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Touring Wisconsin Food

Category: Main Dishes (page 2 of 7)

Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

Buffalo Chicken SandwichThe buffalo chicken sandwich is just one of the many buffalo chicken dishes I’ve put together to satisfy my craving for all things buffalo. The buffalo-fied trend is an easy concept: take the flavors of buffalo hot wings like buffalo sauce, blue cheese, chicken, and celery, and integrate them in to another dish. I’ve cooked up buffalo chicken pizza, buffalo chicken chili and buffalo chicken tacos. The buffalo chicken sandwich is one of my favorites since it makes an easy week night slow cooker dinner or a main dish for a game day party. It’s a bit spicy and a bit messy but a whole lot of delicious!


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Mardi Gras Traditions with a Wisconsin Twist

Madris Gras traditions aren’t just limited to the state of Louisiana. You can enjoy them no matter where you live with these fun and easy ideas for Madri Gras traditions. I even added my own Wisconsin twist!


GumboGumbo with Bratwurst– This gumbo recipe is the perfect party food because it’s easy to put together and serves a crowd. You can even assemble it the night before, then have it cook all day in the crockpot, which gives the added bonus of that satisfying smell of food cooking while you’re setting up your green, purple and gold Mardi Gras decorations.  The original recipe called for the traditional Louisanna andouille sausage but I used bratwrust instead to keep it Wisconsin.





Mardi GrasKringle King Cake – The King Cake is a popular Mardi Gras tradition because it combines a colorful and delicious dessert with a fun party game. The host of the party hides a plastic baby in the cake, and whoever gets the baby inside their piece of cake is the king or queen for the day. Just be aware that royalty also comes with responsibilities. In this case, the king or queen must buy the king cake next year. I would put the king cake kringle by O&H bakery up against any king cake in the country in both the flavor and the looks category. It has flakey layers of pastry, a cream cheese filling and purple, gold and green sugar sprinkles.

Mardi Gras is going on now until Fat Tuesday, February 21st 2012, so get your crock pot ready and order your king cake today and have a fabulous Wisconsin Mardi Gras celebration.

Not Your Average Quesadilla Recipe

Buttermilk Blue Cheese Quesadilla recipes usually involve tortillas, cheese, maybe some chicken, but this isn’t your average quesadilla recipe. Sure, it has the tortillas and some cheese, but you’ll never guess what kind of cheese. Wisconsin cheese of course but it is Monteray Jack? Cheddar? Colby?  Nope, it’s not the usual suspect- it’s blue cheese. That’s right, I’m sharing a quesadilla recipe that includes blue cheese, beef and spinach. It might sound unusual but it tastes amazing, and it’s not too bad for your wasteline since the blue cheese has a strong flavor and you don’t need a lot of it. So what are you waiting for? Fire up your skillet and make yourself a dang quesadilla!  


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Gumbo Recipe with a Wisconsin Twist

gumbo-1The quick and easy gumbo recipe had been sitting in my “bookmarks” folder for a long time now and I had almost everything on hand to make it except for the sausage. I was about to head to the grocery store when I decided to hunt in the freezer for my final ingredient. The recipe called for a spciy andouille sausage but when I came across a package of Bavaria Sausage Kitchen bratwurst I decided to try those instead. I enjoy the taste of spice but I am a big whimp so the brats would be a welcome subsitution. The best part about this recipe? You can set it and forget it in the slow cooker. 

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Mac and Cheese with Bacon and Jalapeno

If you think mac and cheese from the box is as good as it gets, think again. This mac and cheese with bacon and jalapeno is creamier, cheesier, and all around superior to the blue box.  The one-pot-wonder recipe makes a spicy side dish or a hearty meal.  Don’t skimp on the ingredients- use real Wisconsin cheese, applewood smoked bacon, and a high-quality pasta for a real crowd pleasing dish.

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Bacon Burger

Applewood Smoked Bacon When you serve a bacon burger at your Packer game day party or Badger tailgate, notice as your friends peek under the bun and say “where’s the bacon?”.  It tastes like applewood smoked bacon, but there are no bacon strips to be found.  The secret is the bacon hidden in the meat.

If you are a fan of the Nueske bacon burger like I am, you will be saddened to know Nueske will no longer be making the bacon burger.  Pork lovers of the world need not despair however, because I, your local Wisconsin food enthusiast, can tell you how to make your own bacon burgers at home. Click “continue reading” to see the shockingly simple recipe.

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Basic Dishes for Wisconsin Cooks and a Gift Card Giveaway!

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Even if spending time in the kitchen isn’t your favorite, it is important to know how to prepare a few basic dishes. Most people know how to cook a burger, an omelet, a roasted chicken, but in Wisconsin, we have some additional favorites that most Wisconsin cooks can whip up on short notice.


Beer Cheese Soup –  Warm up a cold night with this Wisconsin favorite.  Keep it simple with beer and cheese, or add veggies and bratwurst for a more complete meal. My favorite beer cheese soup recipe includes carrots, celery, and potatoes.

Tip: You can skip the beer and use chicken broth instead, but then you’ll just have cheese soup!

 Onion Bratwurst

Bratwurst– There are as many ways to cook and serve bratwurst as their are Wisconsin cooks.  Pre-cooked brats can be just as good as fresh brats, but only require a quick sear on the grill.  Fresh brats need to be pre-boiled and Wisconsin cooks usually boil the brats in beer instead of water for some extra flavor. For some bratwurst serving inspiration, visit my blog post to find out how the staff likes their brats.  Also, be sure to check out the Bratwurst Pages for brat cooking instructions and more.


Grilled Cheese–  The beginner’s grilled cheese is two slices of white bread and some american cheese slices. Once a Wisconsin cook masters the basic grilled cheese, she can move on to more creative pursuits.  Test out different cheeses (mozzarella, cheddar, pepper jack), different breads (wheat, sour dough, ciabatta)  and add-ons (bacon, tomato, pesto) to discover the true wonders of the grilled cheese.  Visit this post to see my favorite grilled cheese recipe, or find inspiration at the Grilled Cheese Academy.

Tip: Use shredded cheese instead of slices, this makes the cheese melt more evenly.

Mac and Cheese–  This basic dish is another blank canvas for your Wisconsin culinary creativity to shine. Start with a basic recipe, then experiment with different cheeses, pasta shapes, and add-ins.

Tip: If you are baking your mac and cheese, boil your pasta a minute or two less than what the box recommends, it will cook some more in the oven.




Wisconsin Bratwurst: How We Like Our Brats in Wisconsin

Wisconsin bratwurst come in different flavors, can be cooked different ways, and topped with any number of toppings so what’s a grill master to do? There’s no right way to cook a bratwurst, but check out this slide show for how the Wisconsinites in the office like to cook, eat, and top their bratwurst.

Slide Show Tip: Click play, then click full screen (in the right hand corner) to see  delectable close-ups of the yummy bratwurst along with the staff’s recommendations.

I like precooked beer brats, grilled and topped with mustard and pickle relish. I am also a big fan of Klements, State Street Brats, grilled very well done and topped with slightly melted cheddar cheese — Yummy!! It is making me hungry just writing about it. -Linda, Owner

I love a fresh bratwurst cooked in beer then browned on the grill.  I’m open to all flavor varieties but toppings are always grilled onions and a streak of spicy mustard.  I may be in the minority, but I prefer a brat on a hot dog sized bun — less bun, more brat !! – Marilyn, Office Manager at

I don’t have a favorite type of brat, all I know is I like brats! Especially with lots of ketchup and mustard and a side of tater tots.  – Tiffany, Marketing Coordinator at

I’m not too original – we cook our brats in beer and onions, then serve with sauerkraut and mustard. – Susan, Artisan Coordinator at

I love the taste of spicy food, but I’m a total wimp so I couldn’t eat a whole spicy brat .  I usually get a beer brat with mustard and onions cooked in beer.  I subscribe to the Chicago school of thought when it comes to ketchup- NO KETCHUP on hot dogs or brats. – Amanda, Public Relations and Social Media Specialist at

Nothing is better then a beer simmered and then grilled bratwurst with a little sautéed onion on the side.  As long as your brat is simmered in beer and grilled there is ABSOLUTELY no need for condiments.   Condiments are for items which lack in flavor i.e..  hot dogs, water boiled brats, and eggs. – Eileen, Customer Service at

I am a beer brat girl. I not only like beer in my bratwurst , I like  soaking them in a beer and onion bath. Yum!!  For toppings, I mostly do mustard and onions, but once in awhile I will go crazy and throw ketchup, relish and a little sauerkraut to top it off.- Sue, Marketing Analyst at

Now we want to hear from you, how do you like your bratwurst ?


Grilled Meat- Wisconsin Style

Cheddar Bratwurst As the summer quickly slips away, it’s time to make sure we get our fill of grilled meats! Here are the top five grilled meats we love here in Wisconsin and some brief instructions on how to grill each one.  You might be surprised how easy these are to prepare.

1. Fresh Bratwurst– If your bratwurst aren’t precooked, put the brats in a skillet with just enough liquid (I recommend beer but water will work if you don’t have beer, but in Wisconsin we always have beer) to cover them.  A full boil might cause your wurst to burst, so simmer them (a low boil) until cooked through (about 15-20 minutes), then take them out of their brat tub and sear them on the grill.

2. Pre-Cooked Bratwurst– A great alternative if you are short on time and you want to skip the simmer step. With pre-cooked brats go straight to the grill, do not pass go, do not collect $200. For more brat ideas, check out my recipe for Curry Wurst or visit my fav brat resource the Bratwurst Pages!

3. Nueske Bacon Burgers- Fans of these burgers rave about how they barely shrink during the cooking process. Cook on a hot grill, about 3-5 minutes per side. Resist the urge to squish them with a spatula, you’re squishing out all the juices!

4.  Nueske Applewood Smoked Pork Chops– These are pre-cooked  and just require a quick sear- just don’t cook them too long or it will dry out the meat.

5. Nueske Applewood Smoked Wieners – Hot dogs imply kid food, so these natural casing, pork and beef tube steaks go by the old school word for hot dog- wiener (stop giggling!).   Again, these are pre-cooked so only require a quick warming on the grill.

What are your favorite meats to cook on the grill?

Smoked Pork Chops

Smoked Pork Chops Check out this delicious dinner of smoked pork chops, veggies, and homemade macaroni and cheese.  Can you believe this took me less than 30 minutes including the time to cook the smoked pork chops and make the mac and cheese from scratch? With a few shortcuts a balanced family dinner is only half an hour away.

Smoked Pork Chops– Pork can be difficult to cook since eating undercooked pork can be dangerous, but overcooking drys it out.  These smoked pork chops are precooked, so all you need to do is warm them up in a skillet or better yet, on the grill for about 5 minutes on each side. Can’t get much easier than that. If you can’t find them in your grocery store or just want to share the gift of delicious smoked meat, these smoked pork chops ship nationwide from

Vegetables– Wondering what to serve with smoked pork chops? I am a big fan of frozen vegetables, in fact, I prefer them over fresh.  Usually when it comes to food fresh is best, but frozen vegetables are picked at their peak and frozen right away to lock in freshness.  Fresh grocery store vegetables have probably taken a long journey and lost some of their nutrients and tastiness.  Stick with frozen and you’ll be surprised how tasty and easy adding a side of vegetables can be.

Mac and Cheese– You could always make this from the blue box, but I suggest trying this Stove Top Mac and Cheese recipe.  It only takes a tiny bit more effort than the boxed stuff, but the results are amazing! Besides, if you are from Wisconsin, don’t you feel a little guilty using that mystery powder when you have so much real Wisconsin cheese available?

Looking for more easy family friendly meals? Check out these blog posts:

Easy Barbeque Biscuit Cups

Curry Wurst

Pasta Carbonara

Beer Cheese Soup With Veggies

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