Prosciutto and Green Onion Cheeseball #Sponsored by @carnivoreclub

Earlier this year I made an off-handed comment to my Grandmother that I wish I had more family recipes to cook from. I have the handful that she was willing to write down, but things like my great-aunt’s cheeseball or the taco salad I loved so much when I was a kid were doomed to be nothing but distant memories since the family members who made them had already passed on.

In a moment of clarity, which is rare these days considering that my Grandmother is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s, I received a much-needed little tidbit—she had a copy of the cheeseball recipe. It was on a notecard, in a folder, in the back of a cabinet, near the fridge.

The downside is that it's been several years now since her house was sold, I couldn't just pop over and start digging through her kitchen. Then I remembered that I had taken two mementos when she moved: a set of framed photos of my grandparents in their younger days and a stack of papers in a crumbling manilla folder which I'd found in that exact spot.

It was full of recipes clippings that looked interesting, so I took it home to dig through later and had yet to take a closer look. Knowing it was still siting in my old bedroom six hours away I called my mom to set her on the enormous task of searching for the missing notecard. She found the long-lost cheeseball recipe and in a stroke of luck I had several packages of prosciutto sitting in my fridge which had been part of the December Carnivore Club box. 

This may have been a rough year, but the final few days brought me my favorite recipe from my childhood and a box of meat to help me recreate it. I couldn't have asked for a better end to 2016. Happy New Years everyone!

Today's recipe was sponsored by Carnivore Club who has provided me a box of incredibly tasty meats from LA QUERCIA in Norwalk, IA. No other compensation was given for this post, but it does contain affiliate links.

Today's recipe was sponsored by Carnivore Club who has provided me a box of incredibly tasty meats from LA QUERCIA in Norwalk, IA. No other compensation was given for this post, but it does contain affiliate links.

Great-Aunt Helen's Prosciutto and Green Onion Cheeseball
makes 8 servings

Ingredients

¾ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 green onions (6 - 8 shoots, green part only), diced
3 ounces prosciutto, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Directions

  • In a skillet, set over medium-high heat, toast the walnuts until they have darkened slightly (approximately five minutes.) Stir the nuts frequently so they don't burn, then set the toasted nuts aside to cool. 
  • In a mixing bowl combine cream cheese, green onions, prosciutto, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well (you can use a stand mixer to speed things up), then turn the cream cheese mixture out into a plastic wrap lined bowl. Cover the cream cheese mixture with plastic wrap, then shape into a ball.
  • Before refrigerating roll the ball in toasted walnuts, re-wrap in plastic wrap, and allow to chill for at least two hours (but preferably over night.) 

Notes

In case you were wondering we used LA QUERCIA's Berkshire Prosciutto in our cheeseball. It has a mild flavor, which makes it a great choice for a cheeseball.

This recipe is flexible, so feel free to double it or cut it in half as needed. It's the perfect quick and easy treat to bring along to a party or family gathering.

Make sure to keep reading for a full review of the December Carnivore Club box

Today's recipe was sponsored by Carnivore Club who has provided me a box of incredibly tasty meats from LA QUERCIA in Norwalk, IA. No other compensation was given for this post, but it does contain affiliate links.

Today's recipe was sponsored by Carnivore Club who has provided me a box of incredibly tasty meats from LA QUERCIA in Norwalk, IA. No other compensation was given for this post, but it does contain affiliate links.

What's in the Box?


The December box included five delicious offerings from LA CUERCIA in Norwalk, IA

Berkshire Prosciutto
Speck Americano (applewood smoked prosciutto)
Prosciutto Picante (with fennel and red chili)
'Nduja (spicy prosciutto spread)
Spicy Borsellino Salami (with pimenton and red chili)


Review

 

Some days the stars align and meat magically appears on your doorstep. It's a wonderful feeling, even more-so when that meat happens to be the one ingredient your mother recently told you she remembered from a long-lost recipe you'd been lamenting over. This is how I felt when I opened the December Carnivore Club box and saw it was filled mostly with prosciutto from my go-to meat company LA QUERCIA. When I put together an antipasto plate or charcuterie board it's usually with coppa, prosciutto, and salami from LA QUERCIA (by way of our local Hy-Vee Supermarket.)

Fortunately the box was made up of a number of options our local store doesn't stock, so I got to munch happily on some new-to-me varieties as I set about recreating the cheeseball of my childhood memories using the Berkshire Prosciutto. It has a very mild flavor, which makes it a perfect for times you don't want your meat to be the dominant flavor. The Speck Americano, which is smoked and Prosciutto Picante, which is rubbed with fennel and red chili have a more pronounced flavor, so I used them on a cheeseboard alongside a selection of local cheddars and potter's crackers. Sometimes the best advice to putting together a winning cheeseboard is K.I.S.S (keep it simple stupid).

As my husband says, those are sound words to live by.

I was excited to see some 'Nduja included in the box as well. It's a spicy sausage spread that I'm only familiar with because of Carnivore Club. It tasty on top of a fresh baguette or crackers, but I've been used it several times to create a spicy tomato sauce to top some fresh pasta. I've been told it's also excellent as a pizza topping so if we have any left that's next on my list of things to try.

Last but not least was the Spicy Borsellino Salami. It's flavored with pimenton and red chili, which gives it a nice kick without being overly spicy. It's another meat I feel that the K.I.S.S principle applies, it's perfect with a slice of baguette, a bit of cheddar, or even on its own.

Would I order this again? Absolutely! I was excited to see my go-to brand featured in the box this month. It gave me a chance to try a few things our local stores don't carry.
 

Price


Pay as little as $50/month with a recurring subscription (monthly, bi-monthly, and quarterly plans available) with a three month minimum or purchase a single box for $55. 
 

Where to Subscribe

For a limited time you can Save 10% off your order from Carnivore Club using coupon code EATMEAT Offer valid through 1/31/17

Disclosure


Today's recipe was sponsored by Carnivore Club who has provided me a box of incredibly tasty meats from LA QUERCIA in Norwalk, IA. No other compensation was given for this post, but it does contain affiliate links.

 

 

 

Chestnut Stuffing

I'm pretty sure numerous wars have been fought at the dinner table over which type of stuffing (or dressing) reins supreme and with so many varieties to choose from, it really isn't any surprise that my family frequently finds itself debating their various merits. Personally, I've always been a fan of my grandmother's mushy breadcrumb dressing, but mine never tastes quite as good as hers, so I decided it was time to start the painful process of coming up with my own recipe. I've spent years cycling through various styles—sausage stuffing, cornbread dressing, variations on bread stuffing—I've tried them all (well, except oyster stuffing since it would cause me to stop breathing forever... stupid shellfish allergy.) It took me roughly 6 years of rejecting recipes before I finally discovered chestnut dressing and I haven't tried another recipe since.

What I love is that this recipe has a fairly simple ingredient list made up of things I typically keep in the pantry, plus it's flexible and can be dressed up to suite a variety of tastes. I've added additional things like fennel, pancetta, or fresh herbs—just to change things up a bit, but it's perfectly tasty just as it's written. It's been served alongside deep-fried turkey, honey-roasted ham, and most recently whole roast duck. It's always the first thing to disappear from the table, so if you want to have leftovers you'll need to make a double batch.

Chestnut Stuffing | Not Starving Yet

 

Chestnut Stuffing
 

makes 6 - 8 servings

Ingredients

1lb loaf stale sourdough bread, torn into chunks
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 - 3 stalks celery, diced  
1 small shallot, finely diced
1 stick salted butter
1/2 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
13 ounce package peeled chestnuts, roughly chopped
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a large skillet add onion, celery, shallots, and butter. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, or until the celery is tender. Add poultry seasoning, bread, and chicken stock, then mix until all of the liquid is incorporated. Add additional stock as necessary if you still have dry bread or want your stuffing to be more moist.
  • Chop or crumble the chestnuts, add salt and pepper to taste, then mix everything together.  Transfer the finished stuffing to a baking dish. Bake uncovered for 20 - 30 minutes or until the stuffing is slightly brown on top.

Notes

You'll want to lay your bread out several days before making this recipe so it will have time to dry out. I put mine on a cookie sheet, then let it sit in the oven for at least two days. If I need to use the oven I toss it on the counter while I'm cooking and put it back in the oven once it has cooled off. If you decide to make stuffing at the last minute you can always bake your bread for 20 - 30 minutes, then let it cool off before you tear it into chunks.

The amount of chicken stock you'll need can vary, so make sure to have extra on hand. If your stuffing comes out of the oven a little dry you can always add a little bit of extra stock to moisten it up a bit. Just remember not to add cool or room temperature liquid to a hot ceramic or glass baking dish as it can cause thermal shock. This will break your dish and render your stuffing inedible (because no one wants to accidentally munch on glass shards.)

Chestnuts can be hard to come by, if you can't find them at your local supermarket talk to someone in customer service and most times they'll be happy to order them for you. Otherwise, check out your local asian market, many of them carry chestnuts year around.

The Perfect Fall Inspired Charcuterie and Cheese Board #Sponsored by @carnivoreclub

Thanksgiving is over and my parents are already back home, which means it's safe to crack in to this month's box from Carnivore Club. I know this is supposed to be the season of giving, so try not to judge me too harshly, but I had a feeling that I'd barely get a bite if I opened it up while I had company.

Sometimes it's ok to be stingy, especially when it comes to tasty, handcrafted meats.

If you missed our previous post this year and aren't familiar with Carnivore Club, they're a subscription service dedicated to delivering handcrafted, meaty goodness to your door. This is the ultimate meat club for discerning individuals and let me tell you, they don't mess around when it comes to providing you with quality meat. If you're looking for a gift idea for your meat-loving friends and family, then look no further, you could even pick up a box for yourself (I won't tell if you're not into sharing.)

Today's recipe was sponsored by Carnivore Club who has provided me a box of incredibly tasty meats from   Angel's Salumi   in   Carlsbad, CA. No other compensation was given for this post, but it does contain affiliate links.

Today's recipe was sponsored by Carnivore Club who has provided me a box of incredibly tasty meats from Angel's Salumi in Carlsbad, CA. No other compensation was given for this post, but it does contain affiliate links.

What's in the Box?


The November box included four delicious offerings from Angel's Salumi of Carlsbad, CA

Nostrano  (Salami w/ Black Peppercorn and Red Wine) 
Toscano (Salami w/ Black Peppercorn, White Wine, and Fresh Garlic)
French Rosette (Salami w/ Clove, Nutmeg, Garlic, and White Wine)
Duck Breast Prosciutto


Review


Most of the selections included this month were new-to-me, only the Nostrano was a style that I have tried in the past (in fact, it was one of my favorites in the April box.) I find that the flavor profile of Nostrano is very similar to Toscano which was also included this month. They're both mildly flavored, making them perfect to pair with a variety of things, but the Toscano receives a little flavor-boost from the fresh garlic, making it my favorite of the two. But the true stand-out among the salami in this box was the French Rosette—the flavor from the cloves and nutmeg really were out of this world, I've not tasted a salami quite like it before.

Full Disclosure: i'm absolutely nuts for anything made with cloves, I feel like they're really underutilized in cooking these days, so I was really excited to try this salami and may be a little biased, but as long as you don't loath cloves (and really, how could you?) then I think you'll enjoy this one. 

Now as much as I enjoyed sampling the various salami offered this month I'll admit it was all a bit overshadowed by the fact that the box contained Duck Breast Prosciutto. I love duck, in all its many forms, so this is the one I was most excited to try. Let me just say that it didn't disappoint, it absolutely melts in your mouth. I put a small amount on our Fall Inspired Cheese Board (recipe at the end of this post), but I've held the bulk of it in reserve for a open-faced sandwich I've had in mind that's topped with a soft-set duck egg, layers of duck prosciutto, and who knows what else. I'm going to enjoy experimenting with this once I have some spare time. If I had to pick a favorite this month, the Duck Breast Prosciutto would be it.

Would I order this again? Absolutely! Carnivore Club is always a winner in our house, especially when we're hit with a case of the munchies, but I love having a selection of meats on hand to pull out when I need something to bring to a party (what little bit I have left will be following me to our first holiday party of the season in just a few days.)
 

Price


Pay as little as $50/month with a recurring subscription (monthly, bi-monthly, and quarterly plans available) with a three month minimum or purchase a single box for $55. 
 

Where to Subscribe


Carnivore Club - The Ultimate Meat Club for Discerning Individuals

For a limited time Save 10% off your order using coupon code EATMEAT Offer valid through 11/30/16

Deadline for the December box is November 30th (it will arrive in early December, just in time for gift-giving!) This box will feature a selection of meats from Wisconsin River Meats including elk and bison summer sausage!

Make sure to keep reading for our tips for putting together the perfect Fall-Inspired Charcuterie and Cheese board.

Fall-Inspired Charcuterie and Cheese Board + Carnivore Club Review

Fall Charcuterie and Cheese Board


There really is no right or wrong way when it comes to putting together a cheese board, but a good variety is the key to ensuring all of your guests find something to enjoy. It's important to know your audience. If there is something one of your guests loathe (like olives) don't include them on the board. You can always keep these types of things in a dish off to the side if you really want to serve them.

Keep your selection simple, in most cases I pick out one cheese per meat, although this time I opted to pair things down and go with two cheeses that were long-standing favorites: cheddar and bread-cheese, or Brun-uusto. Bread cheese is always a hit, but it is best served warm, so I let guests know to pop it in the microwave for a few seconds before eating, that way it's warm and melty.

Cheese

Brun-uusto (a Wisconsin-made 'Bread Cheese') - Brunkow Cheese
Goat Milk Cheddar - MontChevré 

Meat

Nostrano  (Salami w/ Black Peppercorn and Red Wine) 
Toscano (Salami w/ Black Peppercorn, White Wine, and Fresh Garlic)
French Rosette (Salami w/ Clove, Nutmeg, Garlic, and White Wine)
Duck Breast Prosciutto

Crackers, Bread, and other things...

Potter's Crackers - Garlic and Baby Onion Crackers and Caramelize Onion Crisps
Fresh Baguette
Sweetened Dried Cranberries
Sugar-rubbed Whole Pecans

Other important things to remember:

Don't forget to add condiments! I like to include something sweet, something savory, and a variety of mustards. In the fall things like fig jam, caramelized onion preserves, and pepper jelly are great choices to liven up your cheese board.

Always buy twice as many crackers as you think you'll need. Even after everything else is long gone people always enjoy nibbling on them.
 

Disclosure


Today's recipe was sponsored by Carnivore Club who has provided me a box of incredibly tasty meats from Angel's Salumi of Carlsbad, CA. No other compensation was given for this post, but it does contain affiliate links.

 

New England Clam Chowder

As soon as the last bit of snow melts I go through a bit of a Spring cleaning craze. I tear the house apart, organizing as I go, and put away our winter clothing in anticipation of warmer weather. The only problem is that every year, like clockwork, we have a late cold snap that makes me regret pulling out my tank tops and shorts. I thought I was in the clear this year, our weather has been unusually warm, but just before I left on my trip to Oklahoma things took a turn for the worst. The temperature dipped down in to the low 40s at night and I found myself regretting the fact that all my sweaters had been neatly boxed up and put away.

You would think that by now I would have learned, but no, I'm a bit stubborn in my hopes for warmer weather. It's one of the many things I've missed since moving up North.  So instead of burying myself under a mountain of blankets to keep warm I snuck into the kitchen and made a huge batch of chowder. I figured that it would warm me from the inside while insuring I didn't have to worry about cooking for a few days. I spent the rest of the week running around doing laundry like a mad woman and packing up the entire house to take with me on my two week trip to visit my family. My plan was a success and even better, by the time I returned home the weather had warmed up enough that I could get an early start on my summer tan.

While it's getting a little warm for chowder in many parts of the world, there really is never a wrong time to make chowder. My advice for those of you who facing an early summer, crank your air down low and enjoy some anyway. One bite and I promise you'll thank me, at least up until the point you get your electric bill.

New England Clam Chowder | Not Starving Yet

Ingredients


1 - 2 pieces applewood-smoked bacon, crumbled
3 - 4 red potatoes, diced
1 leek, diced
1 shallot, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon salted butter
1 Tablespoon bacon grease
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups half & half or heavy cream
2 cans clams + juice, minced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
additional salt and black pepper, to taste
 

Directions

 

  • In a large pot cook bacon until crispy, set aside to cool. Add leek, shallot, garlic, and butter to the bacon grease left in the pot. Cook vegetables over low heat, stirring occasionally, for approximately 10 minutes or until the leek has softened. Do not allow the shallots to brown.
  • In a separate pot add potatoes and cover with cold water. Cook over high heat for approximately 10 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender. Once cooked transfer the potatoes to a colander and run cold water over them to stop the cooking process. Allow cooled potatoes to drain and set aside for later.
  • Add flour to the cooked vegetables and stir until everything is well coated. If there is still bacon grease left in the pot add additional flour as needed until it has been soaked up by the flour.
  • Add half & half or heavy cream, clams and juice, then bring the contents of the pot to a simmer. Allow to cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 10 minutes or until the soup has thickened. Turn off the heat, add the cooked potatoes, additional salt and pepper, to taste, then allow then soup to rest for an hour before rewarming and serving.
  • Optional: top with crumbled bacon and oyster crackers before serving.
     

Notes

 


Make sure you don't skip the resting period for this soup, it allows the potatoes time to soak up the flavor from the clams. For best results you can make this soup a day ahead of time, then rewarm it before serving.