So last week my besties from The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, sent me out to Madison, Wisconsin to
gain exactly 1 million pounds judge Grilled Cheese Academy’s Recipe Showdown. While I was there, I got to spend some time with the other judges who just so happened to be some super serious lady bloggers – foodiecrush and bell’alimento. They totally kill it in the blog-o-sphere and because of all their guidance, I’m super excited to tell y’all that GCS is about to get so much more legit. I’ll now be blogging about my pop-ups, my food tours, non-grilled cheese recipes (don’t worry, there will still be new gc recipes, too!) and of course – my adventures and totally random silly shit.
Ahh! I’m so excited – Can you tell? hahaah Ok, so to begin, welcome to my very first official post that is not a grilled cheese recipe… Omg! This entry is a recap of my latest pop-up at Underground Butcher in Madison, WI. So yeah, let’s get it goin’!
The thing I liked most about this pop-up is that I knew where every single item came from, which was The Underground Food Collective’s amazing commissary kitchen. The geniuses behind UFC also own Forequarter, which got written up as one of the top 50 best new restaurants by Bon Appetit and The Underground Butcher, which is where I had my pop-up.
This badass baker babe, who bakes for UFC, is Selima and I love her. Before the pop-up I met with her at the UFC’s commissary and decided that “Um yes, of course I’d love to use your brioche for my pop-up!” so that’s how that happened. She baked these tasty loaves from scratch, obvi, and they were everything you’d want in a brioche and more – light, buttery, sweet, and completely addictive.
I got to relive one of my favorite parts of my old job at Depanneur - being the meat slicing master. Back in the day when I was slicing up like 20 lbs of prosciutto a day, I felt totally ripped. Now my arms are all flabby and gross but back then, my arms were perfectly toned and I could slice the thinnest piece of prosciutto without batting an eye. Seriously, lifting weights doesn’t have N-E-THING on handling a meat slicer. As you could imagine, I was super stoked get back on it and I didn’t even get hurt while slicing up their homemade smoked ham. Score!
Jonny Hunter, the main man behind The Underground Food Collective, made me the happiest girl in all the land when he tossed me a container of beef fat and nonchalantly said “We’ll use this instead of butter”. I, of course, squealed in excitement. Beef fat is the new butter. Just so you know.
This badboy (girl?) is a hole-in-one grilled cheese (it’s definitely a girl) and was featured the first day of my popup. It’s got Carr Valley’s Caso Bolo Mellage which is a mixed milk cheese that’s super buttery and melts like a charm. I paired it with some Clem’s hot pepper mustard and fried a farm egg right in the middle. This was made on Selima’s insanely good brioche… doi.
To see a recipe for this type of sandwich, click HERE. FYI the ingredients are a little different, but the method is the same!
Next, I made this Pleasant Ridge Reserve grilled cheese on some whole wheat loaves that Selima specially made for me. This sandwich has some of my homemade candied garlic, Underground Butcher’s smoked ham, and their tomato jam. Jonny’s brother even picked me some edible flowers to make my sandwiches even more fun… which I died over. Only in Wisconisn, am I right?
To see how to make the candied garlic, click here for now – soon it’ll be be on its own page under the other recipes tab. Ah!
To save the best for last – here’s my “Ode to Wisconsin” grilled cheese. It’s got Underground Butcher’s amazing Brats (which I’m still dreaming about), some Wisconsin limburger and swiss, caramelized onions and some of Underground’s Cranberry Mustard on Selima’s wholewheat. To tell you the truth, I haven’t stopped thinking about this sandwich and I’m sad that my fingers don’t smell like limburger anymore. Jk. Sort of.
One of my childhood BFF’s and her sissy even drove a few hours to come and see me… I ALMOST CRIED. Ok, I did cry a little but I blamed it on the onions.
Johnny Pemberton and Josh Fadem, who are two of my favorite comedian friends, were also in Madison for their tour – Summer Boys Do It. They stopped by my pop-up and I hooked ‘em up with some grilled cheese and they surprised me with a seat at their show which was effing hilarious. I love trades and I love them.
After two days of reeking of beef fat and burnt cheese, my time popping up ended. My buddy Pete, who has become my official bestie of Madison, and I then shared a Rad (think - grapefruit shandy) by one of my favorite Brooklyn Breweries – Sixpoint. I think it could have used a splash of tequila or gin… but I didn’t complain. I was just happy to be off my feet.
And to make my pop-up even more memorable (and I know this is totally NSFW… sorry) I had to document the flock of amazing naked bicyclists that drove by and made everyone
horny crack up.
I had such an amazing time on this adventure and I can’t wait to go back to Madison. Everyone that I met was/is fucking awesome and I’m totally inspired by their passion for food and their undying creativity. I couldn’t have done it without my Wisconsin Cheese sponsorship and I wish they were a person so i could marry them. Thanks for reading and I hope y’all like my new features!
Oh! And if you want more info on Underground Butcher or if you want to treat yourself to one of these sammie’s (UB still has the brat one on their menu!) then click below!