Those nice people at Abel & Cole sent me a box of organic cheese to try out….for free. How very kind of them. In the somewhat grubby but obviously re-used polystyrene box I got some Perl Las blue cheese, Websters Somerset Brie and a very tasty cheddar (at least that is what it says on the pack).
So what to do with all this cheese?
First up, the Perl Las
Celery, Cashew and Blue Cheese Soup
Knob of butter
1 onion – chopped
3 cloves garlic – chopped
1 head of celery, leaves and all – chopped
50g unsalted cashew nuts
A few more cashews for garnish
1 glass of white wine
About a litre of vegetable stock
80g blue cheese
Salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a large pan, then fry the onion, garlic and celery with the lid on until starting to soften, but not browned. Remove the lid and add the wine. Let the alcohol evaporate and the wine reduce, then add the stock – just enough to cover the vegetables. Bring to the boil then add the cashews and simmer until the celery is soft.
Blend with a stick blender or in a food processor then strain through a seive to remove the stringy celery bits.
Roughly chop up the cheese and add to the strained soup then whiz again to blend the cheese in. Return to the heat and keep warm.
Break up the remaining cashews and toast in a dry frying pan. Ladle the hot soup ito bowls and sprinkle some of the toasted cashews on top. No photo of this as I couldn’t make it look appetising against the white soup bowls I own.
The Perl Las is quite strong and does have a slightly bitter aftertaste, but the sweetness of the cashews tames this.
Next, the Tasty Cheddar
25g plain flour
75g cheddar cheese – grated
Pinch chili powder
¼ teaspoon dry English mustard powder
A little grated nutmeg
3 eggs – separated
Place the milk, butter and flour in a pan. Heat and stir vigorously until blended then add the chili powder, mustard and nutmeg. Remove from the heat and add the grated cheese. Stir well then leave to cool a little.
While colling, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
Add the egg yolks to the milk, butter and flour mixture then, using a metal spooon, fold in the egg whites.
Put the mixture into a greased souffle dish or six greased ramekins and place on a baking tray. Bake at 180C for about half an hour until set but still soft.
They call it tasty cheddar and that’s exactly what it is.
I ate the brie with french bread and beetroot relish. Delicious.