Tag Archives: cheddar cheese

Green Salad with Crater Lake Blue Cheese Dressing

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Green Salad with Crater Lake Blue Cheese Dressing

One of the really cool things about living in Southern Oregon is that we are so lucky to have such a wonderful creamery located right here in the Rogue Valley.  It’s called the Rogue Creamery and in my opinion, the Rogue Creamery is home to some of the BEST blue cheese I have ever tasted.  Ever… The Rogue Creamery makes at least 8 different delicious varieties of award winning blue cheese and several amazing types of cheddar as well.  They’re all absolutely delicious!

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Crater Lake Blue Cheese

My Crater Lake Blue Cheese Salad Dressing was inspired by a day trip to Crater Lake National Park.  Crater Lake National Park is the only national park in the state of Oregon and one of the most cherished National Parks in the United States.  It’s about 90 miles from Rogue Valley and 250 miles from Portland.  Crater Lake is famous for its gorgeous blue water, breath taking scenery and the fact that it is one of the world’s deepest lakes.  In the summer months, tourists from all over the United States and the world flock to this destination.  In the winter months, only a fraction of the tourists come to visit due to the cold winter weather and icy road conditions.  There’s a visitor center, lodge, restaurant and gift shop.

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The West Entrance to Crater Lake National Park.  The other entrances to the park are closed during the winter months.  The West Entrance is the only entrance open for access to the lake because maintaining the roads in winter is incredibly difficult.  Difficult because Crater Lake National Park gets on average of over 44 feet of snow accumulation per year!  Grab a tape measure and see just how much that is… You’ll find that it is a heck of a lot of snow!

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Before Bruce and I arrived at the West Entrance of the park, I asked him how much money we needed to pay for the admission. Well… Within minutes, I received my answer.  Surprisingly, the day we were there was free.  As you can see, there was no park ranger in the booth to take our money and there was a sign on the side of the booth that stated there was no cost for admission.  Crater Lake Lodge was closed for the season and the restaurant and gift shop was operating under “winter hours”.  Before scheduling a visit be sure to check the park fees, hours and rates on their website.  Also, if you plan to visit during the winter months, be sure to have chains on hand or studded snow tires on your vehicle.

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One more foot of snow and we would not have known that we were in a no parking zone.

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Our first peek over the rim at Crater Lake in the winter.  Bruce and I had to climb over 10 foot snow banks in the parking lot just to get a view of the lake.  Once over the top, the view was breathtaking!

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Do you see the thin layer of ice covering the lake?   In the summer months, the ice is gone and the water is a brilliant blue color that you would not easily forget.  The snow covered peak in the background is Mount Thielson.

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A view of the lake next to the lodge.  We were really careful not to get too close to the edge.  It’s crazy steep and trying to get close to the lake is not worth slipping into the caldera below.

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A view looking down at the icy blue water.  When I shot this photo, it looked as if I was pointing the lens up towards the sky.

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An easterly view of the lake.  In the summer months you can drive around the entire rim of the lake.  Given the opportunity, you’ll find that it is one of the most visually stunning day trip drives that you will ever take in your life.

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Wizard Island.  Wizard Island is a cinder cone that rises several hundred feet above the lake.  It is one of the most memorable features of Crater Lake.  If you ever have the chance to visit Oregon, trust me, you must schedule a visit to Crater Lake.

My Crater Lake inspired green salad with Crater Lake blue cheese dressing is simple to make, tastes delicious and is perfect for serving up on a busy weeknight or for a more formal weekend dinner.  It’s made with fresh organic lettuce, grape tomatoes, bits of blue cheese and drizzled with the Crater Lake Blue Cheese Dressing.  My blue cheese dressing is a combination of Rogue Creamery Blue Cheese, fresh buttermilk, Greek yogurt, cracked pepper and a splash of low sodium soy sauce.  Makes about 1 1/2 cups of dressing.  Enjoy!  Tessa

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A wedge of Roquefort blue cheese.  Another favorite!

Blue Cheese Dressing Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces Blue Cheese or Roquefort
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 – 5 ounce container plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp low sodium soy sauce

Add all ingredients to a blender and pulse until desired consistency.  Store in a covered container up to a week.  Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

For each salad:

  • 2 cups fresh green lettuce or your favorite greens
  • 5 or 6 grape tomatoes
  • shredded carrots
  • sprinkle the top of each salad with bits of blue cheese
  • top with a tablespoon or two of the Blue Cheese Dressing
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste

Red Potato Ham and Cheese Pie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Potato Ham and Cheese Pie

I stopped at the store the other day and came home with a couple of pounds of gorgeous locally grown red potatoes.  At first, I was thinking of making a garlic mash with them and then I thought maybe some good old fashioned scallop potatoes.  I could not decide and then I figured it out…  I wanted to make a Red Potato Ham and Cheese Pie.  I imagined a savory red potato pie without a crust but with chopped ham, onions, garlic, fresh shaved Parmesan and Oregon’s own Tillamook cheddar cheese.  I wanted to make it kind of like an “impossible pie”.

My Red Potato Ham and Cheese Pie is a lovely dish to serve at a Sunday brunch or with a cup of soup or salad for lunch or dinner.  I ate my slice of Red Potato Ham and Cheese Pie with a perfectly cooked over easy egg on the side.  It was absolutely delicious!   Enjoy!  – Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds red potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped ham
  • 1 cup shredded medium cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup medium diced onion
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • salt to taste (it all depends on the saltiness of the ham)

Begin by boiling your red potatoes in salted water until just fork tender.  Whatever you do, just do not over cook the potatoes.  You want to be able to slice them thinly later.  Remove cooked potatoes from water and let cool.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grab a nine inch diameter spring-form pan and spray with non stick cooking spray.  Line the bottom of the spring-form pan with parchment paper.  Spray again with non-stick spray.

Begin by slicing the red potatoes (with peels on) into no more than 1/4 inch thin slices using a sharp knife or a mandoline slicer.  Set potatoes aside.  In a mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, coriander, garlic, nutmeg and white pepper.  Salt only if you think that you need it.

Take one third of your potatoes and layer the bottom of the spring-form pan.  Overlapping the potatoes is fine, leaving gaps on the bottom is not.  I found I preferred to use the ugliest of the slices and bits of the potato on the bottom of the pie that way the pretty slices are used in the second and top layer.  Add one third of the shredded cheese, chopped onion, ham and egg mixture.  Repeat two more times alternating potato, cheese, onion, ham and egg mixture.

Place pie in the oven on a cookie sheet (to catch any drips) and bake for about 50-55 minutes until the pie is golden brown on top and the egg mixture has set.  Remove from oven, let rest 10 minutes before slicing.  Garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese and sprigs of fresh picked herbs.  Makes 8 slices.

Notes:  If you don’t have a spring-form pan, it’s no big deal!  Just work with what you have. Use a baking dish large enough to fit all your ingredients and make at least 2-3 layers.  Don’t worry about the parchment paper either.  I just used it to get perfect slices out of the spring-form pan.  Just follow the recipe, cut into squares and serve!