Who doesn’t like eating cheese? As a culture with a strong, burning passion for food, at or near the top of this list, we often find cheese. Cheese is an overlooked, and often underappreciated food. In can be integrated into countless dishes, or it can be used as a topper for so many more dishes, salads and even desserts. We, as a civilization, never seem to run out of ideas for our uses of cheese. Every day, it seems that culinary experts and chefs around the world are experimenting with different cheeses and dishes in their efforts to create new dishes whose main attraction is cheese, in some way, shape or form.
Let’s taker a gander at some of the more ingenious creations in which cheese is used, or hidden, for that matter. Now, keep in mind, some of these dishes or cheese concealments require a “think outside of the box” approach…
When making meatballs, add some “umpf” to it by integrated some of your favorite cheese when rolling the meat to form meatballs. As the cheese meets the heat when cooking, the cheese will expand and will add an extraordinary flavor to an already delicious meatball.
Ham, Egg and Cheese Crepe
- Make your pancake, as you normally would… the thinner, the better in the case of this recipe.
- When the underside is nearly cooked, place a slice of ham on top, topped off with some of your favorite cheese.
- Fold the sides into to make a square, or as close as you can get to one.
- Break your egg into the space left… leave sunny-side up.
- Squish the sides down with your spatula to seal as the cheese melts.
- Cook for 3 or 4 minutes until the egg is turning white.
- Pop under the grill for a further 2 or 3 minutes until the yolk is just starting to cook, or however you like it. (Although, if you like it any way other than runny you’re way crazy.)
A Cheesy Pie Crust… literally
Making a pie crust with cheddar cheese baked directly into the crust gives it an entirely new dimension of flavor. Try baking an Apple Pie with a cheddar cheese infused crust. Goodness, that sounds absolutely amazing just thinking about it.
For the Gluten-Free
For those who are in search of gluten-free foods, try using cheese as bread crumbs over zucchini. If this peaks your interest, try this recipe for starters… Parmesan Baked Zucchini.
- 4 zucchini, quartered lengthwise
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Basil
- 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh Parsley leaves
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a cooling rack with a nonstick spray such as Crisco and place on a baking sheet.
- In a bowl, combine the following: Parmesan, Thyme, Oregano, Basil, Garlic Powder, salt and pepper. Taste to determine if this meets desired taste.
- Place the quartered zucchini onto prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle olive oil and as well as Parmesan mixture.
- Place into oven and bake until tender. This usually takes ~ 15 minutes. Then broil for around 2-3 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown.
- Serve immediately. Garnished if that is your thing…
Cheese-Infused Loaf of Bread
This is quite the old-fashioned move, but as they say, “an oldie but goodie” and this no doubt falls in this league. When baking a loaf of bread, step up your culinary game and inject a concoction into the center of the bread; a concoction of your favorite cheese, spices, herbs, etc. Bake and enjoy!
More Cheese… More Bread
With the Cheese-Infused Bread in the back of your mind, try this cheese creation on for size. The Bread Bowl of Cheese is another cheese creation, or should I say, masterpiece, that is in yet another league of its own. Try this recipe…
- 4 bread rolls (soft or crusty)
- 4 small slices of ham, or 2 big ones cut in half
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Cut tops off the bread rolls.
- Scoop out the center of each bread roll and reserve. Although this can be quite an intricate step in the overall recipe, try to keep your cuts and scoops nice and neat.
- Line the bread bowl with a layer of ham, using a single slice or multiple slices as needed.
- Crack in an egg. This is the part of the recipe where Humpty Dumpty came to mind with me.
- Top each with 2 tablespoons of Mozzarella and a sprinkle of parsley, if desired.
- Put the tops back on each roll. Wrap with foil and place in oven to bake for ~10 to 15 minutes, making certain to check periodically, ideally, in 10 minute intervals.
- 10 minutes = very runny yolks. 15 minutes = firm just cooked yolks. 15 minutes + = very cooked yolks.
- Remove from oven, unwrap, serve immediately and enjoy heaven in a bowl.