If you work in a restaurant kitchen, the last thing you want to do when you get home is slave over another stove. I discovered Carr Valley Bread Cheese when I last cooked in a restaurant, and it was a godsend. All the firm, mozzarella-like cheese needs is a quick pan fry—or 30 seconds in the microwave—and you have a warm, melty block that tastes like a homey grilled cheese sandwich.
The Wisconsin cheese is a twist on a Finnish product, juustoleipä. Carr Valley bakes its version, giving it a nutty brown surface that crisps nicely in a skillet. The mild, sweet-salty flavor takes well to a dab of apricot jam, a drizzle of honey, or a dunk in fresh marinara. Or you could go the post-restaurant-shift route: Unwrap, zap, and enjoy with a cold brew.
Carr Valley Bread Cheese, $8.40 a pound, is available at Whole Foods and at carrvalleycheese.com.
This article appears in the February 2012 issue of The Washingtonian.