by Hilary Havarti
The name of this blog is We Heart Mac and Cheese and we tend to focus solely on the dish featured in our namesake, but when we received a shipment of frozen cheesy entrees from our friends at Beecher's cheese, we just had to give them a try. The first one I sampled was the Fresh Kale and Brown Rice Gratin.
Here's how the dish is described on the Beecher's website where it is available for mail order:
"Fresh kale and perfectly cooked brown rice are folded into a savory combination of sautéed onions and our signature Flagship cheese. The dish is at once earthy and rich, making it flavorful enough to stand alone or serve as the perfect vegetable side."
I popped the entrée in the oven at 375 and waited the required 40 minutes. They provide microwave instructions on the package as well but I prefer to get a good crisp going on my cheese dishes. Spooning out a steaming portion, I found the gratin to be light and creamy, highlighting the sharp flavor of Beecher's famous Flagship cheese. The kale wasn't bitter but lent a nice tang to the dish and the brown rice added a robust texture. The edges got nice and crunchy in the oven and those were the bits I enjoyed the most. Now the folks at Beecher's claim this dish can stand alone but it felt like a side dish to me. It lacked the heartiness of a good baked mac and cheese and I can't imagine eating it on it's own without anything else to round out the meal.
I do admire Beecher's attention to quality ingredients. There are no artificial additives or filler in these frozen entrees. If you have a cheese lover in your midst, you might consider sending a care package of frozen treats available at: http://www.beechershandmadecheese.com/shop_frozensides_all.html.
If you missed our review our Beecher's World's Best Mac and Cheese, you can read it here: http://www.weheartmacandcheese.com/search/label/Beechers