Little Lucy Brie on sale for $7.99 during December (or while they last)
REDHEAD CREAMERY is an artisanal cheesemaker on a multi-generation farmstead near Brooten, MN about two hours NW of the Twin Cities. They like to say they have "ridiculously good cheese" – but they're serious about what they make.
Even as a teen, redheaded “Cheese Alise” Sjostrom dreamed of making cheese. After a degree customized for cheese and dairy food quality from the UMN, and training at the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese, Alise experienced other grocery and dairy adventures with her husband, Lucas, in Wisconsin, Switzerland and Brazil before partnering with her parents, Jerry and Linda Jennissen on the Jer-Lindy family farm, which has been recognized for its environmental and sustainability initiatives.
A 2013 Kickstarter campaign gave them seed money to start Alise's teen-dream cheese facility. They moved farm structures, built a pipeline under the milk parlor so milk could flow directly to the cheese room, and custom designed their plant and storage caves.
Milk flows into the operation as early as the rooster crows – at 5:00 a.m. when the milking starts. Treating their cows like the ladies they are and using the freshest possible milk keeps them tuned in to what the herd is eating and how they are producing, then they can adjust flavors and textures to make the best cheese possible, and gift us with their labor of love!
A smooth & creamy brie. Named for Alise’s daughter – it’s small & cute! A perfect appetizer, maybe warmed on the grill or baked with pistachios & balsamic, or served simply at room temp. When young, it has a grassier, light mouth feel. As it ripens, it becomes a classic gooey texture. Lovely for your holidays or a little stocking stuffer! Here's a festive recipe adapted from Redhead Creamery:
Green Bean Salad with Phyllo-Wrapped Brie
Something special to start out your dinner party, or a salad that IS your dinner
2 6-oz Little Lucy brie cheeses
8 sheets frozen phyllo dough, defrosted
6 T butter, melted
Plain dry bread crumbs
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
3/4 lb green beans, trimmed
1 6-oz jar pepper jam
8 oz mesclun mix or spring salad greens
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2) Cut the 2 bries in half horizontally (like a top & bottom). Place stack of 8 phyllo sheets on a cutting board and cover with slightly damp paper towel. Keeping phyllo covered as you work, place one sheet on another board, brush with butter, sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon bread crumbs; continue until 4 sheets are stacked up. Cut the phyllo in half crosswise to make 2 rectangles, each about 7x8-1/2 inch. Repeat process with rest of phyllo for 4 rectangles total.
3) Place one cut brie in middle of a phyllo rectangle, rind side down. Fold a corner diagonally over cheese, and continue to fold in a circle around brie to cover completely. Place phyllo-wrapped brie, folded side up, on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat process to cover the other 3 brie pieces. Brush outside of each phyllo-wrapped package with melted butter.
4) Bring large pot of salted water to a boil; add beans. Simmer for about 3–5 minutes (depending on thickness of beans) until crisp-tender; do not overcook. Drain beans and immediately place in ice water; this will stop the cooking and help keep their bright green color.
5) Bake the phyllo-wrapped bries for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
6) Remove metal cover from glass jar of pepper jam, microwave for 30 seconds or until it becomes liquid enough to pour.
7) Plate salad greens, top with green beans, then place one phyllo-wrapped brie on top of each. Top each salad with 4–5 tablespoons of warm pepper jam and serve immediately.
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At Hampden Park Co-op we also carry:
A smooth, savory clothbound cheddar. Natural mold grows on the surfaces of the cheese wheels, creating a flavor unique to their farm’s cave. Hand wrapping in muslin ensures a uniform taste, texture & consistency. Named for Alise’s mom & the “luck” that allowed Redhead to get started!
A smooth, easily melted cheddar. Created for the annual garlic festival in Hutchinson – where it was such a hit they decided to cave age it & add it to their line. Just enough garlic to ward off vampires without sabotaging your breath! Perfect for garlic toast, or added to your favorite pasta dish.
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Road Trip Idea
Redhead Creamery offers tours of their dairy farm and cheesemaking operation. More about this lively family on their website.
Thanks to Redhead Creamery for photo of Betsy, one of their ladies!