Cheddar is Better

I love cheese. I especially love some good sharp cheddar cheese. I used to only like mild cheeses...I didn't know what I was missing. Sharp cheeses have so much flavor and can enhance recipes in ways you wouldn't expect.

A couple weeks ago, we made recipes out of Cabot Vermont Cheddar Cheese in cooking class. Art wanted to test some of the Cabot recipes before using them in a future class. Here's a couple that I just loved. The recipes and pictures are straight from the Cabot website.

Creamy Cheddar Spread
~Wonderful with pears and apples~

  • 8 ounces Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar*, grated (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup Cabot Sour Cream (could substitute Greek yogurt)
  • 2 tablespoons Cabot Salted Butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons white wine or apple juice
  • Large pinch ground mace or nutmeg
  • Pinch ground red pepper (cayenne)
  1. In food processor, combine all ingredients; process until smooth. (Alternatively, use electric mixer to blend ingredients; spread will have coarser texture.) Serve with whole-grain crackers, rounds of French bread or slices of fresh apple and pear.
*Try Cabot Garlic & Herb Cheddar a tasty variation.

Broccoli-Cheddar Soup
~One of my favorite comfor
t foods!~

  • 2 tablespoons Cabot Salted Butter
  • 2 cups peeled and diced boiling potatoes (about 2 medium)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chicken broth (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 cups broccoli (chopped florets and thinly sliced stems)
  • 8 ounces Cabot Sharp or Extra Sharp Cheddar, grated (about 2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  1. In large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add potatoes and onion and cook, stirring, until onion is tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes longer.
  3. Gradually stir in chicken broth and milk. Bring to simmer and cook until potatoes are nearly tender, about 5 minutes. Add broccoli and cook until broccoli is tender, about 5 minutes longer.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
Winter Squash Gratin
~This has a really nice and unusual flavor~

  • 1 1/2 cups Cabot Sharp Cheddar*, grated (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs (about 3 slices firm white bread)
  • 2 tablespoons Cabot Salted Butter
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds dry-fleshed winter squash, such as Buttercup, Hubbard or Kabocha, peeled and seeded
  • 3/4-1 cup chicken broth
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine cheese and bread crumbs in bowl and set aside.
  2. In large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and sugar. Stir often until onions are golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in salt, thyme and pepper, then transfer mixture to 1 1/2-quart baking dish.
  3. Cut squash into smaller chunks and cut these chunks into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Add to onions and stir together well.
  4. Pour 3/4 cup of chicken broth evenly over squash. Cover dish tightly with lid or foil and bake for about 70 minutes, or until squash is tender and broth is nearly all absorbed. If squash appears dry, add remaining 1/4 cup broth.
  5. Sprinkle squash with reserved bread crumb mixture. Bake until topping is golden, about 20 minutes longer.
*Or use Cabot Garlic & Herb Cheddar.

Cranberry Apple Cheese Strudel
~This was my absolute favorite recipe of the day~

  • 6 cups sliced tart apples
  • 1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 3/4 cup ground almonds or filberts (hazelnuts)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup trans-fat-free margarine, melted
  • 1 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 (16-ounce) package frozen fillo dough, thawed
  • 8 ounces Cabot 75% Reduced Fat Cheddar, very thinly sliced
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease baking sheet and set aside.
  2. In large bowl, combine apples, cranberry sauce, almonds or filberts, sugar, cinnamon and lemon zest; set aside.
  3. In medium skillet over medium heat, combine 1/4 cup of melted margarine and breadcrumbs; cook, stirring, until breadcrumbs are lightly browned; transfer to plate to cool.
  4. To make first strudel, place sheet of fillo on kitchen towel and brush with some of remaining melted margarine. Top with 4 more sheets of fillo, brushing each with more margarine.
  5. Sprinkle 6 tablespoons of breadcrumbs evenly over layered fillo. Top with one-fourth of cheese slices.
  6. Top cheese with 5 more layers of margarine-brushed fillo.
  7. Two inches in from short edge of fillo, spoon half of apple mixture in 3-inch-wide strip. Top with another one-fourth of cheese slices.
  8. Using towel to help, roll fillo tightly up around filling (jelly-roll style), brushing exposed bare surface of dough with additional margarine as you roll.
  9. Use towel again to transfer strudel to prepared baking sheet. Brush top of strudel with more margarine and sprinkle with 2 more tablespoons breadcrumbs.
  10. Repeat entire procedure to make second strudel. Transfer seam-side-down to prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until nicely browned. Serve warm.
I'm excited to try these recipes out at home and I think I'll search the website for even more recipes...because I'm pretty much obsessed with cheese.

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