Tag Archives: cheddar

Cheese, Onion and Mustard Swirls

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We love swirls. Sweet or savoury, they are an easy way to make eye-catching office munchies or a traybake to share at a party. These swirls are a take on a recipe from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook, which we handily ‘borrowed’ from G’s sister on an extended (never-ending) loan. Oh well. More time to bake all of the deliciousness.

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Makes 24 perfect for sharing or 12 as more of a substantial lunch.

Ingredients

375g plain flour
1 tsp salt
black pepper
1 tbsp sugar
7g dried fast-action yeast
150 ml milk
80 ml water
55g butter, melted, plus a bit extra
1 medium onion
170g cheddar
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
salt and pepper
1 tbsp onion chutney

Method

Begin by making up the dough. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl, add the salt to one side of the bowl and yeast to the other. Throw in the sugar and pepper wherever you fancy. Pour in the melted butter, add the milk and mix well, then continue to add the water more slowly until you reach a slightly sticky-consistency dough. Throw out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for around ten minutes.

Leave to prove in an oiled bowl until doubled. Meanwhile if you fancy, you can begin grating the cheese and the onion into a bowl.

When the dough has proved, tip out onto a well-floured surface and roll out to approximately 48 cm x 30 cm if you want many to share, or 36 cm x 30 cm if you want them more for a substantial snack. Brush on a little melted butter to help everything stick before spreading on the mustard. Season well. Sprinkle on the cheese and onion evenly before rolling towards you, along the 48 cm or 36 cm edge, to make a tight roll.

Cut the roll into 24 x 2 cm slices if making them to share or 12 x 2.5 cm swirls if making them for lunch. Line one or two deep baking trays with baking paper (depending on how many you’re making). Fit 12 swirls snugly into the tray – obviously if making 24 smaller swirls, you will need two trays. Leave to prove for around an hour in a warm place until the swirls are merging into each other.

Bake for 20-25 minutes at 170*C until golden brown. Whilst they are still hot, mix the chutney with the water in a small glass or bowl. Brush the tops of the swirls with the glaze to give a wonderful sticky shine that makes them look irresistible.

Yum.

Macaroni(ish) Cheese

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This is the ultimate store cupboard meal, but trust me, it does not disappoint. It keeps well for a couple of days if you want to split it into two small dishes and bake when needed. Just leave off the topping on the second dish to keep it crispy and fresh. This cheese sauce is very versatile and can be used for cauliflower, lasagne…anything! Feel free to adjust the quantity of mustard (I am a huge fan), add bacon, ham, leave out the spring onions, add fried white onion, replace the breadcrumbs with crushed cheese and onion crisps – whatever you fancy!

Serves 2.

Ingredients

40g butter
40g plain flour
300ml semi-skimmed milk
100g strong cheddar cheese
around 200g pasta of your choice (macaroni or similar)
2 tsp mustard
small bunch of spring onions
handful breadcrumbs
sprinkling of basil
salt and pepper

Method

Start by cooking your pasta, standard rules apply – salted water, around 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180*C.

Melt the butter in another pan and throw in the flour. Stir with a wooden spoon constantly to form a stiff ball (a ‘roux’ as they say) and stir for another minute. Take off the heat. Add a little of the milk (around 20mls) to the roux and stir to make a paste. Add a little more of the milk and stir to get rid of any lumps. This bit is very important – make sure you add the milk very slowly and beat out any lumps that appear. As soon as you feel the paste turn to a liquid, you can relax and add the milk a little faster.

When all the milk is incorporated, put back on the heat. Stir constantly until it thickens – it should reach a consistency like custard. Remove from the heat, season well and grate in most of the cheese (leave a bit for the topping).  Mix in the mustard well and ensure all the cheese is melted. Quickly slice the spring onions quite thinly. Fry in a little bit of butter until soft but not too brown. Add to the cheese sauce.

Drain the pasta and mix with the sauce. Make up the topping by grating the rest of the cheese and mix with the breadcrumbs (or crisps) and herbs. Spoon into a dish, sprinkle over the topping and bake until golden brown.

Savoury Swirls, Two Ways

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So it was my last day at work on Wednesday and as is customary whenever something moderately eventful takes place (birthday, being late, being early, being alive…) it is expected you bring in something edible. Almost always the food tends towards the sweet and absolutely always, unless I’ve had anything to do with it, is shop-bought. But not today, ohhh no!

The recipe for the dough for these delightful savoury snacks is stolen completely from Brendan of The Great British Bake-Off Fame. The fillings, however are entirely my own creation.

I doubled Brendan’s quantity and made a lot (we’re talking tipping the scales at over 100 here) roughly 2 inch diameter by 1 inch high swirls. So I’m going to halve his recipe which should give you approximately 20-24 swirls.

Ingredients

Dough

400g plain flour
10g dried yeast, reactivated
6g salt
50ml olive oil
250ml warm water

Balsamic Red Onion, Cheese & Ham

2 red onions, diced
90g gruyére
30g gouda
30g cheddar
2 slices ham, diced
splash balsamic vinegar
pinch of sugar
salt/pepper/’erbs/spices to taste

Pesto, Feta & Sundried Tomato

100g feta, crumbled
50g pesto
8 sundried tomato, chopped
handful fresh basil, ripped
2 tomatoes, grilled & skinned
1 red pepper, grilled & skinned

Method

Dough

In a bowl mix the flour and salt and the oil a few glugs at a time, stirring between each glug to incorporate it. Do the same with the reactivated yeast, stirring in a little at a time and then finally with the water.

**Note: if you are reactivating yeast in water, remember to take away that quantity of water from the 250ml you need to add. It’s 250ml total, not 250ml + reactivated yeast water!**

Drizzle a little oil in the bowl, place the dough in, rolling it around in the oil so as it grows it doesn’t stick to the sides. Put in a warm place – airing cupboards are great – and leave to double in size (approx. 40-60 minutes). Meanwhile make your filling/s.

Balsamic Red Onion, Cheese & Ham

Heat a dash of oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the diced onions and sweat for a couple of minutes, before adding a good glug balsamic vinegar and a sprinkling of sugar/golden syrup, salt, pepper and whichever herbs and spices you fancy (I went for W’s recommendation of rosemary and basil). Continue to sweat for 6-7 more minutes, adding a little water if your pan goes dry. Remember the onions will continue to cook in the oven so leaving them with a little bite left in them is probably a wise move!

Grate all your cheese into a bowl, add the chopped ham, a good few twists of pepper and hey presto your filling is ready

Pesto, Feta & Sundried Tomato

Optional: Removing Pepper & Tomato skins

Cut the pepper and tomatoes into quarters, removing all the pips/liquidy innards. Place under a hot grill, skin side up for a few minutes, until the skin is blackened over the majority of the surface – you may need to manoeuvre them around to achieve this. Once the skin is blackened add them to a sandwich bag, seal and leave to steam for a further few minutes. The skin should start to peel away and you can finish the job with your fingers. It can be a bit tricky and in all honesty I’m not sure whether it’s worth it but I’ve put it up here for you to make your own decisions! Finally chop/rip them up into small chunks.

Crumble the feta into a bowl and add the chopped sundried tomatoes and basil leaves.

Roly-Poly Time

When the dough has doubled in size, remove and place on a floured surface. Flour your rolling pin (it will stick due to the oily nature of the dough) and roll out into a rectangle approx 4mm thick, where the long side is approximately twice that of the short side. Then either:

1. Sprinkle the entire thing with the balsamic red onions, then cheese and ham – aim for a roughly even coverage.

Or

2. Spread a thin layer of pesto over the surface before adding the crumbled feta, sundried tomatoes, basil, and grilled peppers/tomato chunks

Roll up (roll up!) from one long side to the other, slice into rounds 1 inch thick and place on baking paper on an oven tray. Here you can “re-prove” your dough for half an hour back in the warm, or you can just whack them straight in the oven, preheated to 190oC/375oF/gas mark 5 for approximately 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown. After half an hour take one out, cut it in half and see whether it’s still doughy inside – if so stick back in for a few minutes then check again.

Serve piping hot – they taste pretty good cold but nowhere near as good as straight from the oven. Share amongst friends and work colleagues…or, y’know, scoff the lot y’self.

J(&W a bit)

Balsamic Red Onion, Cheese & Ham

Feta, Pesto, Sundried Tomato & Red Pepper

Onion Tart

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Adapted from my new recipe book which I bought after visiting the RealFood Market in London. This would would work perfectly well with any number of combinations of cheese – go with your gut (or what’s in you fridge*).

I had 20 minutes spare in the morning so I made the pastry and left it in the fridge all day before making the filling. It’s a nice way of dividing up the cooking into more manageable chunks.

*or, like me, get one of your family members to pick up necessary ingredients on their way home from work!

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

Pastry

200g plain flour
100g butter
2-3 tbsp water
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped

Filling

1 large white onion, sliced
1 large leek, sliced
handful of green beans, chopped
3 eggs
250ml cream
100g gruyére, grated
50g mature cheddar, grated
1-2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
several good spoons of savoury chutney
optional: 2 slices ham, sliced (or not if you want this to be vegetarian, though you’ll also be after some vegetarian cheese if that’s the case!)

Method

To make the pastry, sieve the flour (and a little salt) into a mixing bowl and add the butter in chunks. Use your fingers to make “breadcrumbs” before including the garlic and rosemary and several twists of black pepper.  Add the water a little at a time. (I always find it’s better to go slightly wetter with the pastry as too dry will lead to hard to work pastry that cracks easily). Use your hands to combine and knead for about a minute before wrapping in clingfilm and sticking in the fridge for at least half an hour.

When ready to make your tart heat your oven to 180oC/350oF/gas mark 4, roll out your pastry on a floured surface and stick into a deep flan dish (or if you don’t have one, two shallower dishes!). Prick the bottom several times with a fork to allow steam to escape, cover with baking paper and beads if you have them (rice works equally well) and bake for approximately 20 minutes until starting to golden.

Meanwhile, heat a good spoonful of butter in a saucepan and chuck in your leeks. Sweat over a medium heat for 5 minutes before adding the onion and green beans and sweating for a further 5-10 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and  reduce the heat to a simmer. Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl, stir in the cream, a pinch of salt, plenty of pepper the mustard and 2/3 the grated cheese.

When the pastry case is golden, remove from the oven and spread the base with your chutney of choice. Layer over the onion/leek/bean melange (oohlala) then pour over the cream mixture. Apparently if there’s not enough liquid you should add cream rather than egg as more egg will make it too eggy. Makes sense, really. Scatter the top with the remaining cheese. Set the oven to 200oC/400oF/gas mark 6 and whack back in for 25 minutes. Scatter the top with ham and stick back in for 10-15 minutes, until golden on top.

Remove, serve with salad on a hot summer’s day (or a mediocre autumnal evening). Either way it’ll taste de-lish.

J

Afternoon Tea: The Finished Article

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So, after 2 hours of chopping, stirring, boiling and baking we (re)created possibly the best cream tea we have ever had. Boom. Make sure to check out the recipes below the picture!

J&W

We had our savoury scones with some extra mature cheddar (anything less is a crime) and could have done with some clotted cream with our sweet scone, alas…we were too lazy to go to the shop…!

Based on the menu of Cordial and Grace tea-shop in Bristol.

Recipes:

Cheddar & Mustard Scone
Tomato & Red Onion Chutney

Stem Ginger Scone
Rhubarb & Ginger Jam

Cheddar & Wholegrain Mustard Scones

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When in Bristol for the Jubilee weekend we had afternoon tea at a wonderful little café. It consisted of savoury and sweet scones*, with chutney and jam respectively. They were so bloody scrumptious we thought we’d attempt to replicate them. Here is the recipe for our savoury scones. The corresponding chutney recipe is here, the sweet scone here and the jam here. Magic.

Ingredients

225g self-raising flour (and a little extra for dusting)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
50g butter
100g cheddar
3 tsp wholegrain mustard
150ml milk
1 egg to glaze

Method

Sieve the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the butter and gently rub it in to form a light, sandy consistency. There should be no large lumps of butter. Finely grate in around 4/5 of the cheese (very precise I know – but just make sure you save a small amount for the topping) and add the mustard. Add around 100ml of milk and mix with a butter knife to form a dough. Slowly add the rest of the milk until you form a soft dough. Bear in mind that you may not need all of the milk, as you don’t want it to be too wet.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll out to around 5mm thickness. Fold in half and roll once, very gently, to stick the two layers together. Use a small cutter (ours was around 5cm diameter and made about 18 scones) to cut out the scones and place on a baking tray. Glaze the top and sides with beaten egg and sprinkle on the remaining cheese. Bake in the oven at 200°C for around 12 minutes until golden brown.

Serve with your favourite cheese and a tasty chutney.

J&W

*scONs to J, scOHNes to W. One day someone’s gonna lose an eye over this little disagreement.