As a big fan of cheese, when I received a sample of the new Garlic Jack cheese from Crystal Farms, naturally I had to give it a try. Since garlic is a rather strong flavor I was worried it might be overpowering but the garlic is at a good level—it’s noticeable but doesn’t shout so it lends a nice flavor to the cheese and dishes without obscuring the other flavors. It’s made with real garlic and Monterey Jack cheese and is available in a block or shredded.
The block cheese I simply sliced and tried as a snack atop crackers on their own and also as a side to soup—both ways were good. It seemed even better in the shredded form, which made a nice addition to scrambled eggs; it melted well and added a subtle flavor. It also worked well sprinkled in traditional ground beef tacos and melted in a chicken burrito with green salsa. I imagine it would be at home on pasta and other dishes as well.
Last fall Crystal Farms released another new flavor: Bacon Cheddar cheese. As bacon is another strong flavor I wondered if it might be overpowering or unnatural but the real bacon pieces blended with the cheddar cheese had a good flavor without taking over. It made a great addition to scrambled eggs. I would share the photo I took but as scrambled eggs are not really a thing of beauty you’ll have to take my word for it.
While there have not been recipes developed specifically for the Garlic Jack cheese yet, the folks at Crystal Farms suggested using it in the following recipes in place of the 6 Cheese Italian usually called for—though I wonder if using both might be a tasty option?
Grilled Chicken Alfredo Pizza
Makes 4 Servings
A great recipe for when there’s leftover chicken. This pizza pairs cooked chicken, Alfredo sauce, roasted garlic, caramelized onions and Garlic Jack cheese into one irresistible pizza pie. Top with chopped kale for another dimension of texture.
Flour, as needed for sprinkling
Corn meal, as needed for sprinkling
12 oz. pizza dough
4 oz. Alfredo sauce
2 slices cooked bacon, chopped
1/4 c. caramelized onions
3 cloves roasted garlic, chopped (recipe below)
5 oz. grilled chicken, sliced
1 c. Crystal Farms Shredded Garlic Jack Cheese
1/4 cup kale, chopped
15 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 c. oil (vegetable, canola, olive or grapeseed)
Preheat oven to 400ËšF.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the pizza dough into a 12-inch round.
Sprinkle a sheet pan with yellow corn meal. Place the pizza dough round in the center of the sheet pan.
Spread Alfredo sauce over the surface of pizza dough. Top pizza evenly with bacon, caramelized onions, roasted garlic and sliced chicken.
Top with Garlic Jack Cheese and finish with an even layer of chopped kale.
Bake the pizza for 12-14 minutes or until the cheese is slightly brown. Cut into slices or squares and serve immediately.
For the Roasted Garlic
Combine garlic and oil in a heavy-bottom saucepan.
Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.
Slowly fry the garlic until brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
Strain garlic, reserving oil. Oil is flavored with garlic and the garlic itself is tender and sweet. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Cheesy monkey bread. courtesy of crystal farms.
Cheesy Monkey Bread
Makes 4 Servings
Monkey bread is traditionally sweet, but this recipe transforms it into a savory snack. This cheesy pull-apart bread is topped with garlic, herb and Parmesan butter and baked to perfection.
Nonstick cooking spray, as needed
2 (10.2 oz.) packages buttermilk biscuit dough
1 stick Crystal Farms Butter, melted
3/4 c. Crystal Farms Shredded Garlic Jack Cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp. parsley, fresh, chopped
1 tbsp. chive, fresh, chopped
1 tsp. thyme, fresh, chopped
1/2 c. Crystal Farms Provolone Cheese
Preheat oven to 350ËšF. Grease a 9-inch pie tin with nonstick cooking spray. Remove the biscuits from the packaging and cut each biscuit into 6 pieces and roll into balls.
In a bowl, add the biscuits, butter, shredded Garlic Jack Cheese, garlic, parsley, chive and thyme. Gently toss until well combined. Transfer to greased pie tin. Top with shredded Provolone cheese and bake for 20 minutes or until nicely browned.