Very Cheddar Potato Gratin

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food With Soul: Very Cheddar Potato Gratin! It’s no secret some of us have a love affair with cheese. It’s not enough to sprinkle a handful of cheese on top of scalloped potatoes before sliding them into the oven. Sometimes you have to be downright sneaky about it. And you can blame me for it, if need be. By hiding grated cheese between two layers of sliced potatoes, and then sprinkling more cheese across the top of these mini casseroles, you not only guarantee a cheesy, ah-mazing dish, you have one that is comfort-food all the way to your favorite spot on the couch. Now where’s the remote?

VERY CHEDDAR POTATO GRATIN

Ingredients:

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup light cream

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon thyme

1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and sliced thin

1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Everything But Bagel seasoning

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°. Spray single two serving pans with nonstick oil. Set aside. In a bowl, combine chicken broth, light cream, Dijon mustard, kosher salt, black pepper, and thyme. Mix well. Layer half the potatoes in the prepared dishes. Sprinkle half the cheese over each; divide half the liquid over top. Repeat with remaining potatoes, cheese, and broth. Transfer cookware to a baking sheet. Cover each pan with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 30 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender when tested with a knife. The top will be crispy. Sprinkle with Everything But Bagel seasoning. Cool slightly before serving.

Smoked Mahi Fish Dip

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food With Soul: Smoked Mahi Fish Dip! If you haven’t had the opportunity to taste Florida’s smoked fish dip, you must add it to your list of interesting foods. It has a creamy texture accented by a rich smoky flavor. Did you just wrinkle your nose at the word “Fish”? Hold on a sec, because we’re not talking about pungent canned tuna here. The fish that is used has white flesh, is pretty mild and actually sweet tasting, so it balances beautifully with a citrusy kick that will entice you to another mouthful. Try it in a restaurant or seafood diner first. Then come back for this recipe and make it yourself. Without reservations.

SMOKED MAHI FISH DIP

Ingredients:

2 8-ounce smoked fillets of mahi-mahi, skin removed

1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 cup scallions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped

1 tablespoon capers, finely chopped

Instructions:

Flake smoked mahi-mahi fish into 1/2” chunks in a bowl. Set aside. In a larger bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, olive oil, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, and white pepper. Mix until smooth. Add sliced scallions, chopped dill, and capers. Gently stir. Fold in smoked mahi-mahi until incorporated. Do not over mix. Small chunks will keep the dip from turn mushy. Chill slightly. Spread the smoked fish dip over crackers or toasted baguettes.

Legendary Pizza Burger

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food With Soul: Legendary Pizza Burger! I’ll never forget my first experience eating a pizza burger. I was probably 16 years old at the time. I worked in a ladies retail clothing store downtown. On my dinner break, I walked across the street where a drugstore had a lunch counter with a grill and fryer. Being a crazy kid who loved anything pizza, I ordered it off the menu. Upon first bite, this white goo began to overflow across my hands to the plate below. My first thought was, “Ohmygosh, this burger is rotten with a slimy white stuff running out of it!” Fortunately my brain kicked in and I realized what I was actually tasting was mozzarella cheese. From that day on, I was a champion for anything pizza burger. And the remarkable afterthought is, now I compare every other menu item pizza burger to it. Unexpected, but true.

LEGENDARY PIZZA BURGER

Ingredients:

1 pound lean ground beef

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

4 slices fresh mozzarella cheese

4 brioche buns, split and toasted

1/2 cup prepared pizza sauce, warmed

Fresh basil, for garnish

Instructions:

Preheat gas grill to 350°. In a large bowl, combine lean ground beef, Italian seasoning, sea salt, and black pepper. Form mixture into 8 patties. Place one slice of fresh mozzarella cheese into the diameter of a patty. Press another patty on top; pinching together to seal. Repeat until all four patties are formed. Cook directly on the grill. Close lid and grill for 6-7 minutes per side. Transfer pizza burgers to a platter. Serve between brioche buns. Top each pizza burger with a dollop of pizza sauce. Enjoy.

Dutch Baby Buttery Potatoes

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food With Soul: Dutch Baby Buttery Potatoes! These naturally buttery potatoes have a silky skin that can be eaten when baked. The creamy yellow flesh has a slightly nutty flavor that will give you reason enough to make an entire meal out of these gourmet nuggets. In fact, the aroma was so enticing, my husband and I did that exact thing. You see, once you’re an adult, you can make up any rule you want when it comes to meal-planning.

DUTCH BABY BUTTERY POTATOES

Ingredients:

24-ounce bag of Dutch Baby Yellow Potatoes

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon parsley flakes

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Green onion snips, for garnish

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°. Boil whole potatoes on the stove in a pan of salted water for 15 minutes. Drain and allow potatoes to cool enough to handle. In a glass baking dish, combine melted butter, garlic powder, parsley flakes, dried oregano, kosher salt, and parmesan cheese. Cut boiled potatoes in half lengthwise. Arrange in a single layer. Using a pastry brush, cover the potatoes with the herbed butter and cheese mixture. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes until potato bottoms are crispy. Serve immediately.

Smoked Salmon Dill Spread

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Delicious Holiday Foods: Smoked Salmon Dill Spread with Crudités! For those who appreciate a healthy choice while socializing, this one is for the books! Munch on crisp vegetable crudités. Add an assortment of baked bagel chips for a salty crunchy finish. Party On!


SMOKED SALMON DILL SPREAD


Ingredients:

8 ounces of Neufchâtel cheese 

2 tablespoons prepared horseradish 

2 tablespoons fresh Dill, chopped 

Dash of White Pepper 

1/4 pound Smoked Salmon, chopped


Instructions:

Mix all ingredients together, form into a log, and refrigerate at least one hour. Serve with your favorite raw vegetables cut into bite-size pieces to create a crudité platter.

Quick-Set Party Cheesecakes

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Delicious Holiday Foods: Quick-Set Party Cheesecakes! You’re stopping by a friend’s house later on and were asked to bring something delish. These miniature cheesecakes are super-easy and can be whipped up in a few minutes first thing in the morning. They refrigerate while you’re at work or the gym, so no worries there. Top with fresh fruit, seedless jam, chocolate bits, or candied ginger. Dust with powdered sugar for a professional finish. Another one-bite wonderful dessert can be found in the Fruit Tart recipe at the following link.

http://Snapshotsincursive.com/2015/12/11

QUICK-SET PARTY CHEESECAKES

Ingredients:

24 mini cupcake liners

24 Nilla wafers

2 8-ounce packages Neufchâtel cheese

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla

Fresh Fruit, Chocolate Chips, or Candied Ginger

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Beat Neufchâtel cheese and sugar. Add eggs, beating well. Fold in lemon juice and vanilla extract. Beat until light and fluffy. Place cupcake liners in muffin tin. Put 1 Nilla wafer in each. Fill with 1 heaping tablespoon of cheese mixture. Bake 15 minutes. Cool. Refrigerate 3 hours. Garnish with assorted toppings.

Norwegian Jarlsberg Cheese Spread

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Delicious Holiday Foods: Norwegian Jarlsberg Cheese Spread! Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t. Jarlsberg cheese originated in Norway as a buttery mild cow’s milk cheese with a sweet nutty flavor. In some photos it may appear similar to Swiss cheese, full of holes, but in essence it is much smoother and richer. Don’t believe me? Order a grilled cheese sandwich made with semi-soft imported Jarlsberg cheese sometime and try not to faint when you are asked to pay a much higher price for this gooey better-than-generic extravagance. 


NORWEGIAN JARLSBERG CHEESE SPREAD 


Ingredients:

4 ounces Neufchâtel cheese

4 ounces Jarlsberg cheese, shredded

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons red onion, chopped

1 can (4 ounce size) stuffed green olives, sliced

Sea salt, to taste

Cracked black pepper, to taste

1/4 cup chives, chopped

1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped


Instructions:

Mix together Neufchâtel cheese, Jarlsberg cheese, and mayonnaise until well blended. Stir in red onion and green olives. Add sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste. Form into a log. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour. Roll cheese ball in chopped chives and pecans bits before serving. Spread into crackers or bagel chips.

Neufchâtel Crab Dip

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Delicious Holiday Foods: Neufchâtel Crab Dip! Easy seafood appetizers can be prepared in no time at all. By substituting miniature phyllo dough shells for snack crackers, the results are impressively gourmet. Who doesn’t love that WOW factor?! Make this appetizer the star of your next gathering. Everyone will thank you.

NEUFCHÂTEL CRAB DIP

Ingredients:

1 6-ounce can crabmeat, drained, flaked, and cartilage removed

1/2 cup lobster meat, chunk style

1 green onion, snipped

1 teaspoon dried dill weed

1 teaspoon lemon peel, finely shredded

1 teaspoon lemon juice

8-ounces Neufchâtel cheese, softened

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

1/4 cup Jalapeño Confetti Jelly

15-count package miniature phyllo dough shells

Fresh dill sprigs

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Arrange phyllo shells on a baking sheet. Bake 5-7 minutes until crisp. Remove and set aside. In a medium bowl, toss crabmeat, lobster, and green onion snips in dill weed, shredded lemon peel, and lemon juice. In a another bowl, combine Neufchâtel cheese, mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, seasoned salt, and red pepper flakes. Mix well. Fold crabmeat mixture into mayonnaise mixture. Transfer dip to an oven-proof dish. Top with Jalapeño Confetti Jelly. Bake 20 minutes. Spoon warm crab dip into phyllo shells. Garnish with fresh dill sprigs. Serve warm.

Zucchini Meatball Bateaux

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Palatable Possibilities: Zucchini Meatball Bateaux! Call me “Fancy Shmancy” today since the title of this recipe makes it gourmet all-the-way. Bateaux means Boat. And in the world of food, nothing looks more like a boat than zucchini, especially when it’s sliced horizontally and scooped out. Amirite? Actually, I like this recipe because I always seem to have a bag of frozen Italian meatballs on hand in my freezer. Most days I make my own homemade marinara sauce because I like to stock my pantry with a variety of Italian Roma tomatoes that are imported from Italy. Obviously you can do the same. Recipes are designed to modify in ways that bring accolades to you for the extra effort. If time is of the essence, follow the instructions below. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

ZUCCHINI MEATBALL BATEAUX

Ingredients:

2 medium zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise

16 precooked frozen Italian meatballs, thawed

15-ounce jar prepared marinara sauce

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded

8 ounces fresh burrata cheese

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon Italian herb blend

Fresh basil, for garnish

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°. Arrange sliced zucchini halves on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick oil. Scoop out the center of each zucchini, using a spoon, to remove seeds and create a well to hold the fillings. Spread a little marinara in each zucchini. Place 4 Italian meatballs in each. Divide the remaining marinara between them. Top with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Bake 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Transfer zucchini boats to a platter. Place fresh basil leaves on each end. Divide the burrata into four sections and arrange dollops as desired. Drizzle each dollop with olive oil and sprinkle with Italian herbs. Serve immediately.