Cheesy Corn Casserole

Summer is almost over <sigh>, but with that said, there has been some really, and I mean really good corn this year. We have tried a variety, but there is one batch that my coworker brought in from Fondy’s Farmers Market that was probably hands down the best corn I’ve had in quite some time. The texture was spot on and the sweetness just blew our mind, plus they were some of the larger types of corn I have seen in some time now. With that said, my coworker brought in two large paper bags of corn, loaded to the top and said take what you want. I probably took about 12 or so ears of corn, and this recipe was inspired not only by the corn, but a conversation my colleague and I had about a cheesy corn casserole. His idea sounded so good I was going to go out on a limb and try coming up with my own version.

Cheesy Corn Casserole Recipe
Cheesy Corn Casserole Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cups of cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 ears of corn, kernels removed
  • 1 lb thick cut ham, cubed
  • 2 whole banana peppers, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 head of garlic, roasted, mashed
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 cup of seasoned bread crumbs

Start by heading a medium sized pot on medium heat. Add in the butter and let it melt until it comes to a bubble. Next, toss in the flour, and stir with a wooden spoon so that all of the butter soaks up the flour. Continue to stir for a couple of minutes to cook out the flour. Don’t let it get too dark, just a light golden, if any color at all. Now add in the milk and continue to stir. Keep stirring until the sauce thickens. This is your standard bechamel sauce.  Once the sauce thickens, add in the cream cheese and cheddar cheese, as well as the garlic salt. Lower the heat, and stir until all the cheese is melted, and you have a smooth consistency.

Cheesy Corn Casserole Ingredients
Cheesy Corn Casserole Ingredients

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

To a large mixing bowl, add in the corn, the cubed ham, black pepper, banana peppers, roasted garlic, and tomato. Mix to combine everything. Next, pour in the cheese sauce, and continue to stir until everything is nice and coated.

Add the mixture to your casserole dish, top with the bread crumbs. Place into the oven and cook for about 30 minutes, uncovered. The top should be nice and golden brown, and the casserole itself should be a bit bubbly. Carefully remove, and get ready to dig in.

The end result is nothing short of fantastic. You get the sweetness and the pop from the corn, the cheese blend (don’t get me started on how good that is), and the savoriness from the ham. Did I mention the garlic? Good Lord this stuff is great and is perfect for your backyard gathering, plus this one feeds a small army. Comfort all around, even in the summer. Hope you enjoy and hoping everyone has a great rest of your summer!

Cheesy Corn Casserole
Author: 
Recipe type: Casserole
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cups of cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 ears of corn, kernels removed
  • 1 lb thick cut ham, cubed
  • 2 whole banana peppers, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 head of garlic, roasted, mashed
  • ½ tbsp garlic salt
  • 1½ tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 cup of seasoned bread crumbs
Instructions
  1. Start by heading a medium sized pot on medium heat. Add in the butter and let it melt until it comes to a bubble. Next, toss in the flour, and stir with a wooden spoon so that all of the butter soaks up the flour. Continue to stir for a couple of minutes to cook out the flour. Don’t let it get too dark, just a light golden, if any color at all. Now add in the milk and continue to stir. Keep stirring until the sauce thickens. This is your standard bechamel sauce. Once the sauce thickens, add in the cream cheese and cheddar cheese, as well as the garlic salt. Lower the heat, and stir until all the cheese is melted, and you have a smooth consistency.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  3. To a large mixing bowl, add in the corn, the cubed ham, black pepper, banana peppers, roasted garlic, and tomato. Mix to combine everything. Next, pour in the cheese sauce, and continue to stir until everything is nice and coated.
  4. Add the mixture to your casserole dish, top with the bread crumbs. Place into the oven and cook for about 30 minutes, uncovered. The top should be nice and golden brown, and the casserole itself should be a bit bubbly. Carefully remove, and get ready to dig in.

 

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Kale and Mushroom Open Faced Quesadilla

It seems like we are always consuming tortillas in my house, whether that be flour or corn tortillas. Maybe because we have the usual taco Tuesday, or taco Thursday for that matter. One of my son’s favorite lunch time meals is probably a cheese quesadilla, and a couple of weeks ago, when I got back from our farmer’s market, I decided to use some of the things I had laying around and make something for my wife. I had some white cheddar cheese that I needed to use up, and that’s when this idea came up to make an open faced quesadilla. Now sure, feel free to fold this sucker over, I don’t mind, but whatever the case, the combination of these ingredients was really, really great, plus it’s meatless, so it’s even better.

Kale and Mushroom Quesadilla Recipe
Kale and Mushroom Quesadilla Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 flour tortilla
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup of lacianto kale, chopped
  • 1/2 cup portabella mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 cup white cheddar cheese, cubed

Start by heating a skillet on medium-low heat. Add in the canola oil, and bring it up to temperature.

Add in the kale and the mushrooms, and cook until the kale is nice and tender, about 15 minutes. Stir periodically.

Kale and Mushroom Quesadilla Ingredients
Kale and Mushroom Quesadilla Ingredients

When the kale and mushrooms are softened, remove and place them in a bowl, and wipe out the skillet.

Return the skillet to the stove on medium-low heat, and add in the flour tortilla. Top with about 3/4 of the white cheddar cheese, then scatter the kale and mushrooms over the top. Place any remaining cheddar cheese on top of the mushrooms and kale.

Kale and Mushroom Quesadilla Recipe
Kale and Mushroom Quesadilla Recipe

Slowly cook the quesadilla until the tortilla gets nice and crisp and golden, and the cheese fully melts. Feel free to place a cover on the skillet to assist with melting the cheese.

When the cheese is fully melted, plate and serve.

The combination of kale and mushrooms in itself it awesome, but then you get this great sharpness from the white cheddar cheese that brings it all together. My wife loved it, and I loved every second making this for her. Hope you enjoy!

Kale and Mushroom Open Faced Quesadilla
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizers
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 1 flour tortilla
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • ½ cup of lacianto kale, chopped
  • ½ cup portabella mushrooms, chopped
  • ½ cup white cheddar cheese, cubed
Instructions
  1. Start by heating a skillet on medium-low heat. Add in the canola oil, and bring it up to temperature.
  2. Add in the kale and the mushrooms, and cook until the kale is nice and tender, about 15 minutes. Stir periodically.
  3. When the kale and mushrooms are softened, remove and place them in a bowl, and wipe out the skillet.
  4. Return the skillet to the stove on medium-low heat, and add in the flour tortilla. Top with about ¾ of the white cheddar cheese, then scatter the kale and mushrooms over the top. Place any remaining cheddar cheese on top of the mushrooms and kale.
  5. Slowly cook the quesadilla until the tortilla gets nice and crisp and golden, and the cheese fully melts. Feel free to place a cover on the skillet to assist with melting the cheese.
  6. When the cheese is fully melted, plate and serve.

 

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Kale Chips with Parmesan Cheese

Kale chips are one of those awesome snacks, that amazingly enough, that all of my kids eat. I’ve always been surprised that my kids love them, probably because it has the word chip in it, and trust me, my kids love chips. As I normally bake the standard curly kale, especially when it is on sale, I decided to try something different this time around. When I went to my farmer’s market last weekend and visit with my favorite farmer’s, they had a bunch of lacinto kale, commonly known as dinosaur kale, and it looked really good. When I asked them about the kale, they really came out with excitement and stated it was their favorite and that it was less bitter. I was sold, and that night I decided to make these baked kale chips with parmesan cheese as an appetizer for the family.

Kale Chips with Parmesan Cheese
Kale Chips with Parmesan Cheese

These were so good, and if you are not a kale fan I dare you to try them, that they were instantly gone. I kind of wished I would have bought two heads of the lacianto kale, but maybe I’ll do that this weekend instead.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of lacianto kale, rib removed from each leaf
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Simple stuff, and that’s what I love about these. The farmer’s had it right, these kale chips were slightly less bitter than the standard kale, and now I’m a total fan. I always thought that because the lacianto kale was a bit thicker that it would not make for a great kale chip, but now I know I was wrong the whole time, and that’s a darn shame.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

During this time, prepare your kale, and make sure you remove the leaves from the ribs. Place these into a bowl, and drizzle with olive oil and season with the salt. Use kitchen latex gloves for easier cleanup if you have them, and lightly toss the kale, ensuring that all of the leaves are lightly coated.

How to make kale and parmesan chips
How to make kale and parmesan chips

If you have parchment paper, go ahead and use it and line a baking sheet with it. If not, don’t worry. Line your kale leaves onto the sheet, being careful not to overlap them. You can bake these in batches.

Place them into the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, or so, until they are nice and lightly crisp. Once they are lightly crisp, take a bit of the parmesan cheese and sprinkle onto the kale chips.

Bake another few minutes, then remove from the oven and serve. Repeat with all remaining kale.

The kale itself was awesome. No kidding. I know everyone is tired of hearing about kale, but not only am I a fan, but I’m totally sold on this lacianto kale. These are a must make, especially with the grated, and lightly melted parmesan cheese. Hope you enjoy!

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Garlic and Dill Fried Cheese Curds

This past weekend I had to go to one of our local grocery stores, and typically on the weekend, there are always vendors pushing their local products. I’m somewhat a fan of that, and I always sample their products, and about half of the time purchase their products, only to support local. My first encounter was an older lady pushing her cheese curds. She had a few to choose from, and when my first question was ‘how fresh are they?’, she immediately said she pulled them this morning. You can always tell a fresh cheese curd from that first bite. It should be squeaky, soft, and lightly salty. These were everything that, and more. I loved them.

As my daughter has been asking, A LOT, lately ‘when are we going to make those cheese curds again?’, I decided that this was the time, and a perfect time because the curds from Malcore Foods were really good, especially the garlic and dill cheese curds. I picked up some regular cheddar, as well as the garlic dill, and headed home to show them to my daughter.

Garlic and Dill Fried Cheese Curds
Garlic and Dill Fried Cheese Curds

When I opened the bag, I was a bit skeptical if she, or my boys would like them, after all they had green specs of dill on them! They liked them, a lot. I’ve never fried these type of curds, so I was excited to see how they would turn out. Let’s just say they were gone in a matter of minutes!

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz bag of fresh cheese curds, garlic and dill, room temperature
  • 2 cups of canola oil
  • 12 oz of lager beer
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt

Add the oil to a medium pot, and bring to a medium-high heat. In the meantime you can prepare the batter. In one bowl add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix. In another bowl, beat the eggs and add in the beer. Mix. Combine the wet mixture with the dry mixture to form your batter. Make sure you mix well to get any lumps out of the flour.

Once your oil is heated through, carefully dip a handful of the curds into your batter. Once they are golden brown, this only takes a few minutes, remove them with a slotted spoon or kitchen spider, and place onto a paper towel lined plate to remove any excess oil. Repeat.

How to make garlic and dill fried cheese curds
How to make garlic and dill fried cheese curds

Serve immediately. Again, this bag of cheese curds were gone in a matter of minutes, and all of my kids wanted more! I thought one bag was enough, especially that we are going to the annual State Fair. If you ever wanted something from Wisconsin, and especially our State Fair, well, cheese curds would be the ticket. I’m sure we will get plenty more, and hopefully they have the garlic and dill fried cheese curds as that subtle garlic and tang from the dill really made these cheese curds that much better. Hope you enjoy!

Garlic and Dill Fried Cheese Curds
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizers
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5
 
Ingredients
  • 12 oz bag of fresh cheese curds, garlic and dill, room temperature
  • 2 cups of canola oil
  • 12 oz of lager beer
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Add the oil to a medium pot, and bring to a medium-high heat. In the meantime you can prepare the batter. In one bowl add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix. In another bowl, beat the eggs and add in the beer. Mix. Combine the wet mixture with the dry mixture to form your batter. Make sure you mix well to get any lumps out of the flour.
  2. Once your oil is heated through, carefully dip a handful of the curds into your batter. Once they are golden brown, this only takes a few minutes, remove them with a slotted spoon or kitchen spider, and place onto a paper towel lined plate to remove any excess oil. Repeat. Serve immediately.

 

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