German Cheese Fondue

I made the following for my Oktoberfest event. You can read and get other recipes from the event HERE.

Megan & Matt’s German Cheese Fondue
recipe from HERE

1 sack, 10 ounces, 2 1/2 cups, shredded sharp Cheddar, available on dairy aisle
1/4 to 1/3 pound, 4 to 6 ounces, Gruyere, shredded
1 rounded tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup German lager beer
2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
A few drops hot sauce
A few drops Worcestershire sauce

For Serving:
1 1/2 pounds cubed or thick sliced and browned wursts: knock, brat or brot,
1 package mini party franks (recommended: Boars Head)
1 head cauliflower, separated into florets
1 small jar mini Gherkin pickles, drained
1 small jar pickled onions, available on vegetable aisle
1 small, round loaf rye, pumpernickel or sour dough bread, cubed

Combine cheeses in a bowl with flour. Add beer to a small pot and bring up to a bubble over medium heat. Reduce the heat to simmer and add cheese in handfuls. Stir constantly, melting the cheese in batches. Stir in a figure-eight pattern with wooden spoon. When the cheese has been incorporated fully, stir in the mustard, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Transfer fondue to warm fondue pot.

In a large skillet, bring 2-inches of water to a boil and blanch the cauliflower for 2 to 3 minutes, drain and arrange around the fondue pot.

In the same pan, bring the cooking water back to a boil and add the mini franks and sliced wursts. Cook, uncovered until all the liquid has evaporated. Add 1 tablespoon butter to the pan to crisp the casings. Pile wursts and dogs near fondue. Complete the dipping selections with dishes of pickles, onions and cubed bread.

Heirloom Tomato Tart

The following recipe was made & shared for my Tomato Event. You can read and get links to other recipes shared HERE.

Heirloom Tomato Tart
shared at the event by Chrissy
recipe HERE

2 large onions (about 1 1/2 pounds), sliced thin
2 tablespoons olive oil
butter pastry dough for a single-crust 12-inch tart
1/2 pound Jack or Gruyère cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
1/2 pound plum tomatoes cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1/2 pound medium yellow tomatoes (about 2) or 1/2 pound plum tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1/4 cup Niçoise olives, pitted

In a large heavy skillet cook onions with salt to taste in oil, covered, over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 20 minutes. Remove lid and cook onions, stirring occasionally, until golden and any liquid evaporates. Remove skillet from heat to cool onions slightly.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

On a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin roll dough into a 14-inch round (about 1/8 inch thick). Fold round in half and transfer to a 12-inch tart pan with a removable fluted rim or a 12-inch quiche dish. Unfold dough, easing to fit, and trim overhang to 3/4 inch. Fold overhang toward center and press against side of pan or dish. Spread onion mixture over dough and top with cheese. Arrange tomato wedges and olives in concentric circles over cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Bake tart in middle of oven 1 hour, or until pastry is golden, and cool on a rack. Remove rim of pan if necessary.

Serve tart warm or at room temperature.

Celebrate the New Year!

For 2008, we started the year with a wonderful meal cooked at home. We have been weening ourselves off of red meats for the past few months and so tonight’s dinner is our own version of a “surf & turf.” (Please forgive my pics… my camera is on the fritz!)

I prepared a turkey mignon, jumbo sea scallops in a citrus butter sauce, potato gratin and roasted tomatoes & asparagus. Here are the my recipes for the dinner:

Turkey Mignon

4 turkey medallions
4 strips of bacon (smoked bacon adds a nice flavor)
2 tablespoons of butter
¼ cup of white wine
1 cup of chicken stock or broth
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of olive oil

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Wrap one strip of bacon around each of the turkey medallions, securing it with a toothpick placed straight into the turkey.

Lightly season the turkey on both sides with salt and pepper.

Pour the oil into a medium sized pan and place over a medium heat. Once the oil is hot, about two minutes, place the turkey medallions into the pan and sear each side for about a minute.

Place the turkey medallions onto a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.

Place the turkey the preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until it reaches 165 degrees.

While the turkey is cooking, place the butter into the pan and reduce the heat to medium low. Once the butter has melted, add a pinch of salt and wine. Simmer until it’s reduced by half.

Add the stock or broth and reduce by half. Season with salt and pepper to taste; remove from heat.

Once the turkey is done, remove from the oven and let rest for five minutes.

Just before serving, spoon sauce over the turkey.

Jumbo Sea Scallops in a Citrus Butter

6 jumbo sea scallops
salt & pepper to taste
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 tablespoon citrus seasoning
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
splash of heavy cream (optional)

In a saute pan, melt butter.
Season scallops with salt & pepper.
Sear scallops in melted butter until a crust forms on both sides.
Remove from pan.
Add seasoning and lemon juice.
Add splash of heavy cream if desired for a creamy sauce.
Spoon sauce over scallops or meat entree.

Potato Gratin
(provided by my friend, Michele)
I divided this recipe by half and made it into 2 individual dishes.

1 tsp. butter or margarine, softened

1 large garlic clove, minced
1 cup heavy or whipping cream
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 cup coarsely shredded Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter a 2-quart shallow baking dish.
Lightly crush garlic with side of knife.
Heat cream, milk, garlic, salt and pepper in small saucepan over medium-high heat, until small bubbles appear around edge of pan; remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, pat potato slices with paper towels.
Arrange half the potatoes in overlapping slices along the bottom of prepared dish.
Pour half the cream mixture over the potatoes, then sprinkle with half the cheeses.
Repeat with remaining potatoes, cream mixture and cheeses.
Bake 60 to 70 minutes, until top is a deep brown and potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife.


1. Use russet potatoes; they have the highest starch content.2. Use heavy cream–not just milk or half and half–because the fat prevents curdling.3. Prepare this dish right before baking. Parboiling or letting the sliced potatoes stand in cold water before baking reduces the starch content and makes the dish runny.

So Shrimpy With Cream, Cream…

Blah ~ Back to the daily grind and dinner adventures! We’ve managed to polish off most of our leftovers so now we’re moving into some new, non-Thanksgiving fare. My husband loves shrimp s0 I made a quick shrimp & pasta dish using what I had on hand. Nothing too fancy, but pretty darn simple and tasty!Here is my recipe for Creamy Lemon & Basil Shrimp Fettucini:

1/4 stick butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
juice of 1 lemon
2-4 oz cooked fettucini pasta
1 cup cooked & peeled shrimp
4-6 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
1/2 cup grated gruyere
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

In a large pan, melt butter with minced garlic and lemon juice.
Cook garlic until golden.
Add cooked shrimp and cooked pasta.
Toss and add fresh basil.
Gently fold in grated cheese.
Add cream & toss.
To serve, plate and garnish with more chiffonade basil and grated cheese.

Gruyere & Artichoke Dip

Here are the recipes for the appetizers I’m serving up 2 hours prior to the Thanksgiving buffet dinner. I figured I’d post the recipes now before the kitchen chaos begins…

Spinach Alfredo Dip &
Gruyere Artichoke Dip

with Garlic Crostini

Gruyere & Artichoke Dip

1 block cream cheese
1/4 cup mayo
1 cup finely shredded gruyere cheese
2 cloves minced garlic
1 jar artichoke hearts, drained & chopped
salt, pepper, garlic powder & onion powder to taste

Combine all the above ingredients and place in a small serving dish.
Prior to serving, heat up until warmed.
You could also serve it in a “Lil Dipper” mini crockpot or oven proof baking dish.
If using a casserole dish, bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes or until bubbly.
If using a lil dipper crockpot, plug in and allow to warm at least 30 minutes before serving.

Garlic Crostini
ciabatta, french baguette or italian loaf
1/2 stick butter
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 – 1 tablespoon chopped fresh italian parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut bread on a bias across, about 1″ thick, into small serving slices.
Combine the butter, garlic and parsley to make a compound butter.
Spread butter on one side of bread.
Bake on a cookie sheet until slightly browned.
Serve with your fave dip or with cheeses.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Here are the recipes for the appetizers I’m serving up 2 hours prior to the Thanksgiving buffet dinner. I figured I’d post the recipes now before the kitchen chaos begins…

Stuffed Mushrooms:

2 pkgs 16 oz fresh white mushrooms
1 lb pork sausage, cooked & browned
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoon italian seasoning
1 cup powdered Triscuits (which I processed in a food processor)
1 cup shredded gruyere cheese

Preheat oven to 375.
Brown sausage in pan with onions, garlic and 1 tablespoon italian seasoning.
Place cooked sausage mixture in a bowl and add Triscuits, cheese and remaining italian seasoning. Toss gingerly to combine.
Prep mushrooms and discard stems. (You can chop the stems and add to stuffing mixture if you prefer)
Carefully fill each mushroom cap with the filling.
Place mushroom caps on a mini muffin pan or lightly greased baking sheet.
Top each filled mushroom with additional shredded cheese, if desired.
Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is melted & browned.

Roasted Garlic & Gruyere Mashed Potatoes

Tonight is focused on my Traditional fare menu and some desserts. Everything is set for the most part… and I approached it as if it were just one of my cooking class events where everything is prepped and ready to assemble. Here are recipes of the traditional Thanksgiving dishes on my menu.

Roasted Garlic & Gruyere Mashed Potatoes

2-3 lbs Yukon gold potatoes
salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder to taste
2 heads of garlic; roasted
1 cup evaporated milk or half & half
1 stick butter
1 cup finely shredded gruyere or parmesan cheese

Peel, rough chop and boil potatoes in water until tender.
While potatoes are cooking, add butter, seasoning, roasted garlic and parsley in stand mixer.
With paddle attachment, beat ingredients until a soft paste forms.
Drain potatoes when cooked and place in stand mixer.
With paddle attachment, beat potatoes until smooth.
Add milk until you’ve reached a slightly wet consistency.
Allow potatoes to rest for 5 minutes to thicken.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
After potatoes have rested, fold in sour cream.
Place mashed potatoes in an oven safe serving dish.
With a fork, make “swirls” over the top of mashed potatoes.
Sprinkle shredded gruyere or parmesan cheese over the top of potatoes
Bake potatoes in preheated oven for 10 minutes or until swirls and cheese have lightly browned.

Fall Fondue Party!

Fondue has made its comeback as a hip and fun way to eat! Tonight we had folks come on over to dip and dunk their way through dinner & drinks. It was a great event and so much fun fondue-ing!Here is the garlic cheese fondue recipe a friend prepared for the event:

1 pound Swiss cheese, grated
1/2 Gruyère cheese, grated
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 2/3 cups (about) dry white wine
1/3 c Cognac
3 large garlic cloves, minced

Combine both cheeses, starch, nutmeg, and pepper in large bowl; toss to coat. Bring 1 1/2 cup wine and garlic to simmer in a heavy large saucepan over low heat. Add cheese mixture by handfuls, whisking until melted and smooth after each addition. Mix in cognac & more wine (if needed) by tablespoonfuls to reach desired consistency. Note: If mixture begins to separate, add 1 – 3 tsp cornstarch mixed with equal vol. cold wine to simmering mixture. Transfer to fondue pot.

Set fondue over hot plate on med-low heat.
Serve fondue with bread & veggies.
Servings: About 8 – 10
*modified by S. Kramer

Here are some pictures from the event:

Chicken Sausage, Chicken Breast, Sirloin & Ham

Par Boiled Potatoes, Broccoli, Cauliflower (& Carrots)Breads!
Whole Wheat Beer Bread, Walnut Artisan Bread
Garlic Cheese, Chicken Broth, Beef Broth, (and hot oil)
Pound Cake, Strawberries, Bananas,
Marshmallows & Graham Crackers
to dip into Semi Sweet Chocolate,
White Chocolate & Caramel
Table Shots:

Quiche… give it a try!

What a wonderful Sunday morning. After a fulls night’s rest I was engerized with making a flavorful breakfast featuring ham, broccoli & 4 cheese quiche. I also submitted this dish to Nandita’s “Breakfast Blogging Event” through her blog, Saffron Trail.
So what is quiche? Well, it’s derived from French cuisine that consists of a baked dish made primarily of eggs and milk or cream in a pastry crust. Other ingredients such as cooked chopped meat, vegetables or cheese are often added to the egg mixture before the quiche is baked. It’s great for breakfast, lunch or even dinner!
Here’s my recipe for ham, broccoli & 4 cheese quiche:

1/2 cup chopped ham
1/2 cup chopped, steamed broccoli
1/4 cup gruyere cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup monterey jack cheese
1/4 cup colby cheese
seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder
6 eggs, scrambled
pie crust dough (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Press the pie crust into a shallow baking pan or a torte pan.
Sprinkle the ham and brocoli over the crust.
Top with the cheeses.
In a bowl, scramble the eggs and carefully pour the eggs over the ham, broccoli and cheese.
Carefully place the quiche into the oven and allow it to bake about 45 minutes in preheated oven or until middle has set.
This is great with a salad or on its own!

pie crust ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, very-cold, cubed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup ice cold water

Combine flour, butter, salt & sugar in food processor or in a bowl with a pastry cutter.
Slowly add the ice cold water until the dough comes together.
Form dough into a ball, wrap well and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before using.