Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ooey Gooey and Delicious - October 31, 2013

It is that time of year when I get excited about a hearty bowl of soup, stew or warm pasta.  Melted cheese is especially high on my list right now.  One great way to have it is in a warm cheese dip, but invite some friends because it makes more than you can eat alone and it's always more fun to share.  This an especially great recipe for cleaning out your cheese drawer because it calls for several types of cheese.  It also is great for using up green veggies and herbs.  I have riffed on this by replacing the artichoke hearts with cooked spinach, the leeks for shallots or the asparagus with broccoli.  Try it once as described below and then adapt to your liking (or your refrigerator).

Vegetable and Goat Cheese Dip
1 c. chopped asparagus
2 T. unsalted butter
1 c. chopped leeks (white and light green part only)
2 T. all-purpose flour
1 1/4 c. whole milk
1 c. grated white cheddar
salt and pepper
14 oz. drained and chopped artichoke hearts
1/4 c. peas (thawed if frozen before)
2 T. each chives, mint and parsley
1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
4 oz. crumbled goat cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Cook asparagus in salted water for 2 minutes to blanch.  Drain and cool.  Melt butter in saucepan and add leeks, cooking until soft, about 10 minutes.  Whisk in flour and then slowly add milk.  Keep whisking and cook until thickened.  Remove from heat and add cheddar.  Mix until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.  Fold in most of asparagus (leave the pretty tips for the top), artichoke, peas, herbs, zest and 2 oz. goat cheese.  Pour into ramekin and arrange remaining cheese and asparagus on top.  Bake 15-20 minutes until brown and bubbly or ooey-gooey.  Let rest 5 minutes and serve with sliced bread.

One year ago - Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and Pumpkin Ricotta Stuffed Shells

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