Gourmet Goodness From the Farmstead
Two recipes from the kitchens at Fiscalini Cheese.
Fiscalini Farms Cheddar Cheese Soup
3 tablespoons butter
3 1/4 cups milk
1 cup chopped onion
1 pound Fiscalini Farms
Cheddar Cheese (any flavor), shredded
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups beer
3 cups chicken stock or broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Chopped fresh herbs (optional)
Add butter to a Dutch oven; place over medium heat until melted. Add onion, and cook, stirring often, until onion is tender. Add flour, and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Gradually add chicken stock, stirring constantly to prevent lumps.
Add milk to a large saucepan and place over medium heat until bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Do not boil. Gradually add cheese, stirring with a wire whisk until cheese melts. Remove from heat.
Gradually add milk mixture to onion mixture, stirring well. Stir in beer, cream, salt, and pepper. Cook just until blended and mixture is hot. Do not boil. Ladle into individual soup bowls and garnish with fresh herbs and shredded cheese, if desired. Yield: about 2 quarts.
If flour clumps, pour soup, one batch at a time, into a food processor and process each batch a few seconds.
Meg’s Cheese Bread
2 packages active dry yeast (2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1 tablespoon salt
6 1/2 to 7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cubed, 18-month-old Fiscalini Cheddar Cheese (about 8 ounces)
Additional cheddar for topping
In a large bowl, combine yeast, sugar, and water. Let stand 5 minutes until bubbly.
Stir in salt. Add flour to mixture, 1 cup at a time, until mixture makes a soft dough. Turn dough out on a floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic. Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a draft-free, very warm place 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
Punch dough down. At this point, divide dough in half if you want to make 2 smaller loaves instead of one large loaf. Pat dough into a rectangle on a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with cheese, leaving a ½-inch border. Starting on one long side, roll dough tightly, jellyroll fashion. Moisten seam of dough with water; press securely to seal, turning seam side down.
Score top of loaf with a sharp knife at 2-inch intervals. Cover with a towel, and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 30 minutes.
Sprinkle top of loaf with additional cheese. Bake 30 minutes or until loaf is golden and sounds hollow when tapped. Yield: 1 large loaf or 2 smaller loaves.
Instead of Fiscalini 18-month Cheddar, you can substitute the same amount of flavored cheese and add herbs for herb-cheese bread variations. Either layer the cheese and herbs onto the dough and roll up as in the instructions above, or add them to the dough when kneading in the flour.