I live in Wisconsin, (insert cheese joke here). I guess one of the best things about being surrounded by dairy cows, “the ladies” as we call them on the way to and from school is milk–and one of the best things you can make with milk is CHEESE! Around here there is cheddar so sharp it can cut you and others so wangy you feel like it bites you back when you pop it in your mouth.
Cheese factories and cheese stores are a dime a dozen in this place and I frequent a few, but there is one I love!
This place first reminded me of a fruit stand my folks used to take me to on Indiana Ave in Kankakee, Illinois.
I love the brightness and the freshness of everything there…all year long. Veggies, fruit, specialty food and drinks and…CHEESE.
There are 2 reasons Brennan’s is my favorite. The “Bargain Trolly” full of fresh produce and “Scratch and Dent” cheese bin. Call me crazy, silly, cheap or thrifty…these 2 things give me the opportunity to try things I otherwise would not.
This is what I picked up this week–for pennies on the dollar! I also grabbed some Gruyère but I tore into that to snack on while I made dinner yesterday! The Green Olive Havarti was great in a salad with tomato and cucumber and some basil vinaigrette! I am saving the Black Mustard Gouda to do something with sausage and peppers this week (maybe even a pizza) I shred the rest of the Gruyère and the Abergele and I get started on tonight’s dinner. Here is a hint if you have cheese to shred. Keep it really cold until just before shredding and your grater too…
Scratch and Dent Mac and Cheese
2 cups elbow macaroni (cooked 1/2 of the recommended al dente cooking time)
2 cups grated cheese (I used my scratch and dent treasure this week. I have used smoked mozzarella, provolone, pepperjack, morel and leek and a million other amazing scratch and dent finds. I like to used one strongly flavored and a more mellow together.
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon mustard ( dijon or spicy )
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt and pepper
Cook pasta and drain-let it hang out. In the pot melt butter and flour. Cook at least 3 min on medium. Add milk. Stir over medium heat add 1 cup cheese, mustard, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Mix in your pasta. Sprinkle in the remaining cheese and place in a greased 9 inch casserole dish.
Bake at 350 30 min or until it is warm, lightly browned and bubbly.
We had this with baked chicken. I think it would be great with fish or pork chops too! So much more flavor than that blue box–nutty, stringy, warm and gooey comfort food and I got a great deal!
What is your favorite cheese? How do you use it? Don’t ya love a bargain!