Cheese

Baked Goat Cheese with Pepper Jelly
By Annie Copps

Tuesday, October 12, 2010
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goat cheese with pepper jelly on crackers

It's happened to all of us: Unexpected guests. Whether it's an impromptu party or maybe you even forgot the date—switching gears at the last minute could put even the greatest of hosts into a state of confusion.

No worries. At least when it comes to the food. I always have a log of goat cheese in the freezer (it defrosts very quickly) and there are any number of things you can do with this versatile cheese—which, by the way, New England makes some of the best goat cheese in the nation.

Give a baguette or sliced Ciabatta loaf a good smear of the cheese, then spoon some pesto or chopped herbs (fresh or dry) on top plus a drizzle of olive oil, then throw it in the oven. Even better, add some pepper jelly.

We are quite fond of Westport Rivers Vineyard's Pinot Noir pepper jelly—but use your own or a good quality store bought version. Now go set the table—the guests will be arriving any minute!

Total time: 30 minutes
Prep time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients
4 ounces creamy goat cheese, shaped into
4 equal patties, about 1/2 inch thick
4 slices ciabatta or other chewy Italian bread, lightly toasted
4 tablespoons pepper jelly

Directions
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Set goat cheese on toasted bread and bake until puffy and warmed all the way through, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to sit for a few minutes, then spoon pepper jelly over the top.

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annie coppsAnnie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.

Lidia’s Pasta
By Lidia Bastianich

Monday, August 9, 2010
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You may not know what you want to cook tonight but just take me to your cupboard, and together we’ll make a quick and delicious pasta dish.

All you need to feed a family of 4 to 6 is the following ingredients.

Ingredients
1 pound pasta
Some olive oil
Sliced garlic
Pinch of peperoncino
And any of the following will do: olives, capers, anchovies, or any canned beans

Now that we have scoured your cupboard, pour yourself a glass of Morellino “La Mozza” wine and begin!

Directions
Get the pasta cooking, meanwhile in a skillet with extra virgin olive oil, cook the sliced garlic over medium heat until golden. Add peperoncino and a choice of any of the other extra ingredients I suggested and season with salt. Cook together for 3 minutes, add a ladleful of pasta cooking water so that it forms into a sauce. The flavor gets even better if you happen to have a little shredded basil or parsley around, and you just throw it in at the end.

Drain the pasta and plop into the sauce. Turn off the fire, sprinkle a little grated cheese. And voilà, a meal challenge is overcome and a great pasta dish is ready for dinner.
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Lidia Matticchio Bastianich was born in Pola, Istria, on the northeastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. She is a cookbook author, restaurateur, and TV chef extraordinaire. Watch Lidia’s Italy Saturdays at 1:30pm on WGBH 2 or Sundays at 4pm on WGBX 44.

Morel Mushroom Frittata
By Annie Copps

Monday, August 9, 2010
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A frittata is essentially a quiche of Italian ancestry, without the pastry. This recipe for morel mushroom frittata makes a fast, but elegant, weeknight meal.

Preparation Time: 35 minutes
Start to Finish Time: 60 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups chopped morels
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
8 large eggs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions
Heat oven to 300°. In a 10-inch round skillet, melt butter. Add morels and sauté 7 minutes. Stir in chopped chives and sage. Remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, beat eggs. Stir in cheese, plus salt and pepper to taste. Pour egg mixture over mushrooms and stir. Make sure the egg mixture reaches all the way to the edges of the skillet.

Bake 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn on your broiler. Return to the oven on the top rack, and brown 3 to 5 minutes. Let it sit 5 minutes before slicing.

(Courtesy: Yankee Magazine)

___________________________________________________________
annie coppsAnnie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.

Tips for Grating Cheese
By Lidia Bastianich

Friday, August 6, 2010
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triangle of cheese

Grate that cheese please.

Here are my favorite grating tips for three wonderful Italian cheeses. Whether it's Grana Padano, Parmeggiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano, I always buy my fresh cheese in a chunk at the store rather than already grated. I like to grate my cheese as close as possible to when I plan on serving my dish.

I add freshly grated cheese to the pot of the fire right before serving. And when I have grated all I can I always save the rinds and plop them into my soups and sauces. This imparts a delicious depth of flavor.

For more tips, check out my latest cookbook, Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy.

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