SOURCE: Emmi Roth USA

November 29, 2012 05:00 ET

Easy Holiday Elegance

MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - Nov 29, 2012) - (Family Features) Whether you're hosting a holiday open house or a sit-down feast with family and friends, you want dishes that impress, but aren't too complicated to make. These easy and elegant holiday recipes start with rich and savory Wisconsin-made cheeses from Roth Cheese. You can find more recipes for your holiday celebrations at www.rothcheese.com.

 
Seafood Thermidor Dip 
Yield: 3 cups  
        6 ounces cooked lobster tails and claws, coarsely chopped
        1 medium shallot, minced
        1 large garlic clove, minced
        2 cups Alfredo sauce
        3 tablespoons cream sherry
        1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
        1 1/2 cups Grand Cru Gruyere cheese, shredded
        6 1/8 ounces crab, lump-style
        1/4 cup breadcrumbs
           

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In mixing bowl combine lobster, shallot, garlic, Alfredo sauce, sherry, lemon juice and cheese; stir together until well-combined. Gently fold in crab.

Place mixture in shallow baking dish (approximately 8 x 8); top with breadcrumbs and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

 
Spinach Pesto Crostini 
Yield: Approximately 30 servings 
Pesto:  
        1 head garlic
        3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
        1 pound spinach
        3/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds, toasted
        6 ounces GranQueso cheese, grated
Crostini:  
        1 medium baguette, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
        1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
          Salt and pepper to taste
        8 sundried tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
        3 ounces GranQueso cheese, grated
           

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Place garlic in aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil, and wrap. Roast for 45 minutes. Remove roasted garlic cloves from skin.

Blanch spinach in hot water for 30 to 40 seconds. Remove spinach from water, and pat dry.

In food processor, blend roasted garlic, spinach, sunflower seeds and cheese until smooth.

Reduce oven heat to 350°F.

Place baguette slices on baking sheet, brush with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until lightly toasted. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes.

Evenly spread pesto onto crostini. Top with sundried tomato and grated cheese.

 
Horseradish and Chive Havarti Fondue  
Yield: Approximately 4 servings  
        1/2 cup Pinot Grigio 
        1 1/2 cups Horseradish and Chive Havarti, shredded (plus extra for garnish)
        1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 
        1 tablespoon mayonnaise 
          Cubed bread 
          Hard and soft pretzels 
          Tortilla chips 
          Pickles 
          Pita chips 
          Blanched vegetables 
          Fresh chives, chopped (optional)  
           

Stir together cheese, wine, mustard and mayonnaise in ceramic fondue pot.

Cook over low heat for approximately 7 to 10 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

When cheese has melted completely, remove pot from stove and transfer to a tabletop burner.

Garnish with extra cheese and chives. Serve with dipping items.

 
Baked Roesti 
Yield: 12 mini muffins or 6 full-size muffins 
        2 1/2 cups frozen shredded hash browns
        1 tablespoon butter, melted
        1/4 cup onion, minced
        1 tablespoon flour
        3 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
          Salt and pepper to taste
        1 egg, beaten
        1 cup Grand Cru Gruyere, shredded
        2 ounces Grand Cru Gruyere, 1/2-inch cubes
          Crème fraîche or sour cream (optional)
          Fresh chives, chopped (optional)
           

Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a non-stick muffin pan with vegetable oil spray.

In a mixing bowl, gently break apart frozen hash browns.

Stir in butter, onions, flour, bacon, salt, pepper and egg.

Fold shredded cheese into hash brown mixture until well combined.

Evenly distribute mixture in muffin pan. Press mixture firmly into molds.

Press a small cube of cheese into the center of each muffin.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until mixture is golden brown and crispy.

Allow to rest for 2 to 3 minutes before removing muffins from tray.

Garnish with a dollop of crème and chives.

The Perfect Cheese Plate
To add another element of deliciously easy elegance, set up a cheese plate for guests. Here are some quick tips and recommendations.

  • Plan on serving one to two ounces of cheese per person.
  • Set out a variety of cheeses with different textures and flavor profiles.
  • Serve the cheeses at room temperature.
  • Use a separate knife or spreader for each kind. Cut up a portion of each cheese to let guests know that they can dig in.

Serve complementary finger foods with the cheeses to help make the most of all the flavors. Here are some cheese and food pairing suggestions:

Grand Cru Gruyere: Smooth and mellow with light floral notes. Serve with apples, dried apricots, grapes, almonds, fig spread, whole wheat crackers, bread.

GranQueso: Hand rubbed with spices, this Spanish inspired cheese has a buttery nutty flavor and a firm, slightly crumbly texture. Serve with dried figs, almonds, hazelnuts, Spanish olives, roasted red peppers, Peppadews.

Buttermilk Blue: Deliciously creamy and tangy with a clean, sweet finish. Serve with pears, pecans, figs, candied walnuts, dates, tomatoes, endive, honey, walnut bread.

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