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Dedicated to dairymen

Sunday, June 17, 2012

(Photo)
Celebrate dads and dairy with a hot, gooey and delicious calzone and a side of brewsky cheddar dip.
(Submitted photo)
It's Father's Day and that makes me think of the men in my life -- my own father, of course, but also his father -- my Grandpa Danhof. Grandpa loved June. Not only was his birthday in June but it's Dairy Month and my grandfather spent his career working for a dairy processing plant in Michigan.

He started out by delivering dairy products to customers with a horse and wagon and eventually became the general manager. He always made sure that Grandma had a carton of ice cream in the freezer and they enjoyed a little bowl each night. If it was a special occasion, Grandma would pour a little Crème de Menthe over vanilla ice cream, but this was usually reserved for the holidays. So when I use dairy products, it brings back a sense of family and good memories.

Dairy products are good for you as they are one of the main sources of calcium and vitamin D and full of protein. They are also great for making hearty, manly dishes. To start a hearty meal, I think of a cheesy fondue with pretzel sticks. The mustard and beer add zing to a creamy base of cream cheese pumped up with Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses. The cornstarch helps the cheese melt evenly and keeps the dip from separating or clumping. Add it a little at a time and use low to medium heat. You can keep this dip warm in a slow cooker for snacking before the meal.

For the main dish, it's Calzones. Pizza dough filled with cheese and whatever fillings you enjoy, wrapped up and baked until golden. This version uses a filling of pepperoni, mushrooms and onions, but you can use any pizza toppings you like. Finally, we'll top off this casual meal with a cool dessert of Chocolate Smoothie Ice Cream. This is a take on a famous fast food restaurant treat. Be sure to use real chocolate milk.

So dedicate a dairy filled meal to the special men in your life and celebrate June Dairy Month with your favorite dairy recipes.

Brewski cheddar dip

4 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

2/3 cup dark beer

8 ounces cream cheese

2 tablespoons whole grain mustard

*½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce (or to taste)

8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

8 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup milk

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and sauté onion until tender. Add beer. Stir in the cream cheese until melted and add mustard and hot pepper sauce. In a bowl combine cheeses and sprinkle with cornstarch, tossing to coat. Add about half the cheese a little bit at a time, stirring until melted after each addition. Add milk a tablespoon at a time stirring in after each addition. Add remaining cheese a little at a time stirring until all is melted and combined. Thin out with a little more milk if too thick. Serve warm with pretzel sticks.

Calzones

1 cup warm water

1 package yeast

Pinch sugar

3 cups flour, divided

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter

12 ounces mushrooms, sliced

1 onion, sliced

4 ounces sliced pepperoni

8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

4 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese

4 ounces sliced provolone cheese

1 egg white, beaten with 1 teaspoon water

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Pizza sauce

Combine water, yeast and sugar in large bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes, until foamy. Stir in 1 1/2 cups flour. Add oil and salt and then stir in remaining 1 1/2 cups flour. When you have a smooth ball, coat with cooking spray and cover with a towel. Let rise until double, about 1 - 1 1/2 hours.

In the meantime, melt butter in a large skillet. Add the mushrooms and onions. Sauté over medium heat until softened. Set aside to cool. Divide dough into four pieces. Roll each piece into a 10-12 inch circle, the dough will be about 1/8" thick. Layer half of each piece with cheeses, pepperoni and vegetables. Fold in half over the filling and fold and pinch the edges to seal closed.

Place on a pizza stone or a greased sheet pan and cut a few small vents on the top. Brush the tops with egg white and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden and puffed. Remove from oven and let rest a few minutes before serving. Serve with warmed pizza sauce for dipping.

Chocolate smoothie ice cream

1 (8 ounce) container whipped topping

2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk

1 gallon chocolate milk

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl with a whisk. Pour into 6 quart ice cream freezer and freeze.

Recipe contest

June Dairy Month youth chairperson, Allison Massey, is having a dairy recipe contest. Send your favorite beverage, main dish or dessert recipe to the Extension Office at 2105 Midland Road, Shelbyville, TN 37160 by June 22.



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Whitney Danhof
Seasonal Eating
Whitney Danhof is with the University of Tennessee Extension in Shelbyville.

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