Holiday Recipes From The Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese Family to Your Family
Yes, there really are Crave Brothers behind the award-winning line of Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese, and their family members know firsthand how to elevate holiday fare with the addition of handcrafted cheese. To help you take your own seasonal celebrations to the next level, members of the Crave family share their own favorite recipes for easy entertaining. Their secret is to make it special, but keep it simple. That way, you can enjoy the holidays with minimum fuss and a maximum flair.
• Courtney Crave sets the scene for holiday entertaining by featuring a Christmas Tree Caprese Salad on her buffet table. Eye-catching yet easy to assemble, this classic salad takes on a new personality when slices of Roma tomatoes and Crave Brothers Fresh Mozzarella medallion halves are arranged in a Christmas tree shape on a platter. Decorate the “tree” with fresh basil strips, orange and yellow cherry tomatoes, and a garland-like drizzle of balsamic glaze. The fresh flavor of Crave Brothers Fresh Mozzarella is available in a variety of styles to suit just about every recipe. In addition to Medallions, Crave Brothers Fresh Mozzarella also is available in a range of sizes to suit a variety of applications and recipe ideas. Choose from Perline (pearl size), Bocconcini (ball size), Ovoline (egg size), 8 oz. balls, 1-pound balls, and 1-pound logs.
• Another fresh and festive idea comes from Tina Crave, who likes to pair the Citrus Celebration Salad with sparkling Prosecco wine at holiday brunches. The colorful salad combines orange and grapefruit segments with avocado slices and baby arugula, with shelled pistachios and Crave Brothers Fresh Mozzarella Perlines (pearl-sized balls) sprinkled on top of the salad. Pomegranate seeds add extra color to the salad. The vinaigrette dressing is made with orange juice, honey, champagne vinegar, olive oil, and Dijon mustard.
• Give guests a warm welcome with Butternut Squash Soup, a favorite recipe of both Debbie Crave and Roseanne Crave. Featuring roasted butternut squash, chicken stock and Crave Brothers Mascarpone, the ingredients are combined in a blender and then transferred to a pot with butter, cooking oil, salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes. For parties, keep the soup warm in a slow cooker. Just before serving, add two sprigs of thyme and a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds. The sweet flavor and velvety texture of Crave Brothers Mascarpone adds a note of luxury to holiday—or everyday—soups and sauces.
• Leah Crave turns to warm comfort food during the holidays, and favors hearty fare for her family of four growing children. To feed a crowd during the busy holiday season, she makes Lasagna with shredded Crave Brothers Farmer’s Rope String Cheese. The no-frills meal is a crowd-pleaser, thanks to the addition of the fresh-flavored handmade deli string cheese with its superior shredding and melting characteristics.
Another one of her favorites is Chili topped with Crave Brothers Jalapeño Cheese Curds. Made with a blend of ground beef and ground venison, the chili is made in a slow cooker and incorporates cooked macaroni, onions, celery, green pepper, tomato soup, V-8 Juice and kidney beans. It’s seasoned with chili powder, salt and pepper. When you’re expecting a crowd, the chili can simmer all day in the slow cooker before guests arrive. When serving, stir in Jalapeño Cheddar Cheese Curds to create what Leah Crave calls, “long and stringy, super gooey, extra squeaky Wisconsin farm food goodness. ”The addition of the mild, salty flavor and unique texture of award-winning Crave Brothers Cheddar Cheese Curds enhances a variety of one-pot meals, including soups and stews.
• Beth Crave takes the seasonal classic gingerbread to the next level with her holiday dessert of Gingerbread Cake Roll with Mascarpone Filling. Crave Brothers Mascarpone, eggs, molasses and spices enrich the gingerbread cake recipe. It’s baked in a 10” x 13” jellyroll pan for 10 minutes, and then inverted onto a tea towel, rolled up, and allowed to cool completely before adding the filling. Mascarpone Filling is a blend of Crave Brothers Mascarpone, sugar, vanilla extract and heavy cream. Refrigerate the filled cake roll until serving time, and then dust it with icing sugar before slicing.
• Mindy Crave’s go-to holiday dessert can take you through the season from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. She makes Pumpkin Cobbler Served with Crave Brothers Mascarpone for family gatherings all season long. The basic filling starts with canned pumpkin puree, milk, eggs, brown sugar and seasoning. The cobbler layer is spread over the pumpkin mixture, followed by streusel topping made with flour, brown sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and allspice. The dessert is baked for 20 to 30 minutes, and served with dollops of Crave Brothers Mascarpone. Rich, luxurious Mascarpone is also a great go-to ingredient for impromptu gatherings. It can be paired with fresh berries or cookies, or used as a topping for bite-sized tarts.
During the busy holiday season, remember that Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheeseadds an artisanal note to your brunch, buffet and cocktail party menus. Crave Brothers Cheddar Cheese Curds have been recognized for their excellence, including four First Place awards at prestigious competitions. Most recently, White Cheddar Cheese Curds took First Place honors at the 2019 American Cheese Society Conference and Competition, and were voted the Second Place Winner in this year’s USA Today’s Best Cheese Curds Competition.
All told, Crave Brothers Fresh Mozzarella varieties have earned nearly 50 awards for excellence. In the 2019 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest, Crave Brothers Fresh Mozzarella Medallions and Crave Brothers Part-Skim One-Pound Mozzarella Balls received First Place Awards. Crave Brothers Fresh Mozzarella Ciliegine won a Second Place Award.
Crave Brothers Mascarpone has been a steady competition winner since its introduction. Made from fresh, sweet cream, it now has more than 36 honors to its name, including First Place Awards for both Crave Brothers Mascarpone and Crave Brothers Chocolate Mascarpone, at the 2019 American Cheese Society Competition.
Among the most recent awards for Crave Brothers Farmer’s Rope String Cheese is the honor of winning a First Place/Blue Ribbon in its category at the 2019 Dodge County Fair Cheese Judging.
Crave Brothers Farmstead Classics Cheese is made with milk produced by cows from the Crave family’s own dairy herd. Licensed cheese maker George Crave oversees the making of Crave Brothers Cheese. It is sustainably produced in the family’s farmstead cheese-making facility that practices water conservation, recycling, and uses 100 percent green power.
For more holiday recipe ideas from Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese, visit www.cravecheese.com. You’ll also find product information and details about the award-winning line of Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese, as well as videos highlighting the Crave Brothers green story.
The Crave family farms 2,500 acres of productive land in south-central Wisconsin, growing soybeans, corn and alfalfa to use as nutritious feed for their Holstein cows. From the biodigester to water recovery and recycling, sustainability is top-of-mind on the farm. The Crave Brothers Farm LLC and Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese LLC use 100% green power and are carbon-negative businesses. Their anaerobic biodigester produces more electricity than they need, enough to power the dairy farm, the farmstead cheese-making plant, and over 300 homes in their community.
Every pound of cheese made by George Crave, a licensed cheese maker, is made with milk from the family’s herd. Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese produces Fresh Mozzarella, Mascarpone, Part-skim Mozzarella, Oaxaca, Farmer’s Rope String Cheese, and Fresh Cheddar Cheese Curds in white, yellow and jalapeño varieties.
Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese Citrus Celebration Salad
Excellent for a holiday brunch… Pairs well with Prosecco.
4 Tablespoons orange juice
4 teaspoons honey
3 Tablespoons Champagne vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
5 ounces baby arugula
½ cup shelled pistachios
½ cup Crave Brothers Farmstead Fresh Mozzarella, perline, drained
Fresh ground black pepper
Peel avocado, slice; cut into ½” pieces; set aside. Peel grapefruit, separate sections, cut each section into ½” slices; set aside. Peel oranges, separate into sections, cut each section in ½ lengthwise (Sliced oranges will form a decorative wreath on top of the salad.); set aside. In a small container with cover; combine orange juice through 1/8 pepper dressing; shake well; set aside. In a wide serving bowl toss arugula, grapefruit and avocado slices with ½ of the dressing. Arrange the orange slices on top of the salad in the shape of a round wreath. Sprinkle pistachios and fresh mozzarella on top of the salad. Top with additional dressing if desired. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Note: Feel free to use any citrus fruits. Pomegranate seeds can be sprinkled on top of the salad for decorative holiday color.
Crave Brothers Farmstead Butternut Mascarpone Soup
2 large butternut squash
8 ounces Crave Brothers Mascarpone
4 cups chicken stock
¾ stick butter, melted and browned
2 tablespoons oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 thyme sprigs
Pomegranate seeds (arils) for garnish
Preheat oven 375
Cut squash in half; scoop out seeds. Lightly coat with oil and place on a baking pan (skin up); bake at for 1 hour or until tender. Remove from oven; cool. Scoop squash out of shell; add to blender. Add mascarpone and chicken stock; blend well. Add mixture to medium saucepan over medium heat. Add butter, oil, salt and pepper. Cook until heated; stirring constantly. Remove from heat; pour into bowls. Garnish with pomegranate seeds. Serve immediately.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Gingerbread Cake Roll with Crave Brothers Farmstead Mascarpone Cheese Filling
By: Beth Crave
For the Cake
- 4 large eggs, separated, room temperature
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ cup Crave Brothers Mascarpone cheese
- ¼ cup molasses
- 1-1/4 cup cake flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp. salt
For the Filling
- 8 ounces Crave Brothers Mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cup heavy cream
Directions for the Cake
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 10×15-inch cake roll pan (jelly roll pan). Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until light and thick. Beat in the vanilla, mascarpone and molasses. Add the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt, and mix until combined. Gently fold in the whipped egg whites. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread out evenly. Tap the pan lightly on the surface a few times to level out the batter. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Immediately invert the cake onto a tea towel dusted generously with powdered sugar. Roll the cake up with the tea towel, starting at a short end. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
Directions for the Filling
Chill a large mixing bowl in the fridge. In your chilled bowl, combine mascarpone cheese and sugar on a high speed until completely combined. Add vanilla and heavy cream; and mix on a low setting until it is mostly combined. Now increase speed to high and whip until stiff peaks form. Frost cake when cooled.
Unroll the cake and spread the filling evenly over the cake. Re-roll without the tea towel. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Dust with icing sugar and serve.
Yield: 15-20 servings