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Posts Tagged ‘Blue cheese’

Mushroom, Cider & Blue Cheese Soup

We made this soup on the strangest St Patrick’s day ever. There was no parade, the restaurants have all closed down and city streets are virtually empty. There is lots of panic buying going on, the supermarket aisles for tinned goods and toilet rolls have been decimated. We’re not down though, we’re positive we’ll all get through this and hopefully be stronger and better people on the other side. We’re continuing to buy fresh food, there’s lots of it available, and cook nice recipes like this soup by Gill Meller.

Mushroom, cider & blue cheese soup – serves 4 to 6

  • 500g wild and cultivated mushrooms (we used all chestnut mushrooms as it’s not autumn and wild ones aren’t available)
  • 25g butter, plus an extra bit, for frying
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 small potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 750ml veg stock or chicken stock
  • 250ml dry cider
  • 100ml double cream
  • 75g blue cheese, plus extra to serve if you like
  • a small bunch of parsley, finely chopped, to serve

Clean the mushrooms with a damp piece of kitchen paper and roughly chop them but keep about 100g over to fry and use as a garnish. The mushrooms for the garnish can be sliced.

Melt the butter in a large pan with a splash of olive oil, over a medium heat. When it starts to foam, add the leek, potato, onion and garlic. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the onion is soft but not browned. Add the mushrooms and thyme and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the stock, cider and some seasoning, then bring to a simmer. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until tender. Purée the soup until smooth (or smoothish if you’re using a stick blender).

Add the cream and blue cheese to the soup and gently return to a simmer. Season to taste and keep warm over a very low heat.

Heat a knob of butter and a splash of oil in a frying pan and sauté the reserved mushrooms for 8 to 10 minutes or until well cooked and golden brown. Season the mushrooms.

Serve the soup in warm bowls with the mushrooms and parsley sprinkled over. You can also sprinkle over some more crumbled blue cheese if you like.

(Original recipe from Time by Gill Meller, Quadrille, 2018.)

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Fig, Blue Cheese & Walnut Salad

There are figs going cheap everywhere at the moment and we’re trying to find lots of things to do with them. This salad by Thomasina Miers is delicious and full of autumnal flavours.

Wine Suggestion: if you feel like wine with your salad choose a fresh, unoaked white. There’s plenty of options but we like Jean-Michel Gerin’s le Champine Viognier from the northern Rhone which sits nicely with all the components here.

Roasted red onion, fig, blue cheese & walnut salad – serves 4

  • 2 red onions, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4-5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp soft brown sugar
  • 6 ripe figs, sliced in half widthways
  • 75g walnuts
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • 1 head radicchio, finely shredded
  • 100g watercress
  • 120g blue cheese, we used Gorgonzola as we had some for another dish

Heat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.

Scatter the onions over a large baking tray, season generously and drizzle with a tablespoon of the vinegar and olive oil to coat. Toss with your hands, lightly scatter with brown sugar, then roast for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the figs cut side down on a different tray, and season with salt, pepper, a little brown sugar and a drizzle of olive oil. Roast in the oven with the figs for another 10-12 minutes or until the figs are slightly softened and releasing their juice and the onions are crisp at the edges.

Drizzle the rest of the vinegar over the figs. Put the walnuts in a small baking tray and roast for 5 minutes. Roughly chop.

Pour the juice from the fig roasting tray into a small cup, then whisk in 2-3 tbsp of oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Season to taste.

Arrange the leaves on a large plate, top with the red onions and figs and dot around the cheese. Scatter over the walnuts and drizzle over the dressing.

(Original recipe by Thomasina Miers in The Guardian.)

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Cheeseboard soufflé

Another useful recipe for all the leftover cheese following the holidays. The soufflé is deliciously light and the pear and walnut salad (scroll down for recipe) is the perfect accompaniment.

Wine Suggestion: a classic, and to our mind excellent wine match is bubbly, and at the moment we’ve been exploring the different Cremant’s found around France. Tonight it was the Domaine Manciat-Poncet Cremant de Bourgogne from the Maçonnais (chosen and provided by our friend Michelle), and a good choice indeed.

Cheeseboard Soufflé – serves 4

  • 50g butter
  • 25g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 200ml milk
  • 300g hard cheese, cut into chunks (we used Comté, Cheddar & Parmesan)
  • 100ml double cream or crème fraîche
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • grating of nutmeg
  • pinch of cayenne pepper

Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Brush a 20cm soufflé dish with a little of the melted butter, then dust with flour.

Stir the rest of the flour into the melted butter in the saucepan, then bubble together for 1 minute. Gradually pour in the milk to make a white sauce, then add two-thirds of the cheese and continue to stir over the heat to melt.

Leave to cool slightly, then mix in the rest of the cheese, the cream and the egg yolks. Season and add the nutmeg and cayenne pepper.

In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Fold into the cheese sauce, then carefully transfer into the soufflé dish. Bake for 25 minutes or until puffed up and golden.

Serve with the winter salad below.

Winter seasonal salad

Pear, blue cheese & walnut salad – serves 4

  • 110g bag of mixed salad leaves
  • 100g blue or goat’s cheese, crumbled
  • 50g shelled nuts – we used walnuts
  • 1 pear, sliced
  • 3 tbsp of salad dressing

Toss the salad ingredients together. Once the soufflé is cooked, dress the salad and serve.

Cheese board soufflé 2

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Penne baked with three cheeses

There is a never-ending supply of leftover cheese in our fridge but never more so than at this time of year. This is a super-easy pasta dish which will help to use up the cheeseboard leftovers.

Penne baked with three cheeses – serves 2

  • 200g penne
  • 25g butter
  • 25g plain flour
  • 350ml milk
  • 75g hard cheese e.g. cheddar/gruyère, grated
  • 50g blue cheese e.g. stilton/gorgonzola/roquefort, crumbled
  • a handful of breadcrumbs (we used panko)
  • 1 tbsp grated Parmesan

Heat the oven to 200C/Fan 180C/Gas 6.

Cook the pasta until al dente then rinse under cold water to stop it cooking any further and drain.

Melt the butter in a saucepan, then stir in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes. Gradually stir in the milk, stirring continuously, to make a white sauce. When the sauce has thickened and is starting to bubble, add the hard and blue cheese and stir until melted. Season to taste, then mix with the cooked pasta and pour into an ovenproof dish.

Mix the breadcrumbs and Parmesan together and sprinkle over the top, then bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until golden and bubbling.

(Original Recipe from BBC Olive Magazine, December 2009.)

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Cauliflower risotto

Using one of our favourite vegetables, that strangely we haven’t cooked for a while. Perfect comfort food for chilly evenings.

Wine Suggestion:  not as easy to suggest a wine as we thought given the conflicting flavours but we found that the Quinta Soalheiro Alvarinho Reserva a surprisingly good match. This combined a vibrant freshness with a layer of subtle oak, mineral nuttiness from the fine lees and a textured persistence that both balanced the food and didn’t overwhelm it. This wine continues to surprise with it’s quality and brilliance.

Cauliflower, leek & blue cheese risotto – serves 4

  • ½ a head of cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 25g butter
  • 2 leeks, cut into rings and washed thoroughly
  • 250g risotto rice
  • 1 litre hot chicken stock
  • 25g Parmesan cheese
  • 100g creamy blue cheese, e.g. Cashel blue or dolcelatte, broken into small chunks

Cook the cauliflower florets in boiling salted water until just tender, then drain well and set aside.

Melt the butter in a saucepan and cook the leeks over a low heat for about 10 minutes or until soft. Add the risotto rice and stir around until glistening with the butter. Now add the hot stock a ladleful at a time, stirring continuously until each has been absorbed before adding another. It should take about 25 minutes to add all of the liquid and by this time the rice should be cooked. A few minutes before the end, carefully stir in the cooked cauliflower and stir gently so you don’t break it up to much, then add the Parmesan and blue cheese.

(Original recipe from Food from Plenty by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2011.)

 

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Penne with blue cheese sauce

We seem to have a piece of blue cheese that sits permanently on the shelf on our fridge door. It changes every week but never completely disappears and so we find ourselves constantly on the search for weeknight dinners to put it to good use. Not a bad problem to have.

Wine Suggestion: We’ve cooked dishes similar to this many times and have found they work best with white wines with body: Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Soave … if it has a touch of oak or richness then all to the good.

Penne with blue cheese sauce – serves 4

  • 350g penne pasta
  • 200g frozen leaf spinach
  • 85g Danish blue or other blue cheese, crumbled
  • a pinch of chilli flakes
  • 250g tub mascarpone cheese
  • 25g Parmesan, grated

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta according to the instructions on the pack, add the spinach 3 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Drain the pasta and spinach and tip into a shallow heatproof dish along with the blue cheese, chilli flakes and lots of black pepper.

Put spoonfuls of the mascarpone over the top of the pasta. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and grill for 5 minutes or until the mascarpone has melted and the top is golden. Serve with a green salad.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food Magazine, October, 2000.)

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Baked gnocchi with broccoli, blue cheese and walnuts

We won’t apologise for yet another blue cheese-themed dish. We love cheese but are unlikely to have a cheese course during the week and therefore regularly end up making a meal out of it. Tis also the season for copious amounts of cheese, which is not only delicious but expensive – don’t waste it. If you’ve eaten all the blue cheese then brie or goats’ cheese should also work well.

Wine Suggestion: You need to balance the richness of the dish and the salty cheese so we chose the 2007 Ridge Santa Cruz Chardonnay which, despite it’s 10 years of age, was fresh and vibrant. The developing character of old Chardonnay really works well with blue cheese, especially when cooked in a dish. We also toyed with opening some white Rhône as this would work too.

Baked Gnocchi with Broccoli & Blue Cheese – serves 4

  • 500g fresh gnocchi
  • 200g tenderstem broccoli
  • 150g dolcelatte or other creamy blue cheese, crumbled
  • 150ml single cream

Heat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5.

Cook the gnocchi in a large pan of boiling water. It’s ready when it floats to the surface, scoop out with a draining spoon.

Cook the broccoli in the same water until just tender, then drain.

Mix the gnocchi, broccoli, cheese and cream together in a large bowl with plenty of seasoning. Tip into a buttered baking dish and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden and bubbling.

Serve with salad if you like.

(Original recipe from BBC Olive Magazine, December, 2011.)

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