Penne with shrimp, asparagus and sundried tomatoes...

What the Hell? This was the first meal I had on my first trip to England. My mother-in-law made it soon after we arrived. Simple, easy to prepare, it looks and tastes impressive. What the hell should I drink? You really should finish the dry white you plan to cook with. Don’t use grocery store cooking wine. That stuff sucks. Get a real bottle of wine, one that you would actually drink. Pour the 1/2 cup you need for the recipe and drink the rest with dinner. What the hell should I listen to? Psychotic Reaction by Trouble. You really should listen to a lot of Trouble. Do it. Now. Penne with shrimp, asparagus and sundried tomatoes   Save Print Prep time 15 mins Cook time 20 mins Total time 35 mins   Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Pasta Serves: 4-6 Ingredients ½ C. oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes drained and sliced, 2 tbls oil reserved 1 lb. asparagus, trimmed, cut on diagonal into ½” pieces 1½ lbs. uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined ½ C. chopped, fresh basil 2 lg. garlic cloves, minced ½ tsp. dried oregano ¼ tsp. dried crushed red pepper 1¾ C. vegetable broth ½ C. dry white wine 2 Tbls. tomato paste 12 oz. penne pasta ¾ C. fresh, grated Parmesan cheese Instructions Heat oil reserved from dried tomatoes in heavy, large skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to bowl Add sun-dried tomatoes, shrimp, ¼ cup basil, garlic, oregano and crushed red pepper to same skillet and cook until shrimp is just opaque in center, about 3 minutes. Transfer shrimp mixture to bowl with asparagus. Add broth, wine and tomato paste to same skillet. Boil until sauce thickens slightly, stirring...

Shrimp Ceviche

What the Hell? Real, Peruvian Ceviche is life changing. Some many favors and textures working together, your mouth cries with bliss. This isn’t really a true ceviche since the shrimp is cooked and we don’t have easy access to rocoto peppers and Peruvian limes, but this is still pretty damned good.  You’re gonna want to lick the bowl clean. Go ahead, it’s completely acceptable. This is very refreshing and works well at a Fourth of July or New Years Eve party.  It’s so easy, just chop, toss and chill. Impress your friends! What the hell should I drink? Pisco sour if you can find it! Pisco is a Peruvian grape brandy. It’s amazing by itself and killer in this cocktail. 3 oz. pisco 3/4 oz. simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water, dissolved) or 2 tsp. sugar 1 oz. key lime juice, fresh-squeezed 1 fresh egg white 2 dashes Angostura bitters Ice cubes Tools: shaker, strainer Glass: cocktail or goblet In a shaker, combine pisco, simple syrup, lemon juice and egg white and shake vigorously with ice. Strain into a glass and dash with bitters. What the hell should I listen to? Las Hadas by Reino Ermitaño. A little heavy Peruvian stoner doom. If is wasn’t for these fine folks, I would have never experienced Ceviche or Pisco sours. Two of best things I’ve ever put into my mouth. Yes. Shrimp Ceviche   Save Print Prep time 15 mins Cook time 1 hour Total time 1 hour 15 mins   Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Main Dish Serves: 4-6 Ingredients 1 lb. large shrimp, cooked, peeled, deveined and chopped ⅓ C. fresh lime juice ⅓ C. chopped fresh cilantro ½ C. minced red onion 3 garlic cloves, minced 4 scallions, minced 1 red...

Smoked Trout Ravioli

What the Hell? Ravioli! With smoked trout! Smothered in browned butter and fresh Parmesan! Your mouth will be overjoyed with smoky, pasta-y, full-fat goodness. No, this is not low calorie or for the health conscious. This is full-on pleasure food. Eat it! What the hell should I drink? Something crisp with a bite. These little pillowy bastards are rich, you need something to work with all that butter and cheese. My default white is Trader Joe’s Espiral Vinho Verde. It’s cheap and pretty much perfect with anything. If you’re looking for something fancier, anything in the Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc family would work. What the hell should I listen to? Let’s pretend we don’t know each other by Milligram. Powerful, melodic and perfect. Smoked Trout Ravioli   Save Print Prep time 1 hour 30 mins Cook time 10 mins Total time 1 hour 40 mins   Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Pasta Serves: 8 Ingredients Pasta (you will need two batches): 3 C. unbleached all-purpose flour 3 lg. eggs, room temperature 1 tst. salt 3 T. Olive oil Filling: 15 oz. carton Ricotta Cheese 8 oz. smoked trout 2 T. minced, fresh chives 1 T. minced red onion Sauce 2 sticks salted butter, room temperature Freshly grated Parmesan cheese Instructions Making the pasta dough: I suggest looking at some fresh pasta making videos on Youtube to show you what the dough should look like in the various stages. Mound flour on a clean, dry surface and create a well. In a small bowl, beat the eggs, olive oil and salt until combined. Add egg mixture to the well in the flour. With a fork, gradually draw in the flour from the inside wall of the well in a circular motion. Continue to...

Whiskey Toffee Nuts

What the Hell? Booze! Bacon! Butter! Sugar! Nuts! HELL YES! Five of my favorite things boiled together in a sloppy slurry of adult quality snacking goodness. You want these nuts in your mouth. Now. What the hell should I drink? These are, after all, whiskey nuts. Whiskey is the obvious choice, but beer is also a fine companion. I’m a fan of Jameson and Bulleit Rye in the whiskey department. What the hell should I listen to? Whiskey in the Jar by Thin Lizzy. Strong and smooth. Whiskey Toffee Nuts   Save Print Prep time 10 mins Cook time 45 mins Total time 55 mins   Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Snacky snack! Cuisine: Boozetastic! Serves: 6 Ingredients 1 lb. slab bacon, diced 1¼ C. of raw sugar (Turbinado sugar) 4 Tbls. unsalted butter ¾ C. whiskey of your choice 1 C raw peanuts (or any other raw nuts. Whole Foods is the only place I've been able to find raw peanuts without the skin.) Instructions In a large cast iron skillet cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. When cooked, drain on paper towels. Meanwhile in a medium-sized, heavy bottomed sauce pan bring the sugar, butter, and whiskey to a boil. Lower the heat and slow boil until the liquid is thick, very bubbly and reduced to half it's original volume. Stir occasionally. Add the raw peanuts (you can use any kind of raw nut) but if you use roasted nuts they may end up burning and turning black. Stir the nuts constantly, as the liquid reduces. Eventually all the moisture will evaporate and the sugar mixture will look like wet sand. Keep stirring and as the sugar begins to caramelize add the cooked bacon. Keep stirring until most of the...

Chicken Noodle Soup

What the Hell? One of my very favorite comfort foods. No matter what time of year, a big, steaming bowl of chicken noodle soup sets everything right and cures what ails me. This is a super simple recipe, requires next to no cooking skills. Another recipe that if you can boil water, you can make this soup. Impress your family and friends and show them how much you care. Doooo eeeet! What the hell should I drink? Give your liver a break and try something healthy for once, like some nice lemon tea. What the hell should I listen to? Falling back to earth by Bluebird. No real reason, I just really like this song. Chicken Noodle Soup   Save Print Prep time 10 mins Cook time 1 hour Total time 1 hour 10 mins   Comfort food! You love it! Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Soup Serves: 8 Ingredients 10 C. chicken broth 1 C. chopped carrots 1 C. chopped celery 1 C. chopped onions 2 tsp. poultry seasoning 1 tsp. dried thyme 2 bay leaves 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper 2 Tbls. fresh, chopped parsley 3 C. cooked, diced chicken 8 oz. noodle of your choice Instructions Place all ingredients up to the noodles into a large heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and partially cover. Simmer until veggies are tender. About an hour. Remove bay leaves. Bring back to a boil. Add noodles. Return to a boil and remove from heat. Cover and let noodles soak for 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper....

Split Pea Soup with Ham...

What the Hell? HAM! HAM! HAM! So, you’ve got some leftover holiday ham. Make some hearty, comforty  split peas soup! It’s stupidly simple, if you can chop veggies and boil water, you can make this soup. Impress your friends with your boiling prowess. Fill your belly with a salty, smokey bowl of this veggie packed goodness. You need your veggies! What the hell should I drink? A nice mineraly, acidic white wine would be lovely. Something the in the Sauvignon Blanc family would be a good fit. What the hell should I listen to? Squealer by AC/DC. It’ll make you understand. Split Pea Soup with Ham   Save Print Prep time 10 mins Cook time 1 hour Total time 1 hour 10 mins   Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Soup Serves: 6 Ingredients 8 C. ham broth or chicken broth 1½ C. green split peas 1 C. chopped onion 1 C. chopped celery 1 C. chopped carrots 1 C. chopped potatoes 2 cloves garlic, minced ½ tsp. black pepper ½ tsp. dried thyme ½ tsp. dried rosemary 2 bay leaves 2 C. cubed ham Instructions Place all ingredients into a large, heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer soup until the peas are tender and just beginning to fall apart. About an hour. Remove bay leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper....

Cottage Pie

What the Hell? Ground beef and veggies topped with mashed potatoes! What’s not to like? It’s a big plate of meaty comfort food. Substitute ground lamb and you get shepherd’s pie. Seriously, you want this in your mouth. Now. What the hell should I drink? Raison D’Etre from Dogfish Head would be wonderful here. Rich and ever so slightly sweet, it’s a yummy brew. What the hell should I listen to? ABBA, God and Me by The Meatmen, of course. Cottage Pie   Save Print Prep time 45 mins Cook time 30 mins Total time 1 hour 15 mins   Author: Embrace the Cheese Serves: 8 Ingredients For the potatoes 2.5 lbs. russet potatoes 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed ½ cup milk 4 Tbls. salted butter, softened ½ C. grated Parmesan cheese ½ teaspoon kosher salt ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper For the meat filling: 2 Tbls. canola oil 1 C. chopped onion 2 carrots, diced small 1 rib of celery, diced small 4 cloves garlic, minced 2 lbs. lean ground beef 1 tsp. kosher salt ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper 2 Tbls. all-purpose flour 2 tsp. tomato paste 1 C. beef broth 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 1 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed 1.5 tsp. dried thyme ½ C. frozen corn ½ C. frozen peas Instructions Peel the potatoes and cut into ½-inch dice. Place in a medium saucepan with the crushed garlic and cover with cold water. Set over high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover, decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender and easily crushed with tongs, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then return to the saucepan. Mash the potatoes and then add the butter,...

Chicken Pot Pie

What the Hell? Chicken Pot Pie Dammit! You know it. You you crave it. You love it. Yes, it’s a little time consuming. Yes, there are a lot of steps. Good comfort food takes time, quit complaining and cook! This is very free form. Add any veggies you like. Have fun and experiment. It’s pot pie dammit. It’s suppose to be fun and comforting. What the hell should I drink? Cheap white wine. Trader Joe’s Espiral Vinho Verde is fantastically cheap and remarkably tasty. Light and slightly bubbly. It will be your new go to chugger. What the hell should I listen to? Itchy Chicken by Los Straightjackets Chicken Pot Pie   Save Print Prep time 30 mins Cook time 1 hour 40 mins Total time 2 hours 10 mins   Chicken Pot Pie Dammit! You know it. You you crave it. You love it. Yes, it's a little time consuming. Yes, there are a lot of steps. Good comfort food takes time, quit complaining and cook! This is very free form. Add any veggies you like. Have fun and experiment. It's pot pie dammit. It's suppose to be fun and comforting. Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Winner. Winner. Chicken Dinner Cuisine: American Serves: 8-10 Ingredients Chicken 2½ lbs. boneless, skinless, chicken boobs 8 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled ½ tsp. salt ½ tsp. pepper ½ tsp. poultry seasoning ½ tsp. onion powder Roasted veg 1 C. diced turnips, about 1 medium (I like ½" dice) 4 C. diced red potatoes, about 3 large (I like to keep the skins on and ½" dice) 2 Tbls. olive oil 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. onion powder 1 tsp. garlic powder 1 tsp. dried thyme ½ tsp. dried, crushed rosemary Filling 1 Tbls. olive oil...

Spicy chicken tortellini soup...

What the Hell? Easiest soup on the planet. One pot and almost no chop. You don’t even have to know how to cook to make this. If you can use a can opener and boil water, you can make this. Impress your friends! What the hell should I drink? Something light and in the lager category. Not too hoppy, just beery, beer, beer. Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold Lager is a tasty choice. What the hell should I listen to? Something loud and angry! I’m going with the Gallows – In the belly of a shark. Damnit! Spicy chicken tortellini soup   Save Print Prep time 5 mins Cook time 20 mins Total time 25 mins   Easy. Easy. Easy. Yummy. Yummy. Yummy. Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Soup Cuisine: Southwestern-ish Serves: 4 Ingredients 1 32 oz. box of fat free, low sodium chicken broth 1 16 oz. jar of salsa. (heat level of your choice) 1 tsp. minced garlic 1 15.25 oz. can of black beans, rinsed and drained 1 C. frozen corn 2 C. diced, cooked chicken 2 C. frozen cheese tortellini 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro (optional) Instructions In a medium, heavy bottomed stock pot, bring chicken broth, salsa and garlic to a boil. Add black beans, corn and chicken. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Add tortellini and continue to simmer until tortellini is heated through. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with cilantro....