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Melt Away the Stress of Holiday Entertaining

Raclette Recipe

I have a rather large family, and they all love to eat. We divide and conquer on the holidays, with different family members hosting certain holidays. My holiday to host is Christmas Day. (My mother gets Christmas Eve, the most sought-after holiday. Apparently, I haven’t earned it yet. I’m not bitter or anything.)

My wife and I visit her family Christmas morning and usually get home at about 11 am. This can make for a stressful cooking situation to say the least. But we cook simply, prep in advance and use fresh high-quality ingredients so my time is spent just making them shine. We serve a great roast coated in herbs, chunky pieces of Maldon Salt and crushed garlic; basic roasted root vegetables tossed in olive oil and thyme; sautéed greens with nutmeg; and crusty bread with compound butters. All of this food is easy to finish off quickly and tastes delicious. But when it’s time to really impress, to make the occasion special, I bring out the fermented curd, the coagulated aged milk, the king of all things edible: the cheese!

And I still keep it simple.

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Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Perfected

Crispy and melty are no more typified than in America’s greatest culinary accomplishment, the Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Who thought up such a wonderful combination, bread, butter and melted cheese? Pure culinary genius!

The first signs of what we know as the Grilled Cheese sandwich surfaced around the 1940’s. Cheese toasties – open faced grilled cheese sandwiches – were made with white bread and popular in both England and with the U.S. Navy. Did these toasted, melty precursors come from the English Welsh Rarebit or the French Croque Madame? I’m not sure, but I do know that now more than ever this nostalgic sandwich has become increasingly popular and more and more refined. Is it because of it’s simplicity and comfort-evoking qualities?

Whatever your reason for making one, I’ve got 5 tips to guarantee it turns out stellar.

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Put Some Cheese in Your Gravy

Cheese Gravy Recipe

Thanksgiving is a time to be reflect on all the things we’re thankful for throughout the year. It’s also a time to immerse ourselves in some seriously wonderful food! One of my favorite foods to eat during the Thanksgiving feast is gravy. It brings all the fabulous Thanksgiving food together into a harmonious plate.

Because I like to insert cheese wherever I can, here is a great, easy way to make your Thanksgiving gravy into a cheesy gravy!

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Give Thanks for Cheese

Thanksgiving Cheese Plate

My all-time favorite holiday is Thanksgiving: A day set aside to give thanks to the bounty of the harvest. Just as the weather starts to get chilly and hearty appetites are sparked, this beautiful autumn holiday rolls in with potatoes in every form, roasted squashes, Brussels sprouts, and of course, crispy turkey with heaps of rich gravy. My mouth starts to water just thinking about it.

The harvest is an important time for cheese, too. This is the time where most animals have been feeding outside on rich, full summer grasses.Their milk is the best by the time autumn cheeses roll through.

For Thanksgiving, I usually start planning about a month ahead, figuring who in my family will bring what, which farm to get our turkey from and how to get my mom to make even more of her famous poppy seed butter again. One ridiculously easy dish that always starts my families’ Thanksgiving feast is, of course, cheese.

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What’s The Difference in Cheese?

Cheese

I love all cheese. Goat, cow, sheep: It all tastes delicious. But have you ever wondered what accounts for the difference in taste between the three? The key to the difference in flavor and texture comes from the fact that each animal eats in a unique way.

Contrary to popular belief, goats don’t just eat anything. They seek out the highest and most tender leaves when they graze, stripping bark from trees and going after the tallest, sweetest grasses. For this reason, their milk produces cheeses with a more acidic and bright flavor as well as a characteristic “goatiness” that can be described as barn yard-like or at times quite animalistic. It also has the least amount of fat in it.

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Secrets to Great Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese

I’ve spent considerable time trying all the versions of macaroni and cheese: baked, stove top, gourmet, truffled, lobstered and hot-dogged. And through them all, I’ve come up with my secrets to making a seriously great Mac and Cheese. Like most things in life, these tips are simple and straight forward, but it’s all about the details.

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