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Festival Foods

Fall Cheese Fest!
cheese #festfoods Fall is in the air! You just get this warm feeling this time of year, sunny days and cooler nights. Snuggle time in the evenings which also makes some of us want to turn on our ovens and have family dinners and get togethers whether it is a football game or just time to bond. It is difficult to say summer has come to an end, but fall is fun! Apple picking, hay rides, walking in the leaves or just taking a car or bicycle ride to see the leaves and breath taking scenery can lift your spirits. Embrace fall and bury yourself in its beauty. Cheese Fest will be held second week of November in our deli departments at Festival Foods. We will feature items like Wisconsin Brie cheese, Mascarpone, Asiago Fresco, Pepperoncino, and all of our wonderful SKS cheese chunks and spreads! Be sure to stop by and sample our products along with getting some great serving ideas and recipes. This year along with our Wisconsin’s best we will be adding a Parmigiano Reggiano from Italy. Below is some history/information on this wonderful cheese! Parmigiano-Reggiano is the real deal from Italy and goes back more than eight centuries. It is undeniably one of the world's great cheeses, and is even named the King of Cheeses! Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is made with just three ingredients: superb milk, sea salt and natural rennet. No additives or preservatives are used, to make Parmigiano Reggiano. Today we know it as Parmigiano Reggiano, but the French name Parmesan (Parmesano, in Italian) dates back even further-and the two are one and the same cheese! In Europe, by law, Parmesan can be used only to refer to Parmigiano Reggiano. As opposed to cheese labeled simply "Parmesan," Parmigiano-Reggiano must meet certain requirements to earn the name: It can only be made in a specific designated region of Italy (including Parma, where it gets its name). Genuine Parmigiano-Reggiano is made only in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy, following stringent guidelines. The milk used to make the cheese comes from cows that spend most of their days grazing in grassy meadows. It must be made from April 15 to November 11 so that the cows from which the milk comes can graze only on fresh grass. It must be aged for a minimum of 14 months (though most are aged for 2 years) in wheels that weigh at least 66 pounds. The result is a pricey but incomparable cheese with an intensely nutty flavor. Parmigiano Reggiano is a hard grating cheese with a granular texture and appearance that results from the techniques used in its making as well as to long aging. Parmigiano Reggiano is not pressed like other hard grating cheeses. Aging contributes greatly to the flavor of Parmigiano Reggiano and, in the centuries before refrigeration, it also resulted in a cheese ideal for storage and for transporting over long distances. This cheese was welcomed as a nutrient-dense, highly portable food for sailors and traders, but it was also beloved by epicureans. By the 18th century, this cheese was on Thomas Jefferson's table and the history of Parmigiano Reggiano in America was under way.


As delicious as it is freshly grated over a bowl of spaghetti, don't stop there! This complex cheese is magnificent served on its own. Break off small chunks, use a vegetable peeler to create paper thin slivers or cut into bite-sized slices. Taste it as you would a perfectly ripe Brie or Stilton, savoring its nuances. Enjoy its delightful range of flavors and textures: nutty, sweet, grassy, creamy, grainy, and fruity. When it comes to wine, bring out the full potential of the cheese by serving it with light-to medium-bodied Reds such as Chianti, Valpolicella or Lambrusco, as well as Prosecco and other sparkling Whites.


For more information about this wonderful cheese   Anyone who knows me or my daughters know we love to cook and enjoy good food! Below are some recipes that use the Cheese Fest sale items.  So put on some good music, open a bottle of good wine, and plan your next family dinner to include great cheese dishes for not a lot of money!  

Baked Brie

(A must try appetizer for your next party, once you taste you will not want to stop) 1 head Garlic ¼ cup Butter 1 Yellow Onion 1 8oz Brie 1 sheet Puff Pastry or Pie Dough 1 Tablespoon Butter 1 small apple (I prefer golden delicious), chopped Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375-400 degrees   Place garlic on a baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until soft. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, melt 1/4 cup butter in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir onion and apple in butter until tender and browned. Set aside.
  3. Place brie on top of thawed puff pastry. Top the cheese with the apple and onion mixture. Fold puff pastry over the cheese, and pinch closed. Brush with melted butter.
  4. Bake about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm. Garnish with whole cloves of roasted garlic.

Fall Potato Duo

(serve with any red meat, pork, seafood, or poultry) 6 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled 1 pound all-purpose potatoes, peeled 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Salt and pepper, to taste Freshly grated nutmeg Using a vegetable peeler, make slivers of the cheese, or shred coarsely. Slice both potatoes into thin, 1/8-inch rounds. Melt the butter and oil together in a small pan. Pour half the mixture into a 9-inch cast-iron or nonstick skillet. Make a layer using a third of the white potatoes, overlapping them in a circular pattern. Season with some of the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Scatter a third of the cheese on top. Make a second layer with the sweet potatoes, with the overlapping spiral going in the opposite direction. Repeat with seasonings and cheese. Continue until all of the potatoes are in the pan. Pour the remaining oil-butter mixture over the top. Cover the pan with heavy-duty foil, sealing tightly. Bake in a preheated 425-degree oven for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking about 25 minutes more, or until the potatoes are tender and browned at the edges. Cut into wedges and serve hot.  

Butternut Squash Bake

(Rich and delicious, serve with a green salad and you have just created a bit of heaven!)
  • 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut in 1-inch cubes (3 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces dried extra-wide noodles
  • 4 tablespoons  Butter
  • 6 shallots, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 8 ounce carton mascarpone cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley (Italian flat leaf is preferred)
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese-style) bread crumbs or soft bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In bowl toss squash in oil; place in oiled 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Roast, uncovered, 30 minutes, until lightly browned and tender, stirring twice. Meanwhile, in Dutch oven cook noodles according to package directions. Drain; set aside. In same Dutch oven melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add shallots; cook and stir over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, until shallots are tender and butter just begins to brown. Stir in lemon juice. Add noodles and squash to shallot mixture. Stir in mascarpone, 1/2 cup of the Parmigiano Reggiano, 1/4 cup parsley, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Transfer to greased 2-quart oval gratin dish or baking dish. In small saucepan melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter; stir in bread crumbs, remaining Parmesan, and parsley. Sprinkle on noodle mixture. Bake, uncovered, 10 minutes, until crumbs are golden.


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