Cilantro & Roasted Jalapeno Pumpkinseed Pesto with Aged Cheddar & Pickled Red Onions

May 1st, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2½ cups pesto and 3 cups of pickled onions


For the Cilantro Pumpkin Seed Jalapeno Pesto

1½ cups fresh cilantro leaves
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon lime zest
Juice of 2 limes
3 roasted jalapeños, deseeded, peeled and chopped
½ cup pumpkin seeds
1½ teaspoons salt
¼-½ cup olive oil

For the Pickled Onions

1½ cups water (boiling)
1½ cups citrus champagne vinegar (can substitute regular vinegar)
1 tablespoon salt
¼ cup tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 2 limes
4 medium red onions, sliced thin and blanched
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves

Aged Cheddar


Place all ingredients, except the oil, in food processor and pulse until chopped pretty fine. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil through the top until the pesto reaches desired consistency. Add more for a “looser” pesto and less for a “chunkier” version. Season to taste with a little more salt if needed.

Shake together all ingredients except the red onions, lime juice and cilantro leaves until the sugar and salt dissolve and are incorporated fully. Add the onions and the lime juice and stir well, making sure that the onions are fully submerged in the liquid. Cover tightly with a lid and let stand while the mixture cools. (This cooling process will also partially cook the onions). Once cool, add the cilantro leaves and refrigerate for about 6 hours before serving.

Slice baguette and toast in the oven. Spread pesto on toasts and top pickled onion and aged cheddar.

*Store pesto and pickled onions in  airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Cheddar Potato Pierogies with Bacon Fried Onions & Chive Sour Cream

March 9th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 20 pierogies


For the dough (should be made at least an hour in advance)

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 egg, beaten
¾ cup water

For the filling

3 russet potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed
¾ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped

For the Bacon Fried Onions & Chive Sour Cream

3 slices bacon
1 medium red onion, halved and sliced
1½ cups sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped


For the dough

In a large mixture bowl combine all ingredients and mix until a stick dough forms, using your hands to bind and mix, adding more water or flour as needed. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a plastic bag and refrigerate for about an hour before using.

For the filling

Mix together all filling ingredients until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the Bacon Fried Onions & Chive Sour Cream

In a hot cast iron skillet with a small amount of oil, cook the bacon until crisp and drain on a paper towel. In the same pan on medium heat, cook the red onions until caramelized, about 12 minutes. Drain onions on paper towels. In a small mixing bowl combine the sour cream and chives. Crumble in the cooked bacon, mix well and set aside.

Roll out the peirogi dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut out either circles or squares that are approximately 4-5 inches in diameter. Place about 2 tablespoons of filling in the center of each shape and fold the dough over the filling. Seal the sides carefully and well, making sure to use damp fingers. When all the pierogies are made, heat a large skillet with a little oil on a medium high heat. Sear the pierogies on each side until they are lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes per side. Serve with a dollop of the Bacon Fried Onions & Chive Sour Cream and a few onions.

Cheddar Smashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions and Roasted Jalapeños

December 16th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4


5 medium Yukon gold potatoes, boiled and chopped
½ cup caramelized onions
1-2 roasted jalapeños, stems removed (whole), chopped
2 teaspoons salt (more to taste)
3 teaspoons Tabasco
½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
Herbs for garnish


In a well oiled hot cast iron skillet smash the potatoes with a potato masher, cooking and searing to get some brown color. After a few minutes add the caramelized onion and jalapeños and mix and continue to sear. Season with salt and Tabasco and continue to cook and mix. Reduce the heat to low and add the cheddar, mix gently and allow cheddar to melt in. Garnish with herbs of choice!

Turkey Pot Pies with Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuit Tops

November 22nd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 8 Mini Pot Pies

A southern spin on the classic pot pie! Who doesn’t love biscuits and cheddar, with a mix of turkey pot pie!


Turkey Pies

1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1 medium celery root, peeled and chopped
2 ribs of celery, chopped
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
¼ cup fresh thyme, chopped
¼ cup fresh rosemary, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups of turkey meat, precooked and shredded or cut into chunks
Cheddar biscuit dough (recipe follows)

Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits

1½ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed
¼ cup fresh chives, chopped fine
1 cup sharp cheddar, grated
1 cup buttermilk


Pre-heat oven to 375°F.

For the pies:
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat, cook onions until slightly cooked or translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add carrots, celery root, and celery, and sauté another 3 to 4 minutes. Add fresh herbs, season with salt and pepper, and add chicken broth. Add turkey to the mixture, and turn heat to low and simmer, about 15 minutes or until the celery root is soft. Take off burner, and set aside. Until golden brown. Serve warm.

For the Biscuits:
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add butter, and crumble mixture with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal with some little lumps about the size of a pea. Add chives, cheddar, and buttermilk, and mix until a dough forms. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a ½-inch cookie cutter.

To assemble the pies:
Lightly grease ramekins with butter. Fill up ramekins about ¾ full with turkey pie mixture. Place one biscuit on top of each pie in the ramekin.

Place all ramekins on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Cheddar Cheese and Potato Pierogi

October 8th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

(United States)
Serves 4 to 8 (makes about 40 dumplings)


For the Dough

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus some extra for dusting
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg, beaten
¼ cup warm water
3 tablespoons sour cream
½ teaspoon salt

For the Filling

2 medium baking potatoes, such as russet
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or bacon fat
1 teaspoon salt (omit if using bacon fat)
1 small yellow onion, chopped fine
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ pound extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (about 1 heaping cup)

For Serving

4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted just before serving
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup finely chopped fresh chives


1. Make the Dough: Place 1¾ cups of the flour in a large bowl and keep the remaining ¼ cup handy. In another bowl, whisk together the egg, sour cream, melted butter, warm water, and salt. Add the egg mixture to the flour and mix until all the liquid has been absorbed. Work the dough with your hands into one manageable ball. If the dough is wet and sticky, work in some of the remaining flour, a little at a time, until it no longer sticks to your fingers.

2. Place the dough on a floured surface and knead for 2 or 3 minutes. The dough will be somewhat firm and smooth. Return the dough ball to the bowl, cover, and let it rest for 30 minutes.

3. Make the Filling: Place the potatoes in a small pot, pour in enough water to cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer until fork-tender, about 30 minutes. Drain the potatoes and place them on a folded kitchen towel. Once they are cool enough to handle, peel off their skins, place the flesh in a large bowl, and mash until mostly smooth.

4. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and stir frequently until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Mix the onion into the mashed potatoes and set aside to cool.

5. Add the Cheddar cheese, egg yolk, salt, and pepper to the cooled potato mixture and mix well.

6. Assemble the Dumplings: Line a tray with a smooth kitchen towel and sprinkle with a little flour. Have ready the dough and the filling.

7. Knead the dough once or twice on a floured surface, divide it into 4 equal pieces, and set 3 of them aside under a kitchen towel. Shape the remaining piece into a ball and roll it out until it’s about ½ inch thick. Sprinkle with flour if it gets sticky.

8. Using the cookie cutter, cut out as many rounds as you can, usually 8 to 10. Collect all scraps from around the rounds and put them aside under a damp kitchen towel for later use.

9. Lay flat 1 to 5 dough rounds. Brush each round with a very thin coating of water to make it sticky enough to seal. Center a rounded teaspoon of filling on top of each round, fold each neatly in half, pushing out any air, and pinch to seal. Dab a little water along the edges, if needed, for a better seal. Place the assembled dumplings
in a single layer on the prepared tray and keep them covered with a kitchen towel while you work. Once you have assembled the first batch of dumplings, continue with the remaining dough and filling. Combine all the dough scraps, knead them into a ball, roll it out, cut out as many rounds as you can, and fill and fold those too.

10. Cover the tray of assembled dumplings and place in the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes before cooking. Chilling them helps to set the dough, making the dumplings firm and toothsome when cooked instead of puffy and soft. Set aside the number of dumplings that you would like to cook and keep the rest frozen for up to 6 months.

11. Cook the Dumplings: Fill a large pot halfway with salted water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium for a steady simmer.

12. Gently drop up to 20 dumplings, a few at a time, into the simmering water. Stir gently to prevent sticking. Cook until all of them are floating, about 3 minutes, then cook for 2 minutes longer. (If cooking frozen pierogi, add them directly to the simmering water and increase the cooking time by 1 minute. Do not allow the pierogi to
thaw before cooking.)

13. Remove the dumplings with a slotted spoon, place them in the large bowl, and drizzle with a ladle of the cooking liquid to prevent sticking. Cook the remaining dumplings and place them in the bowl with another ladle of the cooking liquid.

14. Drain the pierogi and place them in a large, shallow serving bowl. Drizzle the dumplings with melted butter, spoon sour cream over the top, sprinkle with chives, and serve.

© Recipe courtesy of Wai Hon Chu

Cheddar Chive Apple Puffs

December 20th, 2009 § 1 comment § permalink

Makes 12 puffs

**Although we normally recommend making dough from scratch, this recipe calls for already prepared puff pastry.


2 Fuji apples, cut into small cubes
1 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
½ cup fresh chives, chopped fine
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 package or 2 sheets, puff pastry, thawed
2 egg whites mixed with 2 tablespoons water


In a mixing bowl mix the apples, cheddar, salt, pepper and chives. To assemble the puffs, cut puff pastry into 12 squares. Add a few tablespoons of the apple mixture to each square and fold pastry in a triangular shape. Press down on the edges to seal. Place puffs on a greased cookie sheet and brush with egg white mixture. Place in a 375° oven that has been preheated for 30 minutes and then bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and cool.

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