Savory Snacking with Cheese
(Family Features) Expanding your culinary horizons doesn’t have to be limited to dinnertime. In fact, snacks are a perfect chance to experiment with unfamiliar flavors, whether they are completely new or a variation of a treat you already enjoy.
Exploring new flavors is a tasty and sensible way to ditch mindless snacking and bring mindful satisfaction back to more enjoyable snacking experiences. Cheese is one food category that lends plenty of opportunity to truly savor your snack food. Countless varieties lend rich, creamy textures and sharp flavors that are perfect for pairing – sometimes in unexpected ways.
These tips from The Laughing Cow and Chef Sarah Simmons of Birds & Bubbles in New York City show how Asiago, a uniquely flavored artisan-inspired cheese, can transform the taste of common snacks with its nutty, bold and savory flavor profile.
<strong>A BLT (Asiago Bacon Lettuce Tomato):</strong> Transform the classic BLT sandwich into a simple, yet delicious snack. The small, crisp inner leaves from a head of butter lettuce are a perfect “cup” for spreading creamy Asiago cheese, topping it with crispy bacon pieces and a slice of juicy tomato. This snack hits all of the important flavor profiles and texture contrasts with the nuttiness from the creamy cheese, saltiness from the crispy bacon, crunch from the bright lettuce and a touch of acidity from the juicy tomato half. And, it’s as appealing on the eyes as it is on the palate.
<strong>Reinvented “Pimento Cheese”:</strong> This popular southern snack has been gaining national attention recently as a delicious spread on crackers. Use wedges of The Laughing Cow Creamy Asiago (each with 2 grams of protein and 35 calories) to give this spread a nutty flavor punch. The cheese texture is smooth enough that you can use it to simply replace mayonnaise in traditional recipes.
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<strong>Pineapple Pecan Bites:</strong> Turn an old-fashioned party dish into a bite-sized snack perfect for enjoying on your own. Replacing the cream cheese traditionally used in this recipe with the natural nuttiness of creamy Asiago helps enhance the flavor of the pecans. The tanginess from the pepper and pineapple is a well-balanced match for the rich, bold and creamy cheese.
<strong>Smokey Date:</strong> Satisfy your cravings with this three-ingredient snack. The sweetness of dried dates offer an amazing contrast in flavor and texture to smoked almonds while the nutty and bold flavors of The Laughing Cow Creamy Asiago cheese brings this unique pairing together for a bite-size snack you won’t be able to put down. Just spread cheese on the date, sprinkle with almonds as desired and snack away.
Find more savory snacking ideas at <a href="http://thelaughingcow.com/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">thelaughingcow.com</a>.
Photos courtesy of Kristen Hess, Food stylist/photographer and author of The Artful Gourmet blog