Cabot Adds Cheesy Goodness to Any Meal
The folks from Cabot Creamery Cooperative in Vermont were in town at Mess Hall — the culinary incubator at 703 Edgewood St. NE — last week showing off the versatility of their products, which include butter, Greek yogurt and even maple syrup in addition to their award-winning cheeses.
Cabot chef Jimmy Kennedy was on hand to cook for us using the Cabot products. (I checked the Giant grocery store in Columbia Heights and unfortunately only the bricks of Cabot cheese are available there, although some area stores also stock the company’s unsalted butter and whipped cream.) Kennedy, who was born and raised in northeast Mississippi, previously worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative assistant to Rep. Webb Franklin (R-Miss.) before moving to New York City, where he co-owned Acme Bar and Grill and Nadine’s. In 1991, he opened the former River Run restaurant in Vermont, which he owned for 18 years and became a Spanish tapas restaurant after he sold it in 2009.
Kennedy is the author of The River Run Cookbook: Southern Comfort from Vermont. For the last five years, in addition to competing on the national fly-fishing circuit, he has worked for Cabot and appeared on severak TV shows including Live from Daryl’s House, where he cooked for rock stars Daryl Hall and Gavin DeGraw.
Also along was Jenni Tilton-Flood, one of Cabot’s 1,200 farmer-owners in New York and New England, whose family owns Flood Brothers Farm in Clinton, Maine, along the Kennebec River. It is the largest farm in Maine. Currently three generations, six family and 22 relatives work the farm, which has 3,400 head of cattle ranging from newborn calves to 17-year-old cows. About 1,700 of those cows are milked several times a day and produce 17,000 gallons of milk daily.
“Our day starts early and ends late. We get up before sunrise,” Tilton-Flood said. “But as hard as we work to produce the food, people work really hard to buy it.”
Here are the three recipes Kennedy made (remember, if the specific brand isn’t available, you can substitute another):
Farmhouse Cheddar Biscuits
Comfort food, like cheddar cheese biscuits, are perfect for when the family just wants to stay in and eat something quick and satisfying. They are packed with flavor and easy to make. This recipe features two ounces of shredded Cabot Farmhouse Reserve and four ounces of the cheese diced — talk about some cheesy biscuits! They can be used in place of English muffins in eggs benedict, under some sausage gravy or by themselves along with dinner
2 1/2 cups King Arthur Self-Rising Flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1 stick cold Cabot Salted Butter, cut into small cubes
4 ounces Cabot Farmhouse Reserve Cheddar or Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar, finely diced (about 1 cup)
2/3 cup nonfat buttermilk, plus 2 tablespoons if needed
2 ounces Cabot Farmhouse Reserve Cheddar, shredded (about 1/2 cup)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Whisk self-rising flour, baking powder and sugar in a medium bowl. Add butter and toss to coat with the flour mixture. Quickly work butter into the flour mixture by squeezing the flour-coated pieces of butter into the mixture. Press all of the butter flat until no cubes remain. Add cubed cheddar and toss to coat.
- Make a well in the center of the dry mix and pour in the buttermilk. Gradually stir the liquid into the flour mixture until the mixture is shaggy, working gently with hands to get it to come together. If the mixture will not come together at all add up to 2 tablespoons buttermilk. Turn the shaggy mass out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead together until the dough comes together as a single piece. It will still be pretty rough and uneven (do not overwork).
- Roll the dough out into a large rectangle about 10-inches wide by 15-inches. Cut into biscuits with a 2 3/4-inch biscuit cutter. (Avoid twisting motion with cutter for best rise.) Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Gather scraps and roll one time for another two or so biscuits. You should have 14 biscuits. Divide the shredded cheddar over the biscuits. Bake until the biscuits are puffed and lightly golden, 13 to 15 minutes.
Ver-Monte Cristo Sandwich
This is a take on a Monte Cristo sandwich made with French toast. Drizzle it with maple syrup before you eat it for an add splash of goodness.
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup half-and-half
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
4 slices favorite local bread, thinly sliced (a sourdough works well)
2 tablespoons Cabot Salted Butter, divided
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and sliced
1 whole shallot or very small onion, julienned or thinly sliced
4 ounces Cabot Sharp Cheddar, grated (about 1 cup)
2 large cooked sausage patties or thick slices ham
- Whisk together eggs, half-and-half and vanilla in a medium bowl. Add bread slices, turning to coat with mixture, and set aside to soak.
- Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in small skillet over medium-high heat; add apple slices and shallot or onion and cook until tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Melt remaining butter in large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Remove bread slices from egg mixture (discard remaining egg mixture) and cook in skillet for about two minutes on each side.
- Layer cheese, sausage or ham and apple mixture evenly over two of bread slices. Top with remaining two bread slices.
- Cook for one minute or until golden on underside. Turn sandwiches over and cook for one minute longer, or until sandwich is golden on second side and cheese is melted. Cut in half and serve warm.
Mac & Cheese
This is classic macaroni and cheese with a crunchy topping and easy to make.
16 ounces dry penne, large elbows or shells
8 tablespoons (1 stick) Cabot Salted Butter
1/2 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
4 cups hot whole, skim milk or reduced fat
1 pound Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar, or your favorite Cabot cheddar grated (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup crumbled panko breadcrumbs
- Cook pasta until almost tender (al dente) in large pot of boiling salted water. Drain well, transfer to large bowl and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease 9-by-13-inch baking dish and set aside.
- Melt butter in heavy-bottomed pot or saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour a little at a time until well blended. Continue stirring for a minute or two longer.
- Whisk in milk gradually and continue stirring until sauce is thickened.
- Add cheese, stirring until melted and blended.
- Reduce heat to low. Add basil and dill and cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes longer.
- Remove sauce from heat. Add about half of sauce to reserved pasta, mixing well. Add remaining sauce and mix again.
- Spread mixture in baking dish. Top with or panko breadcrumbs. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
Win a Cabot Legacy Gift Box and cookbook
DC on Heels readers can win a FREE Cabot Legacy Gift Box shipped directly from the factory that contains eight bricks of Cabot cheese: two bricks each of White Oak Cheddar Cheese, Farmhouse Reserve Cheddar Cheese, Alpine Cheddar Cheese and one brick each of New York Vintage Cheddar Cheese and Seriously Sharp Cheddar. The box also includes a knife and can opener/corkscrew (a $25 value) plus a copy of the new Cabot Creamery Cookbook (a $22.95 value). Just complete the entry form below:
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.