Master Cheese Cooking Class

This past weekend I had the opportunity to do an online cooking class with Christine Cushing and Chick Advisor. It was a Master Cheese Cooking Class, which is perfect for me because I am a firm believer that cheese makes anything better! 

Chick Advisor sent me a cute little package with an adorable apron, recipe cards and cheese picks!

I wanted to share the recipes today because they are so simple, delicious, and impressive!

First up was Swiss Cheese Fondue. I tried to take picture as I went, but it was pretty fast paced trying to keep up with the live class, so I unfortunately only have a few! You can watch the recording from the class here:
It’s totally worth it to watch as you’re cooking, as Christine offers a lot of tips and tricks along the way

Creamy Canadian Swiss Fondue
12 ounces grated Canadian Swiss or Raclette cheese 
2 Tbsp all purpose flour 
3/4 cup dry white wine (175 ml) 
Chopped fresh chives 
12 mini new potatoes, boiled until tender and cut in half 
4 thick slices crusty bread, cut into cubes 
1 head broccoli florets, blanched for 2 minutes and drained 
1/2 cup cornichons (125 ml) 

In a medium bowl toss together the grated cheese and flour until well coated. 
Meanwhile in a medium heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat bring white wine to a boil. Reduce to low heat and very gradually add the grated cheese mixture while stirring with wooden spoon. Make sure to melt all cheese before adding more to ensure a creamy smooth consistency. 
Add more wine to adjust consistency of fondue if it’s too thick. 
Transfer immediately to fondue warmer and sprinkle with chives. Dip with potatoes, bread and broccoli or ingredients of your choice on skewers. Cornichons are to be eaten alongside, not dipped in fondue.

My completed fondue – it may not be pretty, but it was delicious!

Next up was my very first souffle! I’m no stranger in the kitchen, but this was seriously intimidating to me. I didn’t get as much height as Christine did, but it looked pretty good. 

Canadian Aged Cheddar Souffle
4 Tbsp Butter, divided (45 ml) 
Parmesan cheese, grated for baking dish 
1/4 cup flour (50 ml) 
2 cups milk (500 ml) 
3 egg yolks 
1/2 cup grated Canadian Aged Cheddar (125 ml) 
Pinch of salt and freshly cracked black pepper 
Pinch of nutmeg 
Several sprigs fresh thyme, chopped 
2 Tbsp fresh chives, chopped 
4 egg whites 

Preheat oven to 350°F. 

Brush large round baking dish, at least 3” deep, with one tablespoon butter and dust with grated parmesan to create rough surface for souffle to climb up sides of dish while baking. 

In a medium saucepan, heat rest of butter until melted. 

Add flour and cook over medium heat until just golden and smooth, stirring with wooden spoon. Remove from heat. 

Add milk slowly while whisking until smooth. Return to heat and cook over medium heat until boiling and thickened, for about 4 to 5 minutes. 

Remove from heat and add egg yolks, one at a time, stirring well after each addition. 

Add grated aged cheddar cheese, seasonings and herbs. Stir well to blend. 

Whip egg whites in a clean bowl until light and fluffy. Continue to whip until stiff peaks hold, but are not grainy. Fold into cheese mixture and pour into large round baking dish at least 3” deep and fill only 2/3 full. 

Bake at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden and puffed. Serve immediately.

My oven-ready souffle!

Finally, we moved on to making ricotta gnudi, which is little gnocchi-like pasta. What I loved about the gnudi is that it can be frozen and used later, which is like hitting the meal jackpot for busy families.

Canadian Ricotta Gnudi with Parsley Butter

Ricotta Gnudi 
2 eggs, lightly beaten 
500 g Canadian Ricotta, drained 
1-1 ½ cup all-purpose flour (250 -325ml) 
Salt and Pepper to taste 

Nutmeg Parsley Butter 
2 Tbsp butter (25 ml) 
2 cloves garlic, chopped 
1/3 cup fresh chopped parsley (80 ml) 
¼ cup grated Canadian Parmesan cheese (50 ml) 
Cracked black pepper 

In a medium bowl combine the eggs and ricotta. 

Sprinkle with flour, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir until mixture holds together but is still sticky to touch. 

Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead gently. Mixture must hold well together or they will fall apart during boiling. It will be slightly sticky. Shape with 2 spoons dipped in cold water. This will be softer than a traditional potato gnocchi.

At this point gnudi may be frozen in plastic, well-sealed bags, generously dusted in flour, or they must be boiled. Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Add the gnudi and boil for 5-7 minutes or until dumplings just hold their texture and float to top. With a large slotted spoon or spider scoop out gnudi and add directly to parsley butter. 

Parsley Butter: combine the butter and garlic in a large skillet and sauté for 1 minute until garlic is just golden. Remove from heat and add parsley. Add the cooked gnudi and sprinkle with grated cheese and cracked black pepper. Serve family style. 

If you plan on making the gnudi, I would highly recommend watching the video while you make it. Pasta can be notoriously fussy to make it, and it was really helpful watching the demo.

I think what I love most about all these recipes is that they’re quick and delicious. You could easily come home from work and whip up the souffle or pull out some frozen gnudi.

Let me know how the recipes turn out for you!

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