Steak N' Egg Burritos

Start to finish: 10 minutes
Impresses: 2

Ingredients
2 tablespoons light-roast coffee, ground
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon kosher salt
8-ounce sirloin steak
¼ cup butter
1 russet potato, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ red onion, diced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 eggs
¼ cup milk
1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
4 large flour tortillas

Method
Combine ground coffee, paprika and salt in a small bowl. Rub seasoning on both sides of steak. Let set at room temperature until ready to cook.

Add 2 tablespoons butter to a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat.

Once melted, add in potatoes, stirring to coat all potatoes with butter. Cover with a lid and let steam 5 minutes, stirring halfway through. 

Remove lid and add in peppers and onion. Stir to coat and let cook until potatoes are fork tender and onions translucent, about 8-10 minutes.

Remove from pan and place pan back on burner.

Raise heat to high and pour in oil. Place steak in hot pan and let sear — 3 minutes on each side for steak done medium temperature. 

Remove steak and let rest.

Wipe out pan and turn heat to medium-low. Add in remaining butter. 

Beat together eggs and milk and pour into pan once butter is melted. Scramble until eggs are soft set. Remove from heat.

Slice rested steak across the grain and start building your burritos. Place equal amounts potatoes, steak, eggs and cheese on each tortilla. Roll up by folding in the sides and the top. Pull the top and filling toward you before rolling taught.

Toast or serve as is.

Prepping ahead?
Prepared burritos can be wrapped in paper towels and stored in a zip-top freezer bag for up to a month. To reheat, place wrapped burrito on a microwave safe plate and cook for 3 minutes. Let stand 1 minute before removing paper towel and enjoying. Careful: Filling will be hot.


Ranch Pasta Salad

Start to finish: 40 minutes
Impresses: 8

Ingredients
1    package ranch seasoning
1    cup buttermilk
1    cup mayonnaise
1    cup pasta shells (We use the noodles from a box of macaroni and cheese.)
8    ounces sharp cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
1    cup frozen peas, thawed
4    slices bacon, cooked and chopped
    salt and pepper

Method
Whisk together the ranch seasoning, buttermilk and mayonnaise. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Cook pasta to box instructions. Drain and cool. 

Add cooked pasta, cheddar, peas and bacon to a large serving bowl. Toss together with ranch dressing, beginning with ½ cup, adding more if desired.

Season with salt and pepper.

Slammin' Salmon Salad

Start to finish: 30 minutes
Impresses: 4

Ingredients
For the salad:
1    lemon
4    3-ounce salmon filets,
      skinned and deboned
      salt and pepper
1    5-ounce container arugula
1    cup fresh spring peas
¼    cup dill
1    cup quinoa,
      cooked to package instructions

For the dressing:
¼    cup extra virgin olive oil
¼    cup lemon juice
½    cup plain yogurt
1    garlic clove, minced
      salt and pepper
½    cup feta cheese

Method
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Set aside four pieces of parchment paper, each about the size of a magazine.

Slice lemon into thin rounds. Grab a sheet of parchment and place two lemon slices in the middle. Place a salmon filet on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fold one side of parchment to meet the other, then starting from the left, fold the bottom portion of parchment over the top. Repeat all the way around to create a sealed pouch. 

Repeat with rest of lemon, salmon and parchment pieces. 

Place salmon pouches onto a baking sheet and cook for 15–18 minutes or until salmon is a light pink color and flaky. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes before opening pouches.

While salmon steams, make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients, except feta, until fully combined. Stir in crumbles of feta. 

Divide arugula onto four plates or bowls and top with equal parts peas, sprigs of dill and quinoa. Top with piece of poached salmon and drizzle with a few tablespoons of dressing.

Breakfast Cobb

Start to finish: 40 minutes
Impresses: 4

Ingredients
For the salad:
1    medium-sized sweet potato
2    tablespoons olive oil
      salt and pepper
4    eggs
1    5-ounce bag baby spinach
4    ounces bleu cheese, crumbled
4    slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

For the dressing:
1    cup buttermilk
½    cup mayo
¼    cup fresh chives
¼    cup fresh dill
1    clove garlic
½    lemon, juiced and zested
      salt and pepper

Method
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 

Cut the ends off the sweet potato and discard. Slice it in half long ways and cut each half into spears. Place on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

Roast for 25–30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Set aside to cool once finished.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to simmer and carefully place eggs in one at a time. Set a timer and simmer for 6 minutes.

While the eggs cook, fill a medium-sized bowl with ice water. Set aside.

To make the dressing, whisk all ingredients together until combined.

Once timer has ended for the eggs, immediately transfer them to ice water for one minute to stop cooking. Remove and carefully peel each egg.

Serve up spinach on plates or in bowls and top with crumbles of bleu cheese and bacon, a few sweet potato spears and a soft-boiled egg sliced in half. Drizzle with the buttermilk ranch dressing.

 

Meant to Brie

Start to finish: 10 minutes
Impresses: 4

Ingredients
For the salad:
1    5-ounce container spring mix
2    grapefruits
4    ounces brie cheese

For the dressing:
¼    cup extra virgin olive oil
2    tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
2    tablespoons honey
      salt and pepper

Method
Slice each grapefruit in half long ways and remove the peel and white flesh. Place one half cut-side down and identify the thin, white lines in-between the flesh of the grapefruit. Using a paring knife, carefully slice between each white line to create segments. Repeat until entire grapefruit is sliced. Set aside.

Cut brie into 1-inch cubes and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the dressing until emulsified.

Toss together spring mix, grapefruit segments, brie and dressing. Serve immediately.

Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas

Start to finish: 45 minutes
Impresses: 6

Ingredients
1     cup onion, chopped
½    cup green bell pepper, chopped
5    tablespoons butter
3    cups baby spinach
2    cups chopped cooked chicken
1     4-ounce can chopped green chiles (or roasted anaheims/hatch chiles)
¼    cup all-purpose flour
1     teaspoon ground coriander seed
¾    teaspoon salt
2½    cups chicken broth
1     cup sour cream
1½    cups shredded Monterey jack cheese (or more)
12    6-inch tortillas

Method
Heat oven to 350 degrees. 

In large saucepan, cook onion and green pepper in 2 tablespoons butter until tender. Combine in a bowl with spinach, chopped chicken and green chiles. Set aside.

In the same saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons butter. Whisk in flour, coriander and salt. Stir in chicken broth. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in sour cream and ½ cup of cheese. 

Stir ½ cup of the sauce into the chicken mixture.  Dip each tortilla into remaining hot sauce to soften and fill each with about ¼ cup of the chicken mixture and roll up. 

Arrange rolls in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish and pour remaining sauce over. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake, uncovered, for about 25 minutes or until the top begins to brown.

Jalapeño Popper Mac

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Start to finish: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Impresses: 6

Ingredients
2 green bell peppers
3 jalapeño peppers
½ pound bacon, diced
4 tablespoons butter, divided
3 tablespoons flour
2½ cups whole milk
4 ounces cream cheese, cubed
salt and pepper
8 ounces corkscrew pasta
1½ cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
½ cup panko breadcrumbs 

Method
Preheat broiler to 500 F. Place the bell and jalapeño peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet and char each side, turning the peppers every 2–3 minutes to ensure they don’t burn. 

Remove peppers from oven and place in a freezer-safe gallon bag. Seal shut and set aside to steam. 

Reduce oven heat to 350 F. Grease a cast-iron pan with butter and set aside. 

In a high-edge skillet on medium heat, add bacon and cook until crispy — about 7 minutes. Remove bacon and drain on a plate lined with a paper towel. Dispose of bacon grease and return skillet to medium-low heat. 

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. 

Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in the skillet and whisk in flour until all the butter is absorbed. Continue to work for about 1 minute to remove the flour flavor. Add milk and whisk to combine. Stir in cream cheese. Stir every minute for about 5 minutes to avoid scorching. 

While cream cheese melts, add pasta and a generous sprinkling of salt to boiling water. Cook until al dente, drain and return pot to stovetop. Note: The pasta should still have a bite to it because it will go into the oven for more baking. 

Add the cheddar to the skillet and whisk to combine. Add more milk if needed. Whisk until cheese is melted, smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper and pour over noodles in pot. 

Take the peppers out of the gallon bag and remove the seeds, top and skins. Dice peppers and place in pot with noodles and sauce. Add bacon. Stir until well combined and pour into cast-iron pan. 

Melt remaining tablespoon of butter and mix with breadcrumbs. Sprinkle on top of pasta. 

Bake 10–12 minutes or until pasta is bubbly and top is browned.

Potato Soup

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Ingredients
6 strips bacon
1 head broccoli
1 tablespoon butter
3 carrots
3 stalks celery
1 small onion
6 potatoes
8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
1 carton (4 cups) chicken broth
½ cup heavy cream
1½ cups milk
1 8-ounce container sour cream
salt and pepper 

Method
Chop the broccoli, carrots, celery, onion and potatoes into small bite-sized pieces (taking care to separate the broccoli florets from the diced stock). Cut the bacon into small strips as well.

After the prep-work is done, fry the bacon strips in a large pot over medium-high heat. Once they’re fully cooked, remove the bacon from the pot and reserve the bacon pieces to top your soup. Remove all but approximately 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease from the pot and discard. Add the broccoli stocks, carrots, celery and onion to the pot and cook on medium-high for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the potatoes, broccoli florets and butter to the pot and continue to cook and stir the vegetables for 3–4 more minutes. Add the chicken broth and a dash of salt and pepper, and allow the pot to come to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15–20 minutes, until the potatoes are fully cooked. 

Scoop approximately 2/3 of the soup into a bowl and purée using a submersion blender (a food processor or blender work too, so long as you’re cautious while blending — hot liquid expands, and can be a little unpredictable when mixed). This can be done all at once, or in shifts, whatever you feel most comfortable with. Add the puréed mixture back into the pot, and pour in the milk, cream and 4 ounces of the shredded cheddar. Increase the heat to medium-high and stir continuously until all the cheese is melted.

Dish the soup into bowls and garnish with a dollop of sour cream, remaining shredded cheddar cheese and a sprinkle of the reserved bacon.

Cheesy Cauliflower Breadsticks

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Start to finish: 50 minutes
Impresses: 6

Ingredients
1    pound riced cauliflower, frozen or fresh
2    eggs, lightly beaten
½    cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1    teaspoon Italian seasoning
1    cup ricotta cheese
1    cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
3    cloves garlic, minced
½    teaspoon salt

Method
Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper, set aside.

Steam riced cauliflower in the microwave according to package instructions. If you grate/rice your own, place in a microwave-safe bowl covered with plastic wrap with a few holes poked in the top and steam 5–6 minutes.

Carefully spread steamed cauliflower on a sheet pan lined with paper towels and set in the fridge for 10 minutes to cool.

In a small bowl, combine ricotta, mozzarella, garlic and salt. Mix until fully incorporated. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine cooled cauliflower, eggs, Parmesan and Italian seasoning. Stir with a wooden spoon until a dough-like consistency is formed. Turn mixture onto parchment-lined baking sheet and press into an even layer, similar to a pizza crust. Bake for 15 minutes, or until slightly browned. 

Remove from oven and carefully flip over parchment, so the top of the crust is now on the bottom of the baking sheet and peel parchment off the now top crust. Schmear with ricotta mixture.

Bake again for 10–15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.

Let rest 5 minutes before cutting.

Everyone’s Favorite Italian Salad

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Start to finish: 15 minutes
Impresses: 6

Ingredients
1 5-ounce container spring mix salad greens
¼ cup jarred roasted red peppers, sliced
¼ cup canned artichoke hearts, quartered
¼ cup kalamata olives, halved
¼ cup pine nuts
½ red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 bunch fresh parsley, sans stems
½ cup fresh basil leaves
¼ cup fresh oregano leaves
2 cloves garlic, smashed
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper

Method
Place pine nuts in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Toast, stirring frequently, until fragrant and slightly browned — about five minutes. Let cool.

In a blender, combine olive oil, vinegar, parsley, basil, oregano, garlic, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese. Pulse until fully combined.

In a large salad bowl, toss together greens, red peppers, artichoke hearts, olives, pine nuts and red onion with ¼ cup (more or less as desired) prepared dressing. Top with extra Parmesan cheese.

Bacon, Leek & Gruyère Quiche

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Start to finish: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Impresses: 12

Ingredients
2 packages applewood smoked bacon
2 leeks
8 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded
18 eggs
1 cup half and half
 salt and pepper, to taste
2 store bought pie dough crusts

Method
Preheat oven to 400 F and liberally butter two cast iron skillets. Unroll pie dough, lightly press into the skillet and prick the bottom of the crust with a fork. 

Slice bacon into small strips and cook in a large skillet over medium-low heat until crispy. While that’s cooking, slice the bottom white section of the leeks into thin, half moons. Remove bacon and let drain on a layer of paper towels. Reserve two tablespoons of the bacon grease and sauté the leeks for three minutes, until slightly softened. 

In a large bowl or blender, beat together eggs, half and half and salt and pepper.

Sprinkle bacon, leeks and cheese into each skillet and top with egg mixture.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool five minutes and then cut into slices.

Prep ahead
The night before, assemble each quiche, pop in the fridge and bake in the morning. If you’re prepping more in advance, instead of cast iron, opt for foil pie pans. Make as directed above and then cover in plastic wrap and freeze until you need a no-fuss breakfast. Straight from the freezer, unwrap plastic wrap, cover with foil and reheat at 350 F for one hour.

Cowboy Lasagna

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Recipe courtesy of Miranda Rice

Start to finish: 1 hour and 5 minutes
Impresses: 10

Ingredients
1 pound ground beef, cooked and drained
1 24-ounce jar spaghetti or marinara sauce
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
¼ cup sour cream
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 stick butter
1 16-ounce package lasagna noodles, cooked al dente and drained
cheddar cheese, grated

Method
Preheat oven to 350 F.

Combine cream cheese, sour cream and ricotta cheese until blended. 

Combine meat and spaghetti sauce.

Place a few thin slices of butter in the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish. 

Place ½ of the lasagna noodles on top of the butter. 

Pour ½ of the cheese mixture on top of the noodles and spread well. 

Repeat last three steps and layer remaining noodles, cheese and meat. 

Top with grated cheddar cheese. 

Bake for 30 minutes.

Lasagna Roll-Ups

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Recipe courtesy of Amber Talsma

Start to finish: 1 hour
Impresses: 10

Ingredients
20 lasagna noodles
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup mushrooms, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds ground beef
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 30-ounce container whole milk ricotta cheese
1 pound mozzarella, grated
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 large eggs
¼ cup parsley, minced
¼ cup basil, minced

Method
Preheat oven to 375 F. Boil lasagna noodles in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Drain, rinse with cold water to cool and then lay flat on a sheet of foil. Set aside. 

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, mushrooms, bell pepper and garlic, then sauté for 4–5 minutes until vegetables start to soften. Remove vegetables from the pan. 

Add ground beef to the pan and cook until browned. Drain the excess fat. 

Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.

Add the vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Let the mixture simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. 

To make the filling, combine the ricotta cheese, ½ cup of the mozzarella, ¾ cup of the Parmesan, eggs, remaining salt and pepper, parsley and basil. Stir to combine. 

To assemble, spoon a thin layer of sauce into the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking pan or five 6-inch disposable foil loaf pans. 

Spread 2–3 tablespoons of the filling on each noodle. Then, roll the noodles up so the cheese is on the inside of the roll. 

Lay rolls sideways in the 9x13-inch pan (four rolls will fit in each loaf pan).

Top evenly with the remaining sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan. 

Place pan(s) on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly. 

Classic Lasagna

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Recipe courtesy of Jenny Eisenga

Start to finish: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Impresses: 12

Ingredients
2 jars spaghetti sauce
1 pound hamburger
16 ounces cottage cheese
2 eggs, slightly beaten
4 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
9 lasagna noodles, cooked just until done

Method
Preheat oven to 350 F. Brown hamburger and drain excess fat if needed. Add spaghetti sauce and stir to combine. Let simmer for 10 minutes. 

Meanwhile, boil noodles until slightly undercooked. Drain and set aside. 

Combine slightly beaten eggs with cottage cheese, then set aside. 

In a greased 9x13-inch dish, pour ½ cup of the simmering spaghetti sauce on the bottom of the pan. Lay 3 noodles on top. Add another layer of the sauce, cottage cheese mixture, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese and ¼ cup mozzarella cheese. Layer one more time, starting with the noodles. To finish, top with the last 3 noodles, remaining sauce and the last of the mozzarella cheese. 

Cover and bake for 1 hour, uncovering the last 15 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes before slicing.

Fancy Green Beans

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Whether you’re whipping up dinner for a crowd or dessert for someone special, preparing and enjoying meals is at the core of the holidays. And while traditional recipes vary from family to family, one thing remains true — flavor reigns. Add this green bean recipe made with Plugra European Style Butter to your dinner table this holiday season.

Fancy Green Beans
2 pounds fresh green beans, snapped
2 tablespoons Truffle Herb Butter (recipe below)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth or stock
½ cup half and half
¼ cup parmesan, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup crispy onions

Heat oven to 350 F.
Steam or blanch green beans to where they are tender, but still have a slight snap to them. Set aside.
In a heavy-bottomed pot, melt butter over medium heat.
Whisk in flour until butter fully absorbs, about two minutes.
Continue whisking and add in the chicken broth. Once combined, add in the half and half.
Reduce heat to low and let simmer until slightly thickened, about five minutes. Stir in parmesan and salt and pepper.
Add the green beans and toss to coat.
Butter a deep casserole dish and pour in green bean mixture.
Top with crispy onions and bake 15 minutes, or until heated through and the top is crispy.

Truffle Herb Butter
8 ounces Plugra European Style Butter, unsalted
1 ½ teaspoons truffle oil
1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped

Combine softened butter in a medium-sized bowl with oil, thyme and sage. Beat until fluffy. Scoop butter onto one end of a rectangular piece of parchment paper, leaving room on the sides. Fold the end with the butter over, tucking tightly to form a log. Roll until you’ve reached the end of the parchment. Twist the ends and secure with string or bread ties. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours.

Cheddar Slabble Pie

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When it comes to apple pie, many of us have memories of the way our grandmother used to make it. Whether she used a mixture of butter and shortening, added vinegar or used her hands instead of a pastry cutter, the crust served as the bookends of a delicious tradition. By jazzing up a traditional, all-butter crust recipe with Borden® Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, this American classic is elevated into a slightly savory dessert, perfect for using up all those fresh-picked apples.

Crust
We opted for an all-butter crust, but this can be made by adding 1 ½ cups of shredded Cheddar cheese to your favorite pie crust recipe.
2 ½ cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 ½ cups Borden® Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
½ cup ice water

Filling
4 sweet apples, peeled and sliced (like Pink Lady or Gala)
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
½ cup sugar, or more to taste
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Egg wash
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon water

In the bowl of your food processor, pulse together the cold butter, flour and salt until a course texture is formed, where the butter is a similar size to peas.
Slowly add in the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each addition until a dough comes together. You may need more or less water.
Once the dough has come together, pulse in the grated Borden Cheddar Cheese.
Turn dough onto a floured countertop and gently knead into one solid mound. Separate the dough into two and form into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or for up to two days if making in advance.
While dough is chilling, heat the oven to 375 F.
Prepare the filling by tossing together the peeled and sliced apples, flour, cinnamon, sugar and lemon juice.
Once the dough is chilled, unwrap one disk and roll out on a floured surface in a rectangle large enough to hang over the edges of a small sheet pan.
Transfer the dough to the pan, pressing gently into the corners. Top with apple mixture and spread out evenly.
Unwrap and roll out the other disk on a floured surface into a rectangle. Using a pizza cutter, cut ½-inch strips lengthwise from the dough to make a lattice top.
To make the lattice, start by laying half the strips diagonally across the pan. Then, begin weaving the remaining strips to make the lattice design. This is done in an over-under pattern.
Once all the strips are successfully weaved, trim and crimp the edges with the edges of the bottom crust.
Mix together the egg and water and use a pastry brush to apply the egg wash to the top of the crust.
Bake 35–40 minutes, or until filling is bubbly and crust is golden. Cool completely before serving.