Wisconsinites know that winter is almost upon us and we respond accordingly by pulling out our stash of warming comfort food recipes and getting things simmering on the stovetop. Here’s a list of our top three favorite winter soups. While we certainly aren’t going to dissuade you from ordering a ham or turkey just to try one of these soup recipes, a route you might want to go is order one of our Applewood Smoked Hams or Turkey Breasts for the holidays and then try your hand at making a soup recipe or two with the leftovers – if there are any.
Smoked Ham & Potato Soup (Recipe Here)
We adore dairy products and take nearly every opportunity to use our home state’s bounty of good milk and cheese. We really enjoy this soup for how hearty, simple, and satiating it is; everything we look for in a soup for the chilly winter months. We use Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese (Hook’s is a good one!), fresh butter, diced potatoes, smoky ham and green onions. This soup only takes about a half an hour to get on the table, so you can whip this recipe up after work, with no trouble.
For anyone who’s going to be in our neck of The Northwoods this weekend (Oct 4th & 5th, 2013), you’re invited to our open-to-the-public 80th Anniversary Celebration. We’ll have loads of food, music, prizes, and family-friendly fun… and if it rains, we have many large tents to keep you dry and shelter the weekend’s festivities. Event details and schedule are here and if you have any questions after checking out the event schedule, please call us at (715) 253-4000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org – we can help you out!
Here’s a bit of our history for you: Nueske’s was founded in 1933, in the heart of The Great Depression, by R.C. Nueske. Times were hard for everyone and R.C. hoped to sell some of his family’s smoked meats to ease the burden. The Nueskes had been making traditional smoked meats for generations, all created with recipes that the family brought over from the Old World.
We trim our chops by hand, cure them, and then slowly smoke them over logs of sweet Wisconsin Applewood. Each chop is pre-cooked, so all you have to do to get them ready to serve is warm them gently (medium heat works well), for a few minutes on each side, on your grill or in a pan. They make a really impressive entrée and have a quick, simple prep, so they’re a natural go-to for easy summer meals.
Guests are always impressed by these tender, rich smoked pork chops served hot off the grill. These big, half-pound bone-in chops are perfect for casual grilling or for a more formal dinner. If you do the later, we suggest pan-frying and glazing the chops with a recipe like this one, for Smoked Pork Chops with Maple-Glazed Apples.
This salad makes a perfect Thanksgiving side with its warm, inviting flavors – and it adds the pretty color of fresh greens to your table. Chef Dave served this salad for us at the 2012 Food Network New York Wine & Food Festival and it was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Chicken & Roasted Mushroom Salad
By: Chef Dave Martin
Yields 6-8 servings
4 oz. mixed greens
2 cups roasted mushrooms (see below for preparation)
8 oz. Nueske’s Smoked Boneless Chicken Breast, cut into cubes or small strips
4 – 6 oz. lemon vinaigrette (see below for preparation)
2 oz. shaved or grated Parmesan Cheese
We hope you enjoy this sweet, lightly salty, subtly smoky treat from Chef Dave Martin, using our Wild Cherrywood Smoked Bacon. When we make these, the whole batch disappears really quickly and people are amazed to learn that bacon is an ingredient. Chef Dave served these for us at the 2012 Food Network New York Wine & Food Festival, where they were a big hit. Happy baking!
Recipe By: Chef Dave Martin of Top Chef
Yields about 4 dozen
12 oz. unsalted butter, room temperature
4 oz. Nueske’s Wild Cherrywood Smoked Bacon drippings, rendered from cooking the bacon
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
1 ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
1 ½ cups chopped, cooked Nueske’s Wild Cherrywood Smoked Bacon pieces
1 ½ cups dried cherries
4 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2 tsp. kosher salt
In a stand mixer, add butter, bacon drippings, and sugar, and blend using your paddle attachment or with electric beaters until mixture is light yellow in color. Add vanilla and sift in the flour and salt. Continue blending until everything is incorporated/blended well, and then add in the cherries and cooked bacon pieces. Remove the dough and then use a little bit of flour and work it into a roll (like a refrigerated grocery store cookie dough-sized roll). Then wrap the roll in plastic wrap and chill for about 30-45 minutes so that the butter in the dough sets. If you bake right these away, without chilling the dough first, the cookies will flatten out too much during baking.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove the dough roll from fridge and slice into ½ inch-thick circles and place the circles onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes or until slightly browned. Remove from oven and allow them to cool; cookies will harden a bit more as they cool.
If you’ve ever stopped in at our Company Store in Wittenberg, Wisconsin, you’ve seen our large refrigerated case filled of some of Wisconsin’s tastiest cheeses and have likely had the opportunity to sample some of the finest cheeses that our state has to offer: aged cheddars, bricks, parmesans, and the new blues. We decided to share the experience with our mail order customers and throughout the past year, we’ve taken our time carefully selecting cheeses from several local producers that really showcase the best of the best. It was very hard to choose because of the bounty of excellent dairy goods that our home state has to offer – but we’ve made our selections. We can ship anywhere in the U.S., so these are great gifts for displaced Wisconsinites and anyone who appreciates really good food. These fine examples of cow’s milk cheese will make any cheese lover happy:
Widmer’s Traditional Trio
Joe Widmer is a third-generation (hey – just like us!) cheese-maker located in Theresa, Wisconsin. At Widmer’s, they still use the same recipes and cheese forms that Joe’s grandfather, John Widmer, used when he began the business in the early 1900’s. Joe is one of only eight Certified Wisconsin Master Cheesemakers and we are proud to feature three of his traditional cheeses in this sampler: Mild Brick, Colby, and Mild Cheddar.
Thanks to everyone who judged this year’s N.A.S.F.T. (National Association for the Specialty Food Trade) sofi Awards. We were very happy to receive a Gold sofi Award in the category of “Perishable Foodservice Product” for our Applewood Smoked Boneless Chicken Breasts. The awards ceremony took place at the Summer Fancy Food Show in Washington, D.C., earlier this month, and was hosted by Chef José Andres.
Our chicken breast is created in the traditional Nueske’s manner; over glowing embers of genuine Wisconsin Applewood. This chicken breast comes to you ready-to-eat, no cooking needed. It’s sweetly smoky, juicy, and completely boneless. We don’t shape or form our chicken breasts, so they have a proper poultry texture and mouth-feel. They slice nicely for sandwiches and salads and we hear that some people have been using them as a pizza topping, as of late.
Our Applewood Smoked Pepper-Coated Bacon is a terrific bacon for cooking with, especially this time of year. We create our “pepper bacon” just like our classic Applewood Smoked Bacon; with specially-selected, hand-trimmed bellies that get our signature long, slow smoke in the Nueske family’s smokehouses, over glowing embers of sweet Wisconsin applewood.
The step that makes this bacon even more special is that we take the time to hand-rub each belly with a blend of fresh-cracked Tellicherry Peppercorns before sending them into the smokehouse for the finishing touch. This gives our rich, smoky bacon the extra kick of zingy black pepper and makes it a natural addition to some of our favorite summer recipes.
Yeah, you heard us right. Camp Bacon. It’s this weekend and we’re getting ready to head out and join up with all of the Bacon Campers over at Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, Michigan. If you didn’t get tickets, don’t fret. There’s a Bacon Street Fair in Ann Arbor, on Sunday, June 3rd, 2012, with admission costing only what you would like to donate to the 4H Club of Washtenaw County. They appreciate whatever you can give.
Camp Bacon is an event that we’re proud to be part of. Zingerman’s is famous for their deli and their use of the absolute best products that they can source in everything they do. We’ve had a great relationship with the folks over at Zingerman’s for decades and they’ve invited us to join them, along with several other excellent bacon purveyors, some great cooks, and even a food historian or two, for this year’s Camp Bacon event.
It’s finally warm enough to start having cookouts at our Company Store here in Wittenberg, Wisconsin. The first Nueske’s cookout of the year took place last Friday afternoon. We served up grilled Angus ribeye sandwiches with fried onions and mushrooms (on the side, if you prefer).
Weather permitting, we’ll be hosting cookouts in front of our company store on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and, if it’s a really busy day, you might catch us serving a little later into the afternoon. The menu will vary, but some of our favorite things to serve are the afore-mentioned Angus Ribeyes, our Applewood Smoked Wieners, our Applewood Smoked Bacon Cheddar Brats, and maybe even some pulled Applewood Smoked Chicken Sandwiches. As long as it’s nice outside, we’ll be serving right out of the back of Bob Nueske’s log cabin camper. We’ve also got picnic tables for you to sit at and enjoy your lunch.