Recipes To Warm The Heart by Top Chef Ariane Duarte

With cold temperatures outside, nothing warms up a kitchen like classic macaroni and cheese or a crock full of savory onion soup enrobed in crusty, gooey, melted cheese

Finlandia Cheese, with over 150 years of master cheese making experience, has a variety of flavors that offer endless culinary possibilities. From Swiss, Light Swiss, Muenster, Gouda, Havarti, Double Gloucester, Oltermanni and the newest introduction – Finlandia Lacey Swiss; you’ll find the robust flavors and superior melting quality a gratifying solution to another night at home.

“ My real secret is knowing that all cheese is not created equal,” advises Ariane Duarte, of Bravo’s Top Chef and owner/executive chef of the award-winning CulinAriane restaurant. “Whether I’m choosing ingredients for the restaurant or for my family, quality is my first concern. I use Finlandia® cheeses in my recipes as they are all natural, hormone-free and naturally lactose-free, and I especially like the superior taste.”

Try these great recipes from Chef Ariane when planning your Valentines Day fondue party or to create an intimate “night-in” with that special someone. Below are her favorites: Mushroom Swiss Tartlets, Prosciutto & Grilled Cheese with Olive Tapenade or Muenster Chipotle Mac & Cheese. For more information as well as additional recipes, be sure to log onto  <> .

French Onion Soup with Finlandia Swiss Cheese

c butter
3 onions, thinly sliced
1 t white sugar
1 T all purpose flour
2 c water
red wine
2 (10.5 oz) cans condensed beef broth
1 French baguette, sliced thick
8 oz sliced Finlandia Swiss Cheese or Black Label Gruyere

Melt butter or margarine in a 4 quart saucepan. Stir in sugar. Cook onions over medium heat for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Stir in flour until well blended with the onions and pan juices and cook about 5 minutes. Add water, wine, and beef broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Cut four thick slices of bread from the loaf. Toast the bread slices until browned and crusty. Reserve the remaining bread to serve with the soup. Ladle soup into four oven safe bowls. Place one slice of toasted bread on top of the soup in each bowl. Cover top of bowl with Finlandia Cheese slice until it just falls over the edge. Place soup bowls on a cookie sheet to avoid spills in the oven. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes or just until cheese is melted and golden brown.

Finlandia Muenster Chipotle Mac and Cheese
Created by Chef Ariane Duarte
Serves 6

3 c cooked elbow noodles
1 small onion diced
2t garlic minced
2 T butter
1/3c flour
3c skim milk
3/4c cottage cheese
4 packages sliced Finlandia Muenster (cut into small dices)
2c parmesan
1T chipotle peppers pureed
Salt & pepper
Seasoned bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a blender, add skim milk and cottage cheese. Blend until smooth.

In a sauce pot add butter, get hot add onion and garlic and brown. Add flour, mix well and then add milk mixture. Stir and let thicken for about 7 -10 minutes. Add chipotle pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Add cheeses and cooked pasta. Mix well and put into a casserole dish. Top with bread crumbs. Bake for about 25 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.

Ariane says: I love macaroni and cheese and this contemporary twist on the classic combines three distinct cheeses with the subtle smokiness of chipotle peppers. Finlandia Muenster cheese is essential to the recipe because of the creamy and full-bodied flavor it imparts. I was inspired to add cottage cheese to the recipe because it also adds even more creaminess, but without the calories and it provides a lot of protein, too. The cheeses are the perfect counterpoint to the sharpness of the peppers and the full cheese flavor delivers the comforting texture that gives the nostalgic dish its staying power.

Swiss Fondue (Just got healthier)

1 clove garlic
1 c dry white wine
1 pound Finlandia Swiss, Light Swiss or Lacey Swiss Cheese, grated
1 T cornstarch
1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 t salt
1 t black pepper

Assorted fresh fruit, sliced
Assorted fresh vegetables, sliced
Holy wheat baguette or other crusty bread, cut into cubes

Preheat fondue pot.
Rub the bottom and sides of medium saucepan with garlic clove.  Heat the pan over medium-high heat.  Pour in the wine and turn heat to high.  Bring wine to a boil and turn heat down to simmer.  Place the shredded Finlandia Swiss and cornstarch in a bowl and mix together until the cheese is coated with the cornstarch.  Slowly add the cheese to the wine and stir with a wooden spoon until the cheese is melted – about 3-4 minutes.  Add fresh nutmeg to the cheese and stir.  Season with salt and pepper and pour into the fondue pot.  Serve immediately with fruit, vegetables and bread.
Serves 4

Prosciutto and Finlandia Grilled Gouda Cheese with Olive Tapenade
Created by Chef Ariane Duarte

Serves 4

π lb. imported prosciutto
1 package Finlandia Gouda sliced cheese
8 slices sliced country white bread
4T butter

Olive Tapenade
1c olives (your choice) – pits removed
2 cloves garlic
1t red pepper flake
1T olive oil
1T chopped parsley
Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse about 6 times.

Spread tapenade on all 8 slices of bread. Then add a slice of cheese and a slice of prosciutto to only 4 slices and top with each of the remaining 4 slices.
Melt butter on a griddle and toast “sandwiches” golden brown and until cheese melts.

Ariane says: I love a great grilled cheese sandwich and I hope you’ll enjoy this “grown-up” version I’ve created using Finlandia Gouda cheese. In the recipe, the cheese takes center stage and with its superior taste, creamy texture and excellent melting quality. This is the secret to creating the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. My signature take on this classic: I add thinly sliced prosciutto with home-made olive tapenade.

Mushroom and Finlandia Swiss Tartlets
Created by Chef Ariane Duarte

Makes about 36

1c shitake mushroom sliced
1c Portobello mushrooms sliced
domestic button mushrooms sliced
2 shallots diced
2T olive oil
1T butter
1T chopped parsley
1c Finlandia Swiss Cheese small dice
1/2c parmesan
Salt & pepper
4 eggs
2 c heavy cream
36 prepared tartlet shells

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a sauté pan add butter and oil. Get hot and add shallots and mushrooms. Cook on high heat until mushrooms are brown and soft. Season with salt and pepper. Add parsley.

In a blender add mushrooms, eggs, cream, and parmesan. Blend for about 1 minute (not to smooth) Add in Finlandia Swiss. With a small scoop fill tartlets. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 15-18 minutes.

Ariane says: Finlandia Swiss is superior to others on the market and I especially like the results it delivers in my signature Mushroom Cheese Tartlets. Aged for over 100 days, the flavor remains true to its claim as “The World’s Finest Swiss Cheese.” A big reason for the difference in taste is Finlandia’s commitment to using only the purest milk without added hormones like rBst. To that, they add their signature cheese cultures and full aging process that ensures a full flavored, delicious cheese.

About Finlandia Cheese, Inc.
Finlandia Cheese, Inc. is a division of Valio USA, a subsidiary of Valio, Ltd., Finland’s largest food company and one of the most dominant forces in the global dairy industry. Headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, Finlandia Cheese is the number one imported cheese brand in America. All Finlandia imported cheese is made in Finland from the purest milk in Europe with no added hormones. Milk comes from small dairy farms where the average farm has 20 cows and are treated humanely with regular health screenings. Finlandia’s cheeses are distributed to fine supermarkets and delis nationwide. For more information about Finlandia and its products, visit <>