Monday, December 1, 2008

November's Cheese Results

I was really excited for November's Cheese Challenge: Mascarpone Cheese. I have eaten it in desserts but have never tried to use it myself. This month there was only one other participate, but she made TWO dishes.

Cristine of Cooking with Cristine somehow finds the time to whip up all kinds of delicious dishes all while caring for two little ones. How does she do it?! She made two different recipes using mascarpone, dinner and dessert!

For dinner she made Rigatoni with Creamy Mushroom Sauce and for dessert she made a Brown Sugar Mascarpone Pizza.

Rigatoni with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
Recipe from Giada DeLaurentis
1 pound rigatoni pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, minced
1 clove garlic, mincedSalt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound assorted mushrooms, (such as cremini, shiitake and button), cleaned and sliced
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes.
2. While the pasta is cooking: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic to the pan. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Cook until soft, about 2 minutes.
4. Add the mushrooms to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook until mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 to 7 minutes.
5. Turn the heat to high. Add the wine and cook for 3 minutes until all the liquid evaporates.
6. Add the stock and simmer until liquid is slightly reduced. Remove the pan from the heat.
7. Add the mascarpone cheese. Stir until creamy.
8. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta water, and transfer to a serving bowl. Add the mushroom mixture and the Parmesan.
9. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss well to coat pasta, adding the reserved pasta water, if needed, to loosen the pasta.
10. Garnish with the chopped chives. Serve immediately.

Dessert was fairly simple yet simply amazing. All she did was mixed in a little brown sugar with some mascarpone and spread it on the pizza dough. Then she topped it with blueberries and a streusel topping. After the pizza came out of the oven, she drizzled it with homemade dulce de leche.

That was one family table that I wished I could had been out!!!
You can read all about her adventures here:

And now for my recipe. I only had time for one recipe this one. I had to host Thanksgiving for my family. So, a few days before I had my sisters come down and help me prepare for that fateful day. I had to make dinner for them every night till Thanksgiving. So, the one night I made a wonderful and easy side dish. Twice Baked Potatoes!!! I got the recipe off one of my favorite cheese sites: Wisconsin Cheese and Dairy

My sisters and even my super picky husband LOVED them. They was easy to make and so creamy and flavorful. I even have some mascarpone cheese left!!! These made four HUGE potatoes. This recipe gets a five out of five dancing cheeses.


4 baking potatoes, about
12 ounces each
1 6-ounce package baby spinach or arugula-baby spinach mix
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper, optional
1/2 cup Mascarpone cheese
4 heaping teaspoons Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Prick potatoes with fork or make a short, deep slit in each and bake about 1 hour or until tender when pierced with fork.
3. Meanwhile, wilt the greens. Place 2 1/2 cups water in deep sauce pan. Bring to boil and add pinch of salt. Add greens. Boil until wilted, about 4 minutes. Remove to fine sieve and rinse with cold water to cool. Squeeze out water to dry greens. Snip greens with scissors and resqueeze to remove moisture. Set aside on absorbent paper towel.
4. When potatoes are cooked, cool slightly. Cut off a shallow slice from the top of each potato. With a sharp tipped spoon, scoop potato pulp into a mixing bowl.
5. Add salt, pepper and 1/2 cup Mascarpone cheese.
6. Whip with an electric mixer until smooth, or alternatively, mash by hand. You may have to add more mascarpone, depending on the dryness of the potatoes.
7. Fold reserved greens into the whipped potatoes.
8. Place potatoes on a baking sheet. Sprinkle a heaping teaspoon of Parmesan over each.
9. Bake at 400°F for about 15-20 minutes.
(The potatoes may be stuffed ahead and refrigerated until baking time.)

See you all next month!!!

1 comment:

Cristine said...

OH MY GOODNESS!!! I have to make those potatoes! They sound absolutely divine!

Thanks for hosting this wonderful group! I love cheese!

Looking forward to Havarti!