The Great Cheese Betrayal

Show of hands—who loves cheese? If you didn’t raise your hand, you should probably quit reading, because the three recipes I am offering today do nothing, if not provide in-your-face cheesiness. How could you not love cheese? Your loyalties are now in question….

If you did raise your hand, you are my friend, and I love you.

When I was kid, however, I only ate two kinds of cheese. American, and that powdered fake Parmesan stuff that was referred to in my house as Stinky Cheese. It went best on Spaghettios.

Once when I was four, I opened my blue Mickey Mouse in Space lunchbox to find, to my horror, a swiss cheese sandwich. Despite the fact that my name was on this blue Mickey Mouse in Space lunchbox, I knew instantly that my lunch had been stolen. There was no way on God’s green earth that my sweet mother would have done that to me. Put not-american cheese on my sandwich. There was clearly a great conspiracy at play. Obviously, someone had surreptitiously purchased a blue Mickey Mouse in Space lunchbox, put MY name on it, with the same red tape label maker, and placed in it a swiss cheese sandwich. Then they took my lunchbox, and ate my cheese american cheese sandwich. It was so obvious. The teacher called my mother at work to explain the subterfuge to which I had fallen victim. My mother presented in about 15 minutes with a sack from Whataburger, explaining that she had indeed placed a swiss cheese sandwich in my blue Mickey Mouse in Space lunchbox, as we had run out of american cheese. Imagine the inconceivable betrayal I felt in my little heart. My own mother giving me a swiss cheese sandwich! That is an honest to God true story. I am surprised I lived through it. The What-a-meal toy made the boo boo in my heart go away fairly quickly, and I would go on to love cheese. All cheese. Well, except for American cheese and powdered fake Parmesan.

To make these recipes easy to recreate at home, I am using cheeses commonly found in most grocery stores. Even if you live in Far East Nowhere, you should be able to make these with no substitutions.

Food snobs will cringe at this, but I am even using a brick of “pasteurized processed cheese food” , which I am pretty sure means “not actually cheese” in one of these recipes. Let me be clear. I understand that this is not cheese. It is oil, salt and yellow, and some other stuff, shaped into a soft brick, sealed in foil, and placed in a box on the store shelf. It is shelf stable, which is really, really creepy for something that masquerades as cheese. BUT, this product is a mainstay in southern homes, so I have to give a nod to my Daisy Duke side. Also, it just really helps bring a lovely smooth melt to the cheese dip.

When I go to the gourmet market, I have to steer clear of the cheese counter, lest I wind up spending way too much time and money there. They are all my favorites. I love a nice mild, creamy Havarti for snacking, and sandwiches, and nothing adds spark to mac and cheese like a bit of strong Double Gloucester. For salads, and with fruit, I love Stilton with Apricots, Gorgonzola, Wesleydale Cranberry, and Danish Blue. Pecorino Romano and Parmesan Reggiano always stand ready for rapid deployment onto pasta, salad, and toasted bread—I can whip out a microplane zester faster than Dirty Harry with his 45.

Go ahead, Cheese. Make my day!

Jalapeno Cheese Bread

Jalapeno Cheese Bread

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons quick acting yeast granules
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup pickled jalapeno slices
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 10 oz pepper jack cheese cubes
  • 10 oz mild cheddar cheese cubes
  • Wash: 1 egg, 2 teaspoons water, ½ cup finely grated sharp cheddar cheese.

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix yeast, water, and sugar. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.

Place milk in a saucepan over medium high heat…Bring to scalding, but do not boil. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add the flour, milk, yeast mixture, jalapenos, salt and eggs. Turn on and knead until a sticky dough is formed. Add additional flour if necessary to form a smooth dough, and knead for 10 minutes. Add in the cheese at the last-minute.

Remove bowl from mixer, cover with a clean towel and let sit for 15 minutes. Knead on a lightly floured board for 1 minute. Place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a clean towel and let rise again for 90 minutes or until doubled in size.. Punch down the dough and shape into two loaves. Place into 2 lightly oiled loaf pans. Cover and let rise for another hour, or until double in size.

Brush with egg and water mix. Sprinkle sharp cheddar on top. Bake in lower 1/3 of your oven, at 375* for 30 minutes, or until nicely browned, and hollow-sounding when tapped.

Allow to cool for ten minutes before removing from pan, and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.

Beautiful and Crusty

Grilled Cheese and Bacon, With Pickled Red Onions and Guacamole

Grilled Cheese and Bacon Sandwich With Pickled Red Onions and Guacamole

Not the grilled cheese from your school years. This sandwich has incredible flavor, texture, and grown up appeal, and it’s not bad to look at either.

Pickled Red onions:

  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced, separated
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 3 t salt
  • 3 T sugar

Mix hot water with sugar and salt, and stir until dissolved. Place in a bowl with the red onions, and allow to sit for thirty minutes.

Sandwich:

(per sandwich)

  • 2 slices (1” thick) of Jalapeno Cheese Bread
  • Scant amount of olive oil (or butter, if you’re a rebel)
  • 4 slices thick cut bacon, cooked until crispy
  • 2 slices mild cheddar cheese
  • Several slices red onion pickle
  • ¼ cup guacamole

Heat a large skillet to medium high. Brush both sides of the bread with olive oil. Place both slices in the skillet, and toast until the bottom is brown and toasty, about 1 minute. Turn over, and place one cheese slice on each piece. Toast for 2 minutes, until cheese is melted, and bottom of bread is toasted. Remove to plate. Place bacon on top of the cheese on one side of the bread. Put guacamole on top of the bacon, and red onions on top of the guacamole. Top with remaining bread, cheese side down. Cut in half diagonally, so you can admire the colorful and delicious masterpiece you have created.

Toasty…Cheesy….Bacony

Green Chili Queso

Green Chili Cheese Dip

–this will be the best Chili Con Queso dip you have ever had. Period. The asadero and quesadilla cheeses are available in the Mexican cheese section at most large grocers.

  • 20 oz Queso Quesadilla
  • 20 oz Queso Asadero
  • 2 pound loaf of Velveeta
  • 2 medium white onions, very finely chopped
  • 3 cloves minced garlic (fresh, not from a jar)
  • 1 stick butter
  • 4 cans (7 oz each) chopped green chilies, including juice
  • 1 can (4 oz) jalapenos, finely chopped, including juice
  • 2 cups whole milk

Cube or shred the cheeses. Place all ingredients in a crock pot or dutch oven on low heat. Stir periodically to help melt the cheese and mix everything together. (if you are using a dutch oven, stir more frequently to ensure the cheese does not burn on the bottom). When all the cheese is melted, the mixture will not look smooth at first. Using a heavy spoon, stir the mixture vigorously for several minutes until it becomes smooth. Add more milk if desired for a thinner consistency. Serve with thin style tortilla chips…..

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Categories: BAKING, children, Family, Food, Gourmet, humor, recipes, Texas, writing

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44 Comments on “The Great Cheese Betrayal”

  1. 2013/02/24 at 12:22 pm #

    Mmmm…cheese bread. I’m a cheese loyalist. Thanks for the recipe. Wish this post was edible *sigh*

    • 2013/02/24 at 11:03 pm #

      Cheese is truly one thing I could never, ever give up.

      • 2013/02/25 at 1:00 am #

        I’ll drink to that – Cheers, pardon me, Cheese!

  2. 2013/02/24 at 12:27 pm #

    Great story. Kudos to your mama.

  3. 2013/02/24 at 12:36 pm #

    Loooovelovelove cheese!! My neighbors and best friends used to call the powdered Parm “stinky cheese” too haha! I would have been just as traumatized as you if my mom had put swiss cheese on anything of mine!

  4. 2013/02/24 at 12:56 pm #

    Mmm…I love cheese 🙂

  5. 2013/02/24 at 2:11 pm #

    Ah, if only I could eat cheese. Reading about it is next best.

  6. 2013/02/24 at 2:14 pm #

    Cheese is the food of the Gods, everyone knows that! 😀

    • 2013/02/24 at 11:01 pm #

      Yes, I am pretty sure that Ambrosia, in Ancient Greek, meant “assortment of cheeses”, rather than nasty salad made of canned fruit, coconut, and sour cream.

  7. 2013/02/24 at 3:30 pm #

    I think I love you. I **love** cheese. Mom gives me some every once in a while. Mmm XOXO – Bacon

  8. 2013/02/24 at 3:33 pm #

    American cheese is the best for a grilled cheese sandwich. I experimented with my own cheese dip for the superbowl: http://notjustasahm.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/gruyere-guinness-dip/. It was really good. I’ll have to try the green chili queso, looks delicious!

  9. 2013/02/24 at 4:09 pm #

    These look so yummy

  10. Retronatrix
    2013/02/24 at 4:16 pm #

    Reblogged this on Always Yum……...

  11. Lance
    2013/02/24 at 5:41 pm #

    I love all three of these recipes!

  12. 2013/02/24 at 8:39 pm #

    I want that toasted sarnie!

  13. thekevinyi
    2013/02/24 at 10:24 pm #

    This post made me so happy. That sandwich looks incredible!!!!!

  14. 2013/02/24 at 10:49 pm #

    I appreciate the recipes, Christine, but love your storytelling!

    • 2013/02/24 at 10:59 pm #

      Thanks! I try to offer a little something for everyone…come for the food, stay for the stories…or the other way around!

  15. 2013/02/25 at 8:45 am #

    Am in the UK so cheese is a big deal here but for salad I like either cheshire or greek feta both are quite salty tastying and soft and go well against crisp clean salad flavours

    • 2013/02/26 at 2:42 pm #

      I love a good cheshire…and double gloucester…..On salads, I really go for a strong blue type cheese…

  16. 2013/02/25 at 11:59 am #

    Hi,
    I’ve nominated you for The Sunshine Award.
    Check it out http://thejennymacbookblog.wordpress.com/

  17. 2013/02/25 at 5:40 pm #

    You’re killing me… lol… I’m gonna copy both! 😀

  18. 2013/02/25 at 11:40 pm #

    This is hysterical. And I love cheese. 🙂

  19. 2013/02/26 at 10:34 am #

    I love,love,love cheese. All varieties of it. It makes everything taste better. Especially good with wines, any kind of wine. I just wish cheese loved me back. Finally had to give it up. Ice cream hates me too. Why is it the things we love so much, hate us? It’s just not fair. I’ll live vicariously through your recipies. They look soooo yummy.

    • 2013/02/26 at 2:40 pm #

      Have you tried the lactose free ones? Or tried Lactaid? I couldn’t survive without cheese….

  20. 2013/02/26 at 12:34 pm #

    Swiss cheese…yum! Smells like 4-day-old gym socks kicked under a bed in a frat house.

  21. 2013/02/26 at 1:00 pm #

    Christine, can you see my hand raised aaaalll the way from Oregon??? I love cheese!! My man loves jalapenos in everything and has a bread maker. (I honestly haven’t ever used the bread maker myself). I’d prefer to follow the recipe here but I’m sure he’d try to do it the easy way. How simple would it be to convert this recipe for that?

    • 2013/02/26 at 2:39 pm #

      I would say use whatever his favorite bread machine recipe is for a hearty white bread, and add a cup of chopped cheese and 3/4 cup sliced jalapenos (or more or less to suit your taste)….The cheese and the jalapenos have no real impact on the bread recipe, so you can add them to any that you like…

      • 2013/02/26 at 3:02 pm #

        considering his singed taste buds (firefighter), likely a manly handful of serrano or habanero peppers (and a jigger off that bottle of fire juice he special ordered!) Thank you for the response 🙂

  22. 2013/02/26 at 3:49 pm #

    Holy crap! That sandwich made me slobber. Seriously. Just pinned it to try later. Still slobbering.

  23. 2013/02/28 at 10:12 am #

    Thank you for loving me! Thank you as well, that I am your firend!
    Those cheesy recipes really sound lovely. There can never be enough cheese in the house and well, a day without cheese would be a lost day.

  24. jonathanochart
    2013/03/03 at 4:14 pm #

    That cheese bread looked sooooo good! And then I saw it used to make a sandwich, and my mind was blown! Great recipes, I’m sure the jalapeno adds a nice bit of spice (: Thanks for sharing!

    -Jonathan

  25. 2013/03/03 at 6:28 pm #

    That is definitely some artery clogging cheesiness! I actually loved swiss cheese as a kid.

  26. 2013/04/30 at 9:35 pm #

    Christine! I need your help. I’m making queso this weekend for a cinco de mayo party, but I live in Australia and can’t find anything even vaguely resembling asadero or queso fresca or even, god forbid, velveeta (and don’t even ask me about how much I miss ro-tel…). Do we think I could sub cheddar? Or something else? Help please 🙂

  27. Lance
    2013/05/01 at 3:51 am #

    @ offathewrongstop… you can buy the Kraft cheddar cheese in the blue box from your local Coles,but it is very hard to get the mix right so that you end up with that creamy queso. I’m not sure what part of Australia your in, but if you live in Melbourne, your better off going to a place like Casa Iberica in Fitzroy. It is a Latin American food store. You can buy tinned queso there, and it is actually not bad, and will save you lots of time. If you do find a great “home made” recipe for the cheese we have here in OZ please share. 🙂

    • 2013/05/02 at 3:10 am #

      haha, well, I’m in perth, so there’s that. I’m actually pretty sure I speak more spanish and make better tortillas than anyone else in town 😦 I’m going to attempt something with tasty cheese and some shredded melty things this weekend, I’ll get back to you if it works out…

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