categories:Goat Cheese | Fast & Easy | Pasta & Desserts




Chilaquiles, A Mexican Cheese and Tortilla Casserole

Salsa Verde
  • 10 small tomatillos, husks removed
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 fresh poblano chile
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Pickled onions
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 dried ancho chile pepper
Fried Tortillas
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup vegetable oil

  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 8 ounces queso fresco cheese, crumbled
  • 6 tablespoons sour cream for garnish

Salsa Verde:
Wash the tomatillos and place them in a small saucepan. Cover with the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the tomatillos just begin to soften. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Roast the poblano pepper over an open flame or under the broiler to blacken the skin. Wrap in plastic wrap, or place in a plastic bag, seal, and steam for 15 minutes. Remove the plastic and then remove the blackened skin, seeds, and stem, and discard. Place the tomatillos, chicken broth, poblano, onion, garlic, and cilantro in the container of a blender. Blend until the vegetables are finely chopped. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot add the contents of the blender. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Pickled Onions:
Peel and thinly slice the onion. Place the onion rings in a small bowl. Add just enough vinegar to barely cover the onions. Remove and discard the seeds and stems of the ancho chile. Cut it into julienne strips, add to the onion and vinegar, and stir to mix. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature to marinate and absorb color of the chile for at least 30 minutes. It will dye the onions a rosy pink color as well as flavor them. Stir the onions from time to time to evenly distribute the chile and the vinegar.

Fried Tortillas:
Tear or cut the tortillas into quarters. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the tortillas in batches. Be careful not crowd the pan. Add some of the tortillas when the oil is hot. Fry the tortillas for about 2 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy and remove with a skimmer, slotted spoon, or tongs to paper towels to drain. Repeat until all of the tortillas are fried.

Preheat the oven to 350º. Lightly oil a terra cotta, ceramic, or glass baking dish about 10 to 12 inches in diameter. Place a layer of fried tortilla pieces in the bottom of the baking dish, cover with some of each of the two cheeses, and spoon some of the Salsa Verde over the cheese. Repeat the layers until all of the ingredients are used and the dish is filled. The final layer should be the sauce. Cover with aluminum foil. Place in the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes.

To serve the chilaquiles, top with the pickled onions and a dollop of sour cream.

Serves 6

Copyright © 2000 by Paula Lambert, The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook and Guide, all rights reserved


Baked Fennel with Montasio

Béchamel Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk, heated
  • 1 whole garlic clove, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  • 14 fennel bulbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces Montasio, grated (1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Béchamel Sauce

Melt the butter
in a small saucepan over medium heat. When the foam begins to subside stir the flour into the butter to make a roux. Cook for 2 minutes. Slowly add the heated milk while stirring constantly. Add the clove of garlic. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking. Remove garlic clove. Stir in salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Set aside, cover, and keep warm over low heat.


Peel away the distressed outer layer of the fennel bulb, cut off green stems, and discard. Cut fennel bulb vertically into 1/2-inch thick slices. Place a medium size saucepan half full of water over high heat and bring to a rapid boil. Add salt and parboil fennel for 3 minutes. Pour the fennel into a colander to drain. Rinse briefly with cold water to stop the cooking.

Preheat the oven to 350º. Butter a 10-inch au gratin pan or an 11 x 7-inch baking pan.

Spread a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of the pan. Place half of the parboiled fennel in an overlapping layer on top of the sauce. Cover with a thin layer of sauce, sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the Montasio, and dot with butter. Repeat with another layer of fennel, sauce, Montasio, and butter. Place in the oven and bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until bubbling and golden brown on top.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Copyright © 2000 by Paula Lambert, The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook and Guide, all rights reserved




Sirloin Steak with Blue Cheese Mascarpone

Blue Cheese Mascarpone
  • 1/2 cup (8 ounces) Mascarpone
  • 3/4 cup (8 ounces) crumbled Deep Ellum Blue or another blue cheese, room temperature

  • 1 sirloin steak, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches thick (3 to 3 1/2 lbs with bone in or 2 1/2 to 3 lbs boneless)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the Blue Cheese Mascarpone, place the Mascarpone and the blue cheese in a small bowl. Mash into a smooth paste using a fork. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.
Preheat a gas grill to high or build a fire with charcoal or wood and allow to burn until the coals are covered in gray ash. Adjust the rack so that it is 3 to 4 inches from the heat source.
Season the steak liberally with salt and pepper. Brush the grill with olive oil. Place the steak on the grill over the coals. Baste the steak with olive oil, using two rosemary sprigs as the brush. Throw the remaining rosemary stems onto the coals in an area not directly under the steak. Cook the steak on one side until browned, for about 6 to 8 minutes. Turn the steak over and cook for an additional 6 minutes. Continue basting with oil using the rosemary-sprig brush. The steak, at this point, should be medium rare. Test the steak in the following method: For rare, you should be able to press down on the meat and it will be soft; for medium-rare, you will have some resistance when pressing down; for well done, the steak will be fairly firm.
Remove the steak from the heat and place it on a platter. Remove the Blue Cheese Mascarpone from the refrigerator and spoon it over the steak. Spread it over the steak with the blade of a knife. Allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes. The Mascarpone will melt from the residual heat of the steak and become a sauce.
Just before serving, cut the steak on the bias against the grain into slices about 1/2 inch wide. Garnish with sprigs of rosemary. Spoon the melted Blue Cheese Mascarpone sauce over the steak.
Serves 4

Copyright © 2005 by Paula Lambert, All rights reserved.




Grilled Swordfish Steaks
Stuffed with Ancho Chile Caciotta


Herb Sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup tightly packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Swordfish
  • 4 swordfish steaks, each 1 inch thick (2 lbs total)
  • 2 cups (8 oz) shredded Ancho Chile Caciotta
  • 8 sprigs of fresh cilantro, divided use
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Herb Sauce, drop the garlic through the feed tube of a food processor with the motor running. Add the cilantro and parsley and pulse to finely chop the herbs. Add the lemon juice, cumin, cayenne, and salt. Continue to process. With the motor running, drizzle the oil through the feed tube. Process until puréed. Taste and adjust seasonings. Set aside. Refrigerate if the sauce will not be served within an hour or so. Serve Herb Sauce at room temperature.
For the Swordfish, preheat a gas grill to high or build a fire with charcoal or wood and allow to burn until the coals are covered in gray ash. Adjust the rack so that it is 3 to 4 inches from the heat source. Rinse the fish and pat dry. Lay on a flat surface and cut a horizontal slit in each steak to form a pocket. Divide the cheese into 4 parts. Stuff each steak with a portion of the cheese and the leaves from one sprig of cilantro. Secure the openings with toothpicks. Rub with oil on all sides of the swordfish and season liberally with salt and pepper.
Place the steaks on the grill. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes on each side. Remove the fish and test for doneness: the flesh of the fish will be opaque and not too dry. It will flake when the tip of a knife is inserted and the cheese will be soft and beginning to melt. Return the fish to the heat and spoon 2 tablespoons of the Herb Sauce onto each steak and spread it out. Cover and cook for 1 minute. Remove the swordfish to a serving platter.
Garnish with the remaining sprigs of cilantro. Pass the remaining sauce.
Serves 4.

Copyright © 2000 by Paula Lambert, The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook and Guide, all rights reserved




Orange Cream Cheese French Toast
with Raspberry Coulis


Raspberry Coulis
  • 1/2 pint fresh raspberries, about 1 cup
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

French Toast
  • 8 thick slices soft bakery bread or raisin bread
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon orange marmalade
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 to 5 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar, for garnish
  • 4 sprigs fresh mint, for garnish
  • 4 orange slices, for garnish
  • 8 fresh raspberries, reserved from coulis, for garnish


Raspberry Coulis:Wash the raspberries and drain in a colander. Reserve 8 raspberries and set aside. Place the remaining raspberries in a blender or food processor. Add the sugar and corn syrup. Puree until completely smooth. Pour the sauce into a bowl and refrigerate.

French Toast: Lay 4 slices of the bread on a flat surface. Trim away the crusts, if desired. Blend the cream cheese, marmalade, and zest in a small bowl with a fork or the back of a spoon. Divide and spread evenly on the bread, avoiding the edges. Place the remaining bread slices on top of the cheese and press gently to stick the slices together. You will have 4 thick sandwiches.
Place the eggs, half-and-half, Grand Marnier, sugar, cinnamon, and baking powder in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Beat with a fork or a whisk. Dip the sandwiches into the mixture and allow them to soak for several minutes on each side.
Preheat the oven to 350º F. Place a griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Melt 3 teaspoons butter on the griddle. Add the sandwiches and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, turning as necessary until golden on both sides. Transfer the French Toast to a baking pan. Add more butter to the griddle, if necessary, and cook the remaining sandwiches. Place in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes to finish cooking the interior.
To serve, spoon 3 tablespoons of the coulis onto 4 serving plates. Tilt and swirl to spread evenly on the plates. Place 1 French Toast atop the coulis on each plate. Dust with the powdered sugar using a sieve. Garnish with the mint sprigs, orange slices, and raspberries.
Raspberry Coulis makes about 3/4 cup
Serves 4

Copyright © 2000 by Paula Lambert, The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook and Guide, all rights reserved



Potato Pancakes with Smoked Salmon
and Dilled Triple Crème Cheese


  • Dilled Triple Crème Cheese
  • 4 ounces Triple Crème Cheese (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup Crème Fraîche or sour cream (4 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup snipped fresh dill
  • 8 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

  • Potato Pancakes
  • 2 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, grated (about 6 cups)
  • 1 small onion, grated (2/3 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream (4 ounces)
  • 1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated (1/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 12 slices of smoked salmon (8 to 12 ounces)
  • 12 sprigs of fresh dill, for garnish
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced, for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons of finely minced fresh chives, for garnish


Dilled Triple Crème Cheese
Blend the Triple Crème Cheese and Crème Fraîche together in a bowl until smooth and well mixed. Stir in the zest, lemon juice, dill, Tabasco, salt, and pepper. Adjust the seasonings. Refrigerate until serving time.
Potato Pancakes
Peel and grate the potatoes and then the onions using the grating blade of a food processor or by hand. Place the potatoes in a large bowl and add the onion, shallots, eggs, crème fraîche, cheese, flour, salt, and pepper. Stir all of the ingredients together. Do this as close to cooking time as possible so the potatoes do not change color or become watery.
Preheat oven to 400º F. Get out a baking pan large enough to hold 12 pancakes and set it near the stove. Place a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and melt 1 to 2 tablespoons of the butter in the skillet. Scoop out a heaping 1/4 cup of the potato mixture and place in the skillet. Using a spatula, shape the pancake into a round, smoothing the top and sides. Add 1 or 2 more pancakes to the pan, depending on the size of the skillet used. Cook for 3 minutes on one side, turn the pancake, and cook an additional 4 minutes, or until lightly browned on both sides. Remove the pancakes as they are cooked and put them on the reserved baking pan in a single layer. Wipe out the skillet if necessary and melt more butter to cook the additional pancakes. Continue until all are cooked.
Just before serving, place the baking pan with the pancakes in the preheated oven for 3 minutes to reheat them and finish the cooking.
To serve, spread 1 tablespoon of the Dilled Triple Crème Cheese on each warm pancake. Arrange the smoked salmon slices artfully on top and garnish with the dill sprigs. Garnish the plates with the diced bell peppers and chives.
Makes 12 pancakes about 3- to 4-inches.
Makes about 1 cup of Dilled Triple Crème Cheese.
Serves 12.

Copyright © 2000 by Paula Lambert, The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook and Guide, all rights reserved




Risotto with Oven-Roasted Tomatoes and Blanca Bianca

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half (2 cups)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided use
  • 1/2 small onion, minced (1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup arborio ricer
  • 3 cups chicken broth, heated
  • 4 ounces Blanca Bianca, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, cut in chiffonade


Cut 2 cups cherry tomatoes in half and place them cut side up on a lightly-oiled baking pan. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake at 250º F for 2 hours. (This could be done the day before.)

Heat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat in a heavy, two-quart saucepan. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes, until tender but not brown. Add the rice and stir well to coat each grain of rice with the butter. Sauté the rice for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly, or until it begins to become golden. Add 1/2 of the chicken broth. Stir as necessary to keep rice from sticking. Add another 1/2-cup stock when the liquid is almost completely absorbed. Repeat as necessary. After 12 minutes of stirring and adding broth, add the tomatoes. Stir well and cook for about 3 minutes longer. (The total cooking time should be about 15 minutes and the risotto should be somewhat runny at this point.) Check a rice grain to see if it is cooked by biting it, or by cutting it in two with a knife. It should be al dente and there should be a small, thin white line inside the grain of rice. When the rice is ready, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining butter and the Blanca Bianca. Season with salt and an abundant amount of fresh black pepper. Stir again and let the risotto rest for one minute. The excess liquid will be absorbed.

To serve, spoon the risotto into shallow bowls or onto serving plates. Distribute the fresh basil atop the risotto.

Serves 4

Copyright. The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook & Guide by Paula Lambert, 2000.




Queso Packets

  • 4 sheets phyllo dough, thawed
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 8 ounces Queso Blanco with Chiles and Epazote, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Lay a sheet of phyllo dough out on a dry work surface. Brush the dough lightly and quickly with some of the melted butter. Place a second sheet of phyllo on top of the first sheet and brush it will butter. Repeat with the remaining 2 sheets. Cut the dough into 4-inch square pieces. Cover dough with a damp towel until ready to fill.
One by one, divide the Queso Blanco among the squares and fold over the sides and then the top and bottom of each square to make a little packet. Place the seam side down on a non-stick baking sheet (or alternatively, a baking sheet lined with buttered parchment paper), brush the packet with butter, make a tiny slit in the top, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the pastry is light golden brown.
Serve hot, straight out of the oven. These are great appetizers, especially with Beer, Margaritas and wines such as Riesling and Chenin Blanc.

Serves 12

Copyright. The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook & Guide by Paula Lambert, 2000.



Eggplant Stacks

  • 1 large eggplant
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 pound cacicavallo*, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups Tomato Sauce
  • 12 to 18 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated (1/4 cup)

Cut the eggplant crosswise into slices about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle with salt on both sides. Place in colander over the sink or a bowl to drain for 30 minutes.
Preheat the broiler or grill to high. Adjust the rack so that it is 3 inches from the heat source.
Rinse off the eggplant slices with cold water, place on paper towels to drain, and pat dry. Brush 1 side with olive oil. Broil on a sheet pan in a single layer, oiled side up, for about 5 minutes, or until the slices are limp and golden brown. Turn over, brush the other side with oil, and continue to cook until golden brown. If grilling, cook on both sides, starting with the oiled side down. Brush the slices with oil before turning over. When limp and browned, remove from heat and place eggplant slices on a plate.
Preheat the oven to 350º. Lightly oil a shallow baking pan.
Make individual stacks. Place 1 slice of eggplant in the pan. Top with 1 slice of caciocavallo, 1 tablespoon of tomato sauce, and 1 basil leaf. Repeat the layering, leaving the basil off the top layer. Continue to make identical stacks until all the eggplant and cheese are used.
Place the pan in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the eggplant is tender. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the Parmigiano. Turn the oven to broil and return the pan to the oven. Broil for 3 minutes, or until the cheese on top is golden brown and bubbling. Remove and let stand for 5 minutes.
To serve, place 1 stack on each serving plate. Top each with a basil leaf. Serve additional sauce on the side, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 4 to 6 stacks, depending on size of eggplant.

Serves 4 to 6

Copyright. The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook & Guide by Paula Lambert, 2000.



Grilled Mozzarella Bundles

  • 8 large radicchio leaves
  • 8 ounces Smoked Mozzarella
  • 8 very thin slices prosciutto, 4 to 6 ounces
  • 8 (8-inch) pieces white cotton kitchen string
  • Olive oil, for brushing the bundles
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomato pesto
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, for garnish

Prepare a charcoal fire or heat a gas grill to high. Alternatively, the bundles may be pan-sautéed in a skillet over medium-high heat using small amount of olive oil.
Place a large pan of water over high heat and bring to a boil. Remove the leaves intact from the head of radicchio by removing the core and peeling the leaves off from the core upward. When the water is boiling, blanch the radicchio leaves by dipping them into the boiling water for about 5 seconds. Remove them with tongs and plunge them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. When cool, remove the leaves and place on paper towels to drain. They will be limp and pliable.
Slice the smoked mozzarella into 8 slices, about one ounce each. Wrap each slice of mozzarella with a slice of prosciutto and then wrap with a wilted radicchio leaf, taking care to completely enclose them. Secure each bundle with string, like tying a package. Brush each with olive oil. Grill the bundles over the prepared fire or cook in a skillet over medium-high heat for about three minutes on each side. Turn the bundles with tongs or a spatula so that they brown evenly, being careful not to pierce them. As they are cooked, remove them to a platter.

To serve, drizzle the pesto over the bundles and sprinkle with pine nuts or alternatively serve them with a green salad. Serve the bundles warm so that the mozzarella oozes out when they are cut open.

Makes 8 bundles and serves 4 to 8

Copyright. The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook & Guide by Paula Lambert, 2000.



Sweet Potatoes, Scalloped, with Leeks and Blue Cheese

• 3 large sweet potatoes (2 pounds)
• 3 large leeks
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), cut into small pieces
• Salt, to taste
• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon leaves or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
• 8 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
• 1 cup milk

Peel the potatoes and thinly slice about 1/8 inch thick, using a knife or a mandolin. Set aside.
Cut the green tops off of the leeks on a diagonal, to expose more of the interior white part, and discard. Cut the remaining white part of the leeks into slices about 1/8 inch thick, discarding the root ends. Plunge the leeks into a bowl of cold water. Lift the leeks from water with your hands, shake to remove excess water, and place in a colander to drain.  Repeat several times to remove all the sand and grit. (There should be about 3 1/2 cups of cut leeks.)
Preheat oven to 325º. Liberally butter a large, flat rectangular baking dish about 11 x 7 x 2 inches.
Overlap one third of the potato slices in a layer to cover the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover the potatoes with a layer of leeks, using about one half of them.  Dot with butter and sprinkle on one half of the tarragon. Distribute one-third more of the blue cheese over the leeks. Continue layering with the potatoes, the leeks, salt, pepper, tarragon, butter, and blue cheese, repeating until all ingredients are used. End with potatoes and crumbles of cheese on top. Pour the milk over the potatoes. Dot the top with the remaining butter.
Place the dish in the oven and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the cheese on the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool for 15 minutes.to 6.

Serve immediately.
Serves 6

Copyright. The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook & Guide by Paula Lambert, 2000.



Pork Tenderloin Festivo

• 2 corn tortillas
• 1/2 round Christmas cheese, approx 4.5 oz
• 1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
• 3 tablespoons olive oil

• 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
• 1/2 clove garlic
• 1 pork tenderloin, approx 1.5 lbs
• Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 500 F.
Break the tortillas into pieces, place in the workbowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, and process until they become the texture of cornmeal. Break the cheese into pieces and add to the workbowl, add the cilantro, and process all until uniformly chopped. In the meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium heat, saute the onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons olive oil until golden brown.
On a flat surface, using a sharp knife, cut almost through a pork tenderloin lengthwise from one end to the other. Open the pork tenderloin so that it is butterflied. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the onions and garlic along the center line from top to bottom. Place the tortilla/cheese filling atop the meat, making a big row of filling down the middle of the meat lengthwise from top to bottom. Fold one side over the other and secure the filling with skewers or toothpicks Tie the meat closed by wrapping twine and tying around the roast at intervals 1 inch apart. Rub the outside of the meat with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Place the roast, seam side up, in a small roasting pan or skillet.
Place in the oven and roast for about 45 minutes, until the temperature of the meat is 170F. Remove from heat, allow to rest for 10 minutes before cutting the meat. Don’t be alarmed when some of the filling bulges out of the meat and falls into the pan while roasting. This browned filling will be most delicious part of all!
Slice the roast into 1/4” slices and serve topped with a bit of the bulging, browned filling. Serves 4 to 6.

Copyright. The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook & Guide by Paula Lambert, 2000.



Posole (Hominy) with Chiles, Chorizo, and Queso Fresco

3 cans whole hominy grits or 5 cups frozen hominy
1 fresh poblano chile
1 fresh jalapeño chile
1 small onion, unpeeled
1 clove garlic
1 dried ancho chile
1 dried arbol chile, if you want it hot (optional)
1/2 pound chorizo sausage (optional)

1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 ounces queso fresco, crumbled (1 cup)
12 fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish
4 radishes, cut into thin slices
6 Lime wedges, for garnish

If using canned posole, just rinse and drain. If using frozen posole, boil in water for about 1 hour, or until tender.
Preheat the broiler on high. Adjust the rack so that it is 3 inches from the heat source.
Roast the poblano, jalapeño, onion, and garlic under the broiler. Turn using tongs until the skins are blackened. Remove from the oven and place in a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let steam until cool. Remove the blackened skins, stems, and seeds, discard and coarsely chop.
In the meanwhile, remove the stems, seeds, and membranes from the dried chiles and discard. Toast the ancho and arbol chiles in a dry skillet over low heat, shaking and turning the chiles until softened and fragrant. Be careful not to burn. Remove, place in a small bowl, cover with hot water, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let them steep for 15 minutes to soften. Remove the chiles from the water, remove and discard the seeds, and coarsely chop. The chile arbol will be the hottest chile. (A whole pepper will be very hot. Use it accordingly.)
Preheat the oven to 350°. Coat a 2-quart baking dish with oil.
Cut the chorizo into rounds and brown in skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and turn using tongs for 7 minutes, or until browned on both sides and completely cooked. Remove and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle the dried oregano over the chorizo.
Place the posole in a large bowl. Add the chiles, onion, and garlic, and stir to mix well. Add the chorizo and stir to combine. Add cilantro and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour the posole into the baking dish. Sprinkle the cheese over the top. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is lightly browned.
To serve, garnish with sprigs of cilantro, slices of radish, and 1 lime wedge on the side.
Serves 6.

Copyright. The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook & Guide by Paula Lambert, 2000.




Southwestern Chile Cornbread

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped  (1/2 cup)
1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell peppers
1 fresh jalapeño chile pepper, seeded and minced
2 ears fresh corn, kernels cut off the cob (1 1/2 to 2 cups)
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup cornmeal
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 eggs, well beaten
4 ounces Ancho Chile Caciotta shredded (1 cup)
4 ounces Longhorn or Cheddar shredded (1 cup)

Preheat the oven to 375° F.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the onions, garlic, bell pepper, and jalapeño and sauté about 4 minutes, or until the vegetables are beginning to soften. Add the corn and sauté for several minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
Sift the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt together into a large mixing bowl and set aside. Mix  the buttermilk with 2 remaining tablespoons of the olive oil and the eggs.  Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and stir briefly to combine. Add the sautéed corn mixture and the cheeses and stir again to combine.
Heat a 10-inch round cast-iron skillet over a low flame and pour in the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Swirl the skillet around so that the olive oil completely coats all parts of the pan, bottom and sides. If a cast-iron skillet is not available, oil a square (8 x 8 x 2 inch) or rectangular  (11 x 7 inch) glass baking dish well with the olive oil. Pour in the corn bread batter.
Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean and top is golden brown. (The cornbread in a glass baking dish will bake more quickly than in a cast-iron skillet, so begin checking after 40 minutes.) Remove the corn bread and let cool slightly in the pan on a rack before cutting and serving.
To serve, cut into wedges or squares.
Serves 6 to 8.

Copyright. The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook & Guide by Paula Lambert, 2000.



Asparagus, Tomato, and Scamorza Frittata

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 small onion, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch asparagus (1 pound), trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
5 eggs
1/4 cup water
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
Salt, to taste
8 ounces smoked scamorza, thinly sliced
1 tomato, cut into thin slices
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch nonstick, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté briefly, or until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the asparagus and stir-fry the vegetables, turning and tossing, until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Sprinkle with the red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat the broiler and adjust the rack to accommodate the skillet 3 inches below the heat source.
Crack the eggs into a medium bowl and add the water, Tabasco and salt. Beat with a fork until well combined. Place the skillet containing the asparagus over medium heat and add the eggs. Cook, without stirring, until the bottom browns and the eggs are just beginning to set on the top. Remove from the heat.
Arrange the mozzarella slices over the top of the eggs. Cover the top of the frittata with the tomato slices. Place the skillet under the broiler and cook until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the tomatoes are browned. Remove from the oven and set aside on a rack to cool for 5 minutes.
Liberally sprinkle the top with freshly ground black pepper. Cut into 6 wedges and serve.

Serves 6

Copyright. The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook & Guide by Paula Lambert, 2000.



Roasted Chicken Stuffed with Ricotta

1 broiler-fryer chicken (2 1/2 to 3 1/2 pounds)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons dried herbs de Provence
1 lemon, quartered
1 small onion, quartered
8 ounces ricotta, well drained (1 cup)
3 fresh sage leaves, minced
3 large fresh basil leaves, minced

3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Seasoning Salt or salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup white wine
Kitchen string

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Wash the chicken well and remove any visible excess fat. Pat dry with a paper towel. Season the cavity with salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of the herbs de Provence. Place the lemon and onion in the cavity. Set the chicken aside.
Combine the ricotta, sage, basil, thyme, and rosemary in a small bowl and mix well. Separate the chicken skin from the breast, thigh, and leg meat by gently slipping your fingers and hand between the skin and the meat, take care not to rip the skin with your fingernails. Spread the ricotta mixture under the loosened skin and smooth the top of the skin with your fingers, to distribute in an even layer. Tie the legs of the chicken together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under. Rub the chicken with the oil and sprinkle abundantly with seasoning salt and the remaining 1 tablespoon of herbs de Provence. Set the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan just large enough to hold it.
Place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350ºF and roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour longer, basting with the pan juices every 15 minutes, until the juices run clear when chicken is pierced with the tip of a knife near the thigh. Remove the chicken from the oven and place on a cutting board or platter, covered loosely with foil, and let stand for 5 minutes before carving.
Drain the pan drippings into a cup and remove the fat that rises to the top. Add the white wine to the pan, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom, then pour in the pan juices. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes over medium heat, or until the sauce has thickened.
To serve, carve or quarter the chicken and drizzle with the pan juices.

Serves 4

Copyright. The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook & Guide by Paula Lambert, 2000.




Chicken Paola


4 chicken breasts (boned & butterflied)
1 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 c white wine
1 clove garlic
1/2 lb fresh mozzarella (sliced into 8 slices)
A few sprigs of fresh tarragon
Salt & pepper to taste.

Saute chicken breasts over medium heat in butter and olive oil until golden brown on both sides. Add white wine to pan and simmer briefly, less than a minute. Place two slices of mozzarella on top of each chicken breast and sprinkle tarragon leaves on cheese. Place cover on pan and remove from heat. Let stand for a few minutes until the mozzarella begins to melt. Season with salt & pepper. Garnish with fresh tarragon sprigs.

Serves 4.




Pasta Salad with Fresh Mozzarella and Fresh Herbs

1 lb penne or shell pasta
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 tomato, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons tarragon, finely minced
2 teaspoons basil, finely minced
1 teaspoon oregano, finely minced
1 teaspoon thyme, finely minced
1 ball fresh mozzarella, sliced into 1/2-inch cubes
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta al dente in rapidly boiling salted water. Drain pasta and immediately toss with olive oil and all the minced herbs. Set aside pasta and allow to cool to room temperature, tossing occasionally. Toss in the tomato and mozzarella. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serves 6.




Recipes:

Ricotta and Goat Cheese Crespelle

Chilaquiles, A Mexican Cheese and Tortilla Casserole

Pan-Toasted Panino with Blanca Bianca, Vine-Ripened Tomatoes and Basil Pesto

Baked Fennel with Montasio

Roasted Beet Salad with Feta

Field Greens with Pears, Deep Ellum Blue and Port Shallot Dressing

Holiday Quesadillas

Sirloin Steak with Blue Cheese Mascarpone

Pan-Toasted Panino with Tapenade, Sundried Tomatoes and Smoked Scamorza

Stacked Goat Cheese Enchiladas

Grilled Swordfish Steaks Stuffed with Ancho Chile Caciotta

Watermelon Feta Salad

Cinnamon Ricotta Sorbet

Mozzarella Roll Crostini

Orange Cream Cheese French Toast with Raspberry Coulis

Warm Hoja Santa-Wrapped
Goat Cheese Appetizer

Fettuccine Valentino

Potato Pancakes with Smoked Salmon and Dilled Triple Crème Cheese

Risotto with Oven-Roasted Tomatoes and Blanca Bianca

Queso Packets

Veal Suitcases

Bruschetta Topped with Herbed Goat Cheese and Tomatoes

Eggplant Stacks

Grilled Mozzarella Bundles

Goat’s Milk Caciotta Cheese Soufflé

Pizza Bianca Verde

Chicken Breasts
with Fresh Mozzarella

Poached Pears with Pecan Praline Mascarpone Torta

Sweet Potatoes, Scalloped, with Leeks and Blue Cheese

Pork Tenderloin Festivo

Posole (Hominy) with Chiles, Chorizo, and Queso Fresco

Southwestern Chile Cornbread

Lemon Goat Cheese Tart

Blue Cheese Quesadillas with Mango Salsa

Mozzarella and Tomato Salad

Mascarpone Tart

Herbed Goat Cheese Tart

Asparagus and Scamorza Frittata

Chicken Stuffed with Ricotta

Chicken Paola

Pasta Salad

Green Salad

Goat Cheese Salad

Pasta Siciliana

Pasta Primavera

Tiramisu

Mascarpone Trifle

Tomato Salad

Pasta Caprese

Chicken Caciotta

Strawberry Godiva