Stinky Cheese Scalloped Potatoes



I made two versions of scalloped potatoes for Easter.  One was the normal cheddar cheese variety and the other was a fancier scalloped potatoes using a cheese I had never heard of that didn’t smell all that great.  We called it “stinky cheese.”  Adults and children agreed that the best potatoes were the “stinky cheese” variety so I thought I would share the recipe with you here.

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for brushing
1/2 clove garlic
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup shredded asiago cheese
1/3 cup shredded raclette cheese (I found it at Whole Foods)
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 fresh bay leaves
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Generously brush a large skillet with butter, then rub with the garlic. Combine the mozzarella, asiago and raclette in a bowl.

Heat the skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the potatoes, spreading them out. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt, half of the cut-up butter, half of the shredded cheese blend, and pepper to taste. Arrange the remaining potatoes on top. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Pour the cream over the potatoes, then add the nutmeg and bay leaves; simmer 3 minutes. Dot the potatoes with the remaining cut-up butter.

Generously brush a shallow baking dish with butter; slide the potatoes into the dish; arrange with a fork, if desired. (If your skillet is ovenproof, you can skip this step and bake the potatoes in the skillet.)

Sprinkle the potatoes with the parmesan and the remaining shredded cheese blend. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving. Discard the bay leaves.


Ham and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken

I’m a big fan of goat cheese.  It’s an acquired taste, but one that I happen to enjoy a lot.  I found a recipe online using country ham and goat cheese and then you stuffed that under crunchy chicken skin and I was sold.  You can use different herbs than what I used and if you don’t like goat cheese try a cream cheese or some other cheese and let me know how it turned out.


4 chicken breasts with bone and skin

3 ounces of country ham, diced

1T chopped sage (you could also try thyme or rosemary)

2 T olive oil

4 oz softened goat cheese

1T lemon juice

salt & freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375F.  Heat a large dutch oven over medium high heat and add olive oil.  Saute diced ham for 4-5 minutes until brown.  Remove ham with a slotted spoon and drain.  Season chicken lightly with salt and pepper and then brown in same olive oil on all sides.  Combine goat cheese and herbs in a small bowl and then add lemon juice.  Remove chicken from oil and drain.  Allow oil to cook for a few minutes and then add the oil and any brown bits in the pan to the goat cheese mixture.   Stir to combine and then add some pepper.  Place the chicken on a rimmed baking sheet and stuff goat cheese mixture under the skin.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the temperature has reached 165F.

Homemade Ricotta


Who wants to make their own cheese?  When people talk about making their own ricotta cheese from scratch I figured it would be some long complicated process.  Boy, was I wrong!  This is a really easy step by step recipe that results in some fresh creamy ricotta that you will really enjoy.  This just takes some time and patience and then you will be able to say you made your very own cheese!


4 c whole milk

1/2 c heavy cream

1/4 tsp kosher or sea salt

1 1/2 T fresh lemon juice

Combine the milk, cream and salt in a very large pot or saucepan.  Line a colander with cheesecloth and set inside a large bowl.  Bring the milk mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat stirring occassionally with a spatula.  Don’t let the mixture scald.  Once the milk has reached a steady simmer add your lemon juice and stir gently.  Stir quickly just to blend.  Let the mixture sit for a minute or two (turn down the heat slightly so it continues to simmer but doesn’t reach a boil).  Stir with spatula for another minute.  Once it looks like the mixture has seperated into curds and whey (cheese curds and liquid) it is ready.  Drain the mixture in the colander lined with cheesecloth and let it drain at room temperature for one hour.  Transfer your ricotta cheese to an airtight container and then refrigerate.

When Life Doesn’t Give You Lasagna Noodles You Make Lasagna Casserole

This weekend I wanted to make gluten-free lasagna for my Mom’s birthday dinner.  We travelled to two different stores in search of gluten-free lasagna noodles, but could not find any on the shelves.  I decided to go with Plan B…..lasagna casserole.  This casserole would have all the lasagna flavors, but I would layer the sauce and cheeses with penne pasta in a baking dish.  The result was a casserole that even Garfield the cat would enjoy.


Bolognese sauce (I made a fresh batch of this sauce using Giada De Laurentis recipe here – except I added a mixture of ground sirloin and italian sausage and added a 1/4 c red wine to deglaze the pan)

16 oz ricotta cheese

2 c shredded italian cheese blend

16 oz package of baby bella mushrooms sauteed in olive oil

16 oz package of fresh spinach sauteed in olive oil

16 oz package gluten-free penne pasta

Preheat oven to 375F. Spray 9X13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Ladle 1/2 c of bolognese sauce in bottom of dish.  Spread half the penne over the sauce.  Ladle half the remaining bolognese sauce over pasta, then add half the ricotta, half the mushrooms, half the spinach and half the shredded cheese.  Repeat the layers once more making sure top layer is shredded cheese.  Bake in oven for 30 minutes and then let cool for 5 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!


Brussels with Bacon and Cheese Crisps

Okay, I’ll confess.  I HATED brussel sprouts as a kid.  The thought of eating those little cabbages made me want to gag.  Now, however, my taste buds have grown up and I’ve become quite fond of these little guys.  This weekend I roasted them in the oven and then added bacon and parmesan cheese crisps…..YUM!


1 to 1 1/2 lbs brussel sprouts (remove stems and any loose or discolored outer leaves)

4 strips of bacon cooked until crisp and bacon fat

1 T olive oil

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 c grated parmesan cheese

Place brussels in a bowl and coat with olive oil, bacon fat and salt and pepper to taste.  Roast in 400F oven for about 15 minutes.  While brussels are roasting make your cheese crisps by heating a dry non-stick skillet over medium high heat.  Add1-2 T of parmesan cheese in the skillet to create a large circle.  Cook until browned on one side and then flip over and brown the other side.  Once brussels are done garnish with crumbled bacon and crumbled cheese crisps.

No Noodle Lasagna

So the kids were watching a Garfield movie this weekend and suddenly I got a craving for lasagna.  That fat orange cat has a way of making you yearn for that cheesy, saucy italian casserole.  I decided I would use grilled eggplant instead of lasagna noodles.  I haven’t found a gluten-free lasagna noodle that has knocked my socks off so this was my plan B.  This plan also hides the veggies in the dish so that my son doesn’t realize he is eating them which is a plus in my book!


2 medium eggplant peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch slices

16oz large curd cottage cheese

1/4 c chopped flat leaf parsley

1 large egg

1 jar of gluten-free pasta sauce

olive oil

sea salt

fresh ground black pepper

dried oregano

2 c shredded italian cheese

Brush your eggplant slices with olive oil and then season with salt and pepper.  Grill your eggplant slices until slightly softened and you have sufficiently charred both sides.  In a food processor combine your cottage cheese, parsley, oregano, egg and salt & pepper to taste and puree  until you get the texture of ricotta cheese.  Ladle 1/4 c pasta sauce on bottom of 9X13 pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Layer your eggplant, sauce, cottage cheese and then shredded cheese mixture making sure top layer is shredded cheese.  Cook in a 350F oven for about 30-40 minutes or until your cheese is melted and bubbly.  If your cheese doesn’t sufficiently brown on top turn your broiler on for a couple of minutes, but keep an eye on your lasagna so the top doesn’t burn.


And when you are done you are left with a vegetarian lasagna that even Garfield would love!  My son didn’t even know there was veggies in it until I told him 🙂

 What’s your trick to get your kids to eat more veggies?