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Posts Tagged ‘Blue cheese’

Blue cheese gnocchi

We’ve been seeing more good quality pre-prepared fresh gnocchi around and it’s really handy for a quick dinner. Here’s how to make it tasty with some blue cheese and spinach.

Wine Suggestion: this was a little tricky given blue cheese’s affinity for sweet wine, and we didn’t want this with our meal. A glass of Oloroso sherry was considered but we ended up with a Puglian Primitivo-Nero do Troia blend from Michele Biancardi which is both savoury and fruity. The fruity, plummy sweetness was the foil for the cheese and the savoury tannins played a dance with the gnocchi and spinach.

Blue Cheese Gnocchi – serves 4

  • 500g fresh gnocchi
  • 250g bag baby spinach
  • 100ml/3½ fl oz crème fraîche
  • 4 tbsp grated parmesan
  • 100g blue cheese – a soft variety would be good but use whatever you have

Cook the gnocchi in a large pan of boiling salted water according to the timings on the pack. Stir the spinach into the pan with the gnocchi, then immediately drain in a colander and shake well to get rid of the water.

Put the crème fraîche and grated Parmesan into a small ovenproof dish. Add the hot, drained gnocchi and spinach and stir. Crumble the blue cheese over and season with black pepper.

Put the dish under a hot grill until the cheese is bubbling and golden.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Broccoli, walnut & blue cheese penne

We almost always have a bit of leftover blue cheese in the fridge and much as we love a cheese board, we don’t tend to have them on weeknights. So here’s a simple weeknight pasta – broccoli, walnuts & blue cheese – yum!

Broccoli Walnut & Blue Cheese Pasta – serves 2

  • 200g penne pasta
  • 250g broccoli florets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • a handful of chopped walnuts
  • 100g blue cheese e.g. dolcelatte, cubed
  • 1 lemon

Cook the pasta in a large pan of salty water and add the broccoli 4 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small pan and gently fry the walnuts for a minute.

Scoop 4tbsp of the pasta cooking water out and add to the walnuts before draining. Return the pasta to the pan and add the walnuts and blue cheese. Stir gently until the cheese melts. Squeeze over some lemon juice before serving.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Penne Stilton

We often have lumps of leftover Stilton in the fridge after the weekend and particularly after Christmas. If you find yourself in a similar situation try this simple pasta dish for a mid-week dinner. If that doesn’t solve the problem here’s a few other ideas:

Broccoli and Stilton Soup

Creamy baked Brussels sprouts with stilton

Pasta with Blue Cheese Cream

Roussillon Baked Potatoes

Pork and Pears

Wine Suggestion: delicious with the Bott-Geyl Points Cardinal Metiss, a dry but rich and full white made from all the Pinot varieties you can think of, including the red and pink ones. When young this wine is fresh and enticing but with an extra year in the bottle it fills out and the aromas seem to ramp up a bit more with hints of honey, pears and apples and a lovely dry spice on the palate. More than a match for the powerful flavour of Stilton.

Stilton & Penne Pasta – serves 4

  • 400g penne pasta
  • 25g butter
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped sage
  • 100g Stilton, cubed
  • handful toasted walnuts, chopped

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the pack.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, then gently fry the onion until golden. Add the garlic and sage, fry for a further 2 mins, then remove the pan from the heat.

Drain the pasta and reserve some cooking water. Stir through the onions, Stilton and 2 tbsp cooking water, then sprinkle with the toasted walnuts to serve.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Roussillon baked potatoes

Very simple and utterly delicious. Baked potatoes reach a whole new level when you mix the cooked potato with the toppings before baking for a second time.

Roussillon baked potatoes – serves 2

  • 2 baking potatoes
  • 30g butter
  • 4 streaky bacon rashers, 2 chopped
  • ¼ onion, finely chopped
  • 30g blue cheese, crumbled (we used Roquefort)
  • 1 small egg, beaten
  • ½ tsp finely chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºC/gas mark 6.

Wash the potatoes and pat some salt flakes over the skin, then bake for about 1 hour or until tender.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a frying pan until foaming, then add the chopped bacon and onion. Cook until the onion is soft but not coloured.

Halve the potatoes, scoop out the insides without breaking the skins. Mash the scooped out potato with the fried onion & bacon, cheese, egg, parsley and some freshly ground pepper (we prefer white pepper for potatoes but black is fine too). Pile the potato mixture back into the potato skins, top with the 2 uncooked bacon rashers and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden.

(Original recipe from Food From Plenty by Diana Henry, Octopus Publishing, 2010.)

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Wedges with bacon “soil” and gorgonzola

These are very delicious and perfect to share out of a big bowl in front of the TV on a Friday night – or at least that’s what we did. The bacony crumbs are a revelation! We expected the bacon to be problematic and to dry out in the oven but not in the slightest, the cooking just seems to intensify the flavours a bit and the “crumb” texture spreads through the dish perfectly.

Potato Wedges with Gorgonzola Sauce – serves 4

  • 1 kg medium floury potatoes
  • 8 smoked streaky bacon rashers
  • 1 tbsp dried chilli flakes
  • 4 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 250ml double cream
  • 150g Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6.

Scrub the potatoes and leave the skins on. Cut them in half lengthways, then into chunky wedges. Cook in boiling salted water for 15 minutes or until getting close to tender. Drain and tip into a roasting tin.

Fry the streaky bacon in a little oil until very crisp or barbecue them like we did. Put the cooked bacon into a food processor with the chilli flakes, groundnut oil and smoked paprika and whizz until it looks like very fine crumbs. Tip the crumbs over the wedges and toss gently to coat. Bake for about an hour or until crispy and sizzling.

Warm 250ml double cream in a small non-stick pan, add the Gorgonzola and stir gently until melted. Trickle the warm sauce over the wedges to serve or serve on the side as dip.

(Original recipe from Eat by Nigel Slater, Fourth Estate, 2013.)

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We love cheese after dinner but it seems a bit indulgent during the week and therefore we inevitably end up with chunks of cheese lurking in the back of the fridge. We try our best not to waste any food but something as expensive and delicious as cheese (particularly the cheese pantry stuff as opposed to the supermarket plastic-wrapped kind) is even more of a travesty to not use. That’s when recipes like this one are perfect for a mid-week treat without having to indulge in a two-course evening meal.

Broccoli & Stilton Soup – to serve 4

  • 2 tbsp flavourless oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, sliced
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 medium potato, diced
  • a knob of butter
  • 1 litre of good chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 head of broccoli, roughly chopped (including stalks)
  • 140g Stilton (or other blue cheese), crumbled

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onions until soft but not coloured. Add a splash of water if they start to catch.

Add the celery, leek, potato and butter. Stir until the butter melts, then cover with a lid and sweat for 5 minutes.

Pour in stock and add any chunks of broccoli stalk. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.

Add the remaining broccoli and cook for another 5 minutes. Whizz until smooth, then stir in the stilton. Season with black pepper (you are unlikely to need salt) and serve.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Pork and Pears

We really only made this because there was leftover blue cheese in the fridge but it’s a perfect combination of complementary flavours. Good with some purple sprouting broccoli on the side.

Pork and pears – to feed 4

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 red onions, cut into eighths
  • 2 large pears, quartered and cored – leave the skins on
  • few sprigs rosemary, leaves roughly chopped
  • 4 pork steaks, about 175g each, trimmed of excess fat
  • 50g blue cheese, cubed

Heat the oil in a roasting tin on the hob (use 2 rings), then add the onions, pears, most of the rosemary and seasoning. Fry for 5 minutes or until just starting to caramelise.

Heat the grill to high. Season the pork, then arrange among the veg and fry for 5-10 minutes, until golden and cooked through. Scatter with the leftover rosemary and the cheese, grill until the cheese melts.

Wine Suggestion: White wine works well with these flavours and ingredients; try a Pinot Gris, a slightly off-dry Chenin Blanc, or even a fruiter style of Roussanne

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food.)

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