As mentioned over at cheesemonger weblog, The Lady brought home three flavored Monterey Jacks cheeses made by Rocking W Dairy in Olathe, Colorado. We enjoyed the cheeses as a snack last night and this morning I awoke to the smell of bacon sizzling in the kitchen. Naturally I was interested and made my way to discover The Lady making quesadillas using the Rocking W Garlic Chives Monterey. She picked herbs from her herb garden, which is maintained by The Man along with tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and jalapenos from The Man’s garden. She suggested I share the recipe with you, my loyal readers. I also took pictures with her new Droid phone… no easy “feet” for a feline who lacks an opposable thumb…

Here’s what she did…

The lady's Herb Garden

Ingredients

Ingredients:

½ pound of bacon, fried to crisp but not burned

Fresh Herbs; The Lady used parsley, oregano, rosemary, chives and thyme

Bell Pepper, chopped

Jalapeno, half, chopped

Purple Onion, small, chopped

6 ounces Rocking W Garlic Chive Monterey Jack, shredded

4 Flour Tortillas

4 Eggs

Salt and Pepper to taste

Olive Oil


Preparation:

While the bacon fried and I rubbed The Lady’s legs to make sure she knew I was interested, she chopped the veggies and the herbs. Then she shredded the cheese and whisked the eggs.

She let the bacon drain on paper towels and then she crushed it up. At that point, I made my intentions clear and was rewarded with my own share of bacon… ahh… I love it when a plan comes together…

Using a bit of olive oil, The Lady scrambled the eggs easy and lightly sautéed the veggies and herb. Then she built the quesadilla inside the sauté pans. She browned them on one side and flipped them to brown the other side. She served them with a Pico de Gallo she made from The Man’s garden bounty (recipe follows) and guacamole from the salsa bar at the Hawthorne Fred Meyer.

Garden of The Man Pico de Gallo:


Ingredients (all veggies and herbs from The Garden of The Man):

Tomatoes; both heirloom and cherry

Jalapeno

Bell Pepper

Chives

Purple Onion

Oregano

Rosemary

Thyme

Taco Seasoning

Preparation:

Chop everything and toss together.

Add the Taco Seasoning to taste.

Refrigerate for an hour to allow flavors to blend.
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Pasta Marcella

June 11, 2011


The Lady loves to use ingredients she has on hand to construct meals. She calls it “The Kitchen Sink” approach to cooking. Having just returned from Dallas the night before, she feared the cupboard would be bare when breakfast rolled around. But to the delight of The Man and moi, your feeling-humble today Feline Foodie, she found enough items to make an omelette for The Man and a pasta dish for the two of us.

Ingredients:

Bacon – 4 strips
Bowtie Pasta (Any pasta you would use for mac n cheese would do – bowtie was what she had on hand)
1 Parmigiana Reggiano Rind
EVOO
Golden Glen Creamery’s Farmstead Butter
Tillamook 2-Year Vintage White Extra Sharp Cheddar (our “everyday” cheddar)
6 Eggs (3 for the omelette and 3 for the pasta
Fresh Herbs from the deck (She snipped Italian Parsley, Curly Parsley, Chives, Rosemary and Thyme)
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Tomato, chopped.

Preparation:

Fry bacon in pan you will later use to assemble and cook your eggs and cooked pasta. Put aside and leave bacon drippings in pan.
Boil water for pasta. Add the Parm rind to the water. Cook pasta. Drain; do not rinse. Toss rind.
While bacon and pasta are cooking, grate cheese, chop herbs and whisk your eggs.
Add salt and pepper to taste to the whisked eggs.
Divide bacon drippings into two pans (one will be the one you used to fry bacon) and add a little EVOO and butter to each pan.
Divide eggs and put into two pans to cook. Use medium heat on both.
Add equal parts of cheese and herbs to each.
In bacon pan, add your drained pasta. Toss pasta to coat with eggs and cheese and let cook, stirring to avoid excessive sticking.
Cook omelette using normal methods and hope it comes out looking more like an omelette rather than scrambled eggs – either way it will taste great.
Serve everything when eggs are cooked.
Garnish with chopped tomato.

Eat.

Clean kitchen.

If this cheese isn’t part of the Royal Wedding Cheese Plate, then perhaps The Lady and I should design our own Royal Wedding Cheese Plate with suggestions for Prince William (what’s up with not wanting to wear a wedding ring???) and the lovely soon-to-be Princess Kate… and that’s exactly what we’re going to do… stay tuned… but in the interim, here’s the next grilled cheese choice, with an English twist, as we celebrate “April is Grilled Cheese Month”:

Ingredients:

Crumpets

Golden Glen Creamery Farmstead Butter

Neal’s Yard/Appleby’s Cheshire

Cumberland Sausage – sliced length-wise

For simple instructions on how to assemble a perfect grilled cheese sandwich,please click here.

Also, please visit Golden Glen Creamery by clicking here.

Today is Jason’s Birthday… Jason is the son of The Lady and The Man and lives with his family in the Upper Midwest. He, too, has an observer… more on this later… in honor of his birthday, we cooked up this grilled cheese for him:

Ingredients:

Nine Grain Bread

Golden Glen Creamery Farmstead Butter

Saxon Homestead Saxony Alpine-Style Cheese

Bartlett Pears

Cinnamon

For simple instructions on how to assemble a perfect grilled cheese sandwich, please click here.

You can visit Saxon Homestead Cheeses by clicking here.

Also, please visit Golden Glen Creamery by clicking here.

As we begin our month-long tribute to the ubiquitous Grilled Cheese sandwich, I found an article that features several local Portland Restaurants and Food Carts that feature or offer Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. My thanks to Kyle O’Brien and The Oregonian for sharing this “Grilled Cheese Guide”:

By Kyle O’Brien, Special to The Oregonian

The lure of melted cheese is difficult to resist. It hearkens back to childhood, when mom used to take two slices of bread, slap some cheese in the middle and grill it to gooey, melted perfection. But some see grilled cheese as starter food, something easy to make that’s only fit during your younger years, before your palate has matured.

For so long, the grilled cheese sandwich has been relegated to the kids menu, a culinary afterthought for those in the single-digit age set. But, lately, grilled cheese has been pulled from the back of the menu and given a loftier status, on par with panini and brisket. The NBC show “America’s Next Great Restaurant” even features a contestant who sees the power of cheese as so strong that he’s pitching Meltworks, a restaurant that boasts grilled cheese for grown-ups.

The downturn in the economy has found people eating in more, or searching out comfort foods at restaurants. This helped spawn the latest interest in the simplicity of the grilled cheese sandwich. More restaurants are including a version, often adding grown-up flourishes, such as smoked jalapeños, sauteed mushrooms and fancier cheeses.

Portland has options all over the city — at retro diners, upscale cheese bars and a few requisite carts. This trend has clearly gone beyond Wonder bread with Velveeta.

With April being National Grilled Cheese Month, and April 12 National Grilled Cheese Day, this spring is the perfect time to get your grill on.

For the list of restaurants/carts and grilled specials, click here for the tour – it’s well worth the click…

Photo Copyright 2011 by Doug Beghtel for The Oregonian

Up next: #1 of 30 Grilled Cheese Sandwiches created by The Lady featuring cheeses reviewed on our cheesemonger blog…

As many of you know The Lady grew up in The South and that’s where her culinary heart lives and breathes.

The Man was rummaging around in the kitchen cabinets this morning when The Lady announced she planned to make some biscuits for breakfast. The Man swooned and asked “How long before they are ready?” (Code for: hope you are planning to do this soon because I am hungry.)

The Lady loves biscuits with most everything and anything. She decided to add some cheese and still had part of the Old Amsterdam Aged Gouda wedge in the fridge and decided that would be a winner.

She is a Southern at heart, but The Lady is no snob and finds that Bisquick® works as well as the way her grandmother Lilly taught her as a young child.

Here’s what she did:

Preheat oven to 450°.

Ingredients:

2 ¼ cups of Bisquick

1 cup grated Old Amsterdam

1 Chicken Bouillon cube crushed

2/3 cup 1% milk

Preparation:

Grate the cheese and place in mixing bowl.

Add Bisquick and bouillon. Mix well.

Add milk and stir until thoroughly wet and mixed.

Form biscuits and place in oiled baking pan.

Cook until brown – about 10 minutes.

Serve with butter and Dalmatian Fig Spread.

Make 8 biscuits.

Two additions: these biscuits were “to-die-for” good and did you know that The Lady was the 1968 “Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tommorow” at her high school? Explains a lot, doesn’t it?

When The Man and The Lady first met, The Man had never had grits, a truly Southern breakfast side dish. Once The Lady cooked grits for him, all bets were off. He fell in love with grits (and The Lady).

This morning, The Lady delighted The Man with grits with a twist… she added grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. The man gave them two-thumbs up.

Here’s what she did:

Ingredients:

½ Cup Quick Grits (they cook in 5 minutes)

2 Cups Chicken Broth (or water)

2 Tablespoons Tillamook Unsalted Butter

¼ Cup Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preparation:

Bring broth (or water) to a boil and reduce to low heat.

Add grits slowly (adding them all at once will cause lumps and lumpy grits suck)

Cook about five minutes until liquid is absorbed. Stir to keep grits from sticking to bottom of pan.

Add butter.

Add Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Serve with your favorite breakfast staples. Personally, I prefer my grits with hickory cured Andrias davidianus; The Man prefers bacon… sheesh… humankinds… so boring when it comes to meat…