Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Bar Scheeze Mac and Cheese

If you've not tried Win Schulers Cheese in a Crock, do yourself a favor.  It's available at stores in the upper Midwest, Florida and Virginia and is available by mail elsewhere.

The first time I had it was a few years back from Beef Mart, When Midwest Chick and Mr. B introduced me to it and  it became a house favorite. My favorite is the original cheddar, the original secret recipe made famous at Win Schuler's Restaurants in Michigan. The Cheese spread production was sold to Campbell's a while back, who wisely did not "improve" the recipe.  Schuler's restaurant is in its fourth generation of fine food and great service. That's pretty impressive as according to the Family Firm Institute (FFI), nearly 70% of family-owned businesses fail before reaching the second generation, 88% fail by the third, and only about 3% survive to the fourth.

Visit the restaurant (Schuler's Restaurant & Pub) if you get up to Marshall Michigan (hint, try the barbecued meatballs) but definitely look for their famed cheese spread which will make another well known specialty store's "Pub Cheese" hide in the closet in shame.  The unique blend of cheddar cheese and spices   is wonderful with crackers, breads and veggies.  It's cheddar with a kick and became known in the beginning to the many patrons of his restaurant who got a complimentary small cheese crock as they waited for their meal as "Bar Scheeze".

 I had some left from a little dinner party.   Hmmmm. Time to do something a little different with it.

Bar Scheeze Mac and Cheese. I didn't have any bread crumbs or crackers for the topping, and just put a little bit of the cheese on the top after assembling, with no crumbs, but it was a hit.  I used some really good quality cracked pepper from Penzey's, real, unsalted butter, and whole milk and it was a hit.

For the story of a great American family business and some more recipes go on over to Win Schulers
Macaroni and Cheese (recipe from Win Schuler)

6 Tbsp. butter or margarine
½ of a 1 lb. box elbow macaroni (2 cups uncooked)
5 Tbsp. flour
3 cups milk
Pepper to taste
16 oz. Win Schuler's Sharp or Original Cheese Spread
 ½ cup plain breadcrumbs or crushed buttery crackers

Preheat oven to 350°. Put a 2-quart baking dish  (I used a 11 x 7 pan) with 1 Tbsp. of the butter in the oven to melt. Remove and set aside. Cook the macaroni per package instructions and drain. Melt the remaining 5 Tbsp. butter in a large saucepan. Add the flour, stirring until blended. Using a whisk, add the milk until it becomes a little thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add pepper and 14 oz of the Win Schuler's Cheese Spread and stir. Add the macaroni to the cheese mixture and stir until blended. Pour into the 2-quart dish. In a separate bowl blend the breadcrumbs and remaining 2 oz of Win Schuler's Cheese Spread. Sprinkle evenly over the macaroni mixture. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes. Serves 4 - 6.