Let me state off the front that I don’t just use blue cheese in everything, I promise. That said, in the not-so-distant past I bought a huge wedge of blue cheese to help with a small obsession of mine. Would it be weird to say that I often have fantasies of spinach salads topped with craisins and crumbly blue cheese? Yeah, it’s weird. I thought so too.
After making all of those salad fever dreams come true, I had an obscene amount of blue cheese left over and had to find different ways to use it; I put some on zucchini, I stuffed some red peppers with it, and even melted it over apple slices for a tasty sandwich filling. Even after making all of these entrees, I still had cheese leftover. I.am.not.a.cheese.waster.
As I had recently acquired the Art of French Cooking, I once again went to Julia for guidance. “What should I do with this leftover cheese?” I asked her ever so nicely, and she responded in kind with her Galettes au Roquefort, which, being the cook that I am, I decided to add a few tweaks here and there. Be warned, this recipe makes quite a few if you keep them small and cook quickly.
My Gramma Ginger is one of the best conversationalists in the world, in my opinion (she’s also one of the namesakes to this blog). This is probably due to the fact that she never sits down with a group of people without a list of prepared questions for any lull in the dialogue. Although she has never asked me this specific question, it came up during a recent get-together with friends. This certainly seems like a question that is quintessentially Ginger-esque – “what would you cook for the president if they came over for dinner?”
While I’m not 100% sure this my go-to presidential dish, it’s definitely in my top 5 contenders. I got the idea to add raisins from eating at Frankie’s Sputino in Brooklyn a few years ago, and their inclusion has been the only change to my recipe in the past 8 years. I make this dish at least once a month, and I consider these the perfect potluck or impromptu dinner party food.
You gotta get your hands a wee bit dirty here and allow yourself the time to let the flavors sit, but how long has it been since you’ve played with a big bowl of tomato chunks? C’mon, it’s fun. Keep in mind – this takes a full 3 hours to make the sauce, but I promise you, the result is worth the wait.
In my quest to try all things Spanish during my last weeks abroad, I attempted to make dishes using ingredients that I’ve not had much experience cooking with in the past (or at all; who cooks with requesón in Los Estados Unidos?!). Also, I’ve been trying to eat as many tiny dishes as I can to get my fill of European-style dining – big lunches, little dinners – before heading back to the gigantic-dish-with-an-extra-side-of-ranch-dressing extravaganza that is my motherland.
Requesón is a Spanish cheese that I’d never heard of, to be honest, but I see it in every grocery and even a few little corner stores here. Its consistency lies in limbo somewhere between cottage cheese and ricotta, without an overwhelming flavor with a creamy/crumbly texture. Through a bit of online research, it’s also apparently low in sodium and calories, so it makes for a great diet cheese as well. Good to know. Yes – diet food. Sure.
Crostinis are, in my opinion, the world’s best appetizer. Handheld, immensely customizable with as many toppings as you can think of, and “crostini” sounds so much fancier than “little toasts” ever will. Unfortunately, I didn’t have anyone to share these little guys with, but that was probably for the best since it would have broken my heart to part with any them.