Thursday, June 3, 2021

Celebrate National Cheese Day

This is a sponsored post by Challenge butter, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible!

Your summer entertaining plans shouldn’t include a boring cheese and cracker plate. Surprisingly, I’m firing up the grill for National Cheese Day on June 4! The dishes I’m sharing today don’t necessarily require recipes. Instead, use my ideas as a guide!

Grilled pound cake and peaches with mascarpone

Describe mascarpone: Mascarpone is a light, silky cheese with a mildly sweet flavor that makes it the perfect cheese to pair with summer desserts.

How to prepare the dessert: Cut your peaches in half and remove the pits, and cut your pound cake into 1-inch slices. Brush the cut side of the peaches and one side of each pound cake slice with melted butter. I use Challenge butter because it's churned from the freshest, purest cream without the use of synthetic ingredients.

Place the pound cake and the peaches on the grill, buttered side down. Grill until the peaches and the pound cake are lightly marked, about 4 minutes for the peaches and 2 minutes for the pound cake. Mix the mascarpone with a few tablespoons of heavy cream, a little vanilla extract, a few teaspoons of lemon juice, and /or lemon zest, if desired.

How to serve it: Plate one slice of pound cake while it’s still warm with a large scoop of mascarpone, and place one peach half on top. 

Grilled halloumi salad 

Describe halloumi: Did you know you can actually grill certain cheeses? One of my favorite cheeses is halloumi. The cheese, which is native to Cyprus, transforms from a chewy, squeaky cheese into a golden-crusted cheese with a gooey center when it’s cooked on the grill. 

How to prepare the salad: Just cut it into 1-centimeter thick slices, brush the slices with a little olive oil, and place them right on the grill grates. Cook for about 1 minute per side.

How to serve it: I like to place the cheese on a simple Greek-style salad with green pepper, red onion, tomatoes, cucumber, and kalamata olives. Make sure to have the salad ready so you can eat it while the cheese is still warm!

Grilled vegetables and burrata platter

Describe burrata: Burrata is a round, plump cheese that looks and tastes very similar to mozzarella, but when you cut into it, a cream oozes from the center.

How to prepare the platter: Brush your favorite sturdy vegetables (I like to use bell peppers, zucchini, summer squash, and asparagus) with olive oil and place them directly on the grill grates. Flip the vegetables over after about 2 minutes and grill for another minute

How to serve it: Arrange the vegetables on a platter with some crostini. Place the burrata right on top of the vegetables, drizzle everything with olive oil and balsamic glaze, season with salt and pepper, and cut into the burrata. Use the crostini and the vegetables to scoop up the creamy burrata center.

Grilled apricot and sweet cream cheese bruschetta

Describe cream cheese: Cream cheese is a smooth, mild cheese that is incredibly versatile, making it the perfect spread for just about anything—sweet or savory. I only use Challenge cream cheese because its silky texture spreads evenly, and its softer consistency makes recipes come to life. 

How to prepare the bruschetta: Cut a baguette into 1-centimeter slices. Cut apricots in half and remove the pits. Brush the cut side of the apricots and one side of each baguette slice with olive oil. Place the bread and the apricots on the grill, oil side down. Grill until they are lightly marked, about 2 minutes for the apricots and 1 minute for the baguette. Cut the apricots in half. Mix the cream cheese with a little almond extract and a few teaspoons of sugar, if desired.

How to serve it: Spread a generous amount of cream cheese onto each baguette slice. Top with two slices of apricots, a little mint or basil, and drizzle with honey.

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