Cabot Cheddar Apples, Crispy Bacon, Woodchuck Cider Caramel
3 pounds of Apples (Peeled, Cored, and Sliced into 1/4” slices)
½ pound Bacon, cooked (reserve Bacon Fat)
¼ cup All Purpose Flour
¼ cup Unsalted Butter
3 Cups Whole Milk
2 ½ Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
2 1/2 Cups Cabot Cheddar Cheese (Shredded or cubed)
Salt to taste
Chives for garnish
WoodChuck Cider Caramel
1 cup Woodchuck Cider Amber
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cup Unsalted butter, cubed
1/3 cup Heavy Cream
Place sugar in a non-stick pan and warm on low heat. Watch sugar as it browns and begins to caramelize. When all sugar is melted remove from heat. Slowly whisk in cubed butter. Whisk until dissolved.
Return to low heat and cook for 1 minute. Add heavy cream. Continue to whisk. Cook for an additional minute.
Add woodchuck cider and whisk until sauce is smooth. Cook for 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool.
Saute bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and chop into small bits. Pour bacon fat through a fine strainer to remove particles. Poor strained fat on sliced apples and toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Bake apples for 15-20 minutes at 350F until tender but still “Al Dente”.
Melt ¼ cup butter in sauce pot. Add flour. Stir with a wooden spoon until looks wet sand. Cook while stirring for 2-3 more minutes. Warm milk.
Slowly add warm milk while whisking constantly. Stir between intervals and allow sauce to thicken. After all milk is added continue to stir for 5 minutes and allow sauce to thicken more.
Add Dijon mustard, cayenne and 1 teaspoon of salt.
Add ½ of the Cabot Cheddar Cheese. Whisk until melted.
Add remaining Cheese and whisk until melted. Taste and season with salt if necessary.
Toss Apples in Cheese sauce. Top with Bacon, drizzle with Woodchuck Caramel, and top with chives.
Cranberry and Sharp Cheddar Risotto, Roasted Pecans, and Fried Sage
2 ½ cups Arborio Rice
8 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
2 Shallots (minced)
¾ Cup Brandy
2 cups Fresh Cranberries
2 T Sugar
½ cup Cream Cheese
1 1/2 Cups Cabot Sharp Cheddar Cheese Shredded ( or more to taste)
Honey Roasted Pecans
10 -12 Sage leaves
In a large pot add stock and 1 T of salt. Bring to a boil.
Add rice and boil for approximately 5 minutes. Remove rice and reserve stock for later use. Spread rice out on a baking dish and quickly place in freezer to stop further cooking. Remove from freezer after 5 minutes.
In a medium saucepot, add fresh cranberries, 2 T Sugar, 1 tsp Salt, and ¾ cup water. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Take half of the cranberries and puree in a food processor until smooth. Reserve the whole cranberries for garnish.
Place 1/2 cup oil in small saucepot. Heat oil to medium/high heat. Fry Sage leaves for about 3 seconds until crisp. Quickly remove and season with salt.
Place Honey Roasted Pecans in a Ziploc Storage bag. Seal the bag and use you hand to crush the nuts into small pieces.
Add 1/3 cup oil to a large saucepot on medium heat. Add shallots and stir for about 1 minute. Add rice and stir. Add brandy and stir until evaporated. Add starchy stock reserved from earlier and cook over medium to high heat while stirring for about 5 minutes as rice thickens.
Add cream cheese, cheddar cheese, ¾ cup of cranberry puree. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir until risotto is creamy and rice is a little al dente.
To serve: Spread risotto in a shallow bowl or plate. Top with the cooked cranberries, crumbled pecans and fried sage. Enjoy!
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