Cheese Please

I’m the first to admit I can be a bit of a connoisseur about some things (some people may say “snob”). Good coffee. Plush yarns. Well-crafted shoes (*swoon*). Also on that list is cheese!

Like good chocolate, there is just something special and decadent about good quality cheese. Complex flavours and the smoothness on the palette… mmmm… I could eat!

I hosted a get together the other weekend and of course, had plenty of cheese on the menu! We are really lucky here in Manitoba to have local, fine-crafted cheese that is easily accessible. Bothwell Cheese, made in New Bothwell, Manitoba, has been making cheese since 1936. They know cheese!

While every party should have plenty of cheese “straight up” just for nibbling (along with a good glass of wine), I also created a few appetizers for the event. All of these got RAVE reviews (even the ones that were a bit unconventional).

 

Marinated Mozzarella

Marinated Mozzarella

1 package of Bothwell mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup of lime juice
1/2 cup of good quality olive oil
1/2 cup of red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 roasted red pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 green onion

Chop up the green onion and roasted red pepper into small pieces (consistent in size).

Slice cheese into bite size pieces.

In a medium bowl (with a lid) add in lime juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar, sugar. Whisk together. Add in red peppers and onions, as well as cheese. Toss to coat all the ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least two hours (or longer). Serve on a cheese plate by removing the cheese and arranging. Then drizzle with the marinade.

 

Toasted Pecan, Cheddar Cheese and Bacon Truffles

Toasted Pecan Cheddar Cheese and Bacon Truffles

1 package of Bothwell old cheddar cheese (1 cup grated)
4 pieces of cooked bacon
2 teaspoons of parsley
1 green onion
2 tablespoons of mayo
1/2 cup of toasted pecans

First of all – can I tell you my tip for cooking bacon? I used to dread cooking bacon on the stove-top. Bacon grease EVERYwhere. Now I use this method and it’s so easy to cook up a package of bacon (and freeze what I don’t need). I use my roasting pan. You know the one that usually comes with the oven (that many people, like me, never use). I line the bottom with foil, put the top on, spray the top with cooking spray (to help with clean up) and lay all my bacon out on top. In a 350 degree oven, cook for 15 minutes. Turn each piece of bacon, if needed, and cook for another 5 minutes to brown on both sides. So easy!

IMG_1268

To prepare the cheese truffles… In a medium bowl, add grated cheese, bacon that has been chopped into small pieces, parsley, green onion chopped into small pieces and mayo. Mix well with a wooden spoon until it’s completely mixed together. I like to even get my hands in there and almost knead the mixture together so when I get to the next part, it holds together well.

Roll the mixture into little balls.

Chop up the toasted pecans (I toasted mine at 350 degrees for 5-8 minutes – just until you can smell them, don’t wait till they start to brown or they might over cook!). Roll your cheese truffles into the cooled and chopped pecans. Place in the fridge for at least an hour to firm up. Serve!

 

Chocolate Mozzeralla

Yup – I’m serious. Chocolate covered mozzarella. This will have your guests talking! 

Chocolate Covered Mozzarella

1 package of Bothwell mozzarella cheese
1 cup of good quality chocolate
1 teaspoon of butter

Melt chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl. (In case you were curious, the butter just helps the chocolate become a little more thin in consistency for dipping, plus it adds a nice shine to the chocolate when it has hardened again.) This is my preferred method for melting chocolate. I place the chocolate in the microwave for 20-30 second increments. Stirring in between each 30 seconds. Do this until the chocolate is fully melted. By only heating for 20-30 seconds at a time, you can avoid overcooking and *gasp* burning your chocolate.

Cut the mozzarella into bite-size chunks.

Using a toothpick to hold the chocolate, dip your mozzarella into the chocolate and use a spoon to make sure it is fully coated. Set on a piece of wax paper and when you are done dipping all your chocolate, place in the fridge to allow the chocolate to firm up.

My guests weren’t too sure about this one at first but it quickly became one of the favourite appetizers of the night! We all felt that the chocolate covered mozzarella bites got even better when the chocolate was allowed to come back to room temperature as it really matched the consistency of the chocolate well!

 

Stuffed Mushrooms

12 button mushrooms, washed and stemmed
1 cup of Bothwell smoked cheddar cheese, grated
1 tablespoon of mayo
2 pieces of cooked bacon, chopped into small pieces
1 green onion, chopped into small pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, mix together the grated cheese, mayo, bacon and onion.

I used a cast iron pan for this. It added to the presentation! Take a teaspoon of the filling and stuff it into the mushroom cap part of each of the mushrooms. (I used my fingers for this.) Please each stuffed mushroom, cap/filling side up into the cast iron pan. These can be touching together.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is all melted and slightly brown and the mushroom is cooked and tender throughout.

So easy and soooo yummy!!

3 thoughts on “Cheese Please

  1. Audrey

    I love New Bothwell cheese. I will be trying your recipes this holiday season. I am really curious about the chocolate mozzarella. Sounds like a great combo. I am just stopping by during the Blogathon Canada tour. Really enjoyed my visit. I will be back.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: