Bloggy inspiration: Ingredient of the week

by DaniGirl on April 11, 2013 · 5 comments

in Feed me, Seymour!

This is not a food blog. You might have noticed that. (snort) I may be a good writer, a decent photographer, a loving mother and a loyal friend, but I am hopeless in the kitchen. I cook because we need to eat and since I’ve already got Beloved doing the rest of the menial chores around the house (god love him) until one of the boys is old enough to take over the task, keeping the family from starving will fall on my shoulders.

I’m not exactly an adventurous eater, let alone a creative chef. I have a dozen, maybe 20 meals I can cook, and we loop through the top 10 randomly. I believe in whole foods over processed and if I can grill something I will. Also, I am rarely interested in or able to spend more than 30 minutes on meal preparation.

CSA share in the fridge

So with that in mind, here’s my new idea, inspired by a conversation on Facebook. Yesterday, I posted this as my status update:

Thanks to grocery store samples, I have discovered and become obsessed with Parmesan Reggiano cheese. OMG so good. But aside from grating it over pasta and eating it until I give myself a stomach ache, what else can I do with it?

And to my mouth-watering astonishment, these are the replies I got (stripped of real names to protect the culinary able):

  • Use it to top off soup, chili, casseroles, in wraps, …
  • Who doesn’t love cheese?!
  • Also good in salads, bruschetta, dips and on steamed veggies
  • Cut up a head of cauliflower, toss it in some olive oil, then toss it in some grated parm and roast for about 40 mins at 425 (turning the pieces half way). Sooooo good!
  • over steamed broccoli. And where have you been?!!! lol
  • It’s very good shaved over arugula sprinkled with salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice.
  • Jason likes it grated into a HOT pan, then removing and cooling. It’s used as a garnish, but he eats it like chips.
  • We grate it into our bread-crumb / butter mac and cheese topping.
  • Oooh, yes. We’re boring, that’s all we do with it too. But what about over grilled asparagus? Before or after it goes in the oven? I might have to try that myself…
  • (me:) Oh my god you guys. Forget ME cooking it, I’m coming over to all of YOUR houses for dinner. Who’s first??
  • It transforms brussel sprouts into something my kids will tolerate.
  • I have a recipe for baked pork chops that uses a lot of parm-reggiano in the breading. It is an excellent recipe. I’ll dig it up at home tonight and message you.
  • Ok, ok, what about sprinkling it on that kale you tricked me into buying?? Like, Kale Chips Reggiano????
  • Mix with crushed ritz crackers and sprinkle on fried zucchini (before removing from heat). Mix with mayo to coat chicken before coating with cornflakes and baking. Add to creamy risotto made with chicken broth.
  • (in reply to above) OMG, I thought that was all one recipe at first…
  • Defintely a must on top of ceasar salad!
  • I like to shave a few pieces onto grilled steak, or grilled portobello mushrooms and drizzle with a really good balsamic vinegar.
    Make pesto with it.
  • (me:) Okay seriously, I either need to learn to cook or have friends who are less creative in the kitchen, because this thread is making me feel woefully inadequate. I am going to make EVERY SINGLE ONE of these recipes. And I might not even ruin one or two of them in the process.
  • parmesan tuiles? … our wine blogger’s family recipe for carbonara calls for reggiano, not pecorino… there is very LITTLE cooking involved for carbonara!

That last one is from Don from foodiePrints. Seriously, I don’t even know what a “tuiles” is – clearly my culinary aptitude has been misrepresented in some way! ;)

So after reading all of that (and while drooling in a most unseemly fashion) I was inspired by a new bloggy creative flash! (See? Excellent blogger. Lousy cook.) What if we do this every week most weeks on random occasions here on the blog? I’ll post an ingredient and we can share food preparation ideas, and then I’ll leave them up for you to come back when you’re feeling uninspired and looking for something new?

What do you think? Fun idea? Now what ELSE can we do with parmesean reggianno? (I hope it’s still on sale at Farm Boy, it’s gonna take a LOT OF CHEESE to work my way through all these suggestions!!)


Related posts (automatically generated):

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 karen April 11, 2013 at 10:34 am

I think it is a fabulous idea. I love hearing about what other people do with food. I hope you pick kale. I have never tried it because I don’t know what to do with it.

2 DaniGirl April 11, 2013 at 11:11 am

Karen, kale is NEXT on the list! And was even before you asked – I too was intimidated, and now it’s my fave green. Stand by!

3 Janet April 11, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Great idea! I’m always looking for fresh ideas.

I also have one more suggestion for how to serve parmesan reggianno. Buy fresh medljool dates. Make a slit down the side and remove the pit. Stuff the date with a little hunk of the cheese and heat in the oven until warm and melty. I bring these as appetizers to parties and people devour them!

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