A few hints make cooking with Wisconsin cheese an easy and tasty success: Use low heat, just enough to melt the cheese and blend it with other ingredients. High heat makes natural cheese tough and stringy. Avoid long cooking, which also makes cheese tough and stringy; cook just enough to melt. To promote even melting, slice, shred, grate, cube or dice cheese before adding as an ingredient.
HWY 28 STEAK SANDWICH
Each year I take my young family a few hours north to a small lake near Wild Rose, WI. Along the way is exit 81 for Route 28, connecting Widmer's Cheese Cellars in Theresa with Kewaskum Meats, the source of Jeff Leen Farm's Piedmontese steak. The pungency of this unique American cheese is balanced with the smokiness of the meat and the sweet complexity of slow roasted tomatoes adapted from Alice Waters. I've served it as an appetizer, though two or three of these open-faced sandwiches are a small meal.
8 medium heirloom tomatoes 1 medium red onion 2 teaspoons sea salt 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 - 1 lb Peidmontese NY Strip = cup Penzey's Old World Seasoning = lb Aged Brick Cheese, slices 1 Baguette, = slices on bias
Lightly drizzle a heavy, ovenproof baking dish with olive oil. Slice the tops off the tomatoes and remove the pith remaining from the stem area, slice top and bottom off the onion and peel. Place into dish, tomatoes with cut side up. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and drizzle lightly with remaining olive oil. Place in oven at 300 degrees for 3 hours or until the juices that run from the tomatoes begin to caramelize a deep brown color. Remove and let stand until slightly cooled. This can be prepared a day in advance. When cooled rough chop the tomatoes and onion, place into a bowl and add all the liquid that has accumulated in the dish. Add balsamic vinegar and remaining salt and pepper to taste.
Rub the steaks with Old World Seasoning or similar smoky beef rub. Under the broiler or on a high heat grill, prepare the steaks to desired doneness, though I highly recommend rare to medium-rare. Let stand for ten minutes to cool slightly and let the juices of the steak redistribute. Trim excess fat from the steak and slice on the bias across the width into slices.
Assembly: Pre-heat the oven to broil and place the rack in the middle of the oven. Toast the sliced baguette on a baking sheet until golden brown. Scoop a generous tablespoon of the tomato mixture onto each toast. Lay three slices of beef, slightly overlapping, across the tomato mixture. Slice the brick cheese into slices and lay down the length of the steak. Place back into oven until cheese just begins to soften, approximately 4 minutes.
Cheese is a nutritious milk product that has been one of man's most important foods for thousands of years. The United States and France rank as the leading cheese-producing countries. Wisconsin is the leading cheese making state. Wisconsin Cheese comes in about 350 varieties and in many different sizes and shapes. There are literally several thousands of varieties world wide.
History of Cheese Making
Widmer's Wisconsin Cheese Legacy...
In Wisconsin, the cheese making
legacy runs deep and examples of
third-and fourth generation
Wisconsin cheese makers carrying
on the family tradition are common.
Joe Widmer, is one such third-generation example. Widmer's Cheese Legacy
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