Category Archives: Parmigiano Reggiano

Asparagus and Cheese Dip

asparagus dip

For those moms who can’t get their kids to eat healthy food this is a great dip made with fresh Asparagus, parmesan cheese and almonds.  Serve over a colorful pasta or with vegetable sticks. Asparagus has a lot of nutritional values, the potassium in it can lower your blood pressure and It’s also rich in soluble fiber to help lower blood cholesterol levels.

Ingredients:

1 bunch of asparagus, cut into pieces and cooked

2 cloves of garlic

¼ cup almonds toasted

1 cup parmesan cheese

1 pinch of garlic roasted sea salt

½ cup sour cream

½ cup cream cheese

Directions:

Cook asparagus in boiling water until crisp-tender about 3 minutes. Remove asparagus from water and dry.

Once asparagus is cooled transfer to food processor, add garlic, almonds, cheeses, salt and pepper and sour cream. Blend until pesto consistency.

This is a tasty creamy preparation that does well as a dip for parties or used as a topping instead of pesto.  It can also be baked at 350 until bubbly and served hot.

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Gourmet 4 cheese Mac and Cheese with Serrano Ham

Macaroni-and-Cheese-with-serrano

Total Time 1 hour and 15 minutes (Cook time 50 minutes) Serves 6

Ingredients

6 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup flour

4 cups milk, warm

1 teaspoon dry mustard

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or hot sauce to taste

Salt to taste

Dash Worcestershire Sauce

8 oz shredded Amish cheddar

8 oz shredded Asiago

4 oz shredded BellaVitano Balsamic

1 pound macaroni of your choice, cooked al dente

1 stack crumbled butter cracker (Ritz like)

2 oz shaved Serrano ham lightly fried and crumbled

2 oz Parmigiano Reggiano crumbled for topping

Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt butter in large sauce pan over medium heat.  Add flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Whisk in the warm milk and bring to a boil, continue to whisk constantly. The mixture will thicken as the heat increases. Continue to whisk while adding the dry mustard, nutmeg, cayenne, salt and Worcestershire. Stir in the cheddar, Asiago, Bellavitano and stir until it is melted.

Pour cheese sauce over noodles and add to a 3 quart casserole dish.

Sprinkle top with cracker crumbs, Serrano crumbs and Parmigiano crumbles. Bake for 35 minutes.

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Filed under Amish Cheese, Artisan Cheese, Asiago, Balsamic Cheddar, Cheese, Macaroni and cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano, Serrano Ham

Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese

Parmigiano Reggiano

 
ABOUT PARMIGIANO REGGIANO CHEESE
This cheese is commonly referred to as “The King of Italian Cheeses”. Please visit our online store and go shopping at the number one imported food delivery service in the USA. 
Parmigiano-Reggiano is a hard Italian Cheese made from partly skimmed, unpasteurized milk. It is only allowed to be produced in the provinces of Parma, Reggio-Emilia and Modena, as well as parts of Emilia-Romagna. It has a minimum aging period of 12 months, but all Parmigiano Reggiano marked “EXPORT” requires a minimum aging period of 18 months. In Italy, the 18 month aged Parmigiano Reggiano is marked “EXTRA” rather than “EXPORT”. No preservatives or artificial ingredients are used in its manufacture. Parmigiano-Reggiano is a product that matures well; evolving in flavor as it ages. 

Aged Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese has numerous health benefits. Because of its long aging period, it’s paste is highly concentrated, containing only 30% water, offering a full 70% of its mass as nutrients rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. Lactose intolerant people can rejoice in that Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese is highly digestible. Furthermore it only has a 28% fat content, which is exceptionally low compared to other cheeses. 

Only certain breeds of cow can produce the protein-rich milk that is used to make Parmigano-Reggiano. The Holstein Friesian breed is the most important of the breeds that are approved for Parmigiano-Reggiano milk production. Each Holstein produces around 2,500 gallons of milk each year. Fed on fresh grass during the summer, during the winter months they are commonly fed dehydrated summer grasses. The dehydration retains the grass’ essential nutrients, and maintains a constant flora in the cows’ stomachs, leading to less stressed cows who provide a consistent quality milk year round. 

More work than you can imagine goes into the production of this colassal cheese. It is a money loser for its producers, making its manufacture a true labor of love. Consider all the work of raising the cows, collecting the milk, producing the curd, forming, storing and aging the cheese, and you begin to get the picture. Unlike other cheeses, there are peculiarities in the production of Parmigiano-Reggiano. For example, at around eleven months of aging, a man called the Battore (the Drummer) taps each wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese with a small metal mallet. If he hears a hollow sound, the cheese likely has a structural flaw. This unfortunate occurance takes place in roughly seven out of every 100 cheeses tested. These wheels lose their Parmigiano-Reggiano emblem from the rind and are sold to the food processing industry. The Parmigiano-Reggiano wheels that pass the test of the Battore are branded with an identification number, and allowed to continue aging. 

One month later, each cheese is branded with the logo of the Consorzio. Fresh versions of the cheese can now be legally sold, although most of the product continues to age to at least 18 months. At 24 months, the remianing wheels are once again tested by the Battore, determining those select cheeses that can best survive the longest aging. Any Parmigiano-Reggiano that matures beyond two years is labelled stravecchio (extra aged). 

As time passes, Parmigiano-Reggiano ages and becomes deeper in color, forming white amino acid crystals that pleasantly crunch when you eat them. In addition, its milk sugar (lactose) concentrates and caramelizes, creating an aftertaste of tropical fruit and nuts. This caramelization also makes Parmigiano-Reggiano more palatable for those who are lactose intolerant. 

Parmigiano-Reggiano production is stewarded by the casaro (cheese maker). His knowledge cannot be acquired in school; it only comes from years of apprenticing. Throughout the manufacture the casaro is constantly checking texture, aroma and quality, mostly with his expert nose and fingers. 

Scientists in Italy have extensively studied the health properties of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Their determination: Parmigiano-Reggiano can provide medicinal benefits as it is easy to digest and it works well with the human stomach’s natural microflora. In its native region of Italy, Parmigiano-Reggiano is the first solid food given to babies and is used to soothe children with colic. In addition, Parmigiano-Reggiano’s high levels of calcium and phosphorus make it an extremely helpful treatment for osteoporosis. Athletes benefit from its extremely high protein value and its comparatively low cholesterol.

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Parmigiano Reggiano Flower Crisps filled with Creamy Goat Cheese and Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

By Chef Lippe

flower cheese cups

 

Ingredients: 

2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon, plus 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup blanched almonds, slivered or sliced
14 flower cheese crisps
1 – 12 ounce net weight jar of roasted red peppers, drained and patted dry
1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf Italian parsley, plus 14 leaves for decoration
1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (or Parmesan)
salt and pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons basil pesto
4 ounces creamy goat cheese or cream cheese

Supplies Needed:

aluminum foil
baking sheet
3 ¾” flower cookie cutter
mini muffin pan
food processor or blender
disposable pastry bag or zip top bag

Instructions:

Place a small piece of aluminum foil on a baking sheet. Set two garlic cloves on foil. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil. Wrap up foil around garlic and place in oven. Turn oven on to 350 degrees. Roast for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Cut off the ends off each garlic clove and squeeze out the roasted garlic. Dispose of the outer paper like peel. Set aside.

Spread almonds on the baking sheet and place in oven to roast until golden brown for 5-7 minutes, stirring them half way through. Keep a close eye on the almonds so they don’t burn. Allow to cool.

To make the flower shaped cups:

Turn a mini muffin pan upside down. Use a flower shaped cookie cutter to shape shredded parmigiano reggiano cheese into flowers. Bake at 325 for 10 minutes.

Drape the flowers over the mini muffin cups, as soon as you remove them from oven Allow to cool, then remove them from the muffin pans.

While the flower cups are baking, make the roasted red pepper pesto:

Combine roasted red peppers, roasted garlic, toasted almonds, chopped flat leaf Italian parsley, lemon juice, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in the bowl of a food processor or blender.  Pulse until well blended but not smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
To create your appetizers:

Spoon a heaping teaspoon of creamy goat cheese or cream cheese into the bottom of each flower cup. Press it down into the cup using the back of your spoon. Press one parsley leaf into the cheese in each cup, allowing the leaf to jut out from the side of the cup. Spoon a heaping teaspoon of the roasted red pepper into each cup. Spoon the basil pesto into a disposable pastry bag or zip top bag. Cut off the tip. Pipe a small dot of pesto into the center of each flower cup.

Your appetizers are ready to serve.
A few notes about this recipe:

You can make the roasted red pepper pesto several days ahead of time if you store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Do not refrigerate filled cups as they will get soggy.

These pretty flowers could also be made using roasted yellow peppers which would look lovely on the table at a bridal shower or ladies lunch.

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Filed under Artisan Cheese, Cheese Crisps, Chef Lippe, Food, goat cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano, recipes, Roasted Red Pepper pesto

Pasta Roses with Serrano Ham for Valentines Day

By Chef Lippe

Hand Made Roses for all the loves of my life!

pasta roses 2

The Recipe 

Freshly made pasta in wide rectangles as for lasagne

About 1 cup bechamel sauce (1 ounce flour, 1 ounce butter, 1 cup milk, salt, optional nutmeg ,  1 and a half ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano)

10 ounces Serrano Ham

10 ounces Fontinalla cheese in thinnest possible slices

2 tbsp. butter

optional: ¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano to sprinkle on top


Directions

To make the Besciamella with Zucchini Puree:

  • Trim ends off washed zucchini then chop or slice roughly.
  • Bring a small pan of cold water to the boil, salt when the water is boiling and then tip in the zucchini and cook till tender
  • Strain out and immediately refresh in very cold water. Drain, place in a deep beaker and whizz till smooth using an immersion blender. Set aside.
  • Place the milk to heat in a small sauce pan while in another pan you cook the butter and flour, whisking them together to make the base.
  • When the milk comes to the boil take both pans off the heat and pour all the milk at once onto the base, whisking hard with a large whisk to blend the two into a smooth and lump free white sauce. Should lump forms don’t worry, just strain the white sauce through a sieve.
  • Season with salt or if you prefer with plenty of freshly grated nutmeg and about ¼ cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

To pre-cook the Pasta:

  • Prepare a wide shallow pan into which you place cold milk to come about an inch high.
  • Cook just 2 or 3 pasta pieces at a time in salted boiling water to which you have added a little oil, for 2/3 minutes if the pasta is freshly made. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in the pan with the milk to stop the cooking. Then take out, let the milk drip off and place to dry on clean tea towels on your work surface. Turn them over to dry both sides

pasta roses 1

To fill and assemble the Rosette:

  • Prepare a buttered baking dish and pre-heat the oven to 90 °.
  • Spread a thin layer of béchamel on the pasta pieces, then sprinkle with grated P-R. cheese and place ham and cheese slices on top
  • Roll up each in piece into a cylinder and cut into two or three even sized rolls between 1 inch and 2 inches high.
  • Place them close together cut side up in the buttered baking dish continuing the process till it is full – if you have space left use crumpled balls of cooking foil to fill in the space and keep the rolls upright.
  • I like to use kitchen scissors to nick the rolls in a few places and pulls out pasta “petals” turning them down a little so they stay “open” during baking.
  • Melt 2 tbsp butter and drizzle this over the top of the roses, or to save calories, simply brush the tops with milk using a pastry brush or a couple of rolled up sheets of strong kitchen paper. You can also sprinkle with extra just-grated Reggiano if you like.
  • Bake at 90° for about 30 minutes or till the top of the roses is crisp and golden then serve placing vertically or horizontally on individual plates as you prefer.

Variations: Leave the vegetables out altogether for the traditional recipe or use alternative vegetables, in a puree as above or simply placed on top of the ham.  According to what is in season, cooked mushrooms, asparagus, leeks, fennel, artichokes, blanched Swiss Chard leaves all work well..

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Filed under Artisan pasta, Fontinalla, Food, Parmigiano Reggiano, Pasta, Pasta Roses, recipes, Serrano Ham

Parmigiano Reggiano Canapés with Hot Smoked Salmon

By Chef Lippe

There is nothing better than a good cheese crisp, baked cheese, or what ever you choose to call them, you know the cheese that leaks out onto the baking pan when you make a grilled cheese. You can eat them plain, you can mix them with spices or you can even dip them in chocolate. They make a wonderful base for many canapes and tapas.  This one is one of my favorites.

parmigiano-reggiano-crisp-canapés

 

Ingredients

 2 teaspoons crème fraiche

(To make your own get a mail-order a creme fraiche culture from The New England Cheesemaking Supply Company, P.O. Box 85, Ashfield, MA 01330, (413) 628-3808 and follow their directions. To make your own that is close to the original see end of blog.

Finely grated zest of one lemon

Fennel seeds, chopped

Grated and shaved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, to serve

1/2 small fennel bulb

1/3 cup hot smoked salmon, flaked

Salt and black pepper

For the Crisps:

1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated (do extra because you will eat half as they come out of the oven)

1 tbsp plain flour (optional)

Directions

How to make Parmigiano Reggiano Canapés with Hot Smoked Salmon

1. Grease and line a large baking sheet with grease proof paper.

2. Mix Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and plain flour, along with a good pinch of black pepper.

3. Spoon teaspoon-sized rounds of this mixture onto the baking sheet and flatten slightly with the back of the spoon. The mixture should give ten crisps, make sure there is plenty of space between each one, as the mixture will spread a little.

4. Place the rounds under a hot grill for 2-3 minutes until the cheese has melted to make a golden brown crisp. Remove each crisp carefully using a pallet knife and leave to cool on greaseproof paper. You can also bake them for 10 minutes at 350.

5. Mix crème fraiche together with lemon zest and season to taste. To assemble, spoon a small amount of lemon crème fraiche on top of each crisp. Then sprinkle with a few fennel seeds, grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and finely chopped fennel, before topping with flakes of hot smoked salmon and black pepper.

6. Finally, garnish with sprigs of fresh fennel and serve.

Crème Fraiche

Ingredients

1 to 2 tablespoons cultured buttermilk

2 cups heavy cream (pasteurized, not ultra pasteurized or sterilized, and with no additives)

Instructions

Combine the buttermilk and cream in a saucepan and heat only to tepid (not more than 85 degrees on an instant reading thermometer). Pour into a clean glass jar. Partially cover and let stand at room temperature (between 65 and 75 degrees) for 8 to 24 hours, or until thickened. Stir and refrigerate at least 24 hours before using. The cream will keep about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

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Filed under Canapés, Chef Lippe, Parmigiano Reggiano, recipes, salmon, Slow Food