Tag Archives: goat cheese

Hawaiian Ham & Cheese Sandwiches – and – a Goat Cheese stuffed Endives

Yesterday was filled with cooking, singing, laughing, eating and drinking!  We had our annual Christmas party.  It has come to be quite the event, my good friend plays the piano and we start out by singing Christmas carols and end the night singing anything from Billy Joel, James Taylor to Queen and finally some great Show tunes.

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The day was entirely for making all the pick up and go foods for the table and also having breakfast ready to go for the next day, there is nothing worse than having to feed a ton of people; OK maybe not a ton but we had 14 for breakfast this morning; regardless; making food with such little sleep and maybe a few too many glasses of wine is not the most enjoyable task so I make sure that breakfast is super simple while still being delicious. I made 3 dishes that either set up overnight or can wait for me to cook them.  I made a strata, hash brown casserole and French toast casserole and picked up some fresh cut up fruit as well as some fresh blueberries, raspberries and a pomegranate; combining them all in a bowl of fresh fruit to lighten up all the casseroles.

I tried out a few new recipes my daughter sent me and they all were excellent, there were definitely a couple of keepers that I want to share with all of you.  The sandwiches are warm and full of delicious flavors. The endives are crazy good and I really hope you take a chance on these and test them out. They may look like something outside your comfort zone but I think you might be pleasantly surprised by how well the different flavors work so well together. I also made a simple version of chicken and waffles that was a crowd pleaser. mini waffles oven toasted, frozen chicken tenders baked and covered with warmed real maple syrup.

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Hawaiian Ham and Cheese Sandwiches

20 +/- small Hawaiian sweet rolls cut in half crosswise (depends on what size pan you have)

1 Pound Black forest ham, sliced – you’ll want one piece per roll

20 +/- slices provolone cheese

8 oz. cream cheese – room temperature for spreading

1 tbs yellow mustard

1 tbs Worcestershire sauce

2 tbs dried minced onions

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

2 tbs poppy seeds (optional)

Either preheat your oven to 350’ or make ahead and bake them 30-40 minutes before you are ready to serve them.

Coat a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with the roll bottoms, top with a slice of ham on each; then the provolone. Spread the cream cheese on the bottom half of the tops and place them on top of their bottom mates.

In a medium bowl, combine the butter, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, onions and parmesan cheese.  Mix well and if baking right away pour evenly over the tops.  If making later wait to add just before baking; if using poppy seeds sprinkle on top of butter mixture.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for 25-35 minutes, or until warmed through and cheese melted.

Serve warm

Endives with Goat Cheese and Walnuts

1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1 tbs honey

Combine on a baking sheet either coated with cooking spray or better yet a silipat mat. Bake at 350’ for 10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes.

1 tbs honey

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

3 tbs orange juice

Combine all 3 in a small saucepan; bring mixture to a boil over high heat, and cook until reduced to 3 tbs; about 6-7 minutes.

16 endive leaves 9 about 2 heads

1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese

16 small orange sections

1 tbs minced fresh chives

¼ tsp cracked black pepper

Fill each endive leaf with 1 orange section. Top each section with 1 tsp cheese and 1 tsp walnuts; arrange on a plate. Drizzle the vinegar mixture evenly over the leaves, and sprinkle evenly with chives and pepper.

Not easy being green – why do veggies get such a bad rap

I am just as guilty as the next for steering clear of everything green growing up!  I was brought up in the era of having to sit at the table until my plate was cleared.  I see good and bad in this approach.  I still feel the need to finish my plate, which is bad for your waist line; good for making you try food that scares you.  I recall as a child placing peas along the underside rim of my plate in hopes that no one would notice.   The family dog wasn’t opposed to any veggie of any color; pretty sure because they don’t see color hmmmm.

I didn’t change my ways until my early 20’s and it has been ongoing challenge ever since.  I have been pretty successful over the years hiding things I dubbed yucky!  I can cut up an onion so small that it disappears in a soup love the flavor, didn’t like the texture – I don’t have to do this as much anymore.  Broccoli was hidden in stir fry or covered with cheese sauce.  Peas were usually covered with gravy mostly only in chicken pot pies.  Asparagus was always covered with hollandaise and just in the last 2 weeks I have been working on brussel sprouts.

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There is speculation that if you eat something 7-10 times you can train yourself to like it.  For the most part I do believe this.  I can now eat Peas, Asparagus and Broccoli without smothering them with anything.  Brussel sprouts are still a work in progress; I am only on try 4 but I haven’t given up hope yet.

Asparagus – we love (except my son) roasting or even grilling with just a little olive oil, kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper. We now have an asparagus patch in our garden
Peas – I only like frozen sweet peas – and they are a great tasting side as well as a punch of color – presentation, presentation, presentation.
Broccoli – great steamed or pan seared with some shallots, kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper. We have been growing broccoli for many years with great success – We harvest and freeze when we can’t keep up before it flowers.
Brussel Sprouts – we are still eating them with a gravy or sauce of some sort – we are working on it – these look cool but they won’t be making it into my garden anytime soon.

Pasta

1lb tube pasta such as rigatoni, (whole wheat works too)
2 cups frozen peas
3/4 cup pesto
2 handfuls argula
8 oz goat cheese

boil pasta (in salted water) according to the packages directions, at the last minute add the peas, drain and return to the pot. Add pesto and stir to combine.  Add the arugula and toss. Cruble goat cheese on top and a grind of fresh crack black pepper.

*If you wanted to use this as a meal add some diced cooked chicken

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Basil Pesto

6 ounces fresh basil, stems removed, washed and patted dry
4 ounces pine nuts
5-6 garlic cloves (or 7-8 like I do)
2 ounces of grated parmesan cheese
2/3 cup olive oil – more or less
kosher salt
fresh crack black pepper

Combine basil, pine nuts and garlic in a food processor or blender. Pulse until all combined and chopped. Add olive oil to desired consistency. Finish by pulsing in the parmesan cheese, season with salt and pepper to taste.