Brie-and-pear toasted cheese

A top-shelf melt

Originally appeared in the August 25, 2011 edition of The Southside Times.

As far as “Fair Food” goes, this summer I had a minor set-back.  You might be familiar with the venerated Dairy Bar up at the Indiana State Fairgrounds—a pasteurized plethora of milkshakes, frozen custards, and hand-dipped ice cream.  Yet there’s another item for which fair-goers obediently fall in line: the Dairy Bar’s grilled cheese.

In the past, your standard American-on-white sandwich (traditionally delicious as it may be) was featured on a menu alongside nuanced offerings such as Colby- and gouda-on-wheat.  Yet—alas, this season—my love for the latter strata of cheese-and-wheat went unrequited.  This year, I was crestfallen to read the Dairy Bar’s menu, sans gouda.  More after the jump: (more…)

Welsh Rarebit

I’d like to propose a toast

Originally appeared in the February 24, 2011 edition of the Southside Times.

One morning over a couple slices of French toast, Jack—our inquisitive kindergartener—said, “How come you never write about breakfast food?”  I inhaled, ready to deliver an elegant response.  Instead I twitched a frown.  All I could muster was, “Well…I don’t know.”  This, it would suffice to say, was not a satisfying reply for our clever fellow.  I have fond memories of my mother adding a bit of cheese to the top of my toast for breakfast.  And this warm recollection guided me toward this week’s recipe.  Check out more after the jump: (more…)

Published in: on February 24, 2011 at 4:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Goat-Cheese Ravioli in Herbed Cream Sauce

Yields 72 ravioli and 1 ½ pints cream sauce

  • 11 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
  • To taste cracked black pepper
  • 2-pound recipe of basic pasta dough (see Basic Pasta Dough recipe in pasta category)
  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 2 ounces Parmesan, grated
  • To taste kosher salt

1.  To make cheese filling, combine goat cheese and cream cheese with parsley, 2 tablespoons basil and 1 teaspoon thyme; season to taste with pepper.

2.  Make ravioli (procedure follows) using the cheese mixture and the pasta dough.

3.  To make the sauce, combine the cream with the remaining herbs and bring to a boil.  Reduce by one-third and add Parmesan.  Season with slat and pepper.

4.  Boil the ravioli until done.  Drain, toss gently with sauce.  Sprinkle with extra Parmesan and serve.

Procedure for Preparing Ravioli

1.  Prepare basic pasta dough.

2.  Prepare and chill desired filling.

3.  Roll out two thin sheets of dough between the rollers of a pasta machine.  Gently lay the dough flat on the work surface.

4.  Using a piping bag or small portion control scoop, place small mounds of filling on one of the dough pieces.  Space the fillings evenly, allowing approximately 2 inches between each mound.

5.  Brush exposed areas of dough with water.

6.  Gently place the second sheet of dough over the mounds and press firmly around each mound to remove air pockets and seal the dough.

7.  Cut between the mounds with a chef’s knife, pizza wheel, or circular cutter.

Published in: on September 7, 2010 at 8:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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