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Baked Camembert ... and then some!
During a holiday in France we were shown this "recipe" and it has really become a great favourite for us since coming home - a range of flavours I would never have necessarily put together.
Firstly buy a decent camembert (the 10cm size) in a box. Take the camembert out of the plastic and place it back into the base of the box, slitting the cheese on its top. The cheese is baked on 180 degrees for around 20 minutes, or until it's lovely and runny.
In the meantime, take a crusty bread loaf and rustically tear it into small pieces. Scatter the bread over the base of a grill pan, and then take the other ingredients to scatter over the top:
3-4 slices of prosciutto, shredded into little strips.
Some of the rind of a small orange, also in little strips.
4 or 5 small cloves of garlic, bashed flat and dropped into the tray.
Rosemary (fresh if possible) scattered all over.
A generous drizzle of olive oil.
When all this is in the tray get your hands in and give it all a good mix up together.
Then pop all this under the grill and give it another mix up / turn over half way through.
Hopefully then both elements are ready at the same time, and its time to eat! ...
The final element is a pot of raspberry jam.
Now tuck in! Take the chunks of bread (which are now infused with the flavours of the garlic, rosemary, and orange) shards of the prosciutto which are now crispy, dip into or take a teaspoon of the cheese, a taste of the jam, and ... wow! Just be aware that when ready, the molten cheese is very tempting and don't rush in and burn your mouth... (speaking from experience!!)
Add more of the elements you enjoy (I love extra prosciutto and garlic) or if you think of other flavours to add, please add comments!
Eating this is a really social experience, and it's a great lunch for a group of friends allowing one camembert between two people. It's so little effort for such fantastic flavours, I hope you will share my enthusiasm for it!
CHEDDAR CHEESE AND PESTO WHIRLS
I make these often because my husband likes them very much, they would be very nice to serve them at a party but I have not done that. This recipe makes enough to make 16 whirls and if you put them into a container they will keep for 2 or 3 days and they are still fresh but the texture of the pastry changes.
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THESE WHIRLS
320g of ready made puff pastry
1 tbsp pesto
150g of grated cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon of dried basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 beaten up egg yolk to add a glaze
THIS IS WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO
Preheat your oven to 180C and grease an oven tray.
Roll the pastry out into rectangles until it is about 2 centimetres thick.
Use a blunt knife and spread the pesto thinly over the pastry but leave a gap like a border all around the edge. Spread the grated cheddar cheese over the pesto and then sprinkle the dried basil over the top of that.
Use salt and black pepper to your tastes but you can use quite alot of pepper on these whirls without it tasting like too much.
Go from the long side of the rectangle of pastry that is the closest to you and roll it up as tight as you can but without stretching the pastry, when you get to the end brush any of the border that has not been covered in pesto with the egg so that you can push the edges together and it turns into a seal.
Put the long roll into the refrigerator and let it chill for about one hour. Take it out of the refrigerator and cut the roll into slices that are about one centimetre thick.
Put each slice onto the greased baking tray and brush them with beaten up egg yolk.
Bake these for about 15 minutes until the pastry has gone fluffy and it is golden brown.
These are very delicious and most people who like cheese will like them so I think that you should try them because it is a shock how easy they are to make and they always look to me like they should be harder so I think they are an impressing thing to cook.
5 Dooyoo Stars.
I love cheese and not only eat it but cook with it frequently. Here are my two most made cheese recipes...
Cheese and Potato Pie
5 large potatoes
300g cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon English mustard powder
Splash of milk
1. Boil potatoes until soft then mash with the butter, mustard powder and as much milk as required to get a nice consistency.
2. Stir in 250g of the cheese.
3. Place mixture into a deep oven proof dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.
4. Place in the oven and bake until lightly golden and hot.
Serve with sausages and baked beans for a simple, comforting dinner.
225g self raising flour
50g cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon English mustard powder
Pinch of salt
1. Pre heat oven to 220C or Gas Mark 7.
2. Add flour and salt into a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
3. Stir in 1oz of the cheese.
4. Add the milk retaining a little and use your hands to bring the mixture into a ball of dough.
5. Place the mixture onto a floured surface and roll out to around 2cm in thickness. Using a round cutter, cut out as many scone as possible and place onto a greased baking tray. Repeat rolling out the mixture until it has all been used.
6. Using the remaining milk brush it over the tops of the scones and sprinkle a little of the remaining cheese onto the top of each scone.
7. Bake for around 10-15 minutes until the scones sound hollow when tapped on the bottom then leave on a wire rack to cool
Serve sliced I half with just butter or add some ham or smoked salmon and cream cheese.
I have been vegetarian for a long time now and am willing to give most veggie dishes a go, but I think my real weakness has to be anything cheesy, which is why I absolutely love Macaroni cheese, it is so simple and quick to make and does not require a massive list of ingredients.
225g of Macaroni
1 Egg (beaten)
125g Mature cheddar cheese, grated
1 tablespoon of wholegrain mustard
2 tablespoons of fresh chopped chives
Salt and Pepper
4 Fresh Tomatoes (sliced)
125g Red Leister Cheese (grated)
60g Blue Cheese (grated)
2 tablespoons of Sunflower seeds
Ingredients for Béchamel sauce
1 Bay Leaf
6 Black peppercorns
Slice of Onion
2 Tablespoons of Butter
3 Tablespoons of Plain Flour
Salt and Pepper
METHOD - Béchamel Sauce
Pour the milk into a saucepan adding the bay leaf, peppercorns and the slice of a fresh onion, and heat to just below boiling point, when at this point remove from the heat. Once removed from the heat cover the sauce in the saucepan and allow to infuse for 10 minutes. Melt the butter in a separate saucepan and sprinkle in the flour allowing to cook for 1 minute over a low heat whilst stirring gradually. After 1 minute gradually stir in the milk and bring to the boil, continue to cook and stir until the mixture thickens, season with salt and pepper if you want to.
METHOD - Macaroni
Bring a large pan of water to the boil, the water can be slightly salted but I prefer to use plain water. Add the macaroni and allow to boil for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender, drain well and place the pasta in a dish.
Stir the beaten egg, mustard, chives, the cheddar cheese and the béchamel sauce together and season with salt and pepper. Once mixed together spoon the mixture over the macaroni making sure it is well covered. Top with the slices of tomatoes, if I am making this for myself I tend to leave the tomatoes out but that's my personal taste. Sprinkle the whole thing with the red leister cheese and the blue cheese topping with the sunflower seeds. Place the whole thing in the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown
This recipe serves 4 people and does make 4 reasonably large portions. This is an excellent recipe whether you are having people round for diner or even if it is just for the family, it is very quick and easy to make, and does not take a huge amount of preparation. Also I like this recipe as it is something you can make in advance and then heat in the oven once you are ready to eat it. I like to freeze it in individual portions then I've always got something I can get ready quick after work. This recipe is great for both adults and children, as long as you like cheese this is suitable for everybody. If you want to have it really cheesy you can add extra cheese to the top if you wish, I do this sometimes. I think the only disadvantage of this recipe is the calories but I try not to think of that. This really is a recipe you can adapt to your own tastes for example you do not need to have the sliced tomatoes or the sesame seeds on top, I sometimes leave these out depending on who I am cooking for and it tastes just as good. I also find this very cheap to make, it uses ingredients that you tend to buy generally rather than using a huge list of ingredients no one has head of. Overall I would definitely recommend this recipe to anyone
This has to be one of my partners and sons top 10 favourite meals and I cook it at least once a month, either when the cupboards are looking slightly empty or just for convenience.
Ingredients list - Now this is going to be a little difficult as it really doesn't require specific amounts and all depends how many you are cooking for, it is best to just use your own judgement but roughly you will need
A bag of Potatoes
A packet of Cheese sauce (or whip up your own)
Grated cheddar about 2 handfuls
1 packet of streaky bacon
Leeks x 3 Chopped into rings
1. peal and boil potatoes until nearly cooked
2. Grill the streaky bacon and chop into bite sized chunks
3. Make up the cheese sauce as per instructions
4. Add small amount of butter and pepper to leeks and sweat off in a pan
5. Slice potatoes about 1cm thick
Once you have all the different ingredients ready its time to assemble, you can now choose to do one large serving or individual servings,
1. Place a layer of potatoes, layer of leeks, a handful of bacon pieces and pour over some cheese sauce.
2. Repeat the above process until all of the leeks and bacon have been used and finish off with a last layer of potatoes.
3. Sprinkle a liberal amount of grated cheddar on top and place under the grill until golden and bubbling.
This is a quick easy meal and very filling even on its own, we however mainly have it with either a roasted chicken breast or just some broccoli.
If you would rather make your own cheese sauce it is really easy, melt some butter in a saucepan, add some flour stir to a creamy paste, add milk slowly stirring all the time till thick, add strong cheddar and season to taste
Thank you for taking the time to read my review on my homemade Cheesy bake I hope you love it as much as we do.
--The Best Cheese Souffle--
OK im Italian, and obviously in my opinion, Italian food is the best in the world. However putting aside patriotism. I have to confess to having a soft spot for French inspired Souffles, and especially Cheese Souffles.
I know French food can be pretentious, appear to be overly complicated, and sometimes beyond the palate or tastes of most people. I however love Souffles, and as is, most French food in reality (when you get past cheffy subterfuge) quite simple to make.
So anyway. Why this Cheese Souffle recipe? Well I know there are many varieties, but the recipe below is for a Cheese Souffle which is incredibly powerful tasting, dense and rich, but at the same time tastes incredibly feather light and airy (yes an impossible contradiction, but it is).
The addition of melted ripe Brie in the bottom, packs quite a punch at the end. An just leaves a nice solid reminder, that cheese can be powerful stuff.
Feel free to vary the ingredients, and so long as you stick to the same total weights and use judicial sense on what your using, you will be fine.
--Note for Sceptics--
There is an awful lot of nonsense surrounding Soufles, they really are pretty easy. Most peoples problems arise from being to vigorous when combining the ingredients, or from being too impatient and continually opening the oven, or serving them too early.
Patience is key, and allowing them to cook for the full term, will ensure the Souffle does not collapse the moment it encounters cooler air.
If you follow the below steps, your Souffles will rise, and will tase delicious, and will impress just about anyone.
The below will serve four!
Whole Milk 500ml
Plain Flour approx 60g
60g Unsalted butter
2g of any butter melted, to brush rammekins.
1 small white onion sliced thinly,
1 small garlic clove crushed,
2 bay leaves.
5 peppercorns (whole and black)
5 large eggs seperated into whites and yolks
1 teaspoon of salt, to season to taste,
50g Emmental, grated
50g Gruyere, grated
100g Mature English Cheddar, grated
50g Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
50g French Brie (a ripe one) sliced into thin pieces.
Total of 300g of cheese, you can alter these ratios/ingredients to achieve the taste you prefer! However, do not exceed 300g. Use the best possible cheese you can, and make sure the Brie is ripe and gooey.
Add the milk to a suitably sized pan, and add the bay leaves, onion, peppercorns and crushed garlic. Heat the milk to a gentle simmer for 5 minutes. Then strain the milk to remove the above additions, season with salt, and put to one side.
In the above (but now clean) pan, heat the butter until it almost foams, now add the flour and mix until you have a nice smooth paste. Cook this paste for a minute or two. Now slowly add the (still warm) milk from Step 1, slowly, until you get a nice glossy white sauce. Add the cheeses, and the egg yolks, keep stirring until all nicely melted. Allow this to cool completely to room temperature.
Brush some melted butter around the sides of the Rammekins, and drop the slices of Brie into the bottom. This will provide a delicious goo at the bottom of the Soufle when you dig into it. Put these to one side.
Briskly beat the egg white to stiff peaks! NOW this is very important. You are now to add the previously made sauce from Step 2, BUT do it VERY slowly. Also do not mix it in vigorously, you have to gently fold it into the mixture. The less air you lose from this combined mixture, the more fluffy and light the Soufle will be.
Preheat Oven to 160C/ Gas Mark 4, and prepare a baking tray. In this baking tray pour approximately 4-5 tablespoons of water. Set the Rammekins into this tray BEFORE you add the mixture in the next step.
Carefully, and slowly pour the mixture from Step 4 into the Rammekins, and immediately transfer the baking tray into the middle of the pre-heated oven, waste no time and CLOSE the oven door. DO NOT touch the over for 15 minutes, after which time your Souffles will be ready, risen, perfect and delicious. Serve immediately!!!!!
I'm such a cheese addict I could quite happily give up chocolate but a big bowl of cheesy pasta? No way!
My mum used to make this regularly and now that I have moved out and have a hubby of my own, its one of his top dishes too.
This is one of my favourite ways to eat cheese - in a bake so you get a nice gooey middle and a bit of crunch on top. It uses very few ingredients and is fairly inexpensive to make a large batch - watch out though its very high in fat so I keep it as an occasional treat and serve with a large salad to try and do some damage limitation!
I hope you enjoy!
AUBERGINE AND PASTA BAKE (serves 4 or 2 greedy people like me!)
1 large aubergine sliced
10 coils tagliatelli
1 carton of passata
400g cheddar cheese (I usually mix in some mozarella for extra stringyness but thats entirely up to you)
Preheat the oven to the highest setting.
Salt the sliced aubergines on either side and leave for 15 mins. This is to draw out any bitterness that can be present in aubergines.
Rinse well with cold water, squeeze and dry with kitchen towel
Boil up 10 coils of tagliatelli
Coat the aubergines in olive oil and place on a baking tray. Bake on the highest light for 10-15 mins until brown.
Once the aubergines are cooked and removed from the oven, turn down the oven to 190 degrees.
Lightly grease a baking dish and add a thin layer of passata, salt & pepper to taste.
Mix the drained tagliatelle with half of the carton of passata.
Place half the tagliatelle mix in the dish and a little salt & pepper. Layer with half the aubergines, a little more pastata, salt & pepper
Then add half the amount of grated cheese
Repeat until all the ingredients are used up - I usually have about 2-3 layers depending on how deep the dish is. Finish the top layer with the rest of the cheese.
Place in oven for 25 - 30 minutes untill brown on top.
I love cheese - and have done for as long as I can remember . One of my earliest memories is of attending a cheese and wine party with my parents, and tasting a strange creamy cheese with walnuts in . I blame my large frame on my love of cheese - there isn't a week goes by that I don't go through several different blocks of cheese .
To this day, I still love trying out all different kinds of cheese . Of course, eating cheese in sandwiches and on crackers gets a little dull sometimes, and so I also like to cook with cheese . Below are a selection of my favourite recipes .
My family and I refer to this as 'posh cheese on toast' due to the extra effort involved in making it . It's entirely worth it though, the result is a light, fluffy yet crispy topping with a tangy mustard and cheese flavour. You'll want to use a good strong cheddar for this - none of that weak rubbish. Applewood Smoked Cheddar is my personal recommendation - the smokiness of the cheddar adds an extra dimension to the flavour. There is also room for variation in the mustard type - ordinary English mustard works well, but so does seeded mustard, which also adds a little extra texture.
150ml of either milk, or beer
175g mature cheddar
1/2 tsp mustard
2 egg yolks
4 slices bread
Mix butter, milk or ale ,and cheese in a pan and heat until everything is melted and blended . The add the flour and bring to the boil. Add the mustard, and then remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes before whisking in the eggs . Toast the bread on one side, then divide the mixture between the slices and spread on the untoasted side. Grill for a few minutes until the topping is bubbling and golden.
These keep well in an airtight container for about a week. They are great eaten on their own, or topped with slices of other cheeses . Again, use a good quality cheddar, of good strength . You can also try using double Gloucester or red Leicester cheeses for a little variety. You can also add extra herbs - Basil in particular adds a nice little tang to it . Because this recipe uses real butter, try to handle the dough as little as possible .
Sometimes, I like to press a slice of tomato into the dough of each biscuit, which adds a little extra flavour and texture .
225 g Cheddar cheese, shredded
110 g Butter
125 g Flour
1 tsp Salt
A few grinds of black pepper.
Cream the cheese and butter together , then add the flour, salt, pepper, and any other herbs you fancy adding . Roll out onto a floured surface , to about 1cm thickness, then cut into rounds (or any shape you prefer) using a cutter . Put them onto a greased and floured baking tray, and bake for 10-15 minutes at 375 F/190 C. .
These biscuits are quite fragile to move when they are still warm, so don't bother moving them from the tray until they have cooled .
Brocolli and Stilton Soup
This soup is wonderfully warming on a cold night, and thick enough to be a full meal in itself .
2 medium or one large onion
1.5 oz butter
1 pint chicken stock
0.5 pints milk
Splash of single cream
6 oz Stilton
Fry the chopped onion in butter for a few minutes, then add the potato and brocolli. Add the stock, bring to the boil, and simmer for 20 minutes . Leave to cool, and then blend til it has a thick texture, then add the stilton , milk, and cream, and heat again until hot .
I love these receipes, I hope you love them too .
Cheese and Leek Fritters Recipe.
I recently stumbled across this recipe in a supermarket magazine, and have adapted it slightly to make it more appealing for the children.
It makes a great alternative to meat dishes, particularly in the summer months when you can serve it up with a fresh salad.
What I love about this recipe is that it is easy to follow and doesn't take too long to make. It also uses very few ingredients, so is quite economical. Apart from the fact that you have to fry them in oil, the ingredients themselves are quite healthy, and it's a sneaky way of getting some leeks into the kids diet without them realising.
1lb 10oz potatoes.
1. Peel the potatoes, cut them into chunks and boil them in a large pan of water for approx 20-30 minutes until tender.
2. Drain and then mash the potatoes. Leave to one side.
3. Chop the leeks into small chunks and then gently fry them in some olive oil until tender / cooked. Remove from the frying pan, and add them to the mashed potato.
4. Grate the cheese, then add this to the potato and leeks. Mix well.
5. Leave to cool down.
6. Once sufficiently cool, divide the mixture into 8 balls and pat into burger shapes.
7. Place the burger shapes into the fridge for up to half an hour, to enable them to firm.
8. Once firm, place a little more olive oil into a large frying pan. The fritters can then be fried for approximately 10 minutes (remembering to turn them over at least once throughout this time).
9. Serve up and enjoy.
To make the best fritters you need to make sure your frying pan is a good non stick one, as otherwise you risk the fritters sticking to the pan. Also you only need to use a little olive oil when frying them, as using too much or trying to fry them too soon can result in the fritters becoming soggy (thus more likely to stick to the pan).
It is also worth noting that the stronger cheeses really bring out the flavour of this dish, so mature cheeses are better to use than the milder varieties.
I do love this recipe and for me it's just very quick and easy to prepare so I thought I should share it with you cheese lovers!
Mozzarella and Potato Frittata....
The ingredients I am about to list are for two servings (add more ingredients accordingly for more servings)....
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper (to taste)
½ potato, peeled and diced (small so it will cook properly)
55g/2 oz. fresh Buffalo Mozzarella, torn into strips (available in loads of Supermarkets!)
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil (must be fresh or leave it out of the recipe)
The above recipe is what I make usually but don't be afraid to experiment with it if you want to. You can of course replace any ingredients (I.E Potato) and instead of frying up that you could fry up some bacon or/and onions and/or mushrooms types of things until you find your perfect frittata!
How To Make It....
Pre-heat your oven to 220ºC / 425ºF and then get onto the making which is so quick!
Heat up the olive oil in a medium, (ovenproof) frying pan till gently sizzling. Add the diced potato and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until softened and till it's going brown (not burnt though, we only need it soft lol). (Or add any other ingredient in place of or as well as I've explained already!).
In a large bowl beat the eggs well and season to taste and then pour the eggs into the frying pan with the potatoes and make sure the potato is as evenly distributed through the mixture as possible. Top with the torn Mozzarella. Cook over a nice, gentle heat for 2 to 3 minutes on the hob, just until the eggs begin to set on the bottom and you can see the whole thing is starting to 'set' firm.
When that has started to happen then sprinkle the egg mixture with the fresh basil and transfer the pan to the oven. (You can also transfer the mixture to a round, ovenproof baking dish if you prefer and make one big frittata.) Bake for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until the frittata is completely set and golden brown on top.(Not gooey!)
Incredibly simple to prepare and cook, great with a green side salad and tastes yummy and light! A great lunch and really tasty!
This is a recipe for cheesy biscuits with a bit of spice (optional) It's my mum's own recipe so don't tell her I told you the secrets!!
2oz plain flour
2oz grated parmesan (the powdered version in tubs will do)
2oz butter at room temperature
2 pinches of salt
2 pinches of fine black pepper
A pinch of Cayenne pepper (optional)
2oz grated wensleydale cheese
A dash of milk
Put the flour in a bowl and add parmesan, butter and seasoning (with or without the cayenne pepper, it is a lovely addition if you do like spice though!) rub together so its almost like soft crumbs.
Stir in the milk and work with your hands until its like a dry pastry.
Roll as thin as you can.
Cut into any shape you like, we usually do Gingerbread man shapes for my nephews birthday parties etc.
Prick each biscuit with a fork.
Place on a baking tray in an oven pre-heated to 190c and cook for 10 minutes.
They are really tasty if you eat them straight away, very indulgent if you spread some butter on while they're warm!
I have made them with and without the cayenne pepper and I prefer them with but if they're for kids with sensitive palettes avoid the spice.
Wensleydale is the best cheese to use but you can substitute with any other non-greasy cheese; Cheshire, Lancashire etc. Don't use Cheddar or Double gloucester or Red leicester as they're too oily.
So much better for you than shop bought cheese biscuits as you know exactly what is going in them! Yummy!
They are really easy to make too, you can't go wrong; i'm no master-chef when it comes to baking but my cheesy biscuits always turn out perfectly.
Cheese Fondue is very retro and a fun way cook and eat every now and again, though full of calcium cheese is really fatty so dont over doo it.
I found this quick and easy recipe on:
There are also some other great recipes on this website so it is worth checking out if you want some new cooking ideas or just feel like trying something new.
Cheesey fondue was easy and fast to cook and the fondue was fun and tasted great, it was a great sucess for me and my boyfriend. I plan to cook it again some time as a treat, though it is high in fat so I will only be cooking it from time to time.
The ingredients that you will need to make the fondie are:
2 cloves Garlic, roughly chopped
2 tsp potato starch, cornflour or arrowroot
250ml dry White wine
560g assorted Swiss cheese (Gruyere, Emmenthal, Appenzaller, Begnes, Vacherin Fribourgeouis etc)- I used a cheeses assortment pack from tescos to ensure that the cheeses would be complimentary as I dont know much about cheese
freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated Nutmeg
some vegetables for dipping
All the ingredients here arent completely necessary, but they do make a really good fondue, I didnt use garlic when I was cooking mine as my boyfriend isnt a fan.
The method to make the fondue is:
1. Smear the garlic around the inside of the fondue pot and drop the bits into the base.
2. Dissolve the arrowroot in a little of the kirsch and reserve. Make sure your guests are ready to start dipping.
3. Add the wine and the cheese to the fondue pot and stir over a moderate heat until all the cheese has melted.
4. Pour in the arrowroot mixture and add the remaining kirsch, stirring constantly.
5. Season well with freshly ground black pepper and grated nutmeg to taste, then carry over to the table and place immediately over the fondue burner. Eat immediately with chunks of bread and vegetable crudités.
Overall I think that this is a great recipe that you can change a bit to suit your tastes which is always a plus, I plan to make it again as fondue is always fun to make and eat, though I must admit, I do prefere chocolate fondue and it is a lot easier to find the ingredients for a chocolate fondue.
I got this recipe from Delia Smiths' "How To Cook: Book One". I feel that the title of this book is a bit misleading; it makes it sound like all the recipes in here are very simple when in reality some of them are quite difficult (although she does tell you how to boil an egg!)
I have made this meal for my family on many occasions; it is absolutely delicious, although very fattening and quite difficult to make! I would recommend it if you're a cheese lover, as it is packed full of the stuff. The recipe as it is can be quite expensive to make, as the Gruyere cheese isn't cheap. If I'm doing this as more of a "budget" meal I replace the Gruyere and the Parmesan with an equal amount of Cheddar; this doesn't give the dish such an interesting flavour but it's definitely cheaper and still very tasty!
This dish is lovely served with a green salad or some garden peas, and the obligatory "garlic wi' bread".
25 g butter
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
25g plain flour
1/4 whole nutmeg, freshly grated (I personally just use nutmeg out of the spice rack; a couple of generous pinches should do)
75g Mascarpone cheese
2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 large egg whites
50g Gruyere, finely grated
50f Parmesan, finely grated (I use the ready prepared stuff from Tesco!)
salt and black pepper to season
1) Weigh all ingredients out and grate the cheese. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 / 200C. You will need a shallow ovenproof baking dish with a base measurement of 20x15cm, 5cm deep, and lightly buttered.
2) Fill a large saucepan with water (add a dessertspoon of salt if you wish, I personally don't use it when cooking pasta) and bring it to the boil.
3) In a small saucepan, melt the butter over a gentle heat, add the onions and let them soften, without browning and uncovered, for about 5 minutes. Then add the flour to the pan, stirring it in to make a smooth paste, then gradually add the milk, a little at a time, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon (Delia then says to whisk with a balloon whisk but I don't think this is necessary, just more washing up!)
4) Add the nutmeg and season, and leave the sauce to cook gently for about 5 minutes. Then turn off the heat and stir in the Mascarpone and egg yolks, followed by the Gruyere and half of the Parmesan (or Cheddar cheese if using instead).
5) Place the baking dish in the oven to heat through, then add the macaroni to the boiling water and cook untl al dente (should take about 5 minutes).
6) Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks.
7) Drain the pasta, then tip it back into the pan and stir in the cheese sauce, ensuring that the pasta is evenly coated.
8) Lightly fold in the egg whites, using a cutting and folding movement.
9) Take the warm dish from the oven and pour the pasta mixture into it; sprinkle the remaining Parmesan (or Cheddar) over the top. Return the dish to the oven and cook for approximately 12 minutes or until lightly browned and risen.
10) Serve immediately.
Delia says that this amount will serve two people generously; I personally find that it is enough to feed my hungry husband, eight year old daughter, two year old son and myself when served with a salad or some veg and bread.
This does sound like quite a "faffy" recipe but it is well worth the time it takes to prepare as it is delicious!
Cheese is a versatile foodstuff. Both of my kids decided as teenagers that they were going to be vegetarians and they would probably have starved without it! As it was I managed to get a fair amount of protein into them by being a bit imaginative with cheese recipes. As the whole family love cheese it was no hardship for any of us.
Here are a few family favourites.
~~~ Portobello Mushrooms with cheese. ~~~
If you can't get Portobello mushrooms take the biggest mushrooms you can find.
Remove the stalks and chop finely.
Peel the mushrooms and sparingly butter them.
Put them gills side up in a baking tray.
Lightly fry the chopped stalks with some garlic and or frozen corn/peas/any left over veg (not sprouts!) If you have any pine nuts throw some in because they really add to the taste and texture.
Fill the mushrooms with this mixture. It needs not to be sloppy.
Top with a good slice of cheese. Lancashire, Cheshire or Blue Stilton are my favourites. Goat cheese is superb too but a bit pungent for some. Use Edam if you want to reduce the calorie count.
Bake in the oven at 200c for 30 minutes.
I serve two each for a main course or one as a filling starter.
~~~Camembert with lemon and garlic.~~~
This is really easy and makes a great talking point for a special celebration meal.
You will need 1 Camembert cheese each! (So it's not a cheap meal, sorry!)
A few cloves of garlic depending on how much you like garlic.
Half a slice of fresh lemon for each cheese.
What you do.
Unwrap the cheese from it's plastic wrapper and put it back into it's little wooden box.
Quarter the garlic cloves lengthways so you have slivers of garlic.
Use the end of a pointed knife and put shallow punctures in the top of the cheese and push the garlic slivers most of the way in.
In the centre of the top of the cheese make a slightly larger puncture and push the lemon slice halfway in.
Put the boxes on a shallow baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes at 180c until the inside of the cheese is completely melted. You will be able to see it oozing from the places where you put the garlic.
Serve with crusty french bread and a green salad. Ceasar salad goes well with this but the two can be a bit rich together!
It is absolutely delicious!
~~~Haloumi and olives~~~
Haloumi is a very solid greek cheese that is best cooked.
Marinade the cheese overnight or for a few hours in the fridge.
Slice the Haloumi into quarter inch slices.
Chop finely about a dozen black olives.
Season them with ground black pepper.
Add a teaspoon of lemon juice or lime cordial. (Jiffy lemon is fine)
If you have any fresh basil add a few leaves in.
Put the Haloumi in a dish and cover with the olive mixture.
Pour over enough good olive oil to just cover it all.
When you are ready to cook it remove the haloumi from the marinade, (shake any excess oil back into the dish) and put it under a hot grill until it starts to go golden. Turn it over and do the other side. It takes about three minutes each side.
When the haloumi is done, remove the olives from the marinade with a slotted spoon and place them on the slices of cheese.
Serve immediately with crusty bread and use the left over marinade as an accompanying dip for the bread. Nothing is wasted and it tastes great!
All these recipes are simple to make and you don't need to be a 'Nigella Awesome' to manage them.
I've made myself hungry now. I think I'll have some cheese on toast for my lunch!
I should give my mum some credit for this recipe as it was she who gave me the idea - which comes from an M&S salad which costs about £4 for a small portion and therefore we decided to try to recreate it at home. Quinoa is an ingredient I discovered through watching Gillian McKeith's 'You Are What You Eat' - it's known as a superfood as it is a kind of seed but it great for replacing traditional carbohydrates and has a high protein content. It is great in hot and cold salads like this one.
H's Feta and Quinoa Salad--------------------------
Quinoa (1 cup per person for a main meal)
One block of feta cheese or salad cheese
Add green vegetables to taste: peas, sugar snap peas, french beans are all perfect. The M&S version has soya beans which are fab if you can find them in the freezer cabinet.
1. Cook the quinoa as to packet instuctions -you cook it like rice in boiling water and then cover to allow all the liquid to soak in.Cooking in stock gives a nice taste but obviously adds salt to this recipe
2. Chop the red onion, peppers,avocado and feta cheese
4. Steam or boil the peas if using
5. Chop a handful of fresh mint
That's it! Super easy and very healthy. The salty cheese and the mint are an amazing combination -highly recommended.
Total Cost: £8.96 (including black pepper pot which most people have in their store cupboard and soya beans - peas are cheaper)