the Pence family cookbook

Recipes Tagged with “cheese”

Heirloom Tomato Tart

main course side dish tomato cheese pie


  • 2 sleeves Ritz crackers (about 7.5 ounces or 1 3/4 cup crushed crackers)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 large egg white
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup good quality mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cups freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 (4-ounce) jar diced pimentos, drained and diced
  • 3 or 4 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced
  • Fresh basil leaves and minced chives, to taste
  • Kosher salt
  • Flaky sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Add crackers to bowl of food processor. Process until crackers are a fine crumb. Add Parmesan cheese, melted butter, egg white and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Process until evenly combined and mixture holds together when pressed between fingers. If it doesn’t hold together, add an additional tablespoon of melted butter.

  3. Tightly press mixture into bottom and sides of 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Tip: If the crust is not packed tightly, it will crumble when sliced. Use the back of a measuring cup to help really pack it down, as seen here.

  4. Place tart pan on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside and cool completely. Then place in fridge for one hour to help crust set.

  5. Meanwhile, add tomato slices to paper towel-lined plate. Season with kosher salt and let sit for a few minutes to remove excess moisture.

  6. Mix together softened cream cheese, mayonnaise, garlic powder, apple cider vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Whisk until evenly combined.

  7. Stir in cheddar cheese and pimentos. Check for seasoning and add more salt if needed.

  8. Spread pimento cheese mixture evenly on bottom of chilled tart crust.

  9. Top with sliced tomatoes. Garnish with chives, basil leaves and flaky sea salt. Serve immediately.


Fondue Moitié-Moitié

main course swiss fondue cheese


  • 400g Gruyère AOP, râpé [grated]
  • 1 + 1 càc fécule de maïs [1 + 1 tsp. corn starch]
  • 400g Vacherin Fribourgeois AOP, râpé [grated]
  • 1 gousse d’ail coupée en 2 [1 clove garlic, cut in half]
  • 1.5 à 2.5 dl de vin blanc sec [150-250 ml dry white wine]
  • 1 pointe de noix de muscade [dash ground nutmeg]
  • 2 càs de kirsch [2 tbsp. kirsch]
  • 1 trait de jus de citron [1 squeeze fresh lemon juice]
  • sel, poivre
  • 600g de pain rassis, en dès [600g stale bread, in cubes]
  • oignons, cornichons


Mélangez dans un récipient Le Gruyère AOP avec 1 càc de fécule de maïs. Mélangez dans un autre récipient le Vacherin Fribourgeois AOP avec la fécule restante. Mélangez ensuite les deux fromages. Réservez. [Toss the two cheeses with the corn starch in a bowl, reserve.]

Frottez le caquelon avec la gousse d’ail. Faites chauffer le vin blanc. Réduisez la chaleur avant que le point d’ébullition ne soit atteint. Ajoutez le fromage par petites poignées à feu moyen en remuant sans arrêt à la cuillère en bois jusqu’à ce que le fromage soit fondu et que la préparation soit homogène. Salez, poivrez et ajoutez la noix de muscade. Ajoutez ensuite le kirsch (et/ou le jus de citron). [Rub the pot with the garlic clove. Warm the white wine, reducing the heat before it boils. Add the cheese in small handfuls over medium heat, mixing constantly with a wooden spoon until the cheese is melted and the fondue is smooth. Salt, pepper, and add the nutmeg. Add the kirsch and the lemon juice.]

Placez ensuite le caquelon sur le réchaud que vous aurez allumé. La flamme du réchaud doit être faible, car la fondue ne peut atteindre le point d’ébullition. Présentez des corbeilles de pains variés. Accompagnez d’oignons et de cornichons. Trempez des dés de pain piqués au bout d’une fourchette à fondue. [Place the pot on the lit heater. Keep the flame low, because the fondue must not boil. Serve with a basket of assorted bread, onions, and cornichons. Dunk the bread, stabbed on the end of a fondue fork.]

Les Fromages de Suisse AOP

Fondue Bread

bread side dish cheese pence


  • 3 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 pounds Muenster cheese, shredded
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons whole blanched almonds


Heat milk and butter or margarine over low heat until very warm.

Combine sugar, salt, yeast, and 1 cup of flour in a large bowl. Stir in hot milk mixture, and beat with mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Beat in 1 more cup of flour, and continue beating for 2 more minutes. With a wooden spoon, stir in enough flour (about 2 cups) to make a soft dough.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes, adding more flour as necessary. Cover dough with bowl, and let rest for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, shred muenster cheese. Combine with 1 egg and 1 egg yolk.

On a lightly floured surface and with a floured rolling pin, roll dough into a 24 x 6 inch rectangle. Spoon the cheese mixture into a log shape lengthwise along the dough. Fold the dough over the cheese making a 1 inch overlap, and pinch seam to seal. In a greased 9 inch round cake pan, place roll, seam side down, to make a ring. Overlap the ends, and pinch to seal. Cover with a towel. Let rest 10 minutes.

Brush loaf with egg white, and garnish with blanched almonds, if desired. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour, until loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove bread from pan immediately. Cool for 15 minutes before slicing into wedges.

Baked Leeks with Bread Crumbs

side dish cheese leek


  • 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. minced shallots
  • 6 to 8 leeks, about 3 lb. total, white and light green portions, chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 cups milk, plus more as needed
  • 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs


Preheat an oven to 400°F.

In a fry pan over medium-high heat, melt 2 Tbs. of the butter. Add the shallots, leeks, 1/2 tsp. of the salt and 1/2 tsp. of the white pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until the leeks are translucent and very soft, about 15 minutes.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the 2 cups milk until small bubbles appear around the edge of the pan. Cover and remove from the heat.

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt 3 Tbs. of the butter. Remove from the heat and whisk in the flour, the remaining 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. white pepper and the cayenne. Set the pan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the hot milk and simmer, stirring, until the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. If the sauce is too thin, increase the heat; if it is too thick, whisk in a little more milk. Then stir in the leek mixture.

Pour the mixture into a baking dish or a gratin dish. Sprinkle evenly with the cheese and bread crumbs, then dot with the remaining 1 Tbs. butter. Bake until the cheese and bread crumbs are golden and the gratin is bubbly, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve. Serves 6.


Argentine Spinach Pie (Torta Pascualina)

breakfast side dish argentinian cheese pie spinach untested


  • 1 double-crust pie shell
  • 1 1/2 c. frozen chopped spinach or 2 qts. fresh spinach (2 8-oz. bags works well)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1-2 c. grated Swiss cheese
  • 1 egg yolk for brushing top of pie


Preheat oven to 350. If using frozen spinach, thaw and squeeze. If using fresh, cook, drain, dry, and chop. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender. In a bowl combine spinach, onion, nutmeg, salt, eggs, and cheese. Mix well. Pour into the pie shell. Arrange the top crust over the filling and crimp the edges. Brush the top with egg yolk if desired. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

Penzey’s Spices

Taleggio, Pesto, and Pistachio Grilled Cheese

main course cheese sandwich untested


  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 2 slices white sandwich bread
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons basil pesto
  • 3 ounces Taleggio cheese, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons shelled and crushed pistachios


Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-low. Spread butter evenly on both sides of the bread slices. Place bread in skillet and toast until golden, about 2 minutes. Evenly sprinkle Parmesan on top of the slices and flip. Spread pesto on both slices and top with Taleggio. When cheese melts, turn off heat and sprinkle pistachios on one slice. Top it with the other slice with fillings facing in.


Pumpkin Beer Cheese Soup

main course beer cheese pumpkin soup untested


  • 2 pumpkins, about 2 pounds each
  • Cooking oil spray
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, thickly sliced
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced thyme
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 2 (12-ounce) bottles pale ale
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Croutons or pumpkin seeds for garnish (optional)


Position 1 rack in the upper third of an oven and 1 rack in the lower third; preheat to 425°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with foil and set aside.

Quarter the pumpkins, scrape out the fibers and the seeds, and spray with cooking oil. Place pumpkins, cut side down, on baking sheets. Roast until tender and the rinds pull away from the flesh, 45 minutes.

Remove from oven and peel rinds off the flesh with tongs. Discard rinds, and transfer flesh to a bowl.

In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, warm olive oil until shimmering. Add carrots, celery, shallots, salt, and pepper. Sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 7 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, sage, ginger, paprika, and nutmeg; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Add pumpkin flesh, broth, and 1 ½ bottles of Denver Pale Ale (drink the rest). Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 15 minutes.

In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and continue to whisk constantly for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk until smooth and thick. Add cheese 1 cup at a time, stirring until smooth each time. Reduce heat to low until pumpkin mixture is ready.

Pour cheese mixture into pumpkin mixture. Using a stick blender, puree the soup until smooth. Or puree in batches in a blender.

Ladle 2 cups soup into 6 bowls and garnish with croutons and pumpkin seeds. Serve with more beer.


Pear, Bacon, and Brie Grilled Cheese

main course bacon cheese pear sandwich untested


  • 2 slices sourdough bread
  • 1 tablespoon butter, divided
  • ½ large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ tablespoon chopped rosemary
  • a ripe pear, thinly sliced
  • 4 large slices of brie
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked until crispy


Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Melt butter and add onions and rosemary. Cook, stirring only a few times until caramelized, about 20 minutes. Butter one side of each piece of bread. Lay half the cheese on the non-buttered side of one slide of bread. Add half the caramelized onions on top of the cheese. Add the pear slices on top of the onions. Add the remaining cheese slices and then the bacon and remaining onions. Top with remaining slice of bread leaving the buttered side up. Place the sandwich in a large skillet over medium-high heat, press down firmly with a spatula or heavy object to help brown the bread and melt the cheese. Cook on one side for about 3 minutes, flip and do the same on the other side. Cut in half and serve warm.

Running to the Kitchen

Beef and Sausage Meat Loaf with Mozzarella

main course beef cheese italian sausage


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef (15 percent fat)
  • 1 pound coarsely grated whole-milk mozzarella cheese
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausages, casings removed, meat crumbled
  • 2 cups chopped fresh basil
  • 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs made from crustless French bread
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup tomato sauce, divided
  • 3 large eggs, beaten to blend
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine


Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine first 11 ingredients in large bowl. Gently mix in 1/2 cup tomato sauce, eggs, and wine. Place meat mixture on large rimmed baking sheet and shape into 16x4-inch loaf. Brush with remaining 1/2 cup tomato sauce. Bake meat loaf until cooked through and thermometer inserted into center registers between 160°F and 170°F, about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Armandino Batali, Bon Appetit, September 2004

Cafe Boulud’s Goat Cheese Flans with Garlic-Herb Croutons

main course cheese chevre untested


For the flans:

  • 6 oz soft fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 c. heavy cream or half and half, at room temperature
  • large pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt and white pepper

For the croutons:

  • olive oil
  • sourdough baguette or bread, thinly sliced
  • split garlic cloves
  • finely chopped parsley, chives, rosemary, and thyme
  • salt and white pepper

For the salad:

  • mixed salad greens
  • olive oil
  • sherry vinegar
  • grated aged goat cheese
  • salt and white pepper


For the flans:

1. Center rack in oven and preheat to 300. Grease or spray six four-ounce (or vice-versa) custard cups, and place them in a small baking pan.

2. Whisk (or hand-mixer mix) together the goat cheese and eggs until smooth. Whisk in (just to combine) cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

3. Pour into cups. Add hot water to halfway up the cups. Cover tightly with foil. Poke two holes in the opposite corners of the pan. Bake for 50 minutes – if you tap the cups gently, the flan shouldn’t jiggle.

4. Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes, covered. (If not serving immediately, refrigerate and reheat in a water bath on top of the stove, or a microwave on low.)

For the croutons:

Toast the bread in the olive oil in a skillet. Rub with garlic, sprinkle with herbs, salt and pepper.

To finish:

Make salad. Run a knife around the edge of the flans, and invert on a serving plate. Add a mound of salad, two croutons, and grate more cheese over all.

Serve as-is, or in the middle of a bowl of soup (like barley-mushroom, or tomato).

Daniel Boulud