Tag Archives: Kentucky Derby

Quarantine Cuisine Day #30 -Benedictine Cheese

But for the COVID19 pandemic, this would be Kentucky Derby week in my hometown of Louisville. In its honor, I made a staple of Derby parties, Benedictine Cheese.

As a child, I had no idea what this stuff was, yet I loved it. To me, it was green cheese. Yummy stuff to spread on crackers, I now enjoy it on sliced zucchini, carrot sticks, and celery.

Here’s how I make Kentucky Benedictine Cheese.


  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1/2 small sweet onion
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
  • (Optional) Fresh herbs for garnish
  • (Optional) green food coloring


  • Add chopped cucumber and onion to food processor (I used my Vitamix) and purée.
  • Strain to remove excess liquid. (Cheesecloth works well)
  • Add seasonings and lemon juice. Blend.
  • Blend mixture with cream cheese until creamy.
  • Refrigerate until serving.
View inside the Vitamix

As April draws to a close, so does the quarantine (to a certain extent. Re-opening will vary from location). The Kentucky Derby may be postponed, but I can pretend I’m Derby-ing by enjoying the traditional Derby foods like Benedictine Cheese. Maybe I’ll bake a Derby Pie next, who knows?

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Cinco de Mayo Casserole

Today is Cinco de Mayo and also Kentucky Derby day. I created a special recipe honoring both events. I hope you’ll try it at your next fiesta.


Cinco de Mayo Casserole


  • 1 beer (any kind, including non-alcoholic)
  • 1.3 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 1 package Bloemer’s* chili seasoning
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 15½ oz. can chili beans
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 6 8″ diameter whole-wheat tortillas
  • 8 slices Boar’s Head 3-Pepper Jack cheese
  • 8 oz. shredded Monterrey jack cheese
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Coat the inside of a 9″ X 13″ casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. Place a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add beer, ground turkey, and chili seasoning mix. Stir.
  4. Cover and cook the turkey, lifting lid occasionally to break apart the meat. The turkey should poach in the beer and become fine.
  5. Cook turkey mixture for ten minutes, covered, then simmer uncovered for five minutes.
  6. Add chopped onion, canned tomato sauce, and canned chili beans. Stir to combine.
  7. Cover and remove from heat.
  8. In the casserole dish, place 2 tortillas in the bottom. They will overlap some, and that’s all right.
  9. Spoon half the turkey chili (about 4 cups) over the tortillas.
  10. Cover the chili with the 8 slices of cheese.
  11. Place 2 tortillas over the cheese.
  12. Spoon remaining turkey chili over the tortillas.
  13. Cover turkey chili with 2 more tortillas.
  14. Spread tortillas with 8 ounces shredded Monterrey Jack cheese until completely covered.
  15. Place aluminum foil over the casserole dish.
  16. Bake casserole covered for 30 minutes, then remove the foil for 5 minutes.
  17. Garnish with the chopped cilantro.
  18. Allow casserole to cool about 10 minutes before serving.

This casserole can be assembled a day ahead then baked the day you want to serve it.

Yields: 6–8 servings

*Bloemer Food Products are available in Louisville and online at http://www.bloemerfoods.com/

Cinco de Mayo casserole

Cinco de Mayo Casserole

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Filed under casseroles, Chili and Stew, Cilantro, cooking, Healthful Eating, Recipes, turkey, Turkey Recipes