Tag Archives: Cheese

Sweet Potato Burritos with Avocado Salsa Verde

When I get sick, I have the strangest appetite. I can remember being sick with an awful flu for over a week when I was in 5th grade. I hardly ate anything but saltines, but when my health was on the uptick towards the end of it, the only thing I wanted was chocolate cupcakes. Nothing but chocolate cupcakes. Not vanilla cupcakes, not even regular chocolate cake. Nothing else sounded good! My mom made a special trip to the grocery store and bought me a 12-pack of cupcakes because she was happy I was feeling up to eating anything at all.

Last week I came down with the flu again. The only thing I wanted to eat? Thai food. I ordered my favorite pad ke mao and basil fried rice, and rode out the illness with the comfort of my leftovers. The doctor asked what I’d been eating, and she looked at me like I was crazy, but commended that I was getting the salt that my body needed. When you’re sick, you’ve just got to give the body what it wants.

When you’re healthy, you still should give your body what it wants. And trust me, it wants these sweet potato burritos covered in a tangy, slightly spicy avocado salsa verde.

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Curried Turkey Tacos

Curried Turkey Tacos

Did you know Wikipedia is nearing completion? There’s already 4.1 million articles, and if you spend more than 15 minutes poking around, you see how ridiculously thorough they are. My friend Brian and I spent nearly two hours exploring the depths of obscure music genres on Wikipedia, learning more than we ever thought we could about  science fantasy folk music circles, what genre Aqua and Vengaboys really are (Bubblegum Dance), and that there are over 200 subgenres of electronic music. Yeah.

So, will there be a point at which Wikipedia ceases to have anything new added? Besides, of course, current events. It makes me think of recipes– will there be a point at which there are no new combinations of ingredients? Is it possible that everything that could be cooked, is? Chefs who specialize in molecular gastronomy certainly hope not.

I ponder this because I took a chance with a recipe today. Normally, when the spark of a recipe idea starts in my head, I go directly to Google to see what other people have done to make it. There were no satisfactory results (at least within the first three pages; who goes farther?) for curried turkey tacos using shredded turkey. I have leftovers, I don’t want to go out and buy ground turkey for these! What’s left to do? Invent.

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Stuffed Zucchini, Turkish Style

Stuffed Zucchini, Turkish Style

Adventures with my Dad’s old copy of The Moosewood Cookbook. This isn’t the NewMoosewood Cookbook either. No, sir — this one came from 1977 when my dad was a student at Cornell in Ithaca, NY (where the Moosewood restaurant can be found). “It was a great restaurant, but not an all-the-time restaurant” for poor college student Dad. Fortunately, the majority of the recipes are interesting, tasty takes on affordable ingredients.

Stuffed Zucchini, Turkish Style

I was planning to cook on Wednesday night, but remembered halfway through the day that I had made dinner plans with a friend that night! I had to make the heartbreaking phone call to my mom to tell her that, no, I would not be cooking dinner for her that night. But the seafood risotto I had that evening was a good replacement for home cooking.

Okay — fast forward to Thursday. Time to tackle three recipes from Moosewood. Stuffed Zucchini, Turkish Style (the one I will be sharing), along with Spicy Tomato Soup and Carrot Loaf for dessert. They were all delicious and incredibly straightforward recipes. Just how I like it!

Stuffed Zucchini, Turkish Style

Stuffed Zucchini, Turkish Style

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Strange Cheeses from America

Considering my blog’s name is about cheese, I thought I should do some casual research about this wondrous milk-based food product… Where to start? American cheeses, of course! But Wikipedia’s list of cheeses from my beloved country is slightly disconcerting. There are a few that I recognize, but for the most part, Americans have invented processed cheese products with highly descriptive names like “Pizza cheese,” “Government cheese,” and “Spray cheese.”

So, in honor of the nation’s enthusiasm surrounding the Olympics, I thought I would provide you with a brief overview of some of our most patriotic cheeses.

Illustration: Alex Eben Meyer

Pizza Cheese

A pasteurized processed cheese designed to melt and remain chewy on pizzas. Similar to mozzarella, but lower in quality and a lot easier to make… The reason why Domino’s and Pizza Hut ads can film the quintessential “cheese pull” that makes our stomachs growl.

Government Cheese

Processed cheese given to welfare and food stamp recipients from the 1960s – 1990s. It sounds like the pink slime of cheese… remnants of other surplus cheeses are combined into one mysterious potpourri cheese. Occasionally kosher!

Spray Cheese

Cheese… made Easy. I’m not surprised that Kraft was the one to invent the distinctly American “Easy Cheese” dispensed from a spray can. The container design, however, is Swiss (like the cheese), and ensures that the cheese “product” can be dispensed when the can is upright or inverted! How could it get any easier?