Toasted Sourdough Garlic Cheese Bread

A great addition to any soup you eat this Fall or Winter Season.

Cheese is one of the most enjoyed foods around the world and there are surely many types of it. And just as many ways to use cheese in your cooking and food preparations.


Read More Here About The: Top Nine Varieties Of Cheese’s Enjoyed By Food Lovers


Using The Right Cheese

When you make toasted cheese bread, the cheese you use matters. Why?

When you melt cheese, the heat is kneading and stretching what is called protein casein bonds (number-one building block in cheese) rather than breaking them down to a liquid form.

The kneading and stretching of cheese when placed in heat, allows for moisture and fat to escape the casein.

After cheese has been added to heat, the end results is the feeling of gooeyness as you bit into that cheese topped hamburger or those tacos, grilled cheese sandwich, pasta, Mac and cheese and that slice of pizza.

You can have that same gooey feeling when bitting into a slice of Toasted Sourdough Garlic Cheese Bread.

The right cheese to use is a younger cheese, or less aged, as it well melt easier under heat.

The older the cheese or aged for a long period of time, the clumpier and harder to break down.

Choose a cheese that will melt into gooey goodness.

Here is a list of cheese choices for toasted cheese bread that will melt easily.

  • Cheddar
  • Red Leicester
  • Gruyere
  • Parmesan – grated
  • Fontina
  • Emmental
  • Muenster
  • Gouda
  • Asiago

Poor melting cheeses include: mozzarella, feta, and provolone. Though you could use these, but they should be paired with a cheese that melts easily.

How Cheese Is Made

Cheese is made from the milk of cows, sheep, goats, and buffalo.

Good bacteria is used in the fermentation process to break down the fats and proteins into a larger molecules.

The flavor and texture of the cheese depends on the bacteria used.

Toasted Sourdough Garlic Cheese Bread

Here is what you will need and what to do for a Toasted Sourdough Garlic Cheese Bread oven toasted cheese bread.

• Bread

• Butter or olive oil

• Good melting cheese

• garlic cloves, minced

• After Toasting Toppings: parsley, cilantro, Basil, or chives

Try sourdough for a tangy flavor, or an airy bread like ciabatta if you like the cheese oozing through the holes.

Mince 2 gloves of garlic and place in small bowl with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. Mash garlic with a fork. Next, add a few shakes of Harissa seasoning and mix in.

Spread garlic-oil mixture over bread. Next add slices or grated cheese you have chosen to use.

Place bread onto a cast iron skillet and put pan under preheated broiler. Wait until cheese melts and is bubbling.

Use caution, watch bread as it is toasted. Toasting of bread and melting of cheese under broiler can happen fast. You don’t want a piece of burnt bread and cheese.

Once cheese has melted, remove from oven and sprinkle cheese toast with either chopped cilantro, diced chives, torn basil leaves, or chopped parsley.

You love the gooey delicious flavor of melted cheese? Then you’ll like these recipes as well.

Rotisserie Chicken Baguette Sandwich With Basil

Rotisserie Chicken baguetteFrance may be known as the cradle of haute cuisine, but nothing says good French food like classic French baguette sandwiches.

Baguette sandwiches are a staple of French cuisine. The sandwich is sold in boulangeries, food stands, and cafés throughout France, each wrapped snugly in brown paper with pointy bread ends peeking out and stacked high for customers to grab and go.

A baguette is a long thin loaf of bread that has been made in France since the 1800s. Outside of France, baguettes can be found at bakeries and grocers.

In France by law, a true baguette contains only flour, water, salt, and yeast. If other ingredients are added it cannot be called a baguette. Bakers take their production very seriously. Paris actually sponsors an annual competition for the best baguette made in city limits.

The baguette has become deeply rooted in French cuisine, that it is considered rude if a host entertaining guests does not offer a loaf at dinner time as a side dish.

Baguettes make excellent sandwiches and according to Discover Walks, 30 million baguettes are eaten daily in France.

Rotisserie Chicken Baguette Sandwich With Basil

1 loaf baguette

1 (18 oz) bottle bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce – find here Homemade Honey Barbecue Sauce

2 cups Rotisserie chicken, shredded

1/3 cup chopped red onion

3-4 fresh torn basil leaves

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cut baguette loaf in half lengthwise.

Pour 1 cup each of BBQ sauce on top of both halves of bread.

Next, place 1 cup of shredded rotisserie chicken onto each baguette half.

Evenly sprinkle 1 cup of Mozzarella cheese onto each of the baguette halves.

Evenly sprinkle chopped onion over the cheese between the two baguette halves.

Place the two baguette halves on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until cheese has melted and bread is heated through.

Rotisserie Chicken baguetteSprinkle some torn basil leaves over the tops of both baguette halves. Note: do not tear basil leaves until you are ready to place them over the prepared cooked sandwich.

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How To Spice Things Up When Cooking

Large collection of metal bowls full of herbs and spices -How To Spice Things Up When CookingHerbs and spices are used to enhance the flavor of food, either it be for cooking Spaghetti Carbonara or baking an apple pie.

An herb or spice can be a seed, fruit, root, bark, berry, bud or leafy part of the plant. They are principally used for flavoring food among other uses. They can be used fresh or dried.

Herbs And Spices Through The Ages

It is said that by the Middle Ages, the most common spices and herbs being traded and used were black pepper, cinnamon (including the alternative cassia), cumin, nutmeg, ginger and cloves.

Herbs and spices are useful for many things, among others are medicinal uses, cosmetic or perfume production uses, and of course they are used add flavor to a meal.

By 1000 B.C. medical systems based upon herbs were found in China, Korea, and India. Also the Egyptians used herbs and spices for their embalming practices and their demand for exotic herbs and spices helped stimulate world trade.

Extracting A Spices Flavor

The flavor of an herb or spice is derived by exposing the volatile oil compounds of the seed or leafy part, that oxidize or evaporate when it comes in contact with air.

As an example, fresh ginger is usually more flavorful than its dried form, but fresh spices are more expensive and have a much shorter shelf life.

Flavor of herbs and spices can be maximized by storing them whole and grinding when needed, as grinding greatly increases its surface area and so increases the rates of oxidation and evaporation.

If you decide to use dried spices, be sure to use them within 6 to 8 months of purchase. Ground spices are better stored away from light, as it also increases the oxidation of the volatile oils.

metal bowls filled with spices

How To Use Herbs And Spices

When using herbs and spices you’ll want to pick flavors that complement each other, such as the spice mix known as “pumpkin pie spice.”

The ratios of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg add great flavor to the pie, and each spice doesn’t over power the other.

The key or rule of thumb to spicing things up is that less is more. Avoid adding too much all at once. Instead, add a little at a time and add more to taste.

A good example of over spicing and unable to fix it, is when you use oregano or cloves. Their volital oils are great for flavoring culinary and pastry dishes, but they are strong in flavor, and only require a small amount.

When using spices to flavor your meat or vegetables, use only 3 different types at a time.

You can even use herbs and spice to replace salt. Choose your spice or spices, add a little lemon juice and unsalted butter.

Which spices pair well together for the best culinary dishes you can make?

Let’s examine some of the most commonly used spices and which spices pair well with them. LINK HERE

Leafy Green Salads With Homemade Cheese

Leafy Green Salads With Homemade CheeseThrowing some leafy greens with other vegetables together on a plate and topping it with some nuts, seeds and your favorite dressing or vinaigrette is a great way to get your daily servings of vegetables.

How about going a step further and adding some cheese, like Parmesan, grumbled goat cheese, or even some of your own homemade cheese made in an hour? What? Yes you read right, homemade cheese made in one hour.

One Hour Cheese by Claudia LuceroWe were listening to NPR this past week, and the program was All Things Considered, and I was very intrigued at hearing that you could make cheese in one hour.

Listen here to the 3 minute interview with Claudia Lucero who runs Urban Cheesecraft in Portland, Oregon, and authored the book “One Hour Cheese” (CLICK HERE TO HEAR INTERVIEW). 

After listening in the car to the interview with Claudia, the very next day with a gallon of milk from Whole Foods Market, I ventured to make some homemade cheese in my own kitchen for the first time.

Here’s what you need to do to make your own cheese in an hour….

Pour 4 cups milk into a 2-quart saucepan and heat it on medium as you stir.

Look for foam to begin forming around the inside edges of the pot as well as little simmer bubbles coming from the bottom—not a rolling boil. Stir continuously so that a skin doesn’t form on the milk’s surface.

Once you see a soft boiling of the milk, slowly add 1/8 cup of fresh lemon juice. You can also use vinegar. Apple cider or white vinegar will do.

As you are slowly pouring in the lemon juice, stir gently to incorporate it until you see the clear separation of curds, which will be white solids, and whey, a clear liquid.

This separation of curds from the whey is called coagulation.  When you see coagulation and the liquid no longer looks like plain milk, turn the heat to low and stir the curds very, very gently as you cook them for 2 minutes more after the coagulation begins.

Have a cheese cloth placed in a small strainer over a bowl, and using a slotted spoon, carefully spoon out the curds and place them into the cheese cloth, and let any excess whey drain off.

After the whey has drained off, you can add some sea salt or Himalayan salt to the cheese and mix in.

We add some garlic seasoning, which gave it a great flavor. In Claudia Lucero’s book, she even shows you how to make a faux cheddar cheese (which takes days to make) in an hour by just adding turmeric to give it that orange look that you see when purchased at the market.

Here is what we got at our first try making homemade cheese.

making homemade cheese

The cheese is much like a crumbled cheese you would buy at the market. Here are a few leafy green salads we put together using our homemade cheese.

Leafy Green Salad With Homemade Cheese

               Leafy Green Salad With Homemade Cheese

This salad is a few handfuls of leafy greens (your choice) topped with sliced radishes, pecan pieces, pomegranate vinaigrette, and homemade crumbled cheese.

making a leafy green salad with root vegetables and homemade cheese

Our next salad is a plate of leafy greens, with a fried egg and some root vegetables, consisting of sliced radishes and golden beets. We topped the salad with a olive oil and sweet balsamic vinaigrette, homemade crumbled cheese and fresh thyme.

Leafy Greens With Root Vegetables and A Fried Egg And Homemade Cheese

Leafy Greens With Root Vegetables and A Fried Egg And Homemade Cheese

As we mentioned at the on set of the article, this is a great way to get a few servings of your daily need of vegetables, and a added treat you make yourself, Homemade Cheese.

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Greek Yogurt Dill Spread with Ham and Red Cabbage On Wasa Crisp Bread

Greek Yogurt Dill Spread with Ham and Red Cabbage On Wasa Crisp Breadmultigrain Wasa crackersWasabröd is a Swedish company that is the largest producer in the world of Scandinavian style crisp bread.

Wasabröd produces a wide variety of crisp breads, with the original crisp bread made of rye. Other additions since 1919 include sesame,wheat, oats, flax seed, and other grains. Like matzo, Wasa is noted for its shelf longevity.

Wasa crisp bread is popular during the EuropeanOktoberfest‘ (a festival that takes place from mid-September through October).

Oktoberfest comes once a year, with vibrant music, over-flowing beer, sausage, and colorful German costumes. It is a festival held every Fall to celebrate German heritage, and includes lots of great finger foods.

Our featured recipe is an inspiration of the German festival and the Wasa crisp bread: Greek Yogurt Dill Spread with Ham and Red Cabbage On Wasa Crisp Bread. Here is what you will need.

Prepartion per serving:

1 multigrain Wasa crisp bread

2 teaspoons Greek yogurt dill spread

1/4 cup chopped red cabbage

1 fresh basil leaf, medium to large

1 slice uncured lunch meat, your choice, without nitrates

steps to preparing food ingredients with Wasa crisp breadYou can find the recipe for the Greek yogurt dill spread by linking here: Greek Marinated Chicken with Butter Leaf Lettuce Salad.

Prepare the yogurt-dill spread. Cut basil leaves from stems and wash (pat dry). Spread yogurt-dill onto a piece of Wasa crisp bread. Next top with a slice of lunch meat. We used a smoked black-forest honey ham. Next top the meat with a fresh basil leaf, and top that with the red cabbage.

multigrain wasa with cabbage - ham - and a greek yogurt dill spreadYou don’t need to wait util the next Oktoberfest to enjoy this healthy and awesomely delicious finger food. When making your shopping list be sure to include a package of Wasa Crisp Bread (your favorite), and the accompanying ingredients. Oh, and it makes a great party favorite finger food.

For more great ideas to topping Wasa Crisp Bread link here: Wasa – Since 1919.

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Gluten-Free Penne with Caponata Sauce

Gluten Free Penne with Caponata Sauce

You have no doubt heard of people who eat a gluten free diet. A gluten free diet excludes gluten, a protein found in wheat and related grains, like barley and rye. Gluten causes health problems in those who suffer with Celiac disease (CD) and in some cases those who may have allergies to wheat.

Some have argued we need carbohydrates and wheat needs to be eaten. Also others have voiced that eating Gluten free is just a fade diet. Are these statements true? We would say no.

Making the choice to take gluten out of your diet is for health reasons, and it has nothing to do with losing weight, as most fade diets proclaim. Secondly, you can obtain the same amount of carbohydrates as you would in wheat products as you can in eating fruits and vegetables.

De Boles Gluten Free  pasta for - Penne with Caponata SauceThe fact is most substitutions used for wheat do have some carbohydrates in them. Such as the product we chose to prepare are featured recipe.

This product De Boles is not exclusive to just using white or brown rice flour or corn flour, no but rather it uses brown rice flour with whole grain quinoa flour and ground flax seed flour, as well as the rice bran.

This gluten free product has 4 servings with 41 grams of carbohydrates per serving. As there is whole grains, and bran, it will not raise blood sugar levels.

Now for our featured all organic recipe: Gluten Free Penne with Caponata Sauce and here is what you will need.

1 red onion

1 red sweet pepper

1 yellow sweet pepper

3 small purple carrots

2 zucchini

1 medium egg plant

2 cloves garlic, minced

14 ounce can roasted tomatoes

1 teaspoon dried oregano

3 – 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preapred vegtables for - Gluten Free Penne with Caponata Sauce

Cut all the vegetables into chunky dices, but mince the garlic.

Sauting carrots, onions and garlic in olve oil

In a large skillet, saute oil, onions, garlic and carrots for 3 minutes. Next add the eggplant and peppers, and cook 3 minutes more, stirring frequently.

Now add the zucchini and cook 3 minutes more, and again stir frequently.

Adding roasted tomatoes to suateed vegetablesAdd roasted tomatoes….

adding oregano

Add the oregano and stir in, till well incorporated. Let simmer for 10 minutes.

Cooked pasta for - Gluten Free Penne with Caponata Sauce

Mean while, cook the gluten free pasta according to package instructions. Drain do not rinse. By this time the vegetables should have completed the 10 minutes of simmering.

Gluten Free Penne with Caponata Sauce

In a large serving bowl mix vegetables and pasta together. Plate and serve with a favorite meat, such as fresh ground turkey basil and feta sausages, from the Whole Foods Market. Enjoy!!

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Pesto Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage

Pesto Orrechette with Chicken Sausage

Italian cuisine is always an elaborate meal. You gather several ingredients and spend half the day or more. But this recipe , this Italian pasta dish, is fast , simple and easy in under 40 minutes. It has vegetables for lots of vitamins and minerals. Garlic good for digestion and helps fight against stomach cancer. Also controls your blood pressure.

Basil leaves contain much health benefiting essential oils such as eugenol, citronellol, linalool, citral, limonene and terpineol. These compounds are known to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Vitamin K in basil is essential for many coagulant factors in the blood and plays a vital role in the bone strengthening function by helping the mineralization process in the bones.

As a side note this is a great nutritional meal for those who suffer with Schizophrenia (Read More Here: Nutritional Hope for Schizophrenic Patients).

What is pasta Orecchiette?

Pasta-Orecchiette

Orecchiette is a type of pasta shaped roughly like small ears, hence the name Orecchiette which in Italian means little ears. It is pasta typical of Puglia, a region of southern Italy.

Orecchiette is about ¾ of an inch across, somewhat domed, and the center is thinner than the rim of the pasta therefore, giving the pasta its interestingly variable texture soft in the middle and a little chewier on the outer part. You can purchase it with a  smooth surface, as in the image or with ridges. Both are the same flavor and texture.

Enjoy the food video!!

 

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How to Use Herbs in Cooking

How to Use Herbs in Cooking

An important part of cooking is also to know the flavors of herbs and spices and how to use them. Seasonings are the key to making a great meal.

If you are not familiar with different herbs, experiment. Get to know the flavors and how herbs work to flavor your food.  Also be aware herbs are not just for flavoring foods, but also have nutritional value as well as medicinal traits.

The following are the most popular used herbs.

Basil: This herb has a very aromatic odor and some can even be sweet. It can be fresh or dried. The herb goes well with lamb, fish, roast, stews, ground beef, vegetables, dressing and omelets. Basil should always be added after cooking your recipe dish, as heat chances the color and texture of basil.

Basil is also best used as whole leaves or torn. Do not use kitchen shears to cut basil as this will brown it. Smaller leaves at the top of the bunch are the sweetest.

Chives: This herb is part of the onion family. Though it can be sweet, and does have a mild flavor. They can be used dried or fresh. They go well with salads, fish, soups and potatoes.

Cilantro: It has a lively aromatic flavor. It looks similar to flat-leaf parsley, though it is not parsley. This herb originated from the Middle East and goes well with Asian, Mexican, and Indian dishes. It is also used in salsas and chutneys.

Cilantro is best used fresh. If you do grow this herb in your garden, note that the leaves become bitter after the plant flowers. The dried seeds of cilantro are the spice called coriander, which is popular in use with making Chai Tea.

Dill: This herb is very aromatic. The herb has grassy and feathery like leaves. It is used in pickle brine, as well as fresh in tuna salad, omelets, vegetables, seafood dishes, yogurt dressings that use cucumbers, and herbed vinegars.

Marjoram: Though not a popular herb, it is used either dried or fresh. It is used to add flavor to fish, poultry, omelets, lamb, stew, and stuffing.

Oregano: A very strong herb with a strong aromatic odor. Be careful when using this herb, as it is strong, adding to much will over power other flavors you will use in your recipe preparations. Oregano is unforgiving. If you have added more than the recipe calls for, there really is now way to fix it.

It can be use fresh or dried. It is added to recipes using fish, eggs, pizza, omelets, chili, stew, gravies, poultry and vegetables.

Rosemary: This herb has a pungent aroma like smell or pine flavor. It goes great with Mediterranean dishes, lamb, poultry, fish, and breads. Fresh sprigs or finely chopped leaves can be added to long-cooking stews.

It is noteworthy, that when grilling, sturdier stems of the plant make good skewers for broiling or BBQ dishes. Adding flavor to the meats and vegetables placed on the skewers.

Paprika: This spice works well when marinating steaks, in use with vegetables, soups or as a garnish for potatoes, salads and deviled eggs. The Paprika we are familiar with using is Hungarian and is sweet. There is also Smoked Paprika that is used in Mexican dishes. Most of the paprika we buy today is grown and processed in California.

Thyme: This delightful herb can be used fresh, though it is popular used dried. The leaves are dried than crushed, and can be sprinkled on fish or poultry before broiling or baking.

Here’s a tip using thyme as a meat smoking agent if you’re grilling fish or poultry: Place a few sprigs directly onto coals shortly before meat is finished grilling.

Rules to Using Herbs

The basic rule to using herbs is ¼ teaspoon for every 4 servings. Also, if you are using whole dried herbs, crush them before using to release their flavor. The rule of thumb is to use 3 times more fresh herbs if substituting for dried.

When preparing your dish, dried herbs should be added at the beginning and fresh herbs should be added just before serving the dish.

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Green Hamburgers

Green HamburgersHere’s a great way to get your finicky eaters to eat their greens, with Green Hamburgers. One hamburger has one serving of leafy greens. As a side note, this is a great nutritional meal for those who suffer with Schizophrenia.

Now for our featured recipe: Green Hamburgers, and here is what you will need.

ingredients for Green Hamburgers

23 fresh spinach leaves

1 pkg. (about 12 oz.) basil, fresh or live basil with roots

¼ cup cilantro

1 lb. ground hamburger (15% Fat)

4 tbsp. prepared bread crumbs

 

wahs and trim greens

Cut the root ball from fresh basil and trim stems along with the spinach and cilantro. Wash the greens.

processing greens for Green HamburgersPlace all greens into a food processor with 1/8 to 1/4 cup of water, if necessary. Process greens until finely chopped and looks like a wet paste. Set aside.

cutting equal parts of hamburger meat

Divide hamburger into 4 equal parts, about 1/4 pound per each burger.

prepared Green HamurgersIndividually prepare each 1/4 pound of meat in a small bowl. Add meat with 2 tablespoons of processed greens, and one tablespoon of bread crumbs. Mix with hands and form a patty.cooking Green HamburgersBBQ, broil  of pan fry your Green Hamburgers. We used our Nu-wave oven to cook the hamburgers, about 6 minutes each side flipping 2 to 3 times. Meat must be 160 degrees internal temperature to be done.Green Hamburger sliced in halfIt is not necessary to slice burger in half. We did so to show you how the hamburger looks once cooked.preparing the hamburger with tomato and spring lettuce mixPrepare your Green Hamburger the way you like it. I personally like to use whole wheat bread slices with mayonnaise ,tomato, and a spring lettuce mix.close up of prepared Green Hamburgers

Enjoy!!

 

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