Stroll up to your local grocer’s cheese case and you’re bound to find a range of smoked cheddars. When picking a block, keep in mind that cheese is extremely porous, which means the smoke permeates every inch—so be sure you enjoy the taste of that smoke! Cheddar can be flavored with any number of agents: hickory, mesquite, nutshells, and more. Find a variety you like and use it in one or all of these recipes—sharp, complex, and supremely meltable, smoked cheddar lends savory depth to Southern biscuits, ice cream, and a seasonal strata. Ready your grater.
These biscuits are best the day they’re made, but the gravy can be prepared up to 3 days ahead of time.
Strata is traditionally served for breakfast or brunch, but it can make for a wonderful meal any time of day—just serve with a green salad for a hearty, filling feast.
This unique ice cream goes gangbusters with apple pie, but it’s also delicious drizzled with a rich caramel sauce. You’ll need an immersion blender and an ice cream maker for this recipe.
This is a great way to use up leftover pulled pork. Traditional smoked barbecue pork works best, but carnitas or pork roast are great, too.
Minneapolis made the cheese-stuffed burger famous, but swapping smoked cheddar for American slices really elevates this dish. For even better results, ask your butcher for ground short ribs in place of the ground chuck.
Photography by Jennifer Silverberg.