We are pretty traditional when it comes to Christmas. On Christmas Eve we go to church, and on Christmas Day we celebrate with our big, extended family. It’s a lot of fun…a lot! There is always a delicious ham, turkey, baked casseroles, pies and pastries for dessert (my grandmother makes a mean baklava), and everyone participates- it’s a pot luck of delicious food. My sister’s pecan pie is unmatched so that is usually her territory.
This year we are breaking tradition a bit though (actually, in a big way) because I’m hosting Christmas for the first time. Since I’m hosting, and cooking most of the food, and love cheese, I decided to try some recipes with Cooper Cheese that fits in perfectly with our Christmas dinner (either as appetizers and sides).
The best part about these recipes is they can easily be made again in the days after Christmas, with any leftover dinner ham or turkey. They were delicious in the practice run, so I hope my Christmas dinner guests love it too (and I’ve become a big fan of Cooper Cheese now!):
Loaded Double Baked Potatoes Recipe
12 small russet potatoes
1 cup shredded Cooper Yellow American Cheese
1/2 lb honeybaked ham, cut into small pieces
1/2 lb turkey, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup sour cream
salt, pepper and rosemary to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Baked potatoes in oven at 350 for one hour.
2. Slice potatoes in half and carve out inside from skin to mash.
3. Place mashed potato back into skin, and top with ham, turkey, or a combination. Layer shredded Cooper cheese and bake a few minutes, until cheese is slightly melted.
4. Remove from heat, add sour cream and seasoning to taste, and serve.
Everyone really liked these and were disappointed we didn’t make more than a dozen for the trial, pre-Christmas dinner run. They were really good!
Baked Beans Chicken Casserole
2 cups Great Northern beans
2 cups kidney beans
1 1/2 cups Cooper White American Cheese, shredded
1 cup cooked chicken, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 325.
2. Combine two types of beans and olive oil in a bowl and mix together. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Add in chicken, and pour mixture into casserole dish. Top with Cooper White American cheese.
4. Bake at 325 for 20 minutes (or until cheese starts to turn golden) and remove from heat. Serve and enjoy!
Luckily I tried a few bites before my husband did, because he ate the whole thing. He said “Oh, I like it with this cheese on top, what is this?”…and I’m not kidding, he ate what amounted to about 4 cups of beans and almost two cups of cheese, the whole casserole dish full! And now we have two great appetizers ready to be made for our Christmas dinner with Cooper deli cheese.
Cooper cheese has been around since 1893, when I.C. Cooper, a prominent banker from Teresa, New York, began selling aged cheese under the Cooper label. In 1945, the Cooper Victory label was developed, as C.V. Sharp, in honor of World War II veterans. To this day, even after being acquired by Schreiber Foods in 1985, Cooper cheese has not changed- not even the packaging. They still deliver high quality products for 120 years.
Cooper deli cheese is available in 3 varieties: White American, Yellow American and Cracked Black Pepper, and I had the opportunity to try all three to create some unique recipes to share with you. You can find Cooper deli cheese at A&P, Pathmark, Waldbaums, SuperFresh, Food Basics and Shoprite in the NY/NJ metro area, and will be on sale at A&P the week ending 12/21/13, so if you’d like to make my recipe, be sure to pick some up!