Entertaining, Holidays, Recipes

Nothing says Canada Day like fried cheese and ketchup chips, eh?

O, Canada Day. Is there anything better than your nation’s holiday marking the unofficial start to day-drinking and carnival-food season — I mean, summer?

Caesars set glorious and free from their boxes to preside over camp chairs; dog-traumatizing fireworks for at least three nights straight; “best country in the world” overheard at least once, or every 45 minutes if you’re in my ultra-patriotic dad’s vicinity.

And, of course, enough ketchup chips for stained fingers that rival a community-theatre Lady MacBeth’s.

Or enough ketchup chips to smother on hunks of smoked cheddar cheese, then fried in butter.

Yeah, you read that right.

Smoked cheddar — Provincial Smoke, to be exact ūüėć — coated in ketchup chips and fried. In butter.

If the thought of crispy, ketchupy cheese nuggets makes you grimace, turn back now. (Lily-liver.) And don’t ever come to any BBQ of mine with that good sense.

Ketchup chips are a national treasure, but they’re only half the goods here. Provincial Smoke is a ridiculously rich smoked cheddar. Creamy, tart, with an earthy, acidic bite.

If you’re a fan of smoked cheeses, this Ontario raw milk cheddar is your new best friend — it could give your good ol’ grandpappy’s pipe a run for its money, that show-off.

And crispy-coated with a hint of sweet & salty ketchup, well, it would be borderline blasphemous not to serve these smokey little bundles around a campfire.

Ingredients: makes 12

  • 1 cup Provincial Smoke cheddar, cubed (about 1-inch)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup flour, or enough to coat
  • 2 tsp Caesar rim spice or celery salt
  • 1 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 2 cups ketchup chips (PC brand is my fave)
  • 2 tbsp butter

Directions

Place ketchup chips in sealed plastic zipper bag and let loose any residual anger toward that guy that cut you off in traffic. I.e. Pound them until they’re crumbs.

Combine flour, Caesar rim spice (for an extra Canuck boost), salt and pepper in a shallow layer on plate. Arrange alongside beaten egg and ketchup crunch.

Coat each cube of cheese in flour mixture, then egg. Roll in ketchup chips and try not to lick them off immediately like the sodium-crazed animal you are. Wrap in tinfoil or wax paper and freeze for 30 minutes.

Melt butter over medium-high heat in a frying pan. In groups of 4, fry frozen cheese cubes in butter.

Timing is the only tricky part: my first attempt, I didn’t fry them long enough and they were still cold in the middle. My second attempt, I left them too long and the cheese melted out.

The sweet spot is about 8-10 minutes total, 1-2 minutes per side to get a good crisp. But the best gauge is good ol’ eyeballing. You want a golden brown crisp on all or most sides.

I’d recommend a nibble to check when they’re done (#yum) but you can also do a poke test with a skewer, if you’re a proper Penny. ūüíĀ

Then throw that propriety out the window, ’cause these are muck-directly-from-the-pan worthy. Ketchup-stained fingers are totally patriotic.

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Holidays, Pairings, Recipes

Dark chocolate bark with Grana Padano & pink peppercorn for your Valentine

Bark-choco-pepper-grana-padano2

Valentine’s Day is an intersection of cheesiness. Yes, there’s the metaphorically-cheesy¬†love you forever-ness and pandas holding candy hearts (okay, no, even commercialized pandas are adorbs), but cheese itself¬†is also gussied up for a romantic meal. Fondue? Baked Brie? C’MON.

Melty cheese is an obvious gimme, and make no mistake, I will be roastin’ up an oversized hunk of Brie this evening with all the trimmings. But, if I may, cheese shouldn’t be limited to the main event. It’s also an unexpected, welcome twist to dessert.

Bark-choco-pepper-grana-padano3

Enter my dark chocolate bark, studded with sweet, salty, crumbly Grana Padano.

Now, hold your pitchforks, ye suspicious souls. Have you ever had dark chocolate with sea salt? (If the answer is no, run out immediately. I’ll wait.) Well, dark chocolate crumbled with salty cheese is even better, like sea salt’s sexy, hipster cousin.

Bark-Grana-Padano-peps3

I was first introduced to the combo by Nad√®ge, a heaven-on-earth bakery and treat shop in Toronto. They’re known for their macarons, but they also have a line of “chocolate tablets” marked with all the letters of the alphabet. Each letter represents a surprise, unexpected ingredient, and their “P” bar has parmesan! It’s amazing.

So when I thought about what to make for my Valentine¬†‚Äď best guy ever, and an excellent excuse to tuck into something cheesay¬†‚Äď I decided to put my own spin on¬†the chocolate-cheese bar.

Bark-choco-pepper-grana-padano1

It isn’t the first time I’ve tried. And if you remember correctly, the last experiment did¬†not¬†go so well. But I got some sage advice from MasterChef Canada¬†judge¬†Claudio Aprile himself when I told him of my failed chocolate-bocconcini truffles at a work event: “Try a hard, old cheese next time.”

Bark-Grana-Padano-peps1

I started with the cheese (as one does, duh). Parmigiano-Reggiano would do nicely, but Grana Padano sat up to greet me so nicely in the cheese case that I changed my mind. As a borderline-fetishist of bold, tangy, hard cheeses, it’s one of my ol’ faithfuls.

Bark-Grana-Padano1

It’s sweeter than Parmigiano-Reggiano, with a nutty fruitiness that pairs nicely with the shots of saltiness that hit you at the tip of your tongue, and a sour bitterness that fills your cheeks with floating crystals after a few crumbly chews.

Salt on chocolate is like a red rose on Valentine’s: a classic, no-fail pairing. But the sweet-saltiness of Grana Padano with the layered bitterness of dark chocolate? That’s like a bird-of-paradise dangling next to a steaming hot cup of espresso in bed.

Bark-Grana-Padano-peps2

Mmmmmmhmm.

But why stop there? To complete the trifecta¬†‚Äď sweet/salty-bitter/spice-ay¬†‚Äď I added some pulverized pink peppercorns. I’ve talked at length about my fascination with pink peppercorns here before, and the light, citrusy spiciness was a perfect addition to the bark.

Plus, it’s pink! Hi hello, Valentine’s Day!

Bark-pepper-sprinkle

This was dead-simple to make. If you’re feeling nurturing, here’s how to whip it up.

1.Start with about two bars of the best dark chocolate you can find. 75% or higher.

2. Put it in a double-boiler (that’s a bowl over a pot of boiling water¬†‚Äď I didn’t have a heatproof bowl on hand, so I MacGyver’d a Pyrex in a strainer) and stir until melted.

Bark-chocolate-melt

3. Pour the melted chocolate over a baking sheet or a few layers of folded tinfoil in an even layer.

4. Immediately sprinkle crushed pink peppercorns (you can smash them in a zipper bag if you’re feeling dexterous, but I used a mortar and pestle) and crumble Grana Padano on melted chocolate.

Bark-cooling

5. Lay flat in fridge to cool. Once hardened, break into bite-sized bark deliciousness.
Optional: If you’re a chocoholic, repeat the chocolate-melting step and drizzle onto the cooled layer to build on the chocolate.

6. Receive grateful kisses; enjoy!

Bark-choco-pepper-grana-padano4

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Recipes

Faux-baking: Cheddar & pepper jelly thumbprints

Baking brings everyone together. Even if you can’t bake¬†‚Äď or, more accurately in my case, won’t bake properly, due to a falsely-but-pridefully-held belief that mixing the dry ingredients separately makes no difference¬†‚Äď you can enjoy the laborious fruits of those with more respect for stupid rigid instructions.

CTD-pepper-jelly-biscuits

If my petulance didn’t already give the game away, I don’t bake much. But I signed up for an office bake-off thinking that it would force me into productivity after Halloween (although gorging on Mars bars and three of the finest chip flavours money can buy mixed together also counts as productivity in my books, because using up leftovers is important, guys) and cheer me up after my favourite holiday was over.

I may prefer my cookies in dough form (both for taste and lack of effort) but I’ve managed to master two solid go-to recipes that happen to be baked in the oven. This is one of them.

CTD-pepper-jelly-biscuits-plate

I love these cheddar red pepper jelly thumbprints for three reasons:

  1. The element of surprise. They masquerade easily as ordinary shortbread cookies, so the standard reaction is one of impressed confusion, but I choose to focus on the “impressed” part.
  2. Not everyone likes sweet stuff. I lean toward the savoury side of the street as well. When fellow savoury-lovers at the bake sale find out there’s a non-chocolate option, they get pretty excited before they even taste the thumbprints. An automatic¬†vote of confidence is always a bonus.
  3. They look like Peek Freans, whose name is extra¬†fancy, but instead of lemon cream, they’re stuffed with¬†CHEESE!

Like a true petulant faux-baker, I didn’t follow the original recipe I found, from Canadian Living. My spin’s¬†pretty close, though, I just swap the nuts for rosemary.

The dough is super easy to make. It would almost make more sense to call it “cheese-butter” than dough, actually, because that’s mostly what it is.

Pepper-jelly-thumbprints-parmesan

If you’re here, you’re a cheese nerd, so you know that picking the cheese is half the fun. The recipe calls for¬†sharp cheddar cheese and parmesan.

I used my favourite old cheddar, Balderson, but any cheese strong and petulant enough that it might challenge you to a fight after one-too-many at the pub will do. St-Albert’s Extra Old Cheddar is another great Canadian choice¬†if you’re looking for recommendations.¬†You don’t have to take my word for it¬†‚Äď it won its category at this year’s Canadian Cheese Grand Prix.

There’s obviously only one parm¬†to rule the roost if you want to go big: the OG ‚Äď uh, PDO (little cheese acronym humour for you there, God I’m cool) Parmigiano-Reggiano. If you really want to knock people’s socks off with your faux-baking prowess, that’s the way I’d go. But that sh-t’s expensive. So you can also use “parmesan” petals, like I did, which work just fine.

CTD-pepper-jelly-biscuits

When I was shopping for my ingredients, the store was licked clean of red pepper jelly. And not because they were out of specialty jellies. They had all kinds I’d never seen or heard of before, but no red pepper. Weird. So I used jalape√Īo jelly, which is an easy sub in a pinch. You can sub for most jellies with a bit of a kick. I wouldn’t go for a straight-up sweet one, but as someone who enjoys the taste of chocolate and pickles in consecutive bites, I would never dare to judge you.

It would also be cute to alternate red and green jellies for the holidays, if you’re feelin’ jolly. (Yeah, we’re going to just slide on by that chocolate-and-pickles thing.)

I’ve found the thumbprint part to be a bit tricky when I make these, maybe because¬†everything about me is¬†miniature compared to a normal-sized adult. You’re supposed to make the indent before you bake them and fill with jelly after, but I find that the cookies expand while baking and kinda fill out the thumbprint. So I might try it with something a little heartier, like a mini flashlight or a hefty dad’s thumb. If you’re the type to have stamps lying around, that would be fun, too. But if you’re the type to have stamps lying around, you probably already made like, four batches of artisanal baked goods while I was writing this. You don’t need this! Make¬†me¬†these cookies.

CTD-pepper-jelly-biscuits1

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Cheesy musings, Pairings, Recipes

Concocting cheese for dessert and Buca on King

One of my favourite parts of my day job is getting to interview the¬†MasterChef Canada¬†competitors.¬†While talking to¬†top-5 home cook Christopher Siu¬†about food trends,¬†he brought up a recent trip to Tokyo and how innovative the culture is with their sweets. It got me thinking ‚Ästnot for the first time ‚Ästabout cheese for dessert.

I don’t mean a cheese board. Although that’s always welcome, I don’t see it as dessert, really, because the same spread would be at home during any course. Plus, I don’t want to wait for the end of the meal to dig into the cheese. I digress.

No, I mean cheese as part of a sweet dessert. After talking to Christopher, I started dreaming up¬†ways to make cheese the centrepiece. First, I thought of a mascarpone parfait. I’d layer it with caramelized grapefruit and burnt toffee. I have¬†no¬†idea if those flavours would even go together, but my brain got real¬†friendly with the idea, real fast. Then, further down the caramelizing route, I thought of flamb√©ing halloumi, which, let’s be honest, is just a hilarious thought. But why not?

I settled on my third idea as a less out-there gateway dessert: bocconcini truffles.

Bocconcini truffle

If you’re thinking that bocconcini is too delicate a cheese to compete with semi-sweet chocolate, congratulations, you are two steps ahead of me! I had a bit of doubt but wanted to give it a go, anyway.

I soaked the bocconcini in buttermilk before turning it into a truffle, hoping it would add a touch more depth of flavour. It didn’t, but that’s why we do these drills! Right, kids? Then I popped them in the freezer for a spell so they wouldn’t get too melty during their chocolate bath.

Bocconcini truffle

Before making my chocolate, I did a quick jog on Google to see if anyone had already attempted a bocconcini truffle and succeeded more than I anticipated I would. Unsurprisingly, there were no bocconcini chocolate truffle recipes. But that did not deter me. No, that only made me think I must be onto something reeeeeally original.

Next was chocolate. I melted semi-sweet chocolate chips with butter and maple syrup. Then I speared each cheesy little guinea pig on a fork, rolled them in as much chocolate as would stick (not much) and topped them with black lava salt I got in Iceland (which I figured would make it feel fancier, even if the experiment failed). It has the consistency of¬†fleur de sel¬†but isn’t as light.

Bocconcini truffle

I brought the truffles over to my friend (and #1 reader!) Christie’s, who gamely tried a few. We both agreed: not a great combo. Not a bad combo, but as I feared, the bocconcini’s delicate flavour was totally overwhelmed by the chocolate.

I’m not giving up on cheese and chocolate though¬†‚Äď I know they’re delicious together, if only because Nad√®ge did a much better job pairing the two in my favourite parmesan chocolate bar. I’ll try a saltier cheese next time.

Then I got my wish at Buca (which I accidentally oversold to another¬†MasterChef Canada cook, nay,¬†winner, David Jorge¬†‚Äď sorry, buddy! You’ll understand why in a moment). I entered a new age “box” last week, and for my birthday, my mom and I went to the seriously-acclaimed restaurant’s King location. There was a cheese plate (pictured without much of the cheese, because you should never have to wait to dig in on your birthday), obviously.

Buca-cheese-plate

The plate was jewelled with fresh buffalo ricotta, pecorino toscano and one of my all-time favourites, piave. Each was paired with a fruity partner: the ricotta with saskatoon berry (one of my favourite sidekicks), the pecorino with wine-soaked raspberries, and the piave with rhubarb.

Then it was time for dessert. I wanted something cool to offset the looming comatose fog rolling in, post-pasta with lobster (is there any better birthday dish?). Buca made all my wishes come true, even before I blew out the candle.

Gorgonzola-ice-cream

Gorgonzola gelato, topped with blueberries. Now that is how you do cheese for dessert.

I should have wished for the recipe. There’s always next year.

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Recipes

Gimme a cacio e pepe, and make ‘er blush

Sometimes you just need a big bowl of cacio e pepe.

Cacio e pepe

Cacio e pepe¬†is a year-round delight. Obviously, anything hot and liberally-coated with cheese is welcome in the wintertime, but its appeal goes beyond the usual hot-and-cheesy comfort food requirements. It’s a comfort food trifecta: filling, ridiculously simple to make and always delicious.

My boyfriend and I went to Folco’s in Markham, Ontario, for his birthday last year, where our friend is a chef. I can never decide what to get there, so I asked him what he’d recommend and almost immediately, he said¬†cacio e pepe. “People don’t get it, because it’s basically just pasta and cheese,” he said, “but it’s incredible.” Spaghetti, pecorino romano cheese and pepper, to be exact.

BF got the¬†cacio e pepe, so I had to get something else (yeah, we’re those people), but I regretted my choice as soon as I had a bite of his. It’s since become my go-to when I need a big bowl of comfort that won’t further sap my energy in its production.

I called up C’n’P for one such occasion a few weeks ago in the middle of an overwhelming week. I used this Mark Bittman recipe from¬†The New York Times, because it looks like it knows what it’s talking about, and Bittman definitely does.

Cacio e pepe

If you’re looking at my bowl and thinking I went a little heavy on the¬†pepe, you win a gold-star-shaped hunk of pecorino romano. Serves me right for being too lazy to put my black pepper in a proper spice container, instead haphazardly dunking my hand in like it’s a grab bag of beer on a long weekend instead of a potent spice.

The pepper overpowered the entire dish, and I devoured my entire bowl (and then another the night after). That’s the magic of¬†cacio e pepe: it’s worth a burning throat. (And let’s be real, if you’re making this, you probably don’t have the energy to make another batch, you’re likely already well-settled into your “screw you” pants.)

I interviewed Christopher Siu, the top-five¬†MasterChef Canada¬†competitor, at my day job today. He brought up pink peppercorns and how they are well suited to desserts. I’ve been dreaming of them (along with unlikely cheese desserts¬†‚Äď stay tuned) all day, and decided somewhere between sprinkled-in-mascarpone and stuffed-on-chocolate-truffles that they would be a perfect substitute in my next¬†cacio e pepe.

I know it’s slight sacrilege, but I’m dying to know how it would taste with pink peppercorns instead of cracked black pepper. I have a hunch it would be a splendid dish-saver if you’re heavy-handed with the¬†pepe, like me.

P.S. If you keep reading¬†cacio e pepe¬†and pronouncing it peepee, know that a) that’s hilarious and b) you’re not alone, I keep thinking that when I type it out and I am a grown(ish)-ass woman. It’s paypay, like the soccer player. But way more lovable.

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Super Bowl dips
Entertaining, Recipes

Super Bowl recipes: One cheese, two dips

Super Bowl Sunday has a little something for everyone: Football (so I hear), puppy-centric commercials and the Big Kahuna, food. The Super Bowl falls¬†in an indulgence sweet spot: I’ve finally recovered from all the junk I ate over the holidays, just in time to do it all over again. Plus, I’m a firm believer that a theme around which to centre your snacks makes for double the fun. These recipes are spinoffs of¬†two of the most revered Super Bowl food groups: Pizza and buffalo wings.

I’ve been maniacally consuming Super Bowl recipes for the last two weeks, and I have to say, BuzzFeed Food¬†really knocked it out of the park with Super Bowl snacks and Sriracha-cheese recipes¬†‚Äď go have a look if you’re hosting and looking to make an impressive centrepiece dish, or want to enjoy a bit¬†of cooking.

Pizza dip buffalo dip

But if, like me, you are going to a party and want to bring a simple, crowd-pleasing appetizer, look no further. These two dips were the crowning glory of the aforementioned holiday spread this year. Both are made with stuff you probably already have on-hand, and are perfect for the Super Bowl, too: Pizza dip and buffalo dip. I bought a single bag of shredded mozza-cheddar blend and it carried me through both, to rave reviews from my pals. Here’s what’s involved.

Buffalo dip for Super Bowl

Buffalo Dip 

This dip has been a winner in our family for years. It involves slightly more effort than the pizza dip, but it’s still dead simple. My aunt once gave me a big batch of this dip for Christmas¬†‚Äď that’s the level of addictive we’re looking at. This can easily be adjusted with more or less chicken or buffalo sauce. I haven’t tried it with tofu before, but I’d bet if you bake the tofu first with a bit of spice, you’d never know the difference.

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 package cream cheese (8 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup ranch salad dressing (feel free to make your own if you’re not feeling bottled)
  • ~1/2 bottle of Frank’s Red Hot regular or buffalo,¬†to taste
  • 1 cup shredded mozza-cheddar (in my case), or straight-up cheddar for tangier flavour
  • 1 bag tortilla chips (small rounds work best), for dipping

Buffalo dip for Super Bowl

Directions

Boil the chicken breasts until finished, about 20 mins. While the chicken is cooking, mix the cream cheese and ranch together with an electric mixer until creamy. Add¬†Frank’s, then stir in shredded cheese. Chop the chicken very finely, then stir it into the mixture. Put into a 9×9″ baking dish and bake at 375 degrees for about 45-50 minutes until bubbly. Serve and dip!

Pizza dip for Super Bowl

Pizza Dip

So, buffalo dip was the big guns at our holiday spread, until my aunt made pizza dip this year. It’s four ingredients and so easy that it’s almost unfair how much people like it¬†‚Äď give the other snacks a chance, would ya? People slaving over from-scratch and artfully-crafted apps might turn their nose up at first, but keep a polite smirk in your back pocket for roughly 10 minutes later, when they’ve thrown pretence to the wind and are scraping cheese from their chin so as to not miss any. There’s no pretty way to eat it, just dig in.

Ingredients

  • 250g tub herb and garlic cream cheese
  • ~1 1/2 cup your fave tomato sauce, to taste
  • ~1 1/2 cup chopped pepperoni, to taste
  • 1 cup shredded mozza-cheddar cheese, or straight-up mozza for lighter flavour
  • Sliced baguette, for dipping

Pizza dip for Super Bowl

Directions

You ready? This gets real simple, real fast. Grab the dish you want to serve it in. A tinfoil pie plate makes for easy cleanup. Spread the cream cheese across the bottom in a smooth layer. Pour enough tomato sauce to cover on top, as much as you like. Layer the pepperoni on top. Sprinkle the cheese. Pop it in the oven at 375 degrees until the cheese has melted and you’re about to implode with wanton desire from the smell. Serve with sliced crusty bread.

What are you making for the Super Bowl? Have any favourite recipes to share? Let me know on Twitter or in the comments!

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Recipes

Mozzastein: Four-cheese poor man’s buffalo mozzarella

There are three things in my little culinary life that come around about as frequently as the Perseid meteor shower (i.e. not very often, but which is on my mind because it peaks tonight): Blueberries, sandwiches and balsamic so decadent I want to swig it like a Muggle’s first Butterbeer.

I don’t ever¬†crave¬†blueberries, so I never buy them because they’re expensive. I usually only eat sandwiches for the stuff inside them (so then I think, why bother?), because the only bread I buy is the healthy seed-filled stuff that I don’t enjoy eating as much as, oh, I don’t know, irresistible fluffy croissants or sourdough. And contrary to the previous two, my allegiance to aged balsamic is so strong that I would bankrupt both my food and entertainment budgets (read: spend¬†way¬†too much money without thinking about it and then burn with shame upon facing my credit card bill) if I indulged in buying it for myself.

But this week, all three converged. My mom brought me blueberries and blueberry jam from a trip to the farm in Bowmanville, my best friend brought me aged balsamic back from Italy and I found a recipe for grilled cheese I couldn’t stop thinking about.

I know, I know¬†‚Äď a¬†recipe¬†for grilled cheese? It was actually helpful in this case because it’s not the intuitive grilled cheese you’re likely used to and it’s far from traditional. Unless you are a classically-trained¬†nonna. In which case, okay, fine.

The recipe is from Half Baked Harvest, a food blog I recently discovered and have become a bit obsessed with, for mozzarella in carrozza, or a fried mozzarella sandwich.

I know. Hold it together.

Half Baked suggests serving it with blueberry balsamic jam. Coincidence? I thought not.

Sometimes my roommate and I have “food nights”¬†‚Äď an innocuous way of describing, essentially, all-out pigging parades, which would be more apt for our last one, a literal sausage fest. We decided tonight would be one such night, and I couldn’t think of a better companion than one fried cheesy sandwich with a side of balsamic-y blueberry jam.

There was just one problem. I had no access to buffalo mozzarella. By that I mean, although I live in Toronto and I guarantee you there was some of it somewhere in the city, available for purchase, my usually-dependable grocery store and the others I stopped at on the way home were fresh out of not only buffalo mozzarella, but bocconcini and any other fresh cheese I could think of.

So I did not what a rational person does, which would’ve been to break out the Annie’s boxed mac and call it an almost-success. Oh, no. I had been dreaming of this gooey sandwich all day (practically a lifetime when you’re chronically peckish). I behaved like a maniacal cheesemonger playing god and decided to create my own. I made Mozzastein.

The foraged bones

The foraged bones

That’s right. I chose four cheeses that each brought something to the table that I deemed to be a crucial part of buffalo mozzarella: Havarti, because it’s melty; cottage cheese, because it’s wet and slightly briny; cream cheese, for pseudo-binding and a touch of extra flavour; and shredded mozzarella, because it is actually mozzarella.

Before I go any further, let me clarify that under no circumstances did I expect this to live up to buffalo mozzarella. That sh-t is sacred. But when you’ve come this far in your fantasy, sometimes you have to allow yourself to get just as pumped over a strange, amorphous substitute.

So I mixed the four together and started my journey.

Appropriately-menacing shadow

Appropriately-menacing shadow

Sandwich assembly, with my Mozzastein in the middle.

Mozzastein-bread

Next up, I dipped both sides in milk, then flour and eggs.

My Igor - er, roommate, scrubbing into the surgery

My Igor – er, roommate, scrubbing into the surgery

I rapidly tossed it in the frying pan with already-steamy olive oil ready to go.

Mozza-pan

And then I waited.

Fine, if you must know, the balsamic is on my bed and not the counter in this photo because I last encountered it dribbling pools on my palm to lick off while watching Netflix. I am the monster here

Fine, if you must know, the balsamic is on my bed and not the counter in this photo because I last encountered it dribbling pools on my palm to lick off while watching Netflix. I am the monster here

Mixed my blueberry jam and holy-cannoli balsamic.

Flipped, waited, and retrieved.

Then I cut into it.

It certainly had the gooeyness. (How do you actually spell this word?)

It tasted cheesy. But it did not taste like buzzalo mozzarella.

Behold - my creation!

Behold – my creation!

Were you hoping after all this raving determination it would? I sorta was. Sadly, like Dr. Frankenstein, I learned that you cannot create a carbon copy of that which already exists from parts that happen to be available. There’s something philosophical in there somewhere, but my takeaway was this: Buffalo mozzarella may have taken a rare turn on my absentee roster, but blueberries and balsamic will not be returning. Although it had the least help from me out of any of the dish’s elements (in my inventor mood today, that was probably a good thing), the blueberry-balsamic jam was the star. I am definitely buying ‚Äď and combining them ‚Äď more often in the future. Thanks, Mozzastein.

P.S. I have filed this under recipes and use the term loosely in this case¬†‚Äď I encourage you to check out the real recipe I was inspired by if a cheese-monster hybrid doesn’t appeal to you.

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