The dairy has been up and running since 1978; the cheese
factory is a newer enterprise, built in 2001.
“Our chocolate mascarpone pie—versus the typical
tiramisu application—is unique in that you don’t have
to bake it and you can use an Oreo cookie crust,” says
Debbie Crave, vice president, wife of George Crave,
manager of the cheese factory and one of the company’s
four brothers. “Our new mascarpone mushroom soup has
earned tremendous accolades. It’s really rich with cream,
mascarpone, port wine, mushrooms and thyme.”
There’s also The George—George Crave’s new sandwich
take on leftover roast beef. Place sliced meat on pumpernickel
(or other dark bread), spread a mixture of mascarpone,
horseradish and rosemary on the other slice, then grill it or
put it in a panini press.
BULGOGI AND BRIE ON CAMPUS
When you’re serving 40,000 meals a day on the Amherst
campus of the University of Massachusetts, you’ve got to be
both consistent and inventive. While food generally needs to
be “like mom’s cooking,” notes executive chef Willie Sng, it
also needs to avoid being “same old, same old.”
To fill the bill for the spring semester, Sng, a Singapore-born
master of fusion cuisine, plans to feature brie in bulgogi,
a Korean barbecue. “We marinate thinly sliced beef in soy
sauce, salt and pepper, a touch of Korean chili powder and
TOP LEFT: Smoked chicken/cornmeal crêpes with tomatillo sauce from Rocker
TOP RIGHT: Carr Valley Cheese’s Wisconsin cheese slider.
garlic, then saute in canola oil and finish with a drizzle of
sesame oil, typically at the last minute.”
After the sauteed beef is placed on a ciabatta roll or baguette,
Sng tops it with several slices of brie and a bit of Korean
kimchee. “The brie should be at room temperature for at least
a half-hour so that it will easily melt into the beef to develop
the full flavor of the cheese,” he says.
Soft cheese also plays a starring role in Sng’s stuffed
chicken breast with brie. To prepare, he pounds down the
breast and cuts a pocket into which he’ll stuff or pipe the
room-temperature cheese. “Season the chicken with salt
and pepper, bread with panko crumbs, then bake and serve
with a blueberry/cranberry relish on the side,” he says. “The
crunchiness of the breading, the creaminess of the cheese, plus
the sweet and sour flavor of the relish is a pleasing contrast.”
PHOTO CREDIT: The California Milk Advisory Board; Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board
IT’S ALL IN THE CHEESE
The locals who frequent chef/owner Brandon Guenther’s
whimsically named Rocker Oysterfeller’s in Valley Ford,
Calif., refuse to let him remove his Smoked Chicken
Cornmeal Crêpes with Tomatillo Sauce from the menu.
“It was a pretty spontaneous recipe, created from stuff we
had on hand. It was one of the first we developed when we
opened in 2006,” Guenther says.
The smoked chicken filling incorporating California ricotta
cheese from Bellwether Farms, Petaluma, Calif., makes the
dish, he says. Leeks (white part only, cut thinly into halfmoons) and minced garlic are sauteed together and combined
with ricotta, shredded smoked chicken, wildflower honey,
minced fresh thyme, lemon juice and salt and pepper.