Ten years ago, Chef Jesse Johnson was using his winter off at the Waterfront Restaurant in Sister Bay, to hone his culinary skills in Europe. During a stint as a chef in France, Jesse stopped at a goat farmsteed to enjoy a glass of wine and some local cheese.
“It was pretty amazing” said Jesse during a recent visit I made to his farm in Sister Bay. “Sitting out on the porch, eating cheese, watching goats, watching them take them to pasture then watching them bring them in to the make room. That’s when it was put in the back of my mind that I could start a similar venture in Door County.”
Jump 10 years later and Jesse and his new wife, Rachel, have made this dream a reality with the opening of their new Door County Creamery in Downtown Sister Bay. The Creamery is selling fresh chevre made from the goat milk produced at their Sister Bay goat farm. A manufacturing facility is in the rear of their Creamery. In addition to fresh chevre, customers can enjoy a blackboard lunch menu featuring fresh cheeses, charchuterie and salads. Soon to come…..goat cheese gelato with flavors such as fig and date, roasted almond and classic pistachio.
Jesse and Rachel will be open for business the last week of June. Door County Creamery, 10653 N. Bay Shore Drive, Sister Bay, Wisconsin 54234 920-854-3388
Here is one of Chef Jesse’s recipes featuring his homemade chevre! Enjoy.
Door County Creamery Goat Cheese Torte
Makes one torte in a 9 X 5 loaf pan
Chef Jesse has this delicious torte available for pick up at the Creamery.
One pound fresh chevre
½ pound pesto (8 ounces)
½ pound black olive tapenade (8 ounces)
½ pound oven dried Tomato confit (8 ounces)
Makes 8 ounces of pesto
½ pound of fresh basil leaves
¼ cup pine nuts
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup shredded parmesan
Combine all pesto ingredients, except the olive oil and the cheese, in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. With processor going, pour olive oil through the feed tube. You may need to scrape the sides of the bowl when it is turned off. After a few pulses, add the parmesan cheese. Pulse to just combine.
Makes 8 ounces of tapenade
2 cups pitted Kalamata olives
3 fresh anchovy fillets (optional - Spanish Boquerones recommended)
¼ cup rinsed capers
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until smooth. You will need to use a rubber spatula to scrape the mixture down. Can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator.
Oven dried tomato confit
8 fresh medium sized Roma tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Slice the tomatoes into ½ inch thick slices and toss with the oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Place a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. Place the tomato slices on top of the wire rack and bake in the preheated. Check the tomatoes after 3 ½ hours. The tomatoes will dry out a bit faster in a convection oven. If the tomatoes are not dried, put back in the oven for another ½ hour. Remove and let cool. Can be made ahead a day ahead. If making ahead, store in a covered container at room temperature.
Line a 9 x 5 loaf pan with saran wrap. The wrap should come up over the sides of the pan. Put the tomato confit down over the bottom of the pan. Next layer half of the chevre. It will be easier to spread if it is at room temperature. Next, place the pesto over the first layer of chevre. Top with the remaining chevre and finish with the tapenade layer. Put saran over the top of the torte. Press firmly so compact the torte. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnite.
When ready to serve, remove top piece of plastic wrap. Flip over on a serving dish, pull plastic wrap off and garnish with fresh arugula or herbs. Serve with County Creamery Ciabatta Crackers (AKA “Crack”-ers)