MALTed Comfort Foods
November 18, 2020
As the weather cools and winter holidays approach, MALT staff have turned to the warmth of their kitchens, cooking and baking their favorite comfort foods with their favorite MALT products. In these uncertain times there is one thing we all know, the Marin agricultural community continuously provides this region with an abundance of fresh local meats, produce, dairy, eggs and other agricultural products that we rely on and love. We asked MALT staff what MALTed comfort foods they’re brewing up in their kitchens right now. From hearty casseroles and flaky biscuits to apple pie from homegrown apples, we have compiled five staff recipes to share with you!
Check out the full list of locally grown and produced products from MALT farms and ranches.
MALT Staff’s Favorite Comfort Foods:
Tristan’s Toasty Cheesy Treat
Tristan, MALT’s community engagement manager, uses MALT products to make her favorite post-rainy day hike treat. This loaded grilled cheese will leave you happy and full!
- Heat a small frying pan on medium-low heat and fry the egg in oil or butter of your choosing. While the egg is frying, slice the bread, tomato and cheese. Set the fried egg aside.
- Add half of the butter to the frying pan. When the butter is melted, add one slice of bread to the pan along with the cheese. Add the tomato, fried egg and Sriracha to your liking, topped with the other slice of bread.
- Once the underside is golden brown, add the rest of the butter and flip the grilled cheese. Press down with a spatula and wait until the bottom is golden brown.
- Serve and enjoy immediately.
Elizabeth’s Flaky Biscuits
Elizabeth, MALT’s data services manager, and her 5-year-old son love to make fluffy, flaky biscuits on foggy Sunday mornings. These melt-in-your-mouth biscuits are quick, easy and enjoyable to all!
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Dice the cold Straus Family Creamery unsalted sweet cream butter.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the organic white flour, organic sugar, salt, baking powder and cream of tartar.
- Cut in cold butter until well mixed. Butter should be in pea-sized pieces throughout.
- Add in the egg and whole milk. Both ingredients should be very cold.
- Mix everything until just combined. Dough will be sticky and lumpy.
- Pour dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead 12 times.
- Roll or pat the dough into a 1-inch thick circle.
- Cut biscuit shapes with biscuit cutter, glass or even a cookie cutter.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or until fluffy and golden brown.
- Most importantly, while the biscuits are hot brush the tops with melted Straus Family Creamery salted butter.
- Enjoy with butter and jam!
Eric’s Sweet and Savory Breakfast Casserole
Eric, MALT’s stewardship project manager, balances sweet and savory flavors from West Marin producers in this delicious breakfast casserole. This dish is family-friendly and many of the ingredients can be substituted for whatever you have in your refrigerator!
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Cook tater tots according to package directions. Cook the sausages and break into small bite-sized pieces.
- While the tater tots and sausages are cooking, chop the green onions.
- Oil or spray a 13×9-inch pan.
- Place the Brioche bread as the base layer. Add cooked tater tots and sausage on top of the bread layer.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, adding a little milk. Add the chopped green onions and shredded cheese to the egg mixture.
- Pour the egg mixture over the bread, sausage and tater tots.
- Cook the breakfast casserole for 45-50 minutes or until the edges are brown or a toothpick comes out clean.
- Season to taste with local Sola Bee honey or hot sauce of your choosing depending on your mood. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Jim’s Homegrown Apple Pie
Jim, MALT’s associate director of conservation — stewardship and a fifth-generation West Marin rancher, enjoys baking homemade apple pie with his grandma from homegrown Jensen Ranch apples. Although not sold to the public, these apples are enjoyed by the Jensen family in the fall and winter months. They are similarly enjoyed by the sheep who patiently wait for them to hit the ground.
Ingredients: To make a 9-inch pie
- 6-7 cups of Jensen Ranch homegrown apples, sliced
- ¾-1 cup sugar, adjust depending on type of apple
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon or nutmeg
- 1 ⅓ tablespoons of Bivalve Dairy butter
- Two-crust pie dough, homemade or store-bought
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Pick, wash and peel apples. Core and then quarter the apples, and cut them into thin ¼-inch thick slices.
- Mix together the sugar and cinnamon or nutmeg. Gently mix in the apple slices.
- Line a pie pan with pie dough. Pour apple mixture into the pie crust. Dot with the butter. Cover the pie with the top crust.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the apples are cooked through.
- Serve warm or cold with organic Straus Family Creamery ice cream.
Colleen’s Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates
Colleen, MALT’s operations manager, shares a decadent blue cheese-stuffed date recipe that is perfect as an appetizer or dessert. These stuffed dates are always the first to go at every potluck or gathering!
- Soften the blue cheese to room temperature.
- Roast the pecans in a dry pan for about 7 minutes on low heat. Keep an eye on the nuts.
- Chop the parsley and ¾ cups of the nuts for filling. Slice remaining nuts into quarters for topping
- Lightly mix the cheese, chopped nuts and chopped parsley, reserving some of the parsley for topping.
- Stuff each date with about a teaspoon of the cheese mixture.
- Top each date with pecan quarters and a bit of parsley for color.
- Mix the honey and balsamic vinegar and drizzle on top.
- Serve at room temperature or roast for 1 minute under a broiler to serve warm.
We hope you too find comfort in cooking and baking with locally produced MALT products this winter. For more recipes, check out our other blog posts.
And remember, every time you shop, you have the opportunity to support local farmers and ranchers, and the local food system.