A Steakhouse Supper Wisconsin Style

Today we celebrate the great state of Wisconsin. Birthplace of Kindergarten, the Republican Party and the love of my life.

Wisconsin Fun Facts:
In 1895, Wisconsin banned the sale and use of margarine in the state. The ban remained in effect until 1967. Restrictions on the use of margarine remain even today. For example, it is still illegal for a restaurant to serve margarine unless it is at the specific request of a customer. You really can’t blame them. After all, margarine was viewed as a threat to the livelihood of dairy farmers. And Dairy Farmers are the Bread and Butter of Wisconsin.

While some very real famous people come from some very real places in Wisconsin, did you know that Barbie hails from a fictional town in Wisconsin? Barbie’s home town is Willows, Wisconsin – a place that doesn’t exist. I haven’t a clue as to why the creators of Barbie felt the need to create a back story for a doll, but they did. I suppose they felt that a beauty from the American Midwest was somehow a good marketing move. When Barbie made her début at the International Toy Fair in 1959, many doll buyers refused to stock her in their stores, feeling that she was “too mature” for the public. Mothers agreed, but it was the daughters who had the final word. And so the Wisconsin Beauty became an unrealistic role model for girls everywhere.

When most folks hear the term “cheesehead” they naturally think of Green Bay Packer Fans. But did you know that the term was actually coined by German soldiers as an insult to the Dutch during World War II? This insult continued, with folds from Chicago referring to sports fans from Wisconsin as Cheeseheads. Then in 1987 Ralph Bruno was helping his mother reupholster a couch at her Milwaukee home. When he took apart the couch, he looked at the foam inside and thought it looked like cheese. So Ralph cut the foam into a triangle, burned holes into it and spray-painted his cheese wedge yellow. Naturally, since Ralph lived in Milwaukee, it was at a Brewers game against Chicago that his cheesehead first appeared. By the 1990s, the foam Cheesehead had become a symbol of Wisconsin pride. Packer fans wore their beloved Cheeseheads to the 1996 Super Bowl to cheer the Pack to victory against the New England Patriots. From that point on Cheeseheads and Green Bay Packer Fans are one and the same.

Green Bay isn’t just football. It’s also the Toilet Paper Capital of the world. Yep, toilet paper. The Northern Paper Mills Company was the biggest producer of toilet paper in the world during the 1920s. In 1935, they gave us the world’s first splinter-free toilet paper. To which I think we are all grateful.

While Madison is the capital of Wisconsin and Milwaukee is the biggest city in the state, Green Bay is the oldest settlement. The establishment of Green Bay can be traced to the French explorer, Jean Nicolet, who began a small trading post in 1634 that would eventually become Green Bay. Like most explorers of his time, Jean was a bit lost when he landed at Red Banks, near modern-day Green Bay. After all, he in search of a passage to the Orient. While he didn’t find that shortcut, he did make headways into the exploration of American.


Wisconsin Steakhouse Supper
Starters:
Beer-Brat Cheddar Chowder

Entrée:
Stuffed Beef Tenderloin Filet
Twice-Baked Broccoli Cheddar Potatoes

Dessert:
Honey Bee Vanilla Bean Pudding


Beer-Brat Cheddar Chowder
1/2 Yellow Onion
1 medium Carrot
3 large Shallots
1 teaspoon Caraway Seeds
10 oz Wisconsin Aged Cheddar Cheese
4 Smoked Bratwurst
2 tablespoons Butter
1-3/4 cups Chicken Stock
1/3 cup Flour
1 cup Light Cream
Black Pepper to taste
12 oz Wisconsin Beer

Optional for Serving
Warm Rye Bread
Sweet Butter

Cut onion in half from root to tip, reserve half for another use. Peel and finely dice remaining half, set aside. Peel and coarsely shred carrot, set aside. Peel and mince shallots, set aside. Crush caraway seeds, set aside. Shred cheese from a block, set aside. Splint smoked bratwurst in half lengthwise, then slice into half-moon slices. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and shallots; reduce heat to medium low. Cook, stirring frequently, about 10 to 15 minutes or until onions are soft and golden.

In a large jar with a lid, combine broth and flour. Cover and shake until combined and smooth to create a thickening slurry. Stir slurry into the onion mixture. Add the cream, caraway seeds and black pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens.

Gradually stir in the shredded cheese; reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring frequently, until cheese melts. DO NOT allow chowder to boil.

Stir in the bratwurst and beer. Cook, stirring frequently, until heated through.

Ladle soup into bowl. Garnish with cheese and serve with rye bread and butter if desired.


Stuffed Beef Tenderloin Filet
1-1/2 cups Green Onions
2-1/2 cups Shitake Mushrooms
2 teaspoon dried Thyme
1 cup Smoked Cheddar Cheese
2 tablespoon Butter
4 thick Beef Tenderloin Steaks
Salt to taste
Fresh Black Pepper to taste
8 slices Bacon

Thinly slice green onions and mushrooms, set aside. Crush dried thyme, set aside. Shred cheese from a block, set aside.

Melt butter in skillet. Add green onion, mushrooms and thyme. Cook, uncovered, for about 4 minutes, or until onions are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Reserve about one third of the mushroom mixture to serve over the finished steaks. Set aside. To the remaining mushroom mixture, stir in the shredded cheese and set aside.

Cut a 3-inch-wide pocket in the side of each tenderloin filet, taking care not to cut through the steaks. Spoon a quarter of the cheese-mushroom mixture into each pocket. Sprinkle meat lightly with salt and pepper. Wrap 2 slices of bacon around each steak; secure with wood toothpicks.

Place steaks on the rack of broiler pan. Adjust oven rack if necessary, broil steaks about 5 inches from heat source for 20 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in center of meat and stuffing registers 145-degrees for medium-rare or 160 for medium. Carefully flip steaks midway through cooking time. Transfer to plates; top with reserved mushroom mixture.

White Gull Inn
Fish Creek, Wisconsin

Twice-Baked Broccoli Cheddar Potatoes
4 medium Russet Potatoes
1-1/2 cups steamed Broccoli
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
3-1/2 tablespoons soft Butter
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1/4 cup Buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon White Pepper
3/4 teaspoon Chives
3/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon dried Onion Flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried Dill Weed
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
2 cups Aged Cheddar Cheese, divided

Heat oven to 400 degree. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Scrub potatoes well, dry. Cut a slit in the top of each potato, then place in a casserole dish. Bake potatoes in the heated oven for about an hour or until soft. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

While the potatoes cool, steam broccoli. Chop and set aside.

Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice each potato in half, lengthwise. With a small spoon, scoop out most of the pulp and place into a large bowl. Take care to leave the skins and a partial wall intact to support the filling.

Rub the outsides of the potato skins with a little olive oil. Place the skins on the prepared baking sheet and set aside.

To the bowl with the pulp, add soft butter. Mash well with a potato masher or hand-held mixer until fairly smooth. Whip in the sour cream and buttermilk. Season potato mash with salt, pepper, chives, garlic powder, onion powder, dried onion flakes, dill weed, and paprika. Fold in the broccoli along with 3/4 cup of the cheese.

Divide the filling evenly among the potato skin shells. then top with remaining cheese. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the potatoes are heated through.


Honey Bee Vanilla Bean Pudding
2 cups Milk
2 (4-inch) Vanilla Beans
1 cup Heavy Cream
3 Egg Yolks
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Honey, preferably mild-flavored Wisconsin honey
3 tablespoons Cornstarch
Pinch Salt
1 tablespoon Butter
Fresh Berries or Fruit for garnish, if desired
Whipped Cream, if desired

In a heavy medium saucepan, bring the milk to boiling over medium heat, stirring occasionally

Remove from heat. With the tip of a paring knife, slit the vanilla beans down the center. Scrape the seeds into the hot milk then add the pods.

Cool vanilla milk for 15 minutes. Cover and chill for at lease 2 hours or overnight for more intense vanilla flavor.

Remove the vanilla pods from the milk. With fingers, press the liquids from the pods into the milk mixture to extract all the seeds; discard pods.

In the same saucepan, heat the vanilla milk with heavy cream over medium heat until boiling, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Separate eggs, reserve whites for another purpose. In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks on medium speed for 1 minute. Beat in sugar, honey, cornstarch and salt until well combined. Temper the egg yolk mixture by gradually beating in about 1 cup of the hot milk mixture until well combined.

Add the tempered egg yolk mixture to the remaining milk mixture in the saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir in butter until melted. If necessary, strain mixture to remove any lumps.

Pour pudding into individual dessert dishes or a 4-cup serving bowl. Cover surface of pudding with plastic wrap. Chill, undisturbed for at least 1 hour for individual dishes or at least 3 hours for the large serving bowl. or until pudding is completely chilled.

Serve as is, or garnish with fruit or whipped cream as desired.

Jill Prescott’s Ecole de Cuisine
The Osthoff Resort
Elkhart Lake, WI

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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