting an entry makes you eligible to win. If you do not wish to be considered for the win you may still participate in the challenge, but make your wishes known to the challenger.
  • The winner’s bounty includes praise, virtual high-fives, and the responsibility of posting the next month’s challenge. That entails choosing a theme, posting a Challenge thread that includes the guidelines, checking in on the submissions regularly during the month, and promptly choosing a winner at the end of the challenge.
 
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Joined Oct 9, 2008
Good theme! I'll have to fend my daughter off with a stick to take photos -- she's a cheese hound! -- but I think it's a good challenge for the long, slow part of the winter.
 
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Joined Nov 5, 2007
-- but I think it's a good challenge for the long, slow part of the winter.
One thing about this theme now is that so many of us live in Northern hemisphere temperate zones. This could have been a better challenge later in the year when more folks have their gardens going strong, and could use fresh, home grown veggies. But I don't think that is going to stop many people, there's lots available year round.

mjb.
 
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Southern hemisphere here, but so hot and dry that there os not much around.
But I:m sure I'll find something.
By the way, tomato is accepted as vegetable,?
 
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Joined May 28, 2015
By chance I made this which fits the brief. Beetroot, Burrata & Balsamic.

Its a tried and tested trio which has a pleasingly alliterated title. Deliciously creamy burrata with intense balsamic and earthy beetroot. The finger lime ‘caviar’ adds refreshing bursts of acidity. The balsamic vinegar was reduced by placing in a saucepan over a low heat and reducing by two thirds until syrupy. The parsley oil recipe may be found here. The golden beetroot was baked in foil and thinly sliced. A few thinly sliced radishes added too.

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Sigh ... choices, choices, choices! Veggies and cheeses? The options are endless and thrilling!
 
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Joined Jun 7, 2017
By chance I made this which fits the brief. Beetroot, Burrata & Balsamic.

Its a tried and tested trio which has a pleasingly alliterated title. Deliciously creamy burrata with intense balsamic and earthy beetroot. The finger lime ‘caviar’ adds refreshing bursts of acidity. The balsamic vinegar was reduced by placing in a saucepan over a low heat and reducing by two thirds until syrupy. The parsley oil recipe may be found here. The golden beetroot was baked in foil and thinly sliced. A few thinly sliced radishes added too.

View attachment 67325


By chance I made this which fits the brief. Beetroot, Burrata & Balsamic.

Its a tried and tested trio which has a pleasingly alliterated title. Deliciously creamy burrata with intense balsamic and earthy beetroot. The finger lime ‘caviar’ adds refreshing bursts of acidity. The balsamic vinegar was reduced by placing in a saucepan over a low heat and reducing by two thirds until syrupy. The parsley oil recipe may be found here. The golden beetroot was baked in foil and thinly sliced. A few thinly sliced radishes added too.

View attachment 67325


View attachment 67324
 
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Joined Jun 7, 2017
By chance I made this which fits the brief. Beetroot, Burrata & Balsamic.

Its a tried and tested trio which has a pleasingly alliterated title. Deliciously creamy burrata with intense balsamic and earthy beetroot. The finger lime ‘caviar’ adds refreshing bursts of acidity. The balsamic vinegar was reduced by placing in a saucepan over a low heat and reducing by two thirds until syrupy. The parsley oil recipe may be found here. The golden beetroot was baked in foil and thinly sliced. A few thinly sliced radishes added too.

View attachment 67325


View attachment 67324
Stunning! Definitely going to try this - even if the veggies are from the market. Will probably sub in some Key lime until Finger Limes are back in season. Thanks for sharing!
 
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Joined Jul 13, 2012
Here is one of my favorite Lasagna recipes. I never use pasta instead I use sliced eggplant. In this case I wanted a vegetarian version and made a "bolognese" sauce with shredded onion, carrot, minced garlic, spicy tomato paste, tomato sauce and fire roasted tomatoes. I finely chopped 8oz of mushrooms and shallot ala duxelles and cooked them off in a dry pan with salt and pepper - no oil! you want to cook the water out of them it lends them a meat like character. When dry I added them to the sauce.

I salted the eggplant and rested then oiled and par baked in the oven. When they came out and the sauce reduced I assembled my dish. Layer of sauce, layer of eggplant, ricotta, Italian cheese blend, eggplant, repeat. Bake till done and let it cool because it's freaking' hot when it comes out. It's a great dish to make and we love it as well as friends who I've made it for. Try it - not having meat won't kill you - Ok maybe a little. :lol:






The first one is always the hardest to get out!!
 
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Joined Jul 13, 2012
That almost resembles moussaka ;)
A little I guess I just don't see a need for a lot of pasta all the time. I'm trying to de-carb some at my age - LOL. (Ok I save my carb ration for my local brewery - there I said it Ha Ha.) But seriously we like eggplant it's a great vegetable and the mushroom duxelles added to the sauce gave it a great meaty texture and tasted great. Sorry the last pic sucked, but my kitchen is a combo of LED and CFL lighting and being dark before dinner doesn't help. Maybe an update Tuesday in daylight.
 
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