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Monday, November 30, 2009

Cheese Bites - An Appetizer for Blue Monday



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Poor planning on my part led to some scrambling today. Several weeks ago I agreed to make appetizers for a fund raiser, not realizing that the date fell on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend. Normally, I love to do this kind of thing. Not so much today. I've been in the kitchen a lot this past week and right now my idea of a perfect meal is a container of Ramen noodles. Having backed myself into a corner, I felt duty bound to get myself out of it with as much grace as I could muster. These cheese bites and two other very easy recipes were my passport to that graceful exit. The recipe for this appetizer is over a decade old. It came on the back of a box of Land O'Lakes butter. The original recipe called for blue cheese and roasted peppers. I still do that sometimes, but I must admit to doubling the amount of blue cheese I use when making the cheese bites that way. I also make them with Parmigiano-Reggiano and sun-dried tomatoes. The original recipe suggests baking the appetizer in a tart pan and serving it in wedges. I think that's way to rich for a first course and the wedge is hard to serve as a finger food. Over time, I began to make these in rectangular tart pans, cut them into small squares and serve them as finger food that can be passed with cocktails. In a bind, I've been known to use commercially prepared puff pastry or pie crust. The bites can also be assembled and frozen to cook as needed. This is not the best of my appetizers but it's among the most serviceable. I've used it over and over again because it is so easy to do and lends itself to theme and variation. Here's the base recipe.

Cheese Bites...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

Ingredients:
Unbaked pie crust for a one crust pie
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/3 to 1/2 cups crumbled blue cheese or grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper
1/3 cup drained and chopped roasted red pepper or drained and chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup lightly toaste chopped nuts
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a tart pan (round or rectangular) with a removable bottom with pie crust. Dock crust with a fork. Place foil and pie weights inside pastry. Bake until very lightly bown, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove foil and pie weights.
2) While crust bakes, combine cheeses in a large bowl. Beat, at medium speed, scraping bowl as required, until cheeses are creamy. Gradually add cream, egg and black pepper until everthing is blended. Spread into prepared crust. Sprinkle with red peppers or sun-dried tomatoes. Top with nuts and parsley. Bake until filling is set, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Let cool on a rack for 20 minutes. Remove sides of pan. Cut into wedges or squares. Serve warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 14 to 16 servings.

This post is being linked to:
Smiling Sally - Blue Monday

60 comments:

Karen said...

Wow! These look great! I love how you describe them as a "graceful exit". I would be embarrassed for you to see what a "graceful exit" appetizer would have been for me! I can tell you this...it would have come out of a box.

Your blog makes me want to cook!

Happy Blue Monday!

ButterYum said...

Parm and Sun-Dried Tomatoes - hello!!!

I'll be making this recipe very soon ;)

:)
ButterYum

Susan C said...

This may not be your "best," but it sure sounds like a winner to me.

Mary said...

I love reliable old standby recipes - they always come through! I think anybody would be happy to receive these! They are as lovely as they appear to be tasty!

Slee said...

now you're making me hungry. happy blue monday.

Mar said...

Love the blue background and the appetizer sounds delicious, thanks for the recipe!!
Happy Blue Monday!! my post is here.

My Little Space said...

I do think it looks great and perfectly well done! I bet it taste as wonderful too. Cheers.

KathyB. said...

This looks tasty as well as easy enough for me to prepare during this season of holiday celebrations requiring me to bring a dish to share.I always appreciate the bits of information you add to your recipe posts.

gengen said...

wow looks yummy delicious appetizer. Happy blue Monday.co

Donna-FFW said...

Ive used many land o lakes recipes and have been happy with them. This sounds terrific!

A Year on the Grill said...

OMG... If these are your "quickie just to get out of the kitchen" recipes, I want to see what happens when you put a LOT of effort into them...

Salty nutty cheese bites yum!

Knitty said...

I have everything in the house to make this so I must try this tonight! Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes.

Happy Blue Monday!

Martha said...

Mary, these look yummy and may be my next appetizer. Sometimes old favorites are the best!

Hootin' Anni said...

To find this recipe on the back of a butter carton speaks volumes [seriously!! I would never dream of even looking on the back of a box]....just look at how yummy they are?!!! I'd say that you DID do your duty. And gracefully; to be sure. {But I had to laugh at the part about Ramen Noodles---that, just to inform you, is NOT how I have you pictured at all...Ramen Noodles indeed...more like some great concoction that'll blow your visitors away!}

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I'm going to tuck this one away for the holiday onslaught.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Mmm, totally tasty. And such a vibrant photo! Beautiful.

SmilingSally said...

With your "back in a corner," you still put me to shame. What a great sounding recipe. I hope that this Blue Monday will be a relaxing one for you.

LV said...

It does not matter what you cook, it always fits the day. I know your family enjoyed their holiday feast. I did mine, but did not cook.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Gosh, those sound good, Mary! It almost sounds like a quiche, but denser. I'm sure I could eat a dozen or so. I'm a big cheese lover. And I think this is a graceful exit as you said. A divinely graceful one.

As always, thank you for this recipe. It sounds delicious.

Happy Blue Monday...

XO,

Sheila :-)

Nanna said...

that looks yummy! it's rainy here so it'd make the perfect blue monday thing to make LOL
Helen

George Gaston said...

Mary, these delectable bites look delicious. I love the various flavors and textures in your ingredients, too. I will have to gives these a try. Many thanks

ivoryspring said...

That looks absolutely yummy. I think I will try this out.

Shy said...

Ms. Mary your Cheese bite made me drool, looks declicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe, I want to try this one day.

Marice said...

wow that made me really hungry! thanks for sharin!

u may view mine here

Irene said...

Yummy! Thanks for sharing!

Charlotte said...

Looks delicious. I'd say you came though with total grace and maturity.
Happy Blue Monday.
Charlotte

Debra Kaye said...

I have to tell ya...they look blueriffic! Happy Monday!

Debbie said...

Sounds delicious! I think I could make an entire meal out of this! Sometimes the best recipes are on the back of boxes or labels.

Diann said...

Hi Mary!

oh, this looks like a great appetizer! I'm going to give it a try for the holidays. I like the thought of having an appetizer I can bake in a pan and cut into bite size pieces. I make a lot of the individual appetizers, but smetimes, it would be great to have something like this to make for a crowd and something that is a little less time consuming!

bj said...

ummm...these sound and look so good. You always come thru with a wonderful recipe. They don't have to be over the top to be good!!
hugs, bj

Barbara Jean said...

Mary,
These look wonderful!

Could ya' just put together a batch and send it over? =0))

Thanks for coming by so often.

blessings and Happy Monday.

barbara jean

Elizabeth said...

Yum; I think you've impressed us all!

pigpigscorner said...

wow this sounds great! I like the addition of nuts!

Tiffanee said...

This looks so good I wanted to rip the picture off of your blog and eat it right then!! I cannot wait to try them. I envy the lucky people who get to actually eat them. Thanks for sharing!!

Katy ~ said...

These sound tooo tooo good. Oh my. I don't think I'd be able to stay away from the tray if I had these.

Claudia said...

This is marching to my table. Oh the eggs, the cheese, the nibbles. Hooray for you doing this the Sunday after Thanksgiving...

ARLENE said...

What's wonderful about a recipe like this is that it IS a base recipe and can so easily be adapted for almost endless variety. I'm sure it was gobbled right up and greatly appreciated.

The Blonde Duck said...

I would be delighted to inhale these!

Maria said...

Another great Blue Monday!

Mona Sweden said...

Yummi! I think I'll have to find something to eat...

Chef E said...

I love your blog name, as I have told my husband for years that there is this thing where you take a little nudge of each ingredient on the plate and taste it all at once and it becomes 'The Perfect Bite'...I am going to make the cheese bites, since I often need wonderful recipes like this for entertaining and catering...you will get lots of credit!

Love the photos too...

Lori said...

I have been scouring the internet for appetizer recipes. This is a nice one Mary.

Peg @ Bloomfield Farm said...

Mary, Your blog is just delightful... wonderful recipes and the most gorgeous food photography around! I always enjoy my visits!

Velva said...

Your cheese bites look absolutely delightful! This is a perfect appetizers to serve guests. Love it! Thanks for sharing.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Hi Mary

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I love blue cheese so i know i would enjoy thsi appetizer.

Thanks for entering the teapot give away on my blog I'll be announcing the winner on Wednesday!

zurin said...

Recipes on the back of boxes can be so good sometimes. Just needs a little adjusting and it becomes awesome.These look just that:)

theUngourmet said...

Wonderful as always! I have found some nice recipes over at the Land O' Lakes website. I like the changes you made to the original recipe.

The Cooking Photographer said...

What a great little appetizer, I'll put this in my Mary file. I also love that egg sandwich down below. You always challenge me, your brain is full of endless food experiences.

Debinhawaii said...

My sister used to make these--they are so good!

daylily777 said...

Looks like a wonderful recipe , Beautiful blue background !
Blessings,
~Myrna

Carol said...

They looks so good! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Coralie Cederna Johnson said...

How absolutely beautiful and delicious these look, Mary! You are such an amazing cook and baker! I love coming to see what new recipes you've come up with! Thanks so much for sharing your heartfelt recipes! Warm wishes, Coralie

Carly said...

wow, that looks amazing! I absolutely love cheese!

sunnymama said...

Oh I am a big cheese fan and these look very appetizing indeed! :)

charmine. said...

Mary! my!how lovely,how tempting this looks.Happy blue monday.

Jennie said...

Mary, This looks delicious! I sometimes make up a batch on sun blush tomatoes that are great for recipes like this. I bet these are good with goat cheese too!

Your photo is beautiful by the way!

Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer said...

DAMN Incredible!! All of my favorites all together in one yummy appetizer!! This is on the list to make when the peoples invade over the next couple weeks!

Anonymous said...

Rather nice place you've got here. Thanks for it. I like such themes and everything that is connected to this matter. I would like to read more soon.

ChicagoJudy said...

What kind of nuts did you use with these? They look great!

Mary said...

Chicago Judy, I used blue cheese for the cheese bites in the phoro. They are equally good made with parm. Hope all is well. Blessings...Mary

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