NEW YORK – It’s been a tough year for sports fans with bars and restaurants and stadiums closed to the public, and so spectators are watching from home like never before. New Year’s Eve celebrations across the country are likely to be an ‘at home’ affair too. Cheeses of Europe called on culinary notables for their tips to elevate bar food and stadium snacks to turn celebratory bites into masterpieces worth cheering about, regardless of whether you are watching the ball drop virtually with your bubble, on zoom with your family or watching the college bowl games online instead of at your favorite bar.
Adding French cheese is the simplest way to elevate all American favorites says Amy Sherman, editor in chief of the Cheese Professor. Adds Sherman, “Best of all, for those experiencing cooking fatigue, there’s no complicated recipes or hard to find ingredients. It’s really just simple swaps to elevate indulgent snacks into something special.”
Bar Food C’est Magnifique!
Classic bar food is both comforting and crave worthy. Could it be the cheese? Charles Duque, Managing Director of the French Dairy Board thinks so. “European cheese, especially melted, conveys comfort and adds flavor that cannot be beat,” says Duque. He recommends breaded Camembert Skewers as a great snack to enjoy while watching sports. He adds, “It takes very little time and few ingredients to make, and pairs great with beer.”
Some snacks are hearty enough to serve as a meal. Mini pizzas, chili dogs and roast beef sandwiches are popular at stadiums, but great choices at home too. Certified Culinary Professional George Geary author of a dozen cookbooks including Fair Food: The Most Popular and Offbeat Recipes from America’s State and County Fairs favors using Comté. “It’s a cheese with a little nutty flavor,” he says, adding, “It is very versatile in use from grating onto a pizza to topping roast beef sliders with caramelized onions. The onions and beef bring out the flavors of the cheese to great lengths.” Another cheese he likes is Emmental. “Similar to Swiss cheese with many holes, it is a semi-hard cheese that I like to grate on top of chili or chili dogs.”
Mini pizzas are infinitely customizable and the perfect serving for one. Some outstanding mini pizza combinations include Pont-l’Évêque with bacon or prosciutto or Mimolette with apple and arugula. Or try an overstuffed savory quesadilla with winning combinations such as Époisses and caramelized onions or roast chicken, Brie and apple – an umami bomb!
Cheese features prominently in some of the tastiest snacks for nibbling. Using Raclette is the easiest way to upgrade these classics. Laura Werlin, cheese educator, speaker and James Beard award-winning author of The All American Cheese and Wine Book explains, “Because Raclette is among the most famous melting cheeses of all — heck, it has an entire main course dish named after it — why not use it for all your melted cheese needs? Its sophisticated flavors will do any snack or dish one better, and its melty deliciousness will send you running, not walking, to the cheese counter to stock up on more.” Raclette not only works in gooey melted dips, but as a filling for pizza crust or in jalapeño poppers. And bid mozzarella adieu, because Raclette makes the best fried cheese sticks ever. For more entertaining ideas visit https://cheesesofeurope.com/news/new-year-panache.