Does your summer grilling menu include tasty cheeses? I thought summer would never begin, but looking at the weather forecast we can finally fire up our grills, sit back on our patios and enjoy great food and refreshing beverages! July is a big month for entertaining at my house. With the warmer weather I am planning to cook out as much as possible. Here is one dinner menu of mine that includes a variety of cheese dishes. For the entree’ I have chosen steak, there is nothing better than steak and blue cheese. For this recipe I like to use gorgonzola for my choice for blue cheese. I am often asked “What is the difference between blue cheese and gorgonzola”? Blue cheese is only a type of cheese that is made by introducing bacteria into it so that a blue mold forms in the veins. Gorgonzola is just an Italian blue cheese. Gorgonzola cheese gets the name from the name of the town that it was produced in since 879 AD. The Gorgonzola cheese got the greenish-blue structure during the eleventh century. This cheese is now mainly produced in Lombardy and Piedmont (Northern Italian regions). Belgioioso makes a phenomenal gorgonzola crumble perfect for this recipe. Gorgonzola is produced from whole cow’s milk. Starter bacteria along with spores of penicillium roqueforti and penicillium glaucum are added to it. The whey that is produced is removed and the remaining is aged at a low temperature. During aging, metal rods are inserted and removed which forms air channels. These air channels make the spores grow into hyphae and give the cheese the green vein characteristic. Generally, Gorgonzola cheese is aged for about four months. The blue cheese is also produced in the same manner. When comparing the flavor, Gorgonzola cheese has a mild flavor than blue cheese. Most of the blue (or bleu in French) cheese has a strong and pungent smell. Like many cheese varieties, Blue Cheese was created by accident. Centuries ago cheeses were left to age in damp caves to improve their flavor. Some cheeses molded in this environment, but instead of tasting bad, the cheese's flavor was actually enhanced. Soon people were creating moldy cheese intentionally by aging them in caves until they molded or injecting them with mold spores to produce blue cheese. French and British Varieties include many different types of blue cheese, ranging from mild to pungent. Montbriac is a French variety made of cow's milk with a texture similar to Brie. Roquefort, another French blue cheese, is made of sheep's milk and is considered one of the best varieties. Stilton is a fine British blue cheese. Most blue cheeses are named after their places of origin: Maytag Blue comes from Iowa, Roquefort and Bleu de Bresse come from France, Stilton and Double Gloucester come from England, and many others. Ok, enough on the blue cheese let’s get to the recipes. Grilled Steak w/ Blue Cheese (4 servings) 1- lb. boneless sirloin steak 3/4 cup Light Honey Dijon Dressing 8 cups torn romaine lettuce leaves 1 small red onion, thinly sliced 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (2 oz.) 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes In a zip lock style plastic bag place steak and 1/4 cup Wish-Bone Light Honey Dijon Dressing, refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove discard bag, season steak, if desired, with salt and black pepper. Grill or broil steak, turning once for 10 minutes or until desired doneness. Arrange lettuce on serving platter. Top with sliced steak, then tomatoes, onion and cheese. Just before serving, drizzle with remaining dressing. Everybody loves corn on the cob! Once in a while I like to use flavored butters or herbs/seasonings to give it added touch. It is such fun to try something new! Grilled Parmesan Corn on the Cob 4 ears of Corn ¼ cup Unsalted Butter ¼ Grated Parmesan Cheese 1 teaspoon Chili Powder (optional, adds a little kick) ½ Teaspoon Salt Peel back the husks of corn but do not remove. Pull out the corn silk and discard. Pull husks back over kernels and tie with kitchen string. Cover corn in water and soak 1-2 hours. Drain Corn. Place corn on grill and cook about 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes. Mix butter, parmesan cheese, chili powder, and garlic salt. When corn is done cooking remove husks and brush with butter mixture. Serve and enjoy! Crusty Bread and a light green salad and you are all set! If you would rather serve potatoes I have an amazing grilled potato option that will leave you saying,” wow, I need to make these more often”! Once again, along with a green salad you have created a meal anyone would rave about! Gruyere Grilled potatoes Ingredients: 2 teaspoons Unsalted Butter 1.5lbs Baby Red Potatoes (sliced thick) 2 small Vidalia Onions chopped 3 Green Onions chopped 1 Teaspoon Chives, diced 2 Cloves Garlic, chopped ¼ Teaspoon Pepper 5 ounces Shredded Gruyere Cheese (or any shredded Swiss cheese) 1 Sprig Fresh Rosemary stem removed and diced (dried can be used) 6 slices cooked bacon chopped (optional) Cut butter into small pieces and place in bottom of 8x8 foil pan that has been sprayed with pan release. Layer potatoes, Vidalia onions, green onions, chives, and garlic Sprinkle with bacon pieces and top 2.5oz of gruyere cheese (half) Season with pepper and rosemary, cover with foil Place potatoes on grill and cook about 4 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove foil and top with last half of cheese Continue to grill until cheese is melted and turning a golden brown If using an oven bake 400 degrees for 1 ¼ hours Dessert, well it is hard for me to pick which one to make so, I sometimes make two and give the leftovers to our guests to take home and enjoy! Red, White, and Blue Torte Ingredients 1 pint strawberries (fresh, sliced divided) 1 tbsp. lemon juice 23 cup sugar (divided) 8 oz. cream cheese (softened) 1 tsp. lemon peel (grated) 1 graham cracker crust (9 inch) 2 tbsps. Cornstarch 3 drops food coloring (red food coloring optional) 1 pt. blueberries (fresh) Directions
- In a large bowl, combine half of the strawberries and lemon juice; mash berries. Add 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, lemon peel and remaining sugar until smooth. Spread into the crust.
- In a large saucepan, combine cornstarch and reserved strawberry mixture until blended. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in food coloring if desired. Cool slightly.
- Fold in blueberries and remaining strawberries. Spread over cream cheese mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Yield: 6-8 servings.