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Archive for the ‘Cheeses’ Category

Macaroni Cheese

An old favourite and another taste of childhood. Sometimes I think that we get caught up trying to aspire to some sort of fine dining experience nightly, however, I think my favourite food is always peasant fodder. I mean, Spanish cuisine is all about simplicity, cheap, good ingredients cooked simply and well, from Fabada in the north, to Migas in the south west and Paella in the east. Anyway, I digress, but will definitely return to this topic. So anyway, mac and cheese… this is our take, and a classic version at that.

Ingredients

  • 3.5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/8 cup plus 1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 250 grams elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

Method

This recipe turned out fairly dry and if I did it again I would use less breadcrumbs and add more sauce and cheddar cheese.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cook pasta in boiling water for roughly 7 minutes until al dente. Meanwhile, make a roux by heat butter in a large saucepan until melted and slowly add the flour, stirring the whole time, until it begins to thicken. Add the milk in a slow stream, still stirring, until all liquid is incorprated. Continue stirring over heat for about 1 or 2 minutes. until sauce is thick.

Drain pasta and combine in a bowl with cheddar cheese and sauce. Stir together and pour into shallow baking dish. Sprinkle breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese over the top of the macaroni. Finally, cut 1 tablespoon of butter into small pieces and scatter them on top of the breadcrumbs. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

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Quiche Lorraine

We bought this flan dish last month, so I decided to make another quiche today. Decided to go “classic” and made Quiche Lorraine. I used general advice from Julia Child, but really kind of improvised, i.e I added some Cheddar cheese. The last quiche I made was good, but the advice I took was to add a layer of grated cheese to the base of the pastry, but on this version, I decided to incorporate the cheese into the mixture. For the pastry, follow our previous post. I like the simplicity of the recipe… there is no excessive whisking, just combine the ingredients and your good to go.

Ingredients

for the pastry

  • 175 g plain flour
  • 75 g butter
  • pinch of salt

for the quiche mix

  • 1 cup of double cream
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 3 eggs, 2 egg yolks
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 75 g cheddar cheese, grated
  • 100 g of lardons

Method

Make the pastry, follow the instructions in our previous post for Spinach, Cheddar, Roquefort Quiche. Pre-heat the oven to 190C. Fry the lard-ons in butter for a few minutes, set aside and cool. Then mix together the cream, milk, eggs, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Then pour the mixture on to the pastry base. Then evenly sprinkle the grated cheese and the lardons on top of the mixture. They should sink. Place on a tray in the middle of the oven for 30-40 minutes until you get a nice golden colour on top. Serve hot or cold with a nice salad.

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I adapted this recipe from a Marcus Wareing recipe. I love his book, I genuinely want to cook everything in it… Anyway, he uses cod and I used halibut… He uses a lot of blue cheese, but I wanted to retain the flavour of the beautiful milky fish sauce, so I added small chunks of Roquefort cheese so when you ate it, you got the occasional hit, rather than a dominating flavour. The ramekins that we bought for the chocolate mousses we made a while back were the perfect size, which was nice.

Ingredients

  • 400 ml of semi skimmed milk
  • 200 ml chicken stock
  • 1/4 bunch of thyme
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 450g cod or halibut
  • 1 leeks chopped
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 50g of blue roquefort cheese
  • handful of chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 egg yolk, from a free range egg
  • puff pastry

Method

In a deep saucepan, add the , milk, 100ml of the stock, thyme and garlic and warm through on a low heat, do not boil.

Season the white fish with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then add this to the sauce, and poach for about 7 or 8 minutes.

You’ll see it turning from translucent to white. Remove the fish and put to one side. Then put the sauce in a jug and put to one side as well.

Melt half  the butter in a frying and cook the chopped leeks for 5 mins, then add the other half of chicken stock to the leeks and cook for a further 5 minutes and then set aside.

Now in a another (or the same frying pan if it’s been washed) melt the other half of the butter over a medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes. Now get your jug of white sauce (garlic and bay leaves removed) and add a dash of the liquid to the flour and butter, whisk vigorously, then, when that has blended in, add the rest of the liquid slowly to create a nice creamy texture. Check the sauce for seasoning.

Take your ramekin and evenly disperse the white fish, the leeks and the crumbled Roquefort.

Place a disc of fresh puff pastry over the ramekin, brush with egg yolk and bake in the oven at 180C for 20- 25 minutes. I think this would go well with steamed broccoli and buttery new potatoes.

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Goats Cheese Salad

We cooked for friends of Saturday night for Nancy’s birthday. For me this was the highlight. The combination of the dressed salad, with the croutons and melted goats cheese worked so well. Try it!

Ingredients

  • goats cheese
  • salad leaves
  • cherry tomatoes
  • good bread, maybe ciabatta
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Fry the slices of bread in a pan in olive oil. Slice the goats cheese and sit on top of the croutons. When you are ready to eat, place the goats cheese under a hot grill until the goats cheese starts to melt and brown a little, meanwhile, make your salad and lightly dress with a nice seasoned balsamic vinaigrette.

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Stilton

This is Stilton cheese. It’s amazing, and it’s from England. Try it.

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