Tag Archives: gorgonzola

Apple Onion Relish Panini with Gorgonzola

8 Feb

I was given a challenge… A Sandwich a Day wanted us to showcase our favorite sandwiches.

I’ve told you before how I could live on sandwiches alone possibly and how one of my most addictive sandwiches is my Avocado Tomato Sandwich. Sometimes I fail to come up with new ideas for sandwiches because I am so enthralled with this one still. I even dream about eating it sometimes.

But recently I have come to learn to love another sandwich… maybe not as fresh-tasting as the one above, but certainly very seasonal. Mixing apples, onions, thyme, almonds and blue cheese in between 2 pieces of bread might not seem very appealing, but oh, oh boy, how delicious it is. This has nothing to do with my Latin roots, but everything that I have learned to appreciate from my travels in the Northeastern part of the US.

Inspired by these crostini from Giada Di Laurentiis, this panino hits the spot on a cold winter night. I might even argue it works great for a nice cozy date in front of the fire. I think your date would be greatly impressed.

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APPLE ONION RELISH PANINI WITH GORGONZOLA

2 slices of 100% whole grain bread
Cream Cheese
Gorgonzola Cheese crumbles
Toasted Sliced Almonds
¼ cup of Apple Onion Relish
Butter – for the outside of the bread/sandwich
  1. Pre-heat your Panini maker, or in my case, my George Foreman Grill.
  2. Spread cream cheese on the inside of both bread slices. This will be part of the glue that makes the sandwich stay together.
  3. On one slice, add the apple onion relish. Try to keep it as dry as possible so the moisture won’t seep out of the sandwich. Layer the toasted almonds and finish with the blue cheese crumbles.
  4. Close the sandwich with the other slice of bread, cream cheese on top of the almonds/blue cheese.
  5. Butter the outside of the slices with some softened butter.
  6. Place on the Panini maker and press lightly without forcing it too much. The sandwich will flatten as it toasts in the Panini maker.
  7. After a few minutes, the cheeses will be melted and the bread toasted on the outside. Carefully, remove the sandwich from the panini grill and allow it to cool slightly. This will allow you to cut into the sandwich without the breads sliding all over the place.

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Enjoy with you favorite sparkling cider or tea.

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Chame’s Spinach, Figs and Blue Cheese Salad

12 Mar

This is my current favorite salad… hands down, I have been making it for 2-3 weeks straight almost every time I cook for myself at home.

Chame is my friend for 15+ years now.  And she has been inspired by our little blog here to follow a healthier lifestyle.  By reducing the animal products she and her family eat, they have been able to lose many pounds.  She tells me she feels with more energy, her cholesterol numbers are lower, she is trying new recipes each week … basically, she is in love with their new lifestyle.  The message here is that shifting your habits and lifestyle overall, does lead to improvements in weight and self-esteem.

When I was in Miami recently she invited me over to dinner.  She wanted to “brag” about the changes they’ve made in their diet and lifestyle and wanted to showcase one of their favorite meals – A mini pizza with a spinach salad with blue cheese and figs.  After my experience at Cocina Abierta recently, I am certainly a believer of figs in a salad.

Inspiration goes both ways… I am grateful to Chame for inspiring me to create this salad.  This is as easy as any salad is, and impressive enough to make for company.

CHAME’S SPINACH, FIGS AND BLUE CHEESE SALAD

Baby Spinach
Grape or Cherry Tomatoes, sliced or diced
Dried Mission Figs, diced
Pickled Onions
Sliced Almonds
Crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Aged Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Assemble all salad ingredients in a salad bowl – from the spinach up to the cheese.
  2. In a measuring cup or bowl mix together 2 parts olive oil to 1 part balsamic vinegar with a dash of salt and pepper to season.  Mix well and drizzle over salad.  Toss to coat.

Gorgonzola Stuffed Bell Peppers

9 Mar

Stuffed peppers are definitely one of my favorite clean-the-fridge meals. I tend to make these recipes a little bit different each time because I work with all the little bits and pieces I have in my fridge. I use mostly left-over rice as a filling, but orzo pasta, quinoa or even couscous work deliciously here. I have even used left-over butternut squash risotto from a large party, added a few extra veggies and made stuffed bell peppers for a crowd after my sister’s baby shower once.

 

However, the other day I purposely made a conscious effort to think of what I would put in. I am in a blue-cheese kick lately ,so I wondered how would my beloved stuffed bell peppers would taste using gorgonzola as the main cheese. I know I already loved them filled with goat cheese… so this would be a nice twist if successful. And successful it was.

 

BLUE CHEESE STUFFED BELL PEPPERS

1 large bell pepper – I prefer yellow, orange or red for this… but a green one will do also
1 cup cooked brown rice
½ medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped finely
1 small carrot, chopped small
1 small tomato, chopped
3-4 white button mushrooms, chopped
3 large handfuls of baby spinach or any other hearty green lettuce
2 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup gorgonzola crumbles
½ cup walnut pieces or almond slivers
¼ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded for topping
Olive Oil
Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil, onions, garlic and carrots. Season with salt and pepper lightly and sauté for a few minutes for the onions and carrots to soften.
  2. While this cooks, cut the bell pepper in half and clean the insides of all ribs and seeds. Set aside.
  3. Add the mushroom pieces and cook for a few minutes. Add tomato pieces and cook for them to release their juices.
  4. Add the spinach and mix together so it wilts. Season with salt and pepper to help the spinach release its juices.
  5. Remove from heat. Add the cooked rice and mix well. Add the cream cheese and gorgonzola. If you feel the mixture is a bit stiff, add a drizzle of olive oil to soften it.
  6. Add the walnuts or other nut you might have handy.
  7. Fill generously each bell pepper half with rice/cheese mixture. Top with some shredded cheese to make a nice cheesy crust on top.
  8. Place the pepper halves in a baking dish and cook in a 425F oven for about 25-30 minutes. The filling is already cooked but this will cook and soften the pepper outside.

Serve alongside a crisp green salad and dinner is served!!!

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