My Motto

May the muffin rise to greet you, may your friends be always at your door, and until we meet again, warm a single-malt in the palm of your hand and make something homemade for someone you love.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Smoked Mozzarella Fonduta

"A corpse is meat gone bad.  Well and what's cheese?  Corpse of milk."
~James Joyce
Hi Friends!  Did you think I died?  Yes, I've been away for a few weeks.  Had a nice visiting trip to Florida with the Mister; was then exhausted from said trip and had trouble getting back into the groove (I know, I know - BOO HOO).  Thanks for not abandoning me!  I have a great recipe for you, and I mean GREAT! It was a hit with everyone that tasted it.  No surprise though, who doesn't like ooey-gooey cheese?  It's super-easy, is done in 15 minutes, and you are going to LOVE IT!
This gem was discovered at last May.  Posted there by Stefanie Wilson from Trenton GA, it is a knock-off of the popular Olive Garden appetizer.  I changed a couple of things.  The recipe says to serve it with 1/4 slices of Italian bread that have been crisped in the oven.  You can do this if you like, but I made garlic bread by slicing ciabatta rolls in half, spreading them lightly with homemade garlic butter, and grilling them lightly in a medium-hot skillet (YUM).  I also added fresh basil to the recipe and substituted it for the parsley garnish as well, and we all really loved it. Using fresh herbs is key as they come through brightly without overpowering the subtle smokiness of the cheese.
My girl :-)
Instead of serving it as an appetizer, I cut the recipe in half, spread it in four small ramekins and served it as part of a light meal with a chicken and broccoli slaw salad.  Unorthodox, I know, but decidedly fantastic and surprisingly light.  We'll be doing this again SOON.  Like next week.
Added to Justapinch by Stefanie Wilson
Serves 8

1 pkg Italian bread, sliced into 1/4 slices
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon [fresh thyme], chopped
[1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped]
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups shredded smoked mozzarella or smoked provolone
3 cups shredded mozzarella (NOT smoked and not low-fat)
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons grated Romano (I used twice as much Parm, since I didn't have Romano)
1 small tomato, diced
[extra fresh basil, chopped]
NOTE: this recipe calls for one of the two main cheeses to be smoked and one to be regular.

1.Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Arrange sliced Italian bread flat on a baking sheet and cover with foil.  Set aside.

2. Combine sour cream, thyme, basil, red pepper, cayenne pepper and cheeses in a large , bowl and blend thoroughly.  If serving family style, spray an 8x10 inch casserole dish with Pam, then use a spatula to transfer the mixture.  For individual servings, spray eight individual heat-resistant serving bowls, such as ramekins or custard cups with Pam and fill each with 1/2 cup of mixture.  Spread cheese mixture to create an even surface.

3.  Place individual bowls on a baking sheet.  Place in oven at center position.  After five minutes, place baking sheet, still covered, on top rack in oven.  Bake for an additional 7 minutes.  Remove bread and fonduta from oven, and garnish with diced tomatoes and basil.  Arrange bread slices around bowl and serve immediately.


mjskit said...

Welcome home! Well, you certainly came back with a bang. What an utterly delicious, yummy, gooey dip! Love everything about it and more! YUM!

Hovkonditorn said...

Hi, nice to hear from you :) I love cheese and this looks so delicious! Have a great day!

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@mjskit: Thanks Sweetie! And it's so EASY!!!

@Hovkonditorn: Thanks and same to you - have a great weekend!

Mary said...

Margaret, this sounds wonderful. I'm glad the trip was fun.You deserved a break. I hope all is well. Blessings...Mary

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Mary: Everything is great - thanks for your kinds words. The return on your effort (with this recipe) is really tremendous. Easy, but delectable! Thanks for stopping by - have a great weekend!

Asian-spice mix said...

Thanks for visit my blog,it's a first time on your page,Great mozzarella cheese fondu recipe,thanks for sharing :)

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Ridwan: Glad you liked it. Thanks for popping by!

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Ridwan: Glad you liked it. Thanks for popping by!

Tina said...

Welcome back, no doubt you had a blast in FL. I used to live there and I do miss it!
This fondue looks amazing! I love that close up picture. This is perfect for a snack or even to serve with an italian dish. I am saving this gem of a recipe. Enjoy the day.

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

Thanks Tina! Hope you get a chance to try it. If you're like me, you probably have 100 recipes saved!!! Have a great weekend!

Di said...

Ooh, that looks fabulous! I'm glad you had a good vacation. =)

Kathy said...

Welcome home! Wow does this look incredable…I’m a cheese lover so I’m printing the recipe immediately! I was on the pan handle of Florida just a few weeks ago! So relaxing to be away but so hard to reacclimate!

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Di: Thanks, I did, it was nice to get away!

@Kathy: Thank you! You hit the nail right on the head! Why is it we need a vacation after our vacations?! If you love cheese, you're really going to love this!

Thanks to both of you for visiting!

Yelena said...

I love avocado, very good recipe. Nice to meet you-)

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Yelena: Very nice to meet you, too! Thanks for stopping by!