Monthly Archives: November 2017

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The Art of the Grilled Cheese

The grilled cheese sandwich has been a staple in many kitchens since their creation in the 1920’s. Technically, the grilled cheese sandwich is ancient, but it didn’t grow popular in American kitchens until sliced bread and American cheese was readily-available in the twenties. We’ve come a long way since then, swapping out American cheese for different varieties that excite our taste buds, adding different fillings, and testing out different breads.

Toasted crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside hot grilled cheese sandwiches

A classic white bread and American cheese sandwich.

If you’ve ever visited Fair Oaks Farms, you’ve probably made time to stop by our Cowfé for our Almost Famous Grilled Cheese. We combine crisp ciabatta bread with your choice of Sweet Swiss, Mild Cheddar, or Havarti Pepper cheese, to make a melty gourmet grilled cheese of your dreams! You can even add ham, bacon, or turkey, to make it a more filling meal, or order a bowl of our French Onion Pot, Chili, or Soup of the Day!

It may not be convenient for you to come by our Cowfe every time you’re craving a perfect grilled cheese, though, so we’ve thought of a few tips and suggestions to get you what you need!

Cheeses

We offer over 20 different kinds of cheese at our Cowfé and on our online shop. That’s a lot of options, but not all of them make for a perfect grilled cheese. Below is a list, based on flavor profile, of our best cheeses for a grilled cheese.

Mild: Butterkase, Calico, Farmers, Havarti, Havarti Dill, Havarti Onion, Havarti Veggie, Lacy Swiss, Mild Cheddar, Mozzarella, Sweet Swiss

Spicy: Havarti Habanero, Havarti Pepper

Smoky: Smoked Gouda, Smoked Sweet Swiss

Sharp: Cheddar 1 through 10 Years

Fillings

It isn’t just about the cheese! Turn it up a notch and add some creativity to your sandwich. Add some sautéed mushrooms with your Smoked Sweet Swiss, then add a garlic aioli. Caramelize slices of onion to mingle with Smoked Gouda. Cook up some brown sugar bacon to sit between slices of melty Aged Cheddar. Try spreading or slicing up avocado to pair with Havarti Pepper. Use our Mozzarella with layers of pepperoni and marinara sauce for a pizza grilled cheese. Some restaurants have made popular crafty grilled cheeses, such as a sandwich filled with macaroni and cheese! The possibilities are endless, and who knows– you could be creating the next big thing!

Fancy, 3 cheese grilled cheese sandwich with scallions and very thick cut baguette bread sizzling in a frying pan with melted cheese spilling out of the sandwich and bubbling in the pan.

Multiple kinds of cheese, crumbled bacon, and a crispy sliced baguette, complete this grilled cheese.

Bread

Bread is almost just as important as what you put between it. There’s nothing wrong with the classic white or wheat bread, smothered with butter and grilled to perfection. There are other options though, options that could push your grilled cheese to the next level. Here at the Cowfé, we use ciabatta, an Italian white bread used to make paninis across the world. Don’t be afraid to branch out and search your local supermarket for freshly baked breads such as Sourdough, Multigrain, English Muffins, Pumpernickel, or Pullman Bread. Whatever bread you use, make sure you spread an even amount of butter or mayonnaise on the outside of each slice to make sure your sandwich grills nicely. Butter is the usual ingredient, but for some breads, you can create a crispier grill by using mayonnaise. If you want to get experimental, sprinkle some spices on the butter or mayo as well, such as garlic salt, garlic pepper, or red pepper chili flakes!

Freshly made cheese sandwich with five grain wheat bread on a rustic table

Melted cheddar cheese between thick multigrain bread.

So that’s it, the guide to the perfect grilled cheese! No matter what you create, whether it’s the classic white bread and American cheese, or an experimental sandwich stacked with fillings, you’re sure to create a masterpiece with Farmstead Cheese. You can order all of our cheeses from our online shop — or get a Gourmet Collection to try out a bunch of different recipes! Cheeses can also be purchased at the Cowfé, Dairycatessan, and select grocery stores.

Creamy Loaded Baked Potato Soup with Bacon and Cheese

Warm Up with Some Cheesy Bacon Soup

It’s the time of year that nothing really hits the spot like a hot soup. We’ve found the perfect recipe to keep you warm, using our delicious cheeses, Fair Oaks Farms Milk, and Farmstead Bacon.

Cheesy Bacon Potato Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 slices of Farmstead Bacon, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 40 ounces frozen diced hashbrowns, thawed
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups Fair Oaks Farms Whole Milk
  • salt and black pepper
  • 4 ounces Farmstead Mild Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Instructions

  1. Cook the Farmstead Bacon in a large pot until crisp (around 13 minutes), stirring occasionally. Transfer bacon to a plate, keeping 2 tablespoons of fat from the pot. Discard the rest.
  2. Add the onion and garlic to the bacon fat in the pot. Stir until tender (around 7 minutes).
  3. Add your diced hashbrowns, chicken broth, Fair Oaks Farms Whole Milk, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally until potatoes are tender and soup is thickened. This should take around 30 minutes, but make sure the potatoes do not fall apart.
  4. Serve warm with Farmstead Cheddar Cheese, chives, and Farmstead Bacon.

Tips

This soup may be simple, but don’t forget to add your own personal flavor!

  • Tired of Farmstead Mild Cheddar? Try out some of our aged cheddars for a sharper taste. Go for a smoky flavor with our Smoked Gouda or add a kick with Havarti Pepper! Get a variety of cheeses from the Cowfé or our online shop and encourage your family or guests to make their own recipe!
  • Spice up your bacon with some of our original spices and seasonings, sold at our Cowfe and Dairycatessan, like our All Purpose Seasoning.
  • If you’re looking for something lighter, substitute our Whole Milk for 4 cups of Fair Oaks Farms 2% Milk.
  • On the other hand, if you’re looking for a creamier texture, use an immersion blender to blend your diced hashbrowns before serving.
  • For an added touch, serve your soup in a cheesy, crisped bread bowl! Simply purchase a bread bowl from your nearby supermarket, sprinkle the insides with Farmstead Cheese and bake! Pick a cheese that complements the cheese on your soup — or get bold and try multiple flavors!
  • Can’t find a bread bowl? That’s OK, grilled cheese goes great with soup! Save a few pieces of bacon to pair with our Provolone, Sweet Swiss, or Havarti Habanero, on perfectly grilled bread for a cheesy side dish.

Our cheeses are sold at the Cowfé, Dairycatessan, and at our online shop. Find our Farmstead Bacon at our Dairycatessan. Our milk is sold on campus and at a store near you!

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Family Time at Holiday Farm Frenzy!

October was a busy month for us at Fair Oaks Farms, between Cowtoberfest, the Masquerade 5K hosted by the North Central Rural Indiana Crisis Center, and our official hotel groundbreaking, there was barely any time to breathe! But never worry, we’d never leave our visitors and community out to dry around the holidays! This November we’re hard at work, planning, building, and tinkering away on our fourth annual Holiday Farm Frenzy!

There’s no better way to spend time with your family than planning a trip to Fair Oaks Farms on Saturday, December 16th. You can get all of your holiday shopping done early by visiting our vendors in the Crop Adventure, checking out our gift shop for souvenirs, or stopping by the cheese counter for gourmet cheese for the finest foodie! A holiday wagon ride will take you around our campus and light displays will be brightening up the FeedBarn. Also in the FeedBarn will be a station to make holiday crafts and an iceless skating rink (wristband required)!

The guest of honor, Santa Claus, will also make an appearance at The Farmhouse Restaurant for Breakfast with Santa! Tickets can be purchased through The Farmhouse by calling (219) 394-3663. Enjoy a full breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, fruit, French toast, pastries, coffee, iced tea, and Coke products, while visiting with Mr. Claus! Reserve your spot as soon as possible due to limited seating.

The best gift of all? On December 16th, you can get the Whole Adventure (including Dairy, Pig, and Crop Adventure) for only $15 a person! It’s the perfect time to see our Adventures and spread some holiday cheer at the same time. This price does NOT include Breakfast with Santa.

If you need more information before you plan your visit, check out the Holiday Farm Frenzy page here. Make sure to watch our Facebook for special announcements leading up to the event.