The Man and I love The Lady on vacation… she cooks; she bakes; in general she spoils the two of us…

Last week she met Jim Tassielli, Northwest Sales Merchandiser for Sartori Foods and he graciously sent along a few cheese wedges for moi, your humble Feline Foodie, to taste and share with The Man and The Lady. One of the wedges was Gorgonola Dolcino and The Lady immediately whipped up a tangy salad dressing using it and serving it on lettuce wedges and chopped veggies from The Garden of The Man.

Yesterday, she decided to use the rest to make a pasta dish inspired by “Blue Cheese Chicken Pasta Lauren”. Here’s how The Lady adapted the recipe:

Ingredients:

1 Pound Pasta – The Lady likes penne best, but you use whatever you like or have in the cupboard

4 Tbsp. White Truffle Butter, divided

2 Tbsp. EVOO, divided

2 Tbsp. Bacon Grease, divided

Splash of Chardonnay

3 Red Onions, thinly sliced (Fresh from The Garden of The Man)

2 Tbsp. Sugar

6-8 Fresh Button Mushrooms, sliced

6 Boneless Chicken Thighs, salted and peppered to taste  – The Lady only uses Foster Farms

Fresh Herbs from The garden of The Man, chopped – The Lady used oregano, thyme, rosemary, parsley

4 Ounces Sartori Gorgonzola Dolcino, crumbled

1 Cup Freshly Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preparation:

Boil water for pasta – The Lady adds chicken bouillon rather than salt.

In a large saucepan add half of each of the butter, EVOO and Bacon grease. Melt on medium heat. Add the onions, sugar and chardonnay. Cut for about 30 minutes to caramelize, stirring every five minutes until they turn deep caramel color. Add the mushrooms for the last five minutes. The sugar adds sweetness.

In another saucepan, melt the other halves of butter, EVOO and bacon grease on medium heat. Saute the chicken thighs until cooked through and a little brown on each side. Set aside; when slightly cooled, slice into strips and toss with chopped herbs.

When the pasta is done, drain but do not rinse. Place in serving bowl and immediately add the gorgonzola and parm/reg. Mix and allow the cheeses to melt.

Add the chicken and caramelized onions to the pasta.

Toss and serve.

Get The Man to clean the kitchen… he’s really good about that…

For dessert The Lady made and served Le Gateau Nantaise… The Man and I have died and gone to culinary heaven with The Lady home and cooking. God Bless vacation…

FTC Full Disclosure – The cheesemaker/manufacturer sent me their product, hoping I would review the product/cheese.

Member, Association of Food Bloggers

A few months back The Lady designed a cheesecake using Beecher’s Marco Polo and fresh raspberries. We posted the recipe on this blog and you can view it by clicking  here. Today’s grilled cheese is inspired by her cheesecake creation.

Ingredients:

Golden Glen Creamery Farmstead Butter

King’s Hawaiian Sweet Bread

Beecher’s Marco Polo

Bonne Maman Raspberry Preserves

Dark Chocolate Shavings

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

Also, please visit Golden Glen Creamery by clicking here.

You can visit Beecher’s Website by clicking here.

The Lady brought home a new (to her kiosk new…) 70% Butterfat Brie from Lactalis of France: Grand Margaux. You can read my review by clicking here.

If you follow our original blog you know that The Lady is involved in a 12-week contest at work to win a one-week trip to France which is sponsored by Lactalis. We are reviewing all the cheeses featured in the contest and this grilled cheese features one of the “Send Marcella to France” contest cheeses…

April 4th Grilled Cheese Special

Ingredients:

French Bread

Golden Glen Creamery Farmstead Butter

Lactalis of France’s Grand Margaux Brie

Bonne Maman  Strawberry Preserves

For 10 Easy Steps to Build a Grilled Cheese Sandwich, please click here.



As mentioned, anyone who can find my blog knows how to assemble a grilled cheese sandwich. Therefore, instructions will not be included only ingredients and “tips”.

Ingredients:

Crave Brothers Mascarpone

Fresh Blueberries

Dark Chocolate Shavings

Cream Cheese Pound Cake Slices

Golden Glen Creamery Butter (for Pound Cake Slices)

This is a dessert grilled cheese and would be great in the afternoon with High Tea.

Tip: Cheese should always be of a bigger proportion than the bread.

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…

April is Grilled Cheese Month as proclaimed, most likely, by my friends at the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board and a great proclamation this is!!

To honor this much revered month, I’ll be posting a new grilled cheese sandwich recipe everyday… not complete instructions because anyone who can find this blog, is smart enough to assemble and grill a cheese sandwich…

#1  will be posted a bit later today… I’m starting with a dessert grilled cheese… stay tuned…

Pepper and raspberries go well together to make a sweet and spicy pairing. I thought taking Beechers’ Marco Polo Cheese which has green and black peppercorns from Madagascar and fresh raspberries would make a sweet, spicy and savory cheese cake…

Crust:

Ingredients:

12 Just Desserts Fudge Brownie Bites, crushed in food processor

2 ½  Tablespoons Unsalted Tillamook Butter, melted

Butter to grease pan.

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 375°.

Cover the outside of a 9” springform pan with foil (to avoid water bath leaks). Wipe some butter around the bottom of the pan.

Pulverize the brownie bites in a food processor. Mix the crushed brownies with melted butter and press mixture into bottom of springform pan and up the sides a bit.

Bake 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow cooling to room temperature.

Reduce oven temperature to 350°.

Cheese Cake:

Ingredients:

2 Cups sugar

1 Pound Beechers Marco Polo Cheese, Room temperature, shredded

2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature

1 lemon, zested

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 tablespoons flour

5 eggs plus 2 egg yolks

1/2 cup sour cream

2 small cartons fresh raspberries

Preparations:

Combine cream cheese, Marco Polo cheese, sugar, zest, and vanilla in a food processor and process until light and creamy. Transfer to a Mixmaster and use paddle. (You can continue to use food processor if large enough – mine isn’t.)

Add the flour; add eggs and yolks 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Add sour cream and mix until incorporated well.

Gently fold in fresh raspberries.

Butter inside of pan above the crust.

Pour mixture into prepared and foil-wrapped pan.  Fill the roasting pan with enough hot water to come half way up the sides of the pan. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until internal temperature reaches 165°. You may need to tent cake to avoid over-browning of the top.

Transfer cake to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

Refrigerate cake overnight before serving.

Serve with raspberry sauce.

Sauce:

Ingredients:

2 pints fresh raspberries

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup water

1 teaspoon orange zest

1 Airline Size bottle of Frangelico

Few drops lemon juice

Preparation:

Combine raspberries, sugar, water, and orange zest and cook until berries are soft and liquid is syrupy, about 10 minutes.

Cool slightly.

Puree in a blender.

Strain through a fine sieve, transfer to a bowl, and refrigerate, covered, until completely chilled.

Stir in Frangelico and lemon juice.

Top Chilled Cheesecake with 2 more cartons of fresh raspberries.

Drizzle top and each slice with raspberry Sauce.