Arkansas-based HHS (Hospital Housekeeping Systems) Chef Karle Johnson has deconstructed pico de gallo in this dish, slicing serrano chiles, and brunoising bell peppers, tomato and onion to go alongside chorizo and Oaxacan queso with a drizzle of honey-serrano vinaigrette to set it off.
Queso blanco and chicken pozole
Spicy chicken pozole is a bigtime Mexican comfort dish. HHS Chef Kayla Martinez serves pozole on the side with nachos ready to plunge into a bubblin’ pan of pepper-jack queso with jalapenos, tomatoes and garlic.
Queso nachos with lime-blood orange shrimp
Cheddar-mozzarella queso is blended with chopped tomatoes and diced jalapenos in this upscale take on nachos by HHS Chef Oliver Godoy. He marinates shrimp in lime and blood orange, then throws them on the grill to order. The dish is finished with a sweet-hot mango pico.
Korean shrimp grilled cheese
This grilled cheese begins with a light and lemony shrimp salad with spicy pickled cabbage, melted together with Havarti cheese on Texas toast. Chef Brittney Horn of HHS at Lake Cumberland Medical Center in Somerset, KY, recently won Best in Show for FM’s Healthcare Recipe Contest.
Deluxe grilled cheese
Served with housemade tomato basil soup, this grilled cheese by HHS Chef Eric Pierce sold more than 100 during a recent lunch hour. It’s a combo of sharp cheddar and Swiss with bacon, grilled tomatoes, basil aioli and fresh avocado.
California grilled cheese
Sometimes the mention of California in a menu is shorthand for veggie-forward. But this one by HHS Chef Bruce Pearson is much meatier, featuring tri-tip steak, an unsung Cali icon, along with avocado, sourdough and pepper jack cheese melting it all together.
Pulled pork nachos
When hog meets cheese meets NC barbecue meets Tex-Mex, it’s pure heaven. These nachos by HHS Cher Eric Pierce include mojo-seasoned pork shoulder, cilantro-lime slaw, black beans, jalapenos, pico, guac, sour cream and of course the element that brings it all together: pepper-jack queso!
Texas Gulf queso
Texas goat cheese, chipotle gouda and grated parmesan come together with Gulf Coast octopus and squid for this hyper-regional queso. HHS Chef Tommy Turbyfill’s tip for velvety-smooth queso: “I add a little heavy cream to make it perfect and slowly incorporate it so the oil won’t break.”
Chimichurri pulled pork nachos
Ask any K-12 foodservice pro and they’ll tell you that a lot of kids love spicy food! Metz Chef Adam Carlson serves these pepper jack queso nachos with a pineapple salsa to sweeten the deal.
Pop-up mac ‘n cheese
The Sodexo team at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University puts on a cheesy pop-up event called It’s Fun Being Cheesy! Students can DIY their macs with the options of barbecue pork mac ‘n cheese and buffalo chicken mac ‘n cheese. Served at lunch and dinner, more than 1,000 macs were served.
Spicy chicken dip
Metz Culinary Management Chef Aaron Rothgeb set out to take Buffalo chicken dip on a sweeter spin with this dip, which features melba sauce (a pureed raspberry-currant jelly) for a sweet heat.
TX brisket fire nachos
At Texas Christian University (TCU) football games, the Sodexo team makes a touchdown with these nachos of chopped beef brisket, queso, pico and fresh jalapenos to bring the fire.
At Tulane University, Sodexo Chef Jon Petrie’s kanafeh, inspired by his daughter-in-law’s family, has been a huge hit. It’s a sweet, cheesy Middle Eastern dessert pastry, and you need to try it ASAP.
The Cheese Crispy
Here’s a deliciously over-the-top fried grilled cheese with pizza dipping sauce. Sodexo Chef Charles Tibbs at the University of Missouri Kansas City created the Cheese Crispy with versatility in mind: Any grilled cheese can be fried and made exponentially more craveable.
Stretched mozzarella “pizza”
This inventive appetizer by Chef Vito Iacopelli for the California Milk Advisory Board gives new meaning to the phrase “cheese pizza!” The “crust” is hand-pulled mozzarella made to resemble pizza dough.
Saag paneer lasagna
Paneer is such a great cheese to melt; it keeps its shape and can really carry a dish, as in this lasagna by Chef Manish Tyagi for the California Milk Advisory Board.