Three Cheese Macaroni

Comfort Food: Lasagna

BBQ Grilled Cheese

Pork Sandwiches

Cheese and Salsa; A Perfect Combination

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I have this thing about cheese. I don't associate myself with the trending cheesers necessarily, because I like to think I was obsessed before it was the cool thing to do. My life on the dairy farm, as a kid, is what mostly peaked my interest. I knew I didn't want to milk cows morning and night, but I wanted to be on the farm. After learning more about farmstead cheesemaking, I knew it was going to be my next big thing. I was a senior in high school then - I'm now three years out of college and working for my third cheese company. None of which have been my own, but I've been surrounded by the wonderful dairy product that is, cheese.  I can't get enough of it - and I always have a ton of fruit around.

Renata of Testado, Provado & Aprovado! was our Daring Cooks’ April 2011 hostess. Renata challenged us to think “outside the plate” and create our own edible containers! Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 17th to May 16th at!

I chose to try out the trick of baking cheese and forming it into a shape - to serve as my edible container. I had never done this before and finally had a good excuse to test it out. The trick is to form shredded cheese into a neat little pile and then to bake it for just the right amount of time. I had taken them out too early at first. I could tell because there was no way I was getting the cheese off the sheet without it completely falling apart. After returning it to the oven for another two minutes, I knew it was ready. But you have to act fast! Or the cheese will get hard and you won't be able to shape it. Maybe you're ok with that.

I also chose to make some fresh salsa. This warm weather is encouraging me to make more 'summer-like' foods.  This snack could also turn into a breakfast meal. Just add some scrambled eggs and fresh veggies.

Cheesy Crisps
Serves 4

1 cup shredded Gruyère or aged Cheddar

Preheat oven to 400*F. 

Shred cheese into a neat, circular pile on baking sheet (if you have a SilPat, it works perfectly).
Place in oven and bake for about 5 minutes. Watch closely, as cheese piles and ovens can vary greatly.

These are not ready to take out of the oven - 3 minutes more 
The cheese will begin to brown on the outer edges and work its way in. Once the middle of the pile has started to look more golden, take the pan out of the oven. With a spatula, quickly - but carefully remove a cheese crisp from the pan and form into a shape. This can be done over the bottom of a drinking glass or small dish.  Set aside on a plate and finish the remaining crisps. You must do this quickly or the last crisps will be well.. crisp and you won't be able to shape it.

My Salsa
Makes 1 cup

1 medium tomato, diced
2 T. diced purple onion
1 T. minced garlic
1 teaspoon thyme
2 T. olive oil
1 T. fresh lime juice
Salt & Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.


Audax said...

That first photo is so cute I love the colours of it and the combination of cheese and tomato salsa is so tasty well done and thank you sharing the method well done on this challenge.

Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

April 13, 2011 at 11:25 PM
Rochelle said...

I love salsa and cheese. I could eat them all by themselves! Next time I have the ingredients, this is certainly going to be made and devoured :D

April 14, 2011 at 10:52 AM
Ruth H. said...

Chios with cheese and salsa is one of my food addictions! These cups look fabulous with the colors and textures... I am coming right over to share them with you!!

April 14, 2011 at 2:05 PM
Renata said...

These made me drool.. and the fresh salsa seems to be a wonderful combination for this delicious little crispy cup! Thanks for participating, you did an awesome job!

April 17, 2011 at 6:38 AM

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