Iowa’s most famous product, Maytag blue cheese has been in business since 1941. Still a family farm at its roots, the Maytags are in their fourth generation of making cheese.
If you need a quick and delicious appetizer you cannot go wrong with this recipe. If it takes you longer than 20 minutes to put
together, you are doing something wrong. The sweet pears play nicely with the sharp cheese and the saltiness of the prosciutto. Molto bene!
Brucemore, in Cedar Rapids, was built in 1886 by the Sinclair family for their large brood. You can tour this 19th century mansion and learn about the lions (yes, lions in Iowa!) later families kept as pets.
Pears with Blue Cheese and Prosciutto
- 2 ripe pears
- Maytag blue cheese
- 8 slices prosciutto, sliced in half lengthwise
With a sharp paring knife, quarter each pear, removing stem and core. Cut each quarter in half. Slice cheese into 16 equal pieces. Place cheese on side of pear, add a few sprigs of arugula, then wrap prosciutto around the entire piece. Repeat with remaining pears. Serve immediately.
Maytag Blue cheese is one of Iowa’s most famous products. First produced in 1941, this family run dairy (the same one associated with the appliances) is in its fourth generation of making cheese and
uses a small batch method. If you like the flavor of blue cheese, Maytag will knock your socks off. It’s that good.
We love a good blue cheese dip but man cannot live on dip alone so we bring you Buffalo Cauliflower. This alternative to Buffalo wings is much lower in fat but has plenty of flavor and is mighty spicy. You’ve been warned.
Maytag Dairy Farms in Newton, Iowa, offers daily tours focusing on the history and packaging (note: this is not a production tour), Monday through Friday 8:00 to 5:00 and Saturday 9:00 to 4:00.
Buffalo Cauliflower with Maytag Blue Cheese Dip
- 4 cups cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 tablespoons crumbled Maytag blue cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl, combine milk, water, flour, and spices (garlic salt through pepper). Toss cauliflower into mixture and mix until it is completely coated. Place cauliflower on baking sheet covered with parchment paper, shaking off the excess batter. Cauliflower should be on a single layer and the pieces should not be touching. Bake at 425 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until cauliflower just begins to brown.
In the meantime, in a large, microwave safe bowl, add butter to the hot sauce. Microwave for one minute or until butter melts. Stir until butter is incorporated. At the 20 minute mark, remove cauliflower and toss it in the hot sauce mixture. Return cauliflower to baking sheet and bake another 20 minutes.
In the meantime, make the blue cheese dip by combining all ingredients including salt and pepper to taste.
Cauliflower will be done when it is browned. Serve immediately with blue cheese dip.
A loose meat sandwich is a declaration in simplicity. Not gussied up with tons of toppings, not loaded with cheese, the loose meat sandwich is not a sloppy joe or a burger, but something in between.
Sometimes called a tavern sandwich, the beef is lightly seasoned and usually adorned with ketchup, mustard, raw onion, and pickle rounds. Made famous by the Midwest chain Maid-Rite, this ode to beef has been sustaining Iowans, where most of the stores are located, since the 1920s.
If don’t live in the Midwest, you can easily make this sandwich at home. You’ll find tons of variations on this recipe, with lots of different ingredients — some even include cola as a sweetener — but we liked this one for its straightforwardness with ingredients you probably already have on hand.
If you’ve never checked out the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines, you’ve been missing out. From its iconic gold dome, to the glass floor in the rotunda, the building is simply stunning and well worth a tour.
Loose Meat Sandwiches
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 1 large onion, chopped finely (reserve approx. 2 tablespoons raw)
• 1 pound ground beef (or turkey)
• 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
• 1 tablespoon white vinegar
• 1 ½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
• 1 14.5 oz. can of beef broth
• 2 teaspoons brown sugar
• 4 sesame seed hamburger buns
• Dill pickles, sliced
Heat the vegetable oil on medium heat in a large saute pan. Add onions, sauting until translucent. Add beef and cook until meat is no longer pink. Use a potato masher to break up the larger chunks of beef. Add the mustard, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce, then add the beef broth and sugar. Continue cooking until broth is reduced. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve on buns, topped with ketchup and/or mustard, raw onions and pickle slices.
The breaded pork tenderloin — or BPT for those in the know — is such a simple thing. Just a piece of pork tenderloin pounded thin, dipped in an egg wash, battered, then fried.
A restaurant in Indiana actually claims to have invented the BPT, but when it comes to pork, Iowa is the country’s top producer, with over 10 billion pounds produced in 2012. Heavens to piggy! The BPT is very close to its German cousin, the schnitzel, the only real difference being that schnitzel is pan fried while the BPT takes a deep oil bath. You can find BPTs all over the Hawkeye State in drive-ins, dive bars, and diners.
Continue reading BPT is GR8: Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich – Iowa