Say Cheese

Cheese 4 - cocktailProduced by Brett Levine

Food Styling by Lily Plauché

Photography by Becky Stayner

There’s a reason there’s an entire course dedicated to the sometimes gooey, sometimes stinky, always delicious cheese. From the most sophisticated palate tasting the best French variety to a 3-year-old’s grilled cheese dinner, cheese is much loved the world over. Pick one of our cheesy recipes to become your favorite comfort food this winter.

Cheese Fondue

First made popular in the U.S. in the early 1950s by Swiss chef Konrad Egli, fondue is heating up American tables again. Here is an homage to the traditional dip, blending Emmentaler cheese with white wine.

Cheese 3 - fondueServes 4 to 6

1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed

1 cup dry white wine

½ pound Emmentaler cheese, grated

½ pound Gruyere cheese, grated

1 tablespoon corn starch

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

¼ teaspoon dry mustard

bread cubes and assorted vegetables for dipping

Rub the inside of a medium saucepan with garlic clove. Add wine; heat over medium heat until gently simmering. Combine cheeses and corn starch in a medium bowl, tossing to coat cheese. Gradually add cheese to simmering wine mixture, stirring until cheese is melted before adding more. Once cheese is completely melted and smooth, stir in lemon juice and mustard. Serve immediately.

Party Cheese Ball

A classic confection is the cheese ball, though there a million ways to make it. This variation blends cream and blue and cheddar cheeses, garnishing the ball with nuts and parsley. It is a delicious accompaniment to any gathering.

Cheese 2 - cheese spreadServes 12-16

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

¼ cup crumbled blue cheese

2 tablespoons minced onion

1 4-ounce jar diced pimiento, drained

3 tablespoons finely chopped olives

¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

¾ cup chopped pecans, toasted, divided

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Beat in cheddar cheese, blue cheese, onion, pimiento, olives, Worcestershire, and ¼ cup pecans. Roll mixture into a ball; roll ball in parsley and remaining ½ cup chopped pecans. Cover and chill two hours or until ready to serve.

Parmesan Cheese Puffs

A crunchy option is the cheese puff, a warm, light appetizer. These simple bites bring the flavors of fresh Parmesan to the table.

Cheese 1 - balls poppersMakes about 3 dozen puffs

1 cup milk

½ cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes

¾ teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 large eggs

1 ½ cups (6 ounces) freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 400F. Combine milk, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the butter melts. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute or until mixture no longer clings to the spoon or sides of the pan. Remove from heat; let cool 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring until each egg is completely incorporated before adding the next. Stir in one cup parmesan cheese.

Drop dough by tablespoonfuls two inches apart onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Sprinkle tops with remaining ½ cup parmesan. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350F and bake until browned and firm to the touch, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm.

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