OK, so cheese isn’t exactly the healthiest food in the world but there’s no reason it can’t be incorporated into a healthy diet. I often use low fat cheese in my recipes but when I want to just chow down on a hunk of aged dairy, I want the real stuff. The best cheese to me is pungent and nutty, smooth as silk and with a little salty grit. I really can savor a single piece of cheese, slowly taking miniature nibbles of it and letting it swirl around my tongue and coat my palate with its complex flavor. I might take 5 minutes enjoying this meant-for-one-bite piece while, in the meantime, my quickdraw husband has proceeded to finish the whole block. I sure do love him but he must be one of the fastest eaters known to mankind!
Last week I and some other fab San Diego food bloggers were lucky enough to attend an evening with Kerrygold full of, yep, you guessed it – CHEESE! Now, people I might be biased because of my Irish-American heritage but I swear, Kerrygold has some of the best cheese and butter out there. All the milk comes from grass-fed, pasture raised cows and the farmers are all part of a co-op. That allows them to focus on taking care of a smaller herd of cows and still be profitable to compete with the large conglomerates. You can find more info about Kerrygold and their philosophy HERE.
Here are my not-so-pretty Instagram pics. Lighting was a bit of a problem in a dark Irish pub but don’t let my shoddy photos fool you – everything was dee-lish. Other San Diego Food Bloggers who joined us were Mimi from Mimi Avocado, Brandon from Kitchen Konfidence, Mary from California Greek Girl and Averie from Averie Cooks.
We tried several different varieties of cheese and they even had each cheese paired with a different Irish beer (y’all know what I’m gonna be doing for my Saint Patty’s Day party next year!). This pairing was created by a Laura Werlin, one of America’s foremost authorities on cheese. She and Kerrygold have created a tasting guide and a downloadable placemat that helps party guests organize their thoughts and tastes. We had SO much fun with this! You too can have a cheese and beer tasting party and Kerrygold has done all the hard work for you already. Get the deets on how to do it HERE.
I had a blast cheese-tasting and hanging out with so many wonderful people, but the icing on the cake was that Kerrygold sent us home with a bag full of cheesy & buttery goodies. It took every ounce of willpower not to crack open the Dubliner with Irish Stout and devour it in one sitting. I’ve been a good girl though, for now at least…
In order to utilize all this wonderful cheese (and not eventually find myself sitting in the middle of the floor scoffing on it like a dog with a bone), I decided to create some hand pies. These are great in order to add a punch of cheesy flavor without going overboard on the calories. Plus, they are fun on-the-go meals and can be reheated and toted along with you anywhere. You can use any of Kerrygold’s wonderful cheeses but I especially liked the Reserve Cheddar because its strong flavor will hold up well against the rich steak and it melts into a deliciously oozy texture. Add these to your cheese tasting party and your guests will love you.
SIDE NOTE: Does this pie look like a little winking piggy to you? I didn’t even notice this until I was going through the photos and now I can’t stop seeing it!
Steak & Cheddar Hand Pies
Servings: 8 • Size: 1 hand pie • Weight Watcher Points+: 7
Calories: 274 • Fat: 14g • Carbs: 26g • Fiber: 1g • Protein: 15g
Sugars: 7g • Sodium: 574g • Cholesterol: 33mg
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ pound sirloin, trimmed & cut into small cubes
- 2 scallions, chopped (green and white parts)
- 3 ounces Kerrygold Reserve Cheddar Cheese
- 2 tubes (16 servings) reduced fat crescent rolls
- 1 egg white
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Add the bell pepper, salt and black pepper and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until vegetables are softened and begin to brown. Add in the sirloin and scallions and cook, stirring occasionally, 8-10 minutes or until the steak is cooked through. Remove from heat and let cool.
Cut the cheese into small cubes and stir into the cooled steak mixture. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Using 2 triangles of the rolls and on a lightly floured surface, press the diagonal sides together to form a rectangle. Make 8 of these. Divide the steak & cheddar mixture evenly between the rectangles and fold the long side over, lightly pressing the edges together. Pinch off the excess on the corners and, using a fork, press marks around the closed edge. You should have a half-moon shaped pie.
Place the pies on a baking sheet lightly coated with cooking spray/oil mister. Brush each top of with egg white and bake for 14-16 minutes or until the pies are golden brown. Remove from oven and serve. Store leftovers in the refrigerator up to 3 days.