Rumiano Cheese: Organic Sharp Cheddar #Review and #Recipe; Mezzi Rigatoni with Pancetta and Peas

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This is a cheesy house. Wait, let me clarify that. We love cheese here. Good cheese. Made with good things. By people who know cheese. So it’s with great pride I introduce The Rumiano Cheese family, who has been making cheeses since 1921. I decided to pitch this family-owned company not only because we love cheese, but they are also in my home state of California, but because we love, love and love cheese ūüôā . ¬†Did I mention we love cheese? We have a drawer in the fridge that easily carries 15 different cheese varieties at any given time. I believe there is a cheese for every occasion and even cheese to celebrate with when you find a new cheese. See, I can make any excuse to have cheese. I love it but you would think I consume large quantities of cheese because of the large selection we have, I personally don’t. I found that a good cheese will satisfy you in small doses . It’s quality versus quantity.

Rumiano’s Organic line is:

  • Non-GMO verified
  • USDA Organic
  • Cows that are grass fed
  • Global Culture certified Organic
  • Made in Northern California using the finest ingredients and are also American Humane Association certified

 

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In comes the Rumiano cheeses. I hunted for their smoked mozzarella and wanted to share a recipe that featured two of their cheeses but it’s currently on order with the dairy guy at my local Sprout’s market. I decided to just jump in and make a dish using just one cheese, their Organic Sharp Cheddar. I went in thinking the dish will need some pizzazz, since using just one variety is so not me but…….this is the best sharp cheddar I have tasted! It tastes clean and it’s not just because it’s Organic, but the recipe and aging it’s in a class all it’s own. You get that bite that sharp cheddar has but this one is smooth til the end with no sour tang left behind. A cheese that can stand on it’s own. I proceeded with the dish that I decided to make on Easter Sunday. I do this quite often, where I come up with an idea and attempt to make¬†it on the day of and try not to stress. The only thing that saves my hide is using quality products and I can say that Rumiano will be my go to for Sharp Cheddar as of now. No oily residue when I was making a bechamel sauce, a sauce that tells on you if used poor ingredients. I can easily say this is the best 1-cheese sauce I have made and I thank the Rumiano family for helping me come through for mine.

Get your apron and even a chef hat on but don’t get comfortable because this is a quick and easy recipe. This is a recipe that yields¬†2 ramekin servings, can be used as a appetizer or a side dish. ¬†Double it or quadruple it if needed.

Let’s Begin…….

Mezzi Rigatoni with Pancetta and Peas, in a Rumiano Sharp Cheddar Cheese sauce

  • 2 Ramekins (single serving) and greased (I went with butter but a spray oil is fine)
  • 20 to 22 Mezzi Rigatoni pasta shells
  • 20 to 22 Frozen Peas
  • 3/4 to 1 ounce of Pancetta (small cubes)
  • 1/4 ounce of Yellow Onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 ounce of Salted Butter
  • 1/2 cup of Milk
  • 2 teaspoons of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 ounce of Rumiano’s Organic Sharp Cheddar Cheese (shredded), plus a little more for topping
  • 1 Slice of White Bread
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Herbes de Provence
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
  • Dash of Nutmeg (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Begin by filling your ramekins with the dry (uncooked) Mezzi Rigatoni pasta shells. I fit approximately 10 to 12 (allow for expansion) to each ramekin. I boil 24 shells just in case one wants to be naughty and split. Cook pasta about 1/2 way through, drain, and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

Grease ramekins and stand your shells, so they may each be filled with one frozen pea.

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In a separate pot, heat the milk until just warm (do not boil)

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I use a frying pan and cook the pancetta and onion.

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I do not drain the oil when it’s done because I then add the butter. Once the butter melts, add the flour to create a roux.

The roux takes less than a 1 minute to make. You will smell the nutty tones the flour gives when cooking and bubbling. You will then notice a color change and we are going for golden in color and not too deep in tone. Then slowly pour in the milk. I usually get a whisk and begin pouring the milk, whisking and then pouring the rest. This helps temper the milk and you will get no flash heat or mess.

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Continue whisking until the bechamel sauce is made. You test this by using a spoon and dipping it into the sauce. If the coat left is thin, continue whisking until it thickens but never allow the sauce to boil.

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Take the pan away from the heat and add your seasonings. You can change to fresh herbs but I like the Herbes the Provence mix because I feel the lavender gives the sauce a beautiful taste. Add the cheese and stir.

Pour the sauce over your pasta.

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Take a cookie/biscuit cutter and one slice of bread should be enough to yield two circles for toppers. Add the bread toppers and sprinkle some more of the shredded Rumiano Sharp Cheddar cheese.

 

I then give each ramekin a dash of freshly grated nutmeg and into the oven it goes.

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Baking takes a total of 15 to 20 minutes and you cover with foil for the first half.

Take the ramekins out and serve with dinner or you can serve these as appetizers.

You can make everything the evening ahead and then just bake when needed the following day, just adjust the time as the ramekins will be cold from the fridge.

Great tasting and perfectly creamy! Enjoy!

Find all the cheese and butters Rumiano carries at:

  • On-line–¬†http://www.rumianocheese.com/
  • Facebook–¬†https://www.facebook.com/rumianocheese
  • Twitter–¬†https://twitter.com/RumianoCheese
  • Pinterest–¬†http://www.pinterest.com/rumianocheese/
  • YouTube–¬†http://www.youtube.com/user/RumianoCheese

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I received the above product free of charge from Rumiano.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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Garlic Gold: Tri-Color Quinoa Grain Vegetable Medley Salad that can be Baked too #MeatlessMonday #recipe

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This recipe is a 2-in-1, where you can make a salad or go for a a little protein kick by adding an egg and baking. Bakes in less than 15 minutes! ¬†A Great Spring dish and perfect for our latest California’s weather where it is hot in the day but cold at night.

Let’s begin….

1/4 cup of Tri-Color Quinoa (measure dry and pre-cook with water, with a little salt and pepper)
1/2 cup of Kale (roughly chopped)
1/3 of a cup of Broccoli
1/8 of a cup of Green Bell Pepper
1/2 a Zucchini
1 Slice of Red Onion
1 Slice of White Onion
1 tablespoon of Garlic Gold Red Wine Vinaigrette
1 teaspoon of Olive Oil (reserved for cooking phase)

Garlic Gold Nuggets to taste and you can also add a Goat Cheese crumble

Optional (if Baking)-
1 egg
Fat of your choice (butter, olive oil, coconut oil, ect.) to oil the dish
Honey Goat Cheese crumbled on top
Garlic Gold Nuggets and an Arugula toss (raw arugula with a drizzle of the Garlic Gold Red Wine Vinaigrette)

I start by cooking the Quinoa and it takes about 10 minutes. If any water is left, drain and just set aside in a bowl.

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I then start chopping all the vegetables and this is roughly done because I am aiming for bite size.

Heat up a skillet and add the 1 teaspoon of Olive Oil or any fat of your choice (or even none). Start sauteing the onions and bell pepper until you get a nice golden color but keep in mind you want crunch left.

I add the saute onions and bell peppers to the bowl with the Quinoa. Using the same pan, I saute the zucchini for a little over 1 minute because again I aiming for a par-cooked texture and I want the vegetable to get color but preserve some firmness.

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The zucchini gets added to the bowl. I then add the broccoli and kale and again saute for under a minute.

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The cooking intensifies the flavors and takes the bore out of eating your vegetables ūüôā Once everything is in the bowl, I add the Garlic Gold Red Wine Vinaigrette.

The Garlic Gold adds flavor and this is why we used little to no seasonings beforehand. Toss and then you can enjoy as-is, add the goat cheese and/or move on to baking.

If Baking-
Preheat oven to 400 degrees

I used an oven-safe au gratin dish that fits the above contents nicely and allows the egg to have room. It’s approximately 2-cups in size. I used a Coconut Oil and a Butter blend to oil my dish and prevent the egg from sticking.

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I then add the vegetables and Quinoa mix, make sure everything is evenly spread and leveled.

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I cracked 1 egg an it’s up to you if you wish to add a little milk when whisking. Once the egg is whisked, I then simply pour it over the vegetables and add the crumbled goat cheese.

I bake the dish for 15 minutes, with the first half covered (tented with foil so it does not come in contact with the cheese) and the other half uncovered. The vegetables remain with a nice crunch and full of flavor.

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I opted to top my bake with an Arugula toss (arugula and a little dash of the Garlic Gold vinaigrette) and a dash of the Garlic Gold Nuggets. This adds flavor and you get a nice warm and cold contrast.

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This dish can be made ahead and just add the egg and bake when you are ready. You can have the salad on top of romaine lettuce with a toasted pita on the side, but it’s filling, low in calories and fat but most importantly……Garlic Gold delicious! Enjoy!’

 

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You can also make this easy dish by getting your own Garlic Gold Products at:

On-line–¬†http://garlicgold.com/

Visit Garlic Gold on Facebook–¬†https://www.facebook.com/GarlicGold

Twitter–¬†https://twitter.com/garlicgold

See the pretty Garlic Gold products and the other dishes you can create on Pinterest–¬†http://www.pinterest.com/garlicgold/

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I received the above product free of charge from Garlic Gold.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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