September 2015 Challenge: Cheese


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001

Here's my daughter's entry-Maple Glazed, Bacon Wrapped, Cheese Stuffed Hot Dogs. Might not fit the theme really great, but wanted to post anyway.  I first did this dish with her a few months back.  The other day she wanted to make them again.  I didn't complain.

The Maple Glaze is a mix of maple syrup, ketchup, sriracha, and just a bit of dry mustard
Joined Sep 8, 2015
Everything is better with bacon,  ...  everything is better with cheese, ....  WE HAVE A WINNER!

Thanks for the pizza method description Phatch, and for the discussion everyone. 
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Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
There was Oaxacan cheese in my taco last night but I didn't take a picture. 
Joined May 7, 2012
I've not used a convection oven and my current oven is from the early 80s. It came with my house when I bought it. I've not had a reason to replace it to find out if I'm right about convection oven and pizza. 

The big hassle in cooking high quality pizza for a family of 5 is moving pizza through the single oven to the table fast enough that it works for a meal.

The issues:
  • A single baking  stone doesn't make a very big pizza.
  • Lining the whole rack with tiles creates heating issues on subsequent pizzas, at least in my oven.
  • Cooking low in the oven crisps the bottom of the pizza but can leave it doughy a bit higher in the crust and the cheese doesn't brown properly. 
  • Corn meal, while a fun texture is insufficient to the task of slipping pizzas around. Parchment paper is the answer. Much less mess and easier to do.
  • I like how pre-heated cast iron cooks pizza dough over baking stones. This gives me a size limit of 12 inches with minimal mess. I can go up to 14 in theory but tend to drip more in the oven which I dislike doing. 
I have two cast iron pizza pans. A Lodge and a Camp Chef. The Lodge is my preferred version. Place the Camp Chef on the middle rack and the Lodge on the upper rack. Turn your oven as high as it goes and preheat 30 minutes.  Lodge on top where it's low rim makes it easy to work in the cramped space and the camp chef in the middle where you've got more room to work with its higher rim.

Slip the first pizza on the top rack. Close and bake.

Assemble the second pizza. Slip it on the middle rack. This will stagger you pizzas about 5 minutes apart but the lower rack tends to cook more slowly and brown less. The first two pizzas are the best. Let each "stone" reheat 5 minutes between loading with a  pizza to recover heat. With the staggered cooking times, this works well. More time yields a better pizza, but breaks the flow of food to the table. 

Towards the end of your baking frenzy, you'll have lost enough heat that you need to finish the middle rack pizzas on the top rack to get the browning you want. But at this point the eating pace has slowed down as well, so it works out OK. 

Convection would help keep the heat more even between layers such that I could work with more spacing for more even cooking. I suspect I'd get better heat recovery too. At least in the theory in my head. It could also just cook the outer edges faster than the centers. 
Have you tried terra cotta flower pot bases? I find that I can get them hot enough for a large crust, and they're cheap enough that I can keep a stack of 5 on the middle rack, rotating them out after each pizza. they're the only thing I'll use for pizza anymore, short of a brick oven. in the summer I'll toss them on the grill and do pizza outside to get away from the heat in the house. 


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
I wouldn't trust them to be food safe
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Joined Sep 8, 2015
I used the gas grill last time we made pizza since it was 95 that day and we don't have AC in the SF bay area.  (I made banana bread on it too.)  Worked great and plan to do it regularly.  An additional advantage is I can get the gas grill up to nearly 600 degrees.  My wife's way distant cousin in Lucca, Italy though it was hilarious.

Has anyone tried bottled water?  The idea being municipal water supplies vary in the amount of additives and minerals and may lead to inconsistent results.  Just read this recently so haven't tried it.  Or maybe I should just build a pizza oven and be done with it.
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Joined Sep 5, 2008
That dish is a classic in France! We have it on a regular basis here, but with a white sauce rather than a Béchamel (white sauce is like Béchamel but with water instead of milk, resulting in a lighter sauce). My wife usually adds shredded ham. And we use Gruyère instead of Parmeggiano. 

In any case your version looks beautiful, love that last picture. 
Joined Apr 3, 2008
So much cheese y'all I love it, keep it coming! Those enchiladas look awesome, I've never made enchiladas before, I want to try making them now! And I love those cheese dogs, did your daughter stuff them herself P pete ?

ordo ordo my most favorite sinful comfort food is a bowlful of bechamel. This looks divine.
Joined Jun 27, 2012
Kudos @Koukouvagia  for this month's ingredient choice!

We love cheese but get stuck on the same dishes....

Looks like it will be a tough choice for first place lol.



Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001

My daughter is 8, just about to turn 9 and we realized that we had never had fondue with her so we decided to remedy that tonight.  Tonight's fondue was a Cheddar and Hard Cider Fondue.

1 1/2# Sharp Cheddar, shredded

6oz. Gruyere, shredded

2 cups Hard Cider (I actually had some Redd's Apple Ale so I used that this time)

1 Tablespoon Cider Vinegar


couple of splashes of Hot Sauce

2 Tablespoons Bourbon

For dipping we had:

Sourdough Bread

Pretzel Bread

Rye Bread






Summer Sausage

She had a lot of fun, but she really wants chocolate fondue next time!!!
Joined Sep 13, 2015
In regards to Velveeta. Technically, according to the ingredients on the box it is made of cheddar and "dairy". With a nice dose of preservatives. Otherwise aside from it's lack luster plain profile, it's low melting point and bland-ness makes it a great base for cheese sauces! Just add a little milk and spice it up a bit with some Machego(Stilton, shaved Parm, whatever), and cayenne!
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Joined Jan 8, 2010
Great entries so far /img/vbsmilies/smilies/thumb.gif

Another easy one from me:

The important ingredients:

And the other ones:

Some home made chorizo sausages that I used instead of mince, tomatoes, nachos and sweet corn

I took the skin of the sausages and fried with a couple of pieces of tomato

Covered with sweet corn

Sliced tomato on top

And nachos on top of that

The grated cheeses on top of that and then into a hot oven

And the end result!

Nice comfort food, but difficult to plate nicely.

2 attempt as I had 2 helpings /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif

Joined Sep 14, 2015
Had to be quick before someone else posts a cheese-tomato toasted sandwich.

Not the best of pictures, but here we go anyway /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

Some home made sourdough

A bit of sri racha for some kick


fresh marjoram or oregano (I had both, one died and I don't know which one survived)

The cheeses (in plastic a piece of mature cheddar, the other is some imitation Gouda)

All assembled

And out of the oven

It was tasty!
Oh my gosh....I want this for lunch today!!
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