When it comes to food, I would have to say that dairy is my favorite food group! Not a day goes by that I don’t enjoy a glass of milk or my favorite cheddar cheese. According to chef Jeff Anderson of Safeway, it’s very important to know where our dairy products come from “because not all dairy products are equal.” Chef Jeff was kind enough to join me for an interview recently to talk about Lucerne dairy products and three easy and amazing holiday recipes that call for delicious dairy products.
Candace Rose: How important is it to know where your dairy products come from?
Chef Jeff Anderson: “It’s really important to know where shoppers know where their dairy products come from because not all dairy products are equal. We’ve got a great brand that we offer to our shoppers in our store in the form of Lucerne Dairy Farms. It’s a true heritage brand that has been around for over 100 years. It was started in 1904 and it’s really built on quality, trust and value that our shoppers need to know when they’re providing meals for their family.”
Candace Rose: What are the most versatile dairy products and how can shoppers use them?
Chef Jeff Anderson: “Well, it’s really important to have staples on hand in your kitchen that you can use in your everyday cooking. What I like to do is I like to stock my refrigerator with a variety of different items, so when I get in a bind and I need a product or an idea, I can always go to the refrigerator and pick something. I like to have on hand a variety of different cheeses. I like shredded cheeses and also block cheeses. I like to have milk, heavy cream, half and half on hand so if I’m doing something where I’m baking or making some beverages or providing milk for people during their meals. Certainly eggs because eggs are important to cook with. I like butter – both salted and unsalted butter because I like to control the salt in a recipe, but I put regular butter out for the tabletop with your bread.
Flavored creams for the holidays. This time of year everyone is busy running around and maybe would like to treat themselves to something a little indulgent in the afternoon like an iced coffee and top it with Lucerne Farms peppermint and white chocolate creamer. It’s a low fat creamer and it’s also lactose-free so that’s a great thing to have on hand. If you’ve got these staples in your refrigerator it always will get you out of that bind when you’re cooking.”
Candace Rose: Can you tell us about the recipes you’re sharing with us today?
Chef Jeff Anderson: “These recipes that we created for you are built upon those staples and this is a perfect representation of that. Our holiday vegetable casserole features a cream sauce that’s made with heavy cream, milk and butter, you fold in some vegetables and in this case Brussel sprouts and broccoli and cauliflower and then top it with some shredded Swiss cheese. Once it comes out put a little more Swiss cheese over the top and this is something that will find a perfect place on your table.
Next is a cherry cheeseball. We created a great base of cream cheese and then we fold in some cheddar cheese, we’ve got medium sharp, we’ve got medium and we’ve also got white cheddar and then we drizzle it with a sauce where we’ve reduced a little bit of red wine and some sugar and made a red wine syrup.
Then last is a take on a classic, which is pigs in the blanket, but we call this one cheese in a blanket. It’s crescent rolls that we’ve opened up. We filled them with marinara, pepperoni. The cheese we’re using is a string cheese mozzarella, we shred that and put that in there and then we roll it up and bake it. When it comes out, I top it with a little more shredded mozzarella. This is really just a crowd pleaser and everyone can help make this and it’d be a family favorite.”
Candace Rose: Everything sounds delicious. Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share with us?
Chef Jeff Anderson: “Well, take a walk through your local neighborhood Safeway store, check out the dairy aisle and you can learn more about the Lucerne products.
Also, if you go to Safeway.com you can find these recipes, you can find tips and tricks on how to make these and you can learn about all the other great products we have in our stores.