October 24, 2013

4 Awesome Cheesy Weeknight Meals


After my trip to the Greenwich Food + Wine Festival I got thinking more about weeknight meals. I loved Sara Moulton’s and Richard Blais’ presentations, but they didn’t really feature a lot of cheese. However, the dishes they made could feature plenty of cheese. In my year of working with Sargento I have had a lot of fun documenting the popular food trends of food trucks and mushrooms but it really all comes back to the cheese. I am no stranger to cheesy weeknight meals and I wondered if I could take Sara’s and Richard’s dishes and make them a little cheesier, so to speak.

Sara’s first meal was a Buffalo Chicken Rice. It looked amazing and there definitely was a good amount of blue cheese in it. Like Sara, I consider blue cheese more of an accent than a main feature in a dish. The taste is so strong that a little goes a long way. This weeknight meal she made reminded me of my couscous salad with blue cheese, pictured above.

Couscous Salad with Cranberries, Pecans, and Blue Cheese: This great salad would be fantastic with some grilled shrimp, fish, or chicken. It also works really well with as a lunch on the go. It packs beautifully in a container for the office.

Steak night

Sara’s second meal was a duck dish with sauce. Admittedly, I don’t really have an affinity for duck. I prefer lighter meats and poultry. In lieu of duck my preferred meat and sauce dish would be the weeknight Bistro Steak with Gorgonzola Sauce. This simple cheesy sauce is perfect for accenting the meat and would also work well with chicken or over romaine to make a wedge salad.

Richard took his time making the single fish taco because his team wasn’t as set up as he’d expected. He flavored his taco with Asian spices which sounded amazing. However, when I make tacos I prefer to add a little cheese and go with a more traditional Mexican flavor. Here are a two my favorite tex-mex meals:

Spicy Portabello Mushroom Tacos

Spicy Mushroom Tacos: If you are in the mood for some vegetarian tacos then look no further! These delicious handheld bites get a great kick from the spicy shredded cheese on top.

Chicken Enchiladas: These rolled up cones of chicken are smothered with ranchero sauce and lots of cheese. For this meal I go straight up Artisan Mexican Cheese Blend because it tastes the best!

Next year I would love to see the festival feature more cheese used in new and interesting ways. There are really so many ways you can incorporate it into every day food above and beyond macaroni and cheese. But, until then, there are so many ways you can really apply cheese to your everyday weeknight meals. If you ever need more “cheesy” meal ideas just let me know!

(Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Sargento, the opinions, recipes, and photographs are wholly my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that make The Naptime Chef possible.)


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