Creative cooks from three states were inspired by Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese to develop winning appetizer, main course, side dish and dessert recipes for the Second Annual Crave Brothers Farmstead Classics Cheese Recipe Contest. Held on Aug. 11 at the Waterloo Farmer's Market, contest entries were judged by a panel of local celebrities.
Deb Dunstan of Deerfield was named Grand Prize Winner for her Summer Strawberry Delight dessert recipe featuring Crave Brothers Mascarpone Cheese. Her idea for this cake was sparked by a friend's strawberry bread recipe. She began with freshly picked local berries and swirled a creamy Mascarpone cheese and strawberry mixture into the cake batter.
Linda Jennissen of Brooten, Minnesota, won the Main Dish category with her Farmers Rope® of Pearls Pizza. Crave Brothers Farmer's Rope-Part Skim Mozzarella was incorporated into the edge of the unbaked pizza dough, and toppings included Crave Brothers Marinated Fresh Mozzarella Cheese Pearls.
Rick Karlin of Chicago took top honors in the Side Dish category with Spinach Artichoke Mashed Potatoes. The recipe evolved out of an improvisation on Christmas Day, stirring leftover Spinach and Artichoke Dip from Christmas Eve into Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes. The cheese-rich dip recipe combines Crave Brothers Mascarpone and Crave Brothers Les Frères® cheeses.
Randy Hughes of Waterloo, Wisconsin, created the attractive winner in the Appetizer category—Fresh Mozzarella with Balsamic Drizzle and Walnuts. The stacked ingredients included sliced Crave Brothers Fresh Mozzarella balls and sliced tomatoes, drizzled with balsamic reduction sauce and topped with fresh basil, dried cranberries and candied walnuts.
Winners' prizes included cheese gift baskets and gift cards to area restaurants.
Crave Brothers Farmstead Classics are made with milk from the Crave Brothers Dairy Farm. The cheeses are all produced at the farmstead cheese factory on a sustainable, state-of-the-art family farm. Visit the Crave Brothers Farmstead Classics website at www.cravecheese.com for complete recipes from winners in the Second Annual Crave Brothers Cheese Recipe Contest.
Summer Strawberry Delight
8 ounces Crave Brothers Farmstead Classic Mascarpone, at room temperature
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup fresh strawberries, finely chopped or unsweetened frozen berries, thawed, drained and mashed
In a medium bowl, add mascarpone and sugar, cream until smooth. Add strawberries, mix. Set aside.
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup vegetable oil
1 cup fresh strawberries, or unsweetened frozen berries, thawed, drained and chopped
Preheat oven 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, add flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt, blend together. Add remaining ingredients; mix until the dry ingredients are just moist. Pour into greased and floured 9" round pan. Spoon the mascarpone cheese mixture over the top of the cake batter; gently swirl and fold the mascarpone cheese mixture into the cake. Cheese should not be completely blended in. Bake for 55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
When cooled, garnish with whole strawberries and mascarpone cheese. Additional serving ideas, serve with ice cream or sprinkle with powdered sugar and dollop with whipped cream.
Yield: 12 servings
Source: Crave Brothers Farm