The Real Deal with Nacho Cheeze

DCIM100MEDIAWe’ve all been there, standing in line at a Yankee’s game, shelling out $36 for 3.5 ounces of beer, when hunger pangs strike. You look around and assess your options. Emulsified pork-in-a-tube that’s been wading in tepid water since the summer of  `87. No thanks, I’ll pass.

Then it hits you: nachos! Boom, everything is good again. Your mouth waters as the concession stand worker pumps that sweet, sweet yellow nectar all over the tortilla chips. (If I could create a GIF of those magical 13 seconds, and have it eternally loop in my head, I would happily trade away my first born.)

But there’s that nagging question, the one we do everything we can to avoid: “Is that stuff REALLY cheese?” As quick is the thought appears, it’s deflected and stored in that special little corner of our brain that houses all of our poor food choice decisions. But the truth is, that nacho sauce that’s pumped out of a tub, or the stuff that comes spewing out of aerosol cans is cheese in the same sense that margarine is butter.

The mythological story (courtesy of Bloomberg) of nachos is a fellow down in Mexico named Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya needed to feed some American tourists. He reached for a wheel of Wisconsin cheddar, grated it on top of some tortillas, and plopped on some jalapenos. Today, many of the commercial available nacho cheese dips, spreads, and  goos might be flavored with cheddar, but contain such lovely emulsifying, hydrogenating, and stabilizing ingredients like modified tapioca starch, maltodextrin, and sodium stearoyl (YUM!). And while the FDA has many classifications of cheese manufactured in the United States, “nacho” seems to be left off the list. This means that nacho cheese can really be whatever you want it to be, and food companies can slap the word “nacho” on any old cheese flavored product they feel like. It’s marketing, y’all!

So now, approaching Super Bowl Sunday, we’re offering a recipe (adapted from The Foodie Affair) for some high-brow nachos for game day. Because while the goopy yellow “cheeze” has a soft spot in our hearts, we’re real cheese people, thankyouverymuch.

Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter on medium heat. Add onion and sauté until fragrant and soft. Add garlic and blend into onions.
  2. Add flour to the onion mixture, stirring for about 2 minutes, until the mixture is thick. Add milk and begin adding cheese one cup at a time. Stir until melted and warm (approximately 5 minutes).

Macking with Murray’s: Murray’s Classic Mac & Cheese Recipe

Murray's Classic Mac

In our search for the elixir of life—AKA the perfect mac and cheese—we’ve tasted many-a recipe, and to paraphrase those Brooklyn bards, the Beastie Boys, we’ve been “working harder than ever, and you can call it macking.” At long last, our cheese alchemy has led us to THE ONE: a recipe we can’t keep secret, a dish so perfectly balanced and proportioned we must share it with you immediately!

#murraysmac

Murray’s Classic Mac & Cheese

Yield
Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces Fontina Val d’Aosta, grated
  • 8 ounces Spring Brook Reading, grated
  • 6 ounces Comte St. Antoine, grated
  • 2 ounces Cabot Cheddar, finely grated
  • 1 half onion, skin removed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 quart milk
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • ½ clove garlic, grated
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, minced
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Directions
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Cut a slit into the halved onion and place a bay leaf in the slit. Stick the 2 cloves into the onion. Placing the milk in a saucepan over medium low heat and add the onion.

3. In a separate saucepan, make a Mornay sauce: melt 5 tablespoons butter and add the grated garlic. Slowly add the flour, whisking to combine, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the onion from the warm milk and discard. Ladle in the warm milk to the butter and flour mixture (called a “roux”), whisking constantly, until combined and smooth. Add the nutmeg, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Add 5 ounces Fontina Val d’Aosta and 5 ounces Spring Brook Reading. Then add 3 ounces Comte St. Antoine and whisk until well combined.

4. In a large pot, bring water to a boil and add salt. Add the macaroni and cook until al dente. Strain the macaroni and place into a bowl. Add the remaining grated cheeses and toss to combine.

5. Pour the Mornay sauce over the macaroni and toss to combine. In a small sauté pan, melt 3 tablespoons butter and add the Panko breadcrumbs, thyme, and lemon zest. Place the combined macaroni and cheese into a shallow baking dish and top with the breadcrumbs. Bake for 20 minutes and serve right away.

frozen_mac_and_cheese

Not in the mood to cook? Check out our prepared mac and cheese, which comes in three insanely delicious flavors: classic plain, basil artichoke, and pulled pork. We’ll deliver dinner straight to your door…all you need to do it heat it in the oven and enjoy. Click here to shop Murray’s prepared mac and cheese.

Latke Grilled Cheese? Yes, Please!

Perfect Thanksgiving Side Dish: Stuffed Acorn Squash

Stuffed squash is a classic Fall dish that beautifully highlights the flavors of the season. The sweet and nutty qualities of Acorn squash mesh perfectly with the nuttiness found in Gruyère. Whether you’re whipping up a batch for a Thanksgiving feast, or simply looking for an easy fall dinner, this recipe will make you fall in love with Fall!squash_blog

No meat? No problem! Vegetarians will be thankful to learn that this dish is also super tasty without the sausage.

Ingredients: 

• 1 acorn squash, halved and de-seeded
• ¼ pound ground Italian sausage or diced cured sausage
• ½ onion, diced
• 1 teaspoon sage, minced
• ¼ cup breadcrumbs
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• ½ cup Gruyère, grated
olive oil

Directions: 

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
2. Rub squash halves with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place squash cut side down on an oven-safe baking sheet and roast for 20 to 30 minutes or until tender.
3. While squash is cooking, add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a sauté pan and brown onions over med-low heat. Add sausage and brown.
4. Drain fat from the onion-sausage mixture. Mix sage, breadcrumbs, and egg into the mixture.
5. Remove cooked squash from oven and fill with sausage mixture. Top with grated Gruyère cheese and bake for 10 mins until cheese is browned.
6. Have the best Thanksgiving ever!

Baked Brie: Great Ideas for the Ultimate Holiday Treat

We don’t mean to toot our own horn, but we feel we must tell you: Murray’s Brie Baker is going to be your favorite part of the upcoming holiday season. Follow our easy recipe suggestions and you’ll have an impressive appetizer or dessert in just 15 minutes!

STYLED__brie_baker40

Here are some classic combinations for the holidays:

simple__brie_baker23Simple:Keep it simple and top your baked brie with fig spread, honey, or strawberry jam. Really, anything spreadable will work!

savory__brie_baker26Savory: A mixture of ¼ cup chopped roasted tomatoes, ¼ cup chopped artichokes, and 2 tablespoons chopped pitted olives. Combine with 1 tablespoon capers and a pinch of fresh black pepper.

sweet__brie_baker47Sweet: A mixture of ¼ cop chopped pecans and ¼ cup chopped dried apricots. Combine with 1/3 cup fig spread, ¼ cup dried cherries, and a pinch of ground cinnamon

Here’s what to do:

  1. Place an 8 oz. Mini Brie or Camembert in a Murray’s Brie Baker.
  2. Pick your flavor combination and mix up your topping.
  3. Spread the mixture over the cheese.
  4. Bake in a preheated 350° F oven for 15 minutes.
  5. Become known to all as the Host/Hostess with the Most/Mostess.

brie_encroute_fig_jamOther Baked Brie ideas:

  • Go for simple sweetness with fig spread (included in Baked Brie Set).
  • Wrap the brie in puff pastry and add any topping.
  • Go for a savory appetizer and top with roasted mushrooms, olives, thyme, and parsley.
  • Check out 23 other great Baked Brie ideas here!