Tag Archives: cheese

Headshot of Afrim Pristine over various cheeses

How to Build a Better Cheese Board: Ask a Cheese Master

The world of cheese is ever-evolving and Afrim Pristine is a lifelong student of its multitude of flavours, textures and potential. Now, he’s hitting the road in an epic global journey on Cheese: A Love Story to check out some of the ways chefs celebrate cheese in all its forms.

For years, Afrim, who co-owns Cheese Boutique along with his brothers Agim and Ilir, has been gradually taking over the public-facing elements of the family business from father Fatos, now retired. Although he’s got the credentials — he’s a maître fromager (as part of the Guilde Internationale des Fromagers) and has a knighthood conferred by the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Taste Fromage de France — Afrim’s main skill is making cheese accessible and understandable to the general public along with the chefs who he counts as regular customers and friends. As the person behind the counter at Cheese Boutique, he’s spent 25 years figuring out how to assess peoples’ tastes and what to offer them, and we’ve asked him for his best techniques in figuring out the best cheese board to please your guests.

Afrim Pristine answers questions at his shop, Cheese Boutique in Toronto

Related: Secrets From a Cheese Master

Ask the Right Questions

If you ask Afrim to make you a cheese board, be prepared for two things: to sample a lot of cheese and to answer a bunch of questions, from what you’re eating and drinking for dinner to what cheeses you like and dislike. “My job is to know what people want before they know they want it,” says Afrim. “The more I know about their tastes, the more I can factor into the decision about showcasing whatever cheese I think they’re going to like.”

Consider Seasonality

We vary our food and drink to the seasons, but when it comes to cheese, one thing that’s often forgotten is the weather outside. “It’s summertime right now. In my opinion, I think a super fat, pungent French Burgundy Normandy style cheese is too much: it’s too heavy, aromatic, and pungent,” he says. For warmer weather, Afrim suggests lighter options such as delicate buffalo mozzarella, whipped herbed ricotta, a fresh young youthful goat cheese or a semi-soft, mild-mannered Ontario gruyère.

See More: Afrim Pristine’s Jalapeno Appenzeller Bread

Be Willing to Experiment

Although people tend to cling to a few tried and true favourites and formulas when assembling a cheese board, Afrim encourages people to take their cheese exploration to a new level. “I don’t think there should be any hard and fast rules when it comes to cheese,” he says. On the show, Afrim was taken aback by chef and “Sorcerer of Entlebuch” Stefan Wiesner at Michelin-starred Gasthof Röessli, who served him Emmental baked with charcoal. At home, trying a curveball or an unexpected surprise on a cheese platter can bring a similarly memorable experience to the table. Afrim likes to astonish people with a piece of monte enebro. “It’s covered in greyish mould, like if you left a loaf of bread for a few days, and it’s goat’s milk unlike the majority of cheeses made in Spain from sheep’s milk. It’s creamier and funkier,” he says.

Make Smart Choices

Although variety is key to cheese boards, get creative with sizing according to your budget. “Have five to seven cheeses, but consider getting some smaller pieces to squeeze in a few extra flavours,” says Afrim. Having more choices allows your guests a better chance of finding something that they will enjoy, without necessarily raising the cost for you. “Not everyone is going to love a blue, but try to have a goat, sheep, semi-firm, a firm, blue, and a fresh cheese, hitting every category,” he says. “You can’t make everyone happy, but if someone walks away loving five of the seven cheeses, that’s all they’re going to remember.”

Various cheeses on a wooden board

Related: Baked Camembert From Cheese: A Love Story

Don’t Buy in Bulk

Buying smaller quantities has other advantages when it comes to crafting a cheese board. “I never buy, or I never tell my customer to buy cheese in bulk. It has a life, and it does go off, especially if it is going in and out of the fridge, so buy what you’re going to enjoy,” says Afrim. “The maintenance, love, and care you give to cheese is equally important to it being made well with good quality milk and good technique. And a consumer’s job is not to store cheese, unless they happen to have a cheese cave—like we do. It’s my job here is to handle the cheese.”

However you construct them, cheese boards are both a unique expression of individual tastes and a way to share them with friends and family. Afrim sees cheese as a near-universal language that translates around the globe, bringing people together. “I love cheese, and I think a big part of this is showcasing the respect for such a simple ingredient: an ingredient we all love,” he says. “In this industry, like-minded people make magic.”

For more of Afrim’s great tips, check out how to buy, store and eat cheese or watch some of the most magical cheese moments from the show.

Watch Cheese: A Love Story and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

 

 

Halloumi cheese on top of salad

This Grilled Halloumi Salad Will Be Your Go-To Summer BBQ Side

Putting cheese on your salad is the best way to elevate your next meal. Grilled halloumi cheese adds a wonderful salty/savoury element to this salad and after grilling, it develops a crispy golden exterior and a soft gooey interior. It goes perfectly with a bed of greens, crunchy elements like cucumber and almonds and bursts of sweetness from fresh juicy pineapple. Make it a main or a side dish!

Halloumi cheese on top of salad

Grilled Halloumi Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

250g halloumi cheese, sliced into ¼ inch thick slices
3 Tbsp olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice (one lemon)
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp salt
2 cups packed spring greens
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 ½ cups chopped pineapple
⅛ red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup toasted almonds (or any other nuts)

Grilled halloumi cheese salad ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Slice halloumi into ¼ inch slices and grill on a stovetop grill pan or regular pan. Cook on medium heat for a few minutes on each side. If using cast iron pan, brush each side of halloumi cheese with olive oil to avoid sticking.

Halloumi cheese being grilled in pan

2. Mix together all of the dressing ingredients: olive oil, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and salt.

Related: Best Summer Salads for BBQs, Picnics and More

3. Assemble the salad by layering the greens, cucumber, pineapple, onions, halloumi cheese and almonds. Drizzle the dressing on top.

Like Amina’s grilled halloumi salad? Try her 20-minute salmon or her Middle Eastern bulgur, pomegranate and almond salad.

A bowl containing cripsy pasta chips

Meet Your Next Favourite Crunchy Snack: TikTok Pasta Chips

If you’ve spent anytime at all online, you’ve likely seen any number of the recent (and tasty!) recipe hacks circulating on TikTok and beyond. Add an air fryer to the mix, and well, in comes the latest: TikTok pasta  chips.

Crispy pasta chips in a bowl alongside some dip

Serve with your favourite dip, and you’re ready to enjoy this simple and crunchy snack!

Related: Food Network’s Rigatoni Pie is the OG TikTok Honeycomb Pasta (and Now We Want Both!)

TikTok Pasta Chips

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20-24 minutes
Total time: 29 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

200 g rigatoni pasta (or pasta of choice)
2 Tbsp olive oil
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ tsp granulated garlic
¼ tsp granulated onion
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp cayenne (optional)
Kosher salt to taste

Related: This Feta Tomato Pasta Trending on TikTok is as Easy as 1-2-3

Rigatoni in a bowl alongside mixins

Directions:

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Season with salt. Cook the pasta according to package directions.

2. Drain pasta and season with olive oil, grated parmesan cheese, granulated garlic, granulated onion, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper. Toss until the pasta is well coated.

Cooked rigatoni pasta in a bowl with parmesan on top

3. Place the pasta in one single layer in the air fryer basket, fry in two batches. Air fry at 400F for 10-12 minutes, shaking halfway, until golden and crisp.

Pasta chips in an air fryer basket

4. Serve with your favourite dipping sauce.

Related: I Tried Meghan Markle’s “Filthy, Sexy” Zucchini Pasta Sauce — Here’s How It Stacked Up

Cheese Shopping Mistakes

Advice From a Cheese Master: How to Buy, Store and Eat Cheese

Weekly trips to the grocery store just aren’t complete without a stop at the cheese counter. Whether feta for your Greek salad, sharp cheddar cheese for a vegetarian quiche, smoked gouda for homemade pizza night, there’s a cheese that will improve your dish in a way that your taste buds will thank you.  We sat down with a maître fromager (AKA cheese master) and Cheese: A Love Story host, Afrim Pristine for his dos and don’ts for buying cheese. 

Don’t Forget to Plan Ahead

Overbuying cheese is one of the most common rookie mistakes people make, Afrim says. First of all, cheese needs about two to four hours to breathe before being enjoyed. “If you overbuy, store it in your fridge, and take it back out again, the integrity of the cheese isn’t quite the same.”

Related:  The Facts You Never Knew About Cheese

Do Buy in Smaller Quantities

With this in mind, Pristine recommends buying four or five different cheeses but purchasing them in smaller amounts.  When you purchase the right amount of cheese that you need, you don’t need to worry about unintentional food waste.

Four different cheeses on a white countertop with garnishes

Don’t Store Cheese in Plastic Bags

Afrim recommends wrapping cheese in a layer of wax or parchment paper with another layer of tinfoil. This technique will help cheese have the proper amount of moisture it needs, he explains.

“Creamy cheeses can stay in the fridge for a maximum of 7 to 10 days.  Hard cheeses have a longer shelf life, but won’t be as enjoyable after more than a few weeks,” he says.

Do Seek Out Local Canadian Cheese

Did you know that provinces like Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island and even Nova Scotia make world-class cheese? Make the most out of living in Canada’s unique cheese culture by trying out different local cheeses.

As a proud Torontonian, one of Afrim’s favourite Canadian cheese is a Mountainoak gouda from Ontario. “Mountainoak gouda is a pretty complex cheese. It’s very salty and nutty, kind of like butterscotch or a bar of very dark chocolate.”

Related: Meet a Toronto Chef Making His Own Cheeses

Three pieces of parmigiano reggiano

Don’t Stick to the Same Cheese Every Time

It can be all too easy to get into a cheese rut. You already know that grated Parmigiano-Reggiano will taste phenomenal over your legendary risotto or go-to Caesar salad, but why not mix it up and try new recipes centered around your favourite cheeses?

Curb any chance of cheese boredom by experimenting with new unique pairings regularly.  For example, if you like Parmigiano-Reggiano, try it how Afrim’s family recipe: a salad with aged Parmigiano-Reggiano, aged balsamic vinegar, strawberries and basil.

Related: This Jalapeno Appenzeller Bread is a Cheese Lover’s Dream

Cheese counter with several wheels of cheese

Do Be Adventurous

“The best thing about cheese is that it’s personal,” Afrim explains, adding that’s what makes cheese so unique. “There’s so much variety, but I think it’s really up to you on the individual on what you like.”

In other words, don’t be afraid to get out of your element at your local cheese counter and test out a few unique combos in the kitchen. Or you can just try new options for beloved recipes, like these  perfect cheeses for grilled cheese sandwiches. Trust us: the flavour payoff of going out of your comfort zone will be so worth it.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images.

Watch Cheese: A Love Story with Afrim Pristine and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Golden gooey monte cristo cut into half

This Clever TikTok Breakfast Hack Now Has Us Craving Monte Cristo Omelette Sandwiches

If you’ve seen the TikTok tortilla fold hack, then the breakfast challenge TikTok sandwich should come as no surprise. Where the wrap hack has @cookingwithayeh showing users how to divvy up a tortilla into quadrants for the ultimate fold, @foodqood‘s breakfast challenge sandwich similarly shows how to make an egg-and-cheese-based sandwich in the pan, with a few clever flips.

While that’s certainly one way to make a decadent, cheesy breakfast sandwich, it isn’t the only way. Known as the more savoury cousin to French toast and little brother to the béchamel-and-Gruyere-based croque monsieur, the Monte Cristo similarly offers delicious crisp on the outside and gooey-melty cheese on the inside. While this recipe includes both confectioners sugar and sliced ham, feel free to forgo or substitute either ingredient. It’s quick to make and easy enough for novice home cooks and pro chefs, alike.

A golden gooey monte cristo sandwich split in half

Related: Molly Yeh’s Bright, Spinach-Packed Spin on Eggs Benedict is Your New Brunch-Time Fave

Monte Cristo Omelette Sandwich

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1 sandwich

Ingredients:

3 large eggs
Kosher salt
2 slices Swiss cheese
½ tsp Dijon mustard
½ Tbsp confectioners’ sugar
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 slices sourdough or white bread
2 large slices ham

Directions:

1. Add the eggs, 1 Tbsp water and ¼ tsp salt to a small bowl and whisk to combine. Spread each cheese slice with ¼ tsp of the Dijon and set the slices mustard-side-up on a flat surface. Put the confectioners’ sugar in a small fine-mesh sieve set over a plate.

2. Heat the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until melted and starting to brown around the edges of the pan. Add the egg mixture and swirl the pan to coat the bottom. Working quickly, dip 1 slice of the bread in the eggs, then flip the slice and place it so the top edge of the slice is near the edge of the pan furthest from you. Repeat with the remaining slice of bread, setting it across the pan from the first bread slice. The bottom edges of the two slices should be in a straight line, with eggs all around.

Related: Mother’s Day Breakfast in Bed Recipes You Can Drop Off to Mom

3. Continue to cook the eggs until they are completely set on the bottom and mostly cooked on the top, 1 to 2 minutes more. Slide a large nonstick spatula under the bread and flip the whole omelet in one single motion. Set the cheese mustard-side up on top of the omelet, covering the bread. Lay the ham on top of one of the slices of cheese. Using the spatula, fold one side of the omelet (but not the bread side) over the cheese and ham, then fold over the other side. Fold in half so the bread slices meet and form a sandwich.

Related: Kitchen Skills Parents Should Teach Their Kids By Age 10

4. Cook until the bread on the bottom is golden brown and the cheese is beginning to melt, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the heat if the bread begins to darken too quickly before the cheese melts. Flip and cook until the other side is golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.

5. Set the sandwich on a plate and dust with the confectioners’ sugar.

Watch the how-to video here:

Food Network’s Rigatoni Pie is the OG TikTok Honeycomb Pasta (and Now We Want Both!)

You might’ve seen the honeycomb pasta hack that has gone viral on TikTok, in which Anna Rothfuss AKA @bananalovesyoutoo stuffs string cheese in rigatoni pasta, layering on sauce, ground meat and grated cheese for good measure. We daresay this popular quick meal evokes a Food Network Canada eye-catching favourite: our very own 20-minute, 10-ingredient Rigatoni Pie. While slightly more elevated in flavour (no string cheese here), this vegetarian version is equally melty and gooey and just as straight-forward to make for a quick weeknight meal — all with simple pantry ingredients you likely already have on hand.

rigatoni pie on white plate

Looking to save additional time? Instead of making your own tomato sauce, swap in four cups of store-bought marinara. For meat-lovers, you can mix things up too by adding cooked ground meat to the sauce (just note: you’ll need less of the sauce). This delicious budget-friendly comfort food will be a fan favourite at home, and the good news is the yield is high, so there will be plenty to go around.

Watch the how-to video here:


Rigatoni Pie Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Rest Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients:

6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
9 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes in juice
1 15-oz can whole peeled tomatoes in juice
1 cup loosely-packed fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lb(s) rigatoni
1 lb(s) part-skim mozzarella, grated
⅔ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. Heat 4 Tbsp of the olive oil with the garlic in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Once it begins to sizzle, cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is soft and just beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Stir in the red pepper flakes, then add the tomatoes and 1 ½ cups water. Increase the heat to high and bring the tomato sauce to a boil, crushing the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced and thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper. Let the sauce cool for 10 minutes then puree in a blender until smooth.

Related: This Feta Tomato Pasta Trending on TikTok is as Easy as 1-2-3

2. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with 1 Tbsp olive oil and bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until it is slightly less than al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta, spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil.

3. Stand the rigatoni on their ends in the prepared pan until it is completely filled (you might not use all the pasta). Place the pan on a foil-lined baking sheet to catch drips. Pour the sauce over the noodles, spreading it with the back of a spoon (You might not use all the sauce.) Sprinkle the pasta with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

Related: I Tried Meghan Markle’s “Filthy, Sexy” Zucchini Pasta Sauce — Here’s How It Stacked Up

4. Cover the pan with foil, doming it slightly to avoid touching the cheese. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover the pan and continue cooking until the top is golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes more. Let the pasta cool for 10 minutes, then carefully remove the sides of the pan, cut into wedges and serve.

Leftover Grits, Ham & Gruyere Cheese = The Ultimate Fried Snack From Kardea Brown

Can a bite-sized fried recipe really be the snack of your dreams? As Kardea Brown proves time and time again with her mouth-watering comfort food on Delicious Miss Brown, the answer is yes with a capital Y.  Ready in 45 minutes, these crispy balls have all the goods thanks to the combo of ham, cheese, paprika, breadcrumbs and leftover cooked grits. It’s the afternoon snack we’ve all been waiting for.

Related: Kardea Brown’s Pan Fried Collard Greens Are the Garlicky, Bacon-y Vegetable Side Dish of Your Dreams

Kardea Brown’s Cheesy Country Ham Grit Balls

Total Time: 45 minutes
Yields: 10 to 12 servings

Ingredients:

Canola oil, for frying
1/2 cup diced country ham
2 1/2 cups leftover cooked grits
1 cup grated smoked Gruyere cheese
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Kosher salt

Miss Kardea Brown rolls her Cheesy Country Ham Grit Balls with Spicy Mayo in breading, as seen on Delicious Miss Brown, Season 3.

Related: 32 Easy Air Fryer Recipes That Are Simply Delish

Directions:

1. Fill a large Dutch oven two-thirds full with oil and heat over medium-high heat to 360°F.

2. Add 2 tablespoons oil to a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ham and cook just until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a large bowl. Add the grits and cheese to the bowl and stir until combined. Using wet hands, scoop 1/4 cup of the grit mixture, roll it into a ball and place on a platter or large plate. Repeat until all the grit mixture is used.

3. Whisk together the flour, paprika and cayenne in a shallow bowl. In a separate shallow bowl, add the eggs. Add the panko to another separate shallow bowl. Dip each grit ball into the flour mixture and shake to remove any excess before dipping into the eggs and then into the panko, spinning to coat completely.

4. Add the grit balls to the Dutch oven in batches, frying until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove to a sheet pan lined with a wire rack and immediately sprinkle with salt.

Looking for a Southern-style finish to your fried snack? Kardea Brown’s Caramel Apple Cake should hit the (sweet) spot.

Watch Delicious Miss Brown and stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

Watch the how-to recipe video here:


Kardea Brown’s One-Pan Cheesy Baked Eggs Make Brunch a Breeze

Looking for a new recipe to add to your regular brunch rotation? As Kardea Brown shows us with this mouth-watering cheesy baked dish, it’s easy to elevate the humble egg with just a few basic ingredients. Chopped mustard greens, hash browns and various cheeses are tossed into a casserole dish alongside eggs for a hearty comfort food that’ll leave you belly full.

Related: Kardea Brown’s Pan Fried Collard Greens Are the Garlicky, Bacon-y Vegetable Side Dish of Your Dreams

Kardea Brown’s One-Pan Cheesy Baked Eggs

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Yields: 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients:

4 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups chopped mustard greens
1 clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup baking mix, preferably Bisquick
2 cups grated sharp yellow Cheddar
2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
2 cups frozen hash browns

Related: Kardea Brown’s Beef and Okra Stew is the Warming Dinner You Didn’t Know You Were Craving

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon softened butter.

2. Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the mustard greens, garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper and saute just until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.

Miss Kardea Brown finishes her Cheesy Baked Eggs as seen on Delicious Miss Brown, Season 3.

3. Whisk together the eggs, milk, baking mix, 1/2 teaspoon salt and some pepper in a bowl until well incorporated. Stir in the mustard greens, cheeses and hash browns. Pour into the greased baking dish. Bake until puffed lightly, golden brown and soft-set in the middle, 45 to 50 minutes.

4. Cool slightly before slicing and serving warm.

Related: The Best Ways to Prepare Eggs Around the World, From France to Japan

Watch Delicious Miss Brown and stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

How to Make Bruschetta in 15 Minutes (Plus the Best Bruschetta Bar for Nights Inside)

Nothing says staying indoors quite like a delightful seasonal spread bursting with fresh ingredients. We absolutely love to use the best of the season, and one summer and early fall favourite is tomatoes. Fresh, juicy and perfectly ripe at the end of summer, we’re always looking for ways to make them a star. Our new favourite is to assemble a quick and easy bruschetta bar when spending time inside with loved ones (because we’re desperate to switch things up these days!).  With a few simple ingredients, you can showcase the bright, herbaceous flavours of this beloved app and present an impressive spread in just a few minutes.

How to Make Bruschetta (And the Best Bruschetta Bar!)

bruschetta-bar-spread

Related: From Homemade Bread to Pickles, 20 Recipes to Master While Indoors

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
4 tomatoes, seeded and diced or 12 cocktail tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup Vidalia onion, minced
1 clove garlic, grated
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3/4 cup labneh or Greek yogurt
3/4 cup ricotta
3/4 cup hummus
1/2 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped basil
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 Tbsp za’atar
1 baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices
Olive oil

bruschetta bar assembled

Related: Ranking Canadian Retailers Offering Grocery Delivery Right Now, by Price

Directions:
1. In a medium bowl combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.
2. Place labneh, ricotta, hummus, walnuts, parsley, basil, parmesan and pine nuts into small bowls and place on platter.
3. Sprinkle labneh with za’atar and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle ricotta with herbs, if desired.
4. Assemble all items on a platter and serve with plates for guests to assemble their appetizers.

Looking for more easy peasy recipes? Trust us: these snack plates are the easy dinner option you need this week!

Celebrate Oktoberfest at Home With These Soft Pretzels, Done Two Ways!

These soft pretzels remind me of going to the carnival (or Oktoberfest celebrations!), but since we can’t go in person this year, I’m bringing the party home with my jalapeno smoked-cheddar stuffed pretzels. Yes, you read that right! These pretzels are soft, golden brown and stuffed with a creamy filling. Alternatively, you can skip the filling (but why would you?!) and toss them in a sweet cinnamon sugar mix. Serve with salsa, cheese sauce or even butter — or try them with my favourite decadent cream cheese icing recipe.

Soft Pretzels

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Rest Time: 55 minutes
Bake Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 90 minutes
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients:

Pretzel Dough
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp instant yeast
1 cup warm water
¼ cup ( ½ stick ) butter, melted

Jalapeno Cheddar Filling
¼ cup cream cheese
½ cup smoked cheddar, grated
⅓ cup jalapenos, diced
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp granulated garlic

Cinnamon Sugar Topping
½ cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

Other
¼ cup baking soda, for boiling
¼ cup melted butter, for brushing
Coarse salt, for topping

Directions:

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, water and melted butter. Knead for 7-10 minutes on medium-low speed until the dough is soft and smooth. Place on the counter, cover with the mixing bowl and let rest for 45 minutes until the dough doubles in size.

2. Meanwhile, make the jalapeno cheddar filling. Mix together the cream cheese, smoked cheddar, jalapenos, salt and garlic. Set aside.

Related: 15 Must-Try German Dishes to Celebrate Oktoberfest

3. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Boil 8 cups of water on the stovetop.

4. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions and roll each piece into a smooth ball. Starting with one piece — keeping the rest covered so they don’t dry out — roll the dough into a log about 12 inches long. Flatten to about 2 inches wide. Add about 2 Tbsp of the jalapeno cheddar filling in the centre lengthwise. Pinch the dough together to close the seams, making sure to push out any air. Gently roll the dough with your hands until it’s about 24 inches long.

5. To shape the pretzels, take the left side and cross over the right, cross over the right again and flip the ends up and pinch to seal.

6. Add the baking soda to the boiling water. Boil the pretzels 2 at a time for 30 seconds, remove with a spider strainer and place on the baking sheet. Sprinkle the filled pretzels lightly with coarse salt and let rest for 10 minutes until the pretzels dry out.

7. Bake for 10 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and brush liberally with the melted butter. Enjoy warm. If you’ve opted to skip the filling and go the cinnamon sugar route, now brush the pretzels with melted butter and toss in cinnamon sugar mix to coat.

Like Sabrina’s soft pretzels? Check out her no-bake key lime pie icebox cake, dessert wontons and easy peach plum cobbler.

Seasonal Produce Shines in Ina Garten’s Tomatoes and Burrata Recipe

Foodies looking for an easy lunch or light dinner recipe that plays with taste and texture can rely on the creamy wonders of burrata cheese. It’s soft shell can be pierced with a fork, revealing a buttery  centre that aligns with the sweet tomatoes and fresh basil on your plate. For the uninitiated, why not start with this simple and classic version  from The Barefoot Contessa.

Creamy burrata cheese, ripe mixed heirloom cherry tomatoes, fresh basil leaves and aged balsamic vinegar are perfectly paired with Ina Garten‘s crunchy homemade four-ingredient garlic toasts. It’s exactly the sort of bold and beautiful dish that’ll brighten your late-summer, early-fall dinner table. *Chef’s kiss*

Related: Ina Garten’s Greek Salad is a Classic for a Reason

Ina Garten’s Tomatoes and Burrata

Total Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 2 servings

Ingredients:

1 (8- to 10-ounce) ball of fresh burrata cheese
1 pint mixed heirloom cherry tomatoes or 8 to 10 (2-inch diameter) heirloom tomatoes
Good olive oil
Aged balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 fresh basil leaves, julienned
Fleur de sel or sea salt
6 Garlic Toasts, recipe follows

For the Garlic Toasts:
1 baguette
1/4 cup good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, halved lengthwise

Related: Any Hour is Cocktail Hour With Ina Garten’s Classic Cosmopolitan

Directions:

1.Cut the ball of cheese in half crosswise and place the halves, cut side down, on 2 salad plates. Cut each tomato in half through the stem end and distribute them around the burrata. Drizzle the tomatoes and burrata generously with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Scatter the basil on the salads, sprinkle with fleur de sel, and serve with Garlic Toasts.

Related: Ina Garten’s 25 Easiest Weeknight Dinners

For the Garlic Toasts:
Yields: 20-25 toasts

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Slice the baguette diagonally into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Depending on the size of the baguette, you should get 20 to 25 slices.

3. Lay the slices in one layer on a baking sheet, brush each with olive oil, and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Bake the toasts for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are browned and crisp. As soon as they are cool enough to handle, rub one side of the toasts with the cut side of the garlic. Serve at room temperature.

Watch Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Comforting Three-Cheese Cacio e Pepe in Spaghetti Squash Form

Cacio e Pepe translates to “cheese and pepper”, and is the ultimate no-nonsense pantry pasta consisting of freshly ground pepper, noodles, and good quality cheese. Spaghetti squash presents much like spaghetti noodles and is generally available all year-round, making for an excellent alternative for gluten-intolerants (more gluten-free dinner inspiration here) or those looking for a healthy low-carb twist on the classic. So grab your cheese grater, and start prepping tonight’s dinner.

Three-Cheese Cacio e Pepe Baked Spaghetti Squash

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 80 minutes (includes squash roasting time)
Servings: 4 (raw veg = 5 cups before mixing in cheese)

Ingredients:

1 spaghetti squash
1 Tbsp olive oil
½ tsp salt
1 ½  tsp coarsely ground black pepper, divided
2 Tbsp olive oil or butter
¾ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
¼ cup mascarpone cheese or smooth ricotta (optional)
Chopped parsley or basil

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds and strands with a spoon. Brush inside with 1 Tbsp oil and sprinkle with ¼ tsp each salt and pepper. Place cut side down on the prepared pan.

Tip: Don’t forget to save the squash seeds and roast them as a snack. Here’s how to roast tamari and sea salt pumpkin seeds (follow the same instructions).

3. Roast until a paring knife is easily inserted in the centre, about 45 minutes. Let cool.

4. Using a large spoon, spoon out and shred into long strands. Spread on a double layer of paper towel or clean kitchen towel to absorb any liquid.

5. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil and then the squash, remaining ¼ tsp salt and remaining 1 ¼ tsp pepper and toss. Stir in mascarpone (if using), stirring until just melted and combined. Remove from heat and sprinkle with the Parmesan and Pecorino cheese, tossing to combine.

Tip: Like its namesake, this dish is all about pepper and cheese. For the best pepper flavour, toast whole black peppercorns in a skillet over medium-low heat until fragrant, shaking the pan, 2 to 3 minutes. Let cool and crush with the bottom of a heavy bottom pot or skillet.

6. Divide among plates and sprinkle with parsley and more cheese, if desired.

Another cheesy pasta recipe with a twist: this winter greens mac & cheese will make you feel healthy. You’ll also devour this vegetarian spaghetti puttanesca with cauliflower. Lastly, test out these weeknight dinners where veggies replace carbs.

cheeseball bites

Cheese Ball Bites Are the Ultimate Make-Ahead Party Appetizer

Your favourite party-perfect appetizer made mini! A simply adorable starter for the holiday season, these mini cheese balls are easy to put together and can be rolled in a variety of delicious ingredients. Serve with fresh bread for spreading, and you’re set for festive entertaining. No time? Make your gathering even easier by preparing and rolling the cheese ball bites (without coatings) up to two days ahead (wrap and refrigerate). When guests arrive, roll in your desired coatings, then dive right in.

Mini Cheese Ball Bites

Mini Cheese Ball Bites

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 24

Mini Cheese Ball Bites

Ingredients:

Cheese Ball Bites
1-½ cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 brick (250g) cream cheese, softened
2 green onions, minced
1 tsp paprika
⅛ tsp cayenne pepper

Coating
3 Tbsp chopped, toasted walnuts
3 Tbsp chopped dried cranberries
3 Tbsp chopped crispy fried onions
3 Tbsp minced chives
3 Tbsp (3 strips) cooked, crumbled bacon
3 Tbsp roasted sunflower seeds

Serving
Sliced fresh baguette
Crostini
Crackers

Directions:

Cheese Ball Bites
In a large bowl, stir together cheddar cheese, cream cheese, green onions, paprika and cayenne pepper. Form mixture into 24, 1 Tbsp balls (tip: dampen hands with a little water if mixture is sticking).

Mini Cheese Ball Bites

Coating
Roll 4 balls into walnuts, pressing lightly to adhere, and place on a serving platter. Repeat with remaining balls and coatings (4 balls per 3 Tbsp of topping).

Mini Cheese Ball Bites

Serving
Serve finished cheese ball bites with fresh baguette, crostini or crackers.

You can also try these 25-minute everything bagel smoked sausage rolls, along with our best last-minute party appetizers that are beyond easy.

A Fondue Board is the Easy, Cheesy Way to Entertain for the Holidays

A new take on the holiday cheese board, but with fondue at the centre, this entertaining spread is surrounded by delicious dippers waiting to be dunked and devoured – all of which are customizable. Festive, warming and perfect for that après ski vibe we all strive for (even if you’ve been inside by the fire all day).

If you don’t have fondue forks, just cut your dippers a little larger so guests have an easier time dunking by hand or spooning the molten cheese onto their item (no one wants to be fishing out a tiny piece of bread from the fondue pot). Tip: to keep your fondue sans alcohol, replace the traditional white wine with stock or whole milk (directions for this below). 

Swiss Fondue Board

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 6 to 8 

Ingredients:

Serving Suggestions
Seedless grapes
Sliced apples or ripe pears
Sliced baguette (or cubed if you have fondue forks)
Crackers
Steamed potatoes
Raw or steamed broccoli florets
Sliced raw carrots
Cherry tomatoes
Cured or roasted cooked meats
Dried or fresh apricots, plums and figs 

Swiss Fondue
1 garlic clove, halved
1¼ cup dry white wine, stock or whole milk
1 tsp white wine vinegar (only add if using stock or whole milk)
14 oz (400g) Gruyere cheese, grated
7 oz (200g) Emmentaler cheese, grated
3.5 oz (100g) Gouda cheese, grated
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour or 1½ Tbsp cornstarch
Pinch, freshly grated nutmeg
Ground black pepper, to taste 

Directions:

1. Arrange all of the items you’ll be serving with your fondue on a wooden board, platter or on individual plates, leaving space in the centre for your fondue pot or serving bowl.

2. For the fondue, rub the bottom and sides of a medium saucepan with the halved garlic clove; save the remaining garlic for another recipe. Add wine, stock or milk and vinegar (if using stock or milk) to the saucepan and heat over medium until steaming. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss all three cheeses with flour or cornstarch, nutmeg and pepper, and add cheese mixture to the warmed liquid. Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, cook until the cheese is melted and smooth, allowing to gently bubble for 30 seconds, which will cook the flour or cornstarch fully and thicken everything to the proper consistency. Remove from heat.

3. Transfer cheese fondue to a warmed fondue pot and holder with a tea light underneath to keep it warm, or a heat-proof ceramic serving bowl, and serve alongside your preferred dippers. If using a ceramic bowl without a tealight, warm briefly in a low oven to loosen again if the fondue has gotten too thick (this doesn’t happen too quickly, but will occur about 30 minutes after it’s off the stovetop), or transfer back to a pot and reheat for a minute or so on the stovetop.

For more holiday inspiration, whip up a few of these crowd-pleasing holiday potluck recipes, and trust us when we say: you’ll devour these eye-catching cheese ball bites (the ultimate make-ahead app!).

This Winter Greens Mac & Cheese Recipe Will Make You Feel Healthy

When the cold weather strikes, macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort dish. This version takes advantage of the best winter greens the season has to offer. Any variety of nutrient-packed greens will work, such as chard, collards, rapini or kale. So go ahead and indulge in this cheesy, creamy pasta for dinner, while sneaking in a healthy serving of vegetables, too!

Winter Greens Mac & Cheese

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

1 lb macaroni noodles, cooked to al dente
2 Tbsp + 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
6 oz chopped winter greens, stems removed
Salt & cracked black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp whole-grain mustard
3 cups whole milk
1 bay leaf
1 large egg, whisked
2 cups grated extra-old white cheddar, plus more for topping
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese, plus more for topping
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs

Directions: 

1. In a large pot over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic and onion. Cook until the onion begins to turn translucent, about 5 minutes.

2. Stir in the greens, seasoning generously with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until the greens begin to wilt and cook down, about 5 minutes. Transfer the greens to a bowl and set-aside until ready to use.

3. Preheat oven to 350°. In the same pot over medium heat, melt together the butter and flour. Whisking constantly, cook until a smooth roux forms, about 5 minutes.

4. Whisk in the mustard, followed by the milk and bay leaf. Simmer for 10 minutes, until mixture begins to thicken. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Discard bay leaf, temper in the egg and remove pot from heat. Let cool slightly before stirring in the cheeses.

6. Add the macaroni noodles and mix until evenly coated. If the pot is not oven safe, transfer mixture to a 9 by 12 baking dish.

7. In a small mixing bowl, toss together the remaining olive oil, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper.

8. Top macaroni with additional cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake for 30 minutes, until the filling is bubbly and golden brown. Serve immediately.

Get in your cozies and enjoy more comforting recipes with a good-for-you twist, from Georgian cheese bread with kale to spaghetti puttanesca (starring cauliflower) to a decadent butternut squash tartiflette.

This Cheesy, Comforting Butternut Squash Tartiflette is a Cold-Weather Must

Tartiflette is a dish from the Savoie region of France, popular in the Alps because it’s so hearty. A rich and comforting layered dish featuring potatoes, onions, lardons (bacon) and, traditionally, Reblochon cheese. Here, we’ve substituted butternut squash for some of the potatoes, making for a slightly sweeter bake that works well with the strong cheese. If you can’t find Reblochon, swap for any soft cheese with a washed rind (think Brie, Époisses or Cru du Champlain).

Pair the decadent dish with a simple green salad, or, if serving as a side, sprinkle a little chopped parsley on top – it’s not traditional, but it adds a hit of freshness (and colour!).

Comforting Butternut Squash Tartiflette

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Serves: 8

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 lb (227g) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch (2cm) cubes
1/2 small butternut squash (approx. 3/4 lb/ 350g), peeled and chopped into 1-inch (2cm) cubes
8 slices bacon (approx. 7oz/ 200g), roughly chopped in small cubes
1 large onion (approx. 7oz/ 200g)
2 large cloves garlic, minced
14oz (400g) Reblochon cheese (or alternative variety)
Salt and pepper, to season
Curly parsley, for garnish

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 400˚F.
2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet (big enough to hold all your potatoes and squash cubes). Shallow fry the potato and squash cubes until they start to colour, stirring occasionally (watch the squash, it will caramelize faster than the potatoes). This will take around 5-7 minutes.
3. Remove the potatoes and squash from the skillet and drain on paper towels.
4. Add the bacon to the skillet and fry until it’s just starting to colour (approx. 3-5 minutes, depending on how small you’ve cut the bacon). You want it fully cooked but not crispy. Remove the bacon from the skillet and drain on paper towels.

5. Add the onions and garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Remove the onions from the pan and drain on a paper towel.
6. Cut the Reblochon in half horizontally and cut one half into small strips. Cut the other half into small cubes.

6. In an oven-proof dish large enough to hold all the ingredients, layer half the onions, garlic and bacon.

7. Top with half the squash mixture and dot with some of the cheese cubes.
8. Repeat the process, layering the rest of the onions, then bacon, then the squash mixture.

9. Top with the strips of cheese, alternating the rind facing in and out with each strip. The cheese will not cover the top of the dish entirely (you will have some gaps and be able to see the squash and potatoes underneath).

10. Bake for 25 minutes at 400˚F, then turn the broiler on high and broil for approx. 5 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and golden.
11. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving. Garnish with the parsley. Bon appetit!

For more cheesy, melt-in-your-mouth recipes that’ll warm your insides, try these 18 classic french dishes that are the definition of comfort food.

cream-cheese-stuffed-chicken

Your Cheesy Stuffed Chicken Breast Needs Creamy Cajun Sauce

With winter in full swing, it’s important to have a few heartwarming, rich and comforting dishes in your dinner line-up. This recipe for Cheesy Spinach-Stuffed Chicken Breast with Creamy Cajun Sauce is the ultimate dinner indulgence. Packed with just the right amount of cheese, cream and Cajun spice, it’s bound to become a family favourite. The Cajun spice blend which is the star of this recipe,  features paprika, garlic powder, thyme and many more fragrant spices. To save time, I used a favourite store-bought spice blend but you can add your own special touch by making a Cajun spice blend of your own.

stuffed-chicken-covered-in-cajun-cream-sauce

Cheesy Spinach-Stuffed Chicken Breast with Creamy Cajun Sauce

Ingredients:
2 large chicken breasts
2 Tbsp cajun seasoning

Filling:
3 Tbsp of cream cheese
2 Tbsp of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
¾ cup of chopped spinach
Sauce:
2/3 cup of chicken broth
3 Tbsps cajun seasonings
1 ½ cup of cream
¼  white onion finely chopped

stuffed-chicken-ingredients

Directions:
1. Cut chicken breast in half lengthwise, without cutting all the way through. Open the chicken breast up and place wax paper on top (the wax paper will act as a barrier). Use a rolling pin or another round hard object to pound the chicken breast into a thin, even layer.
2. Remove the wax paper and season both sides of the chicken breast with Cajun seasoning and set aside.
3. Chop spinach into thin pieces and place into a bowl, then finely chop 1 clove of garlic and add it to a bowl of cream cheese. Mix mozzarella cheese and spinach with cream cheese until everything is evenly distributed.

spinach-cheese-stuffing-in-bowl

4. Spread the cream cheese mixture inside the chicken, being careful not to over-stuff.
5. Preheat oven to 350°F. Add oil to a hot pan placed on medium heat. Add the stuffed chicken breasts to hot pan and sear each side. Once the chicken breast has a nice brown crust on each side, remove it and place on a baking sheet. Reserve pan and drippings for later.
6. Bake the stuffed chicken breasts in the oven for 25 minutes or until it has cooked all the way through.
7. Return to the pan and add a bit more oil to the pan drippings if necessary, then add onion. Cook onions until translucent. Add chicken broth and bring the mixture to a simmer then add cream slowly, stirring as you add. Once the mixture has thickened, remove from heat.
8. Serve with the stuffed chicken breast and garnish with parsley.

stuffed-chicken-breast-with-sauce

Looking for more recipes? Try these Must-Try Chicken Breast Recipes.

grilled-cheese-stacked

This French Onion Grilled Cheese is Made for Chilly Saturday Afternoons

When the temperatures start to dip, there’s nothing more comforting than a warm bowl of soup accompanied by a grilled cheese sandwich. One of my favourite soups in the cold weather is French Onion because it combines both of those elements in one bowl. Here, we’re flipping that soup on its head and combining a grilled cheese with rich, decadent caramelized onions for the ultimate winter comfort food.

french-onion-layered-grilled-cheese

French Onion Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe

Serves: 2

Ingredients:
For the Onions:
2 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup beef or mushroom broth
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp light brown sugar

For the Sandwich:
6 thin slices bread
4 Tbsp salted or unsalted butter
6 slices Swiss cheese

Directions:
Onions:
1. Heat the butter and oil a heavy skillet over medium-low heat.
2. Add the onions and cook for around 15 minutes, until the onions start to turn golden, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the broth, scraping any brown bits off the bottom of the skillet and cook for a couple of minutes until most of the liquid evaporates.
4. Sprinkle sugar and the balsamic vinegar over top, and stir to coat the onions.
5. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, over low-medium heat for approximately 10 minutes until all the onions are dark and caramelized.
6. Set aside and cool (refrigerate if necessary) until you are ready to use them.

onions-on-grilled-cheese

Sandwich:
1. Pre-heat the broiler to high and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
2. Toast two of the slices of bread (these will be your middle slices) in a toaster.
3. Butter the remaining four pieces of bread.
4. Heat a skillet (preferably one with a ridged base so you’ll get “grill” marks on the bread) over medium-high heat.
5. Place the slices of bread butter-side down (you might have to do this in batches depending on the size of your skillet) and cook until the bread is golden. Remove from the heat.
6. Place all the bread (making sure you know which slices are the top and bottom slices – with the grill marks) on the baking tray and top with one slice of cheese each.
7. Broil until the cheese is bubbling and melted.
8. Spread the caramelized onions on the cheese on each “top” and “bottom” slice of bread.
9. Now construct your sandwich – place the extra slice of bread in between top and bottom slices and close the sandwich.
10. Serve with lots of napkins and maybe a knife and fork!

french-onion-grilled-cheese

Looking for more cheesy goodness? Try Our Cheesiest Recipes Ever.

baked-brie-rolls

Baked Brie Becomes a Show-Stopping Appetizer with Pull-Apart Bread Rolls

Store-bought pizza dough makes this show-stopping appetizer come together in a matter of minutes. A wheel of Brie is already a crowd-pleaser, but it is transformed into a truly sensational holiday dish when baked with fresh buns and served warm from the oven. Serve in the cast iron pan at the table so guests can tear off pieces of bread and dig in to the gooey, melty cheese.

BakedBrie3

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Makes: 8 servings

Ingredients:
600g pizza dough
170g Brie wheel
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
Pinch each salt and pepper
Jam (cranberry, fig or lingonberry)
Fresh figs and rosemary sprig (to garnish)

BakeBrie1

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Divide dough into 75g pieces. Roll each into a tight ball; set aside.
2. Using sharp knife, remove top rind of Brie. Place Brie, cut side-up, in centre of cast iron pan. Arrange pizza dough rolls around cheese.
3. In small bowl, combine melted butter, rosemary, salt and pepper. Brush butter mixture over pizza rolls.

BakedBrie2
4. Bake in 400°F oven until top of pizza rolls start to turn golden, about 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 375°F; bake until pizza rolls are golden, hard on the outside and sound hollow when tapped, about 15 minutes.
5. Spoon a little jam over Brie; top with fresh figs and garnish with rosemary sprig.

Looking for more inspiration?  Try Our Cheesiest Appetizers Ever.

Szechuan Peppercorn

4 Quick and Easy Pairing Combos to Win Summer

This summer we’re keeping it simple, quick and easy – without compromising flavour or quality! Whether you’re hosting cocktails or a backyard party, we’ve got four tasty pairing combinations that are packed with complementary flavours and requires no prep, which means less cleanup and you can get right to your summer fete.

Ginger Teriyaki Charcuterie Board and Pairings

Complement the sweet flavours of toasted teriyaki and floral ginger with nutty cheeses and a refreshing extra pale ale to elongate the overall flavour profile.

You’ll Need: Raclette cheese, grilled pineapple, almonds, and lightly toasted bread with olive oil.

Korean BBQ Beef Charcuterie Board and Pairings

The trick to smoothing out the charred soy flavours of Korean BBQ beef is by indulging in a rich, creamy, sharp cheese, like Morbier, and a light bodied, low-tannin red wine like Shiraz.

You’ll Need: Morbier cheese, sesame seed crackers, bell peppers, and assorted nuts.

Szechuan Peppercorn Charcuterie Board and Pairings

It’s all about contrast with this pairing! Temper the sharp, rich flavours of the Szechuan peppercorns with a creamy but bold Gouda. Enjoy these with a light bodied ale, like a Pilsner, that won’t mask the sweet and sharp flavours.

You’ll Need: Gouda cheese, water crackers, olives and sundried tomatoes.

Sweet Chili Pork Charcuterie Board and Pairings

When it comes to a sweet and spicy pork, it’s best to pair with a light and creamy cheese that will complement the earthy sweet flavour and lighten the chili kick. To quench your thirst, try a sparkling semi-dry white wine to help cut through the richness.

You’ll Need: Brie cheese, roasted peppers, sundried tomatoes, and lightly toasted bread.