Cheese Chips!!!

 

parmesan cheese chip

 
Heres the trouble folks; once you start making cheese chips you will never stop. Even with the best intentions, “I’ll just eat a few and save the rest to serve with dinner tomorrow” ultimately you will eat too many and spread the addiction to others. 

Usually, we see parmesan chips, which are delicious, mind you, but they aren’t the only cheese in the ballgame when it comes to crisp, light, flavourful homemade cheese crisps. Like usual I’ve done the experimenting for you and tried chips at different temperatures made of various cheeses including parmesan, extra old cheddar, medium cheddar, handeck, asiago, and a mix. 

  

extra old cheddar chips before baking

My favourite are the chips made from extra old cheddar (made by my local cheese shop Jenson’s and aged 2 years I believe. And don’t worry about it being orange- like most Canadian cheese makers, they use a vegetable based natural colouring). They are more crisp than asiago whichs tend to have the tiniest bit of chew and cheaper than parmesan chips, which I like almost as much. 

*Some recipes said to use a mix of finely grated cheese and coarse and after trying both I can tell you this is horseshit and it doesn’t matter. Grate it however you want!

the winner!

The recipe is so simple I’m not sure you can call it a recipe, but here it is! I recommend serving these (or at least planning to before you scarf them all down yourself) with Roasted Tomato Soup.

 

roasted tomato soup with the few cheese chips not eaten before dinner!


Cheese Chips

Grated  cheese of choice *
Preheat oven to 400f

Line baking sheet with parchment and use tablespoon to make cheese mounds. Bake for 4-6 minutes or until starting to bubble – stay close and don’t overcook!

Let cool on the cookie sheet a few minutes- they will crisp up when cool. 

Store leftovers (ha!) in a glass jar with a paper towel in the fridge for up to a week. 

 

 

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Cheese Tortillini Soup

A light soup that is reminiscent of Italian wedding, but with much less work and calories. Make it vegetarian by using vegetable broth, and make it gluten free by using gluten free tortellini and omitting the parmesan.

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1/2 bag of frozen cheese tortellini

1/4 cup of white wine

1 box of chicken broth or vegetable broth

1 cup of cooked lentils or canned chickpeas, mixed beans, or Romano beans, drained

2 tablespoon of olive or grape seed oil

1 tablespoon of butter

2 cups of mixed fresh chopped vegetables, such as mushrooms, cauliflower, swiss chard, spinach, carrots, turnip, zucchini, or parsnips

1 stalk of celery, diced

1 onion, minced

1 clove of garlic, minced

1/2 can of stewed or chopped tomatoes, drained

2 teaspoons of thyme

1 teaspoon of dried basil

1 teaspoon of oregano

1 teaspoon of lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup of grated Parmesan

Heat oil and butter and saute onions until soft and add celery and saute for another few minutes.

Add vegetables, herbs, and salt, and pepper and saute for 5 -7 minutes or until vegetables start to show some colour and soften a little.

Add garlic and beans and cook for another minute. Add wine and lemon juice and cook  until wine somewhat evaporated  3-5 minutes).

Add chicken stock and simmer, covered for 20 min.

Remove lid and simmer, uncovered for another 20 min. Add tortellini, simmer for another 5 min, and serve with grated parmesan on top.

Roasted Tomato Soup

Ah tomatoes. A fruit (yes a fruit) with a subtle sweetness. Tomatoes aren’t sweet, you say? What the eff is she talking about, you demand?

Tomatoes, like many food stuffs, have sugar in them which is released when they are cooked slowly (caramelization). By roasting a tomato you transform it into something beautiful; silken in texture, and paradoxically sweet and savory.My husband hates tomatoes, but loved this soup.

Before I give you the recipe promise me two things:

1. That you won’t put a tomato in the fridge, ever. This makes them mushy and tasteless very quickly.
2. if you have the opportunity to try or grow heirloom tomatoes, do it!

Roasted Tomato Soup

Roasted Tomatoes –

I used about 10 med. field tomatoes, but you could use twice as many of Roma, or whatever floats your boat.

Remove hard cores of tomatoes and quarter. Place skin side down on foil lined baking sheet.

Drizzle with olive oil, a little balsamic vinegar if you like, a tiny bit of sugar, salt and pepper, and your favourite fresh or dried herbs (I used thyme, rosemary, and oregano).

Add a few cloves of peeled (whole) garlic.

Bake for 1 hour or so at 350 f, or longer at a lower temperature. Remove the garlic after an hour and set aside. Tomatoes will be collapsed, slightly charred, and caramelized looking when done

Soup-

In a pan saute a small minced onion and a few minced shallots

Add some basil leaves and cook on low for a min.

Add the tomatoes and roasted garlic back in and a few cups of chicken, veg. broth, or water

Season with salt, pepper, and more herbs if you like.

Simmer for 20 min.

Mix with a hand blender.

Serve with crusty bread.

Easy Butternut Squash or Roasted Carrot Soup

If you keep a few boxes of chicken or vegetable stock on hand, this recipe is a great backup for nights there is no meat in the house and squash (or roasted carrots) are easily accessible. Adapted from Alton Brown’s squash soup.

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1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped in pieces, or 8 washed carrots with tops and bottoms chopped off

1 carton/box of chicken or veg. broth

1 shallot, quartered

1 small onion, quartered

2 cloves of garlic, halved

1 quartered sweet pepper, any colour (optional)

1-2 pieces of celery (with leaves if possible)

3 slices of fresh Ginger, minced (or if you freeze yours 3/4 tsp or so of ginger, grated) or 1/2 tsp. ground ginger

3 tablespoons of olive oil

3 tablespoons of honey

2 tablespoons  butter

1/4 tsp. Nutmeg

Fresh cracked pepper and salt

2 tsps. spice mix (roasting spice, or mix of thyme, rosemary, oregano, and onion powder)

1/4 cup heavy cream (or you can go as low as 10% if you need to)

Dollop of creme fresh or grated Parmesan (opt)

Chopped chives, parsley, or candied pecans (for garnish)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 f.

In roasting pan combine onions, shallots, squash or carrots, sweet pepper, garlic, and celery. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, roasting spices, honey, ginger, and dab with butter.

Roast for 45 min

You want there to be a nice browning/caramelization but not too soft.

STOVETOP: Transfer to sauce pan (or use dutch oven for entire recipe) and pour in broth. Bring to a boil over high then reduce to medium and simmer 30 min-1 hour. Use hand blender to blend either completely or leave some lumps for texture. Temper cream by adding a little bit of the soup to the cream slowly until it is heated to the temp. of the soup then add all the cream.

CROCKPOT: Transfer to crock pot and pour in broth. Cook for 4-6 hours on low or 2-4 hours on high. Use hand blender to blend either completely or leave some lumps for texture. Temper cream by adding a little bit of the soup to the cream slowly until it is heated to the temp. of the soup then add all the cream.

Serve hot with the optional garnishes with crusty bread or honey cornbread and salad.  Makes great leftovers.

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