Quick Tips For Enhancing Your Menu
for Snacks & Appetizers and
South of The Border Dishes

Snacks & Appetizers

String Cheese Cocktail: Serve chunks of mellow string cheese on a bed of lettuce with a garlicky tomato sauce dip.

Cheese Kebabs: Create cheese kebabs: on a wood pick or skewer, spear a chunk of Sharp Cheddar, a cube of summer sausage, a chunk of Monterey Jack, an olive, a chunk of Colby, pieces of a red apple and a chunk of Mozzarella.

Fried Mozzarella: Dip chunks of Mozzarella into beaten egg, then into herbed bread crumbs and grated Parmesan cheese; fry until golden brown; serve with tomato sauce.

Curds and (Anything): Cheese curds are delicious served fresh as a snack with beer or soft drinks. Or deep fry batter—dipped curds and serve hot.

Gorgonzola Dip: For a flavorful dip, combine Gorgonzola with pine nuts, sundried tomatoes and herbs, and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with toast rounds.

Real Cheese Bread: Cut a loaf of French bread in half lengthwise; spread with mustard. Blend grated or shredded cheese (Parmesan, Romano, Asiago, Cheddar) and mix with butter, Worcestershire sauce, a beaten egg and cooked bacon pieces. Spread mixture on bread, top with scallions; broil until brown and puffed. Cut into strips; serve with a mug of beer.

Zesty Cheese Spread or Dip: Blend Ricotta cheese with basil, lemon zest, minced garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper; serve with toast, bell pepper strips, cucumber slices and other fresh veggies and garlic toast.

Garlic Bread, Style: Top garlic bread with a combination of Ricotta, shredded Mozzarella and Parmesan, broil and serve open—face with a marinara sauce.


Provided by Dairy Farms of Wisconsin


Fried Mozzarella Dijon Sticks

Yield: 16 Servings

Average cost per serving: $.75


  • Mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4" thick—2-1/2 lbs.
  • Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard—1 cup
  • Prosciutto, sliced thin, cut into 2" pieces—3/4 lb.
  • Flour—1/4 lb.
  • Eggs, lightly beaten—4 each
  • Seasoned bread crumbs—6 oz.
  • Oil for deep frying


Place the mozzarella slices next to each other on a sheet pan. Brush the tops with the Dijon mustard. Put a slice of prosciutto on half the slices; cover with the remaining mozzarella slices as sandwiches. Cut each sandwich into four sticks. Dredge the sticks in flour, dip in egg wash and coat with bread crumbs. Shake off excess crumbs, place on lined sheet pans in single layers and keep covered in the refrigerator.

For service, deep fry at 300 degrees F until golden brown.

Serve 2 sticks per portion with marinara sauce.


Recipe developed by:
Tom Trabasso, Chef
The Gilmour Academy, Gates Mills, OH

South—Of—The—Border Dishes
Sizzle with Real Cheese

Lasagna Ole: Shake up your lasagna recipe: make it with corn tortillas, Monterey Jack and Colby cheese, chorizo and ground beef, green chiles and tomatoes.

Cheese and Salsa Chicken Breast: Marinate boneless, skinless chicken breast in a spicy salsa, then drain and grill; place on a bed of salsa. Top with Colby or Monterey Jack cheese and broil until the cheese melts; finish with a dollop of sour cream sprinkled with cilantro.

Tortillas: Fill soft flour tortillas with cold pack cheese, chopped tomatoes and jalapeño peppers, then pan fry and serve with salsa, guacamole and sour cream.

Mexican Pizza: Layer corn tortillas with chopped lettuce, Monterey Jack cheese, spiced beef and sliced black olives; serve with a side of guacamole and salsa.

Chile Con Queso Dip: sauté onion and minced garlic in butter, add Pasteurized Process cheese and melt over low heat; add chunks of tomato and chopped jalapeño peppers. Serve hot with corn chips.

Tortilla Cheese Pinwheels: Blend cream cheese, sour cream, shredded Monterey Jack cheese, green olives, chopped onion, salt and garlic powder; chill well. Spread flour tortillas with a layer of puréed black beans and a layer of the cheese mixture, roll up tightly and chill. Cut into slices and serve with salsa.

Snappy Dip: Melt jalapeño Cold Pack cheese over low heat, stir in some milk and chili powder, chopped red and green peppers and minced green onions; heat through. Serve warm with tortilla chips for dipping.

Taco Special: Make simple tacos seem special by enhancing them with a blend of cheeses. Try a combination of shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses.

Mex Chili Cheese Supreme: For a snappy meatless casserole: top a layer of cheese (shredded Ricotta and Monterey Jack, mixed with eggs, chopped green chiles and onion). With a layer of crushed tortilla chips. Add a layer consisting of kidney beans, chopped tomatoes and spicy tomato sauce. Bake, then top with Cheddar and heat until the Cheddar melts. Garnish with a dollop of cooling sour cream.

Queso Torta: Build a main dish torte with corn tortillas, refried beans, shredded cheese (Cheddar, Hot Pepper and Monterey Jack), diced tomatoes and a mixture of diced green chiles, chopped scallions and ground cumin. Bake and serve garnished with sour cream or taco sauce.

Dairyland Enchiladas: Add excitement to chicken enchiladas: mix shredded Hot Pepper cheese with the chicken. Sprinkle Colby or Monterey Jack cheese over the top of the rolled enchiladas and bake until the cheese melts; garnish with dairy sour cream and olives.

Mex Calzone: Transform traditional Italian calzone into a Mex treat: fill with a mixture of chorizo sausage, kidney beans, chopped tomato, spices, taco sauce and shredded Cheddar cheese. Bake and serve hot.

Sunrise Nachos: Place corn chips in an individual baking dish; top with a mixture of fried sausage, onion and chiles; sprinkle with shredded Monterey Jack cheese and soft scrambled eggs; top with additional shredded Jack and Cheddar. Broil until the cheese melts, garnish with ripe olives and dairy sour cream and serve hot.

Cheese Brunch Skins: For a change—of—pace brunch dish, top prepared potato skins with scrambled eggs, chorizo sausage and shredded Cheddar, Monterey Jack or Colby cheese. Broil until the cheese melts, and serve with a dollop of spicy guacamole and a side of chunky salsa.

Monterey Jack Rice Casserole: Create a flavorful side dish made with layers of rice, an onion and cream mixture, cubed Monterey Jack cheese, chile peppers and dairy sour cream. Bake and serve.

Cheese Cornmeal Casserole: Layer shredded Monterey Jack and Cheddar Cheeses with green chiles, top with a blend of cream, eggs, cornmeal, Worcestershire sauce and seasoning; top with a thickened picante sauce and bake.

Cantina Strata: In a baking dish, top nacho—flavored tortilla chips with a generous layer of shredded Monterey Jack, Cheddar and Colby cheese. Pour over all a mixture of eggs, milk, chopped chiles, salsa, hot pepper sauce and seasonings. Refrigerate overnight, then bake. Serve warm, garnished with a cherry tomato and a dollop of dairy sour cream.


Provided by Dairy Farms of Wisconsin

This page originally published as a FoodDay article in 1997.

Copyright © 2007, Forkmedia LLC. All rights reserved.

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This page modified January 2007

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