Cheese and Potato Cakes

I had a originally planned to make cheese dreams for lunch today, but last night I made a mound of mashed potato and had loads leftover. I’ve said this a few times but I hate waste, so I found this recipe instead which uses up the leftover mash

Ingredients

1 lb mashed potatoes
1 oz butter
4 oz grated cheese
1 tbsp chopped chives or grated onion
Salt and pepper
Beaten egg
Breadcrumbs

Mix the potatoes with the butter, cheese, chives or onion and seasoning and beat until smooth, adding a little flour if necessary to make a firm mixture. Turn on to a floured board and form into a roll. Cut into 1 inch slices and shape into cakes. Coat with egg and breadcrumbs, place on a baking sheet and bake at 190 for 20 minutes, alternatively you can fry them.

The recipe suggest serving these with bacon and tomatoes.

Like I said I was using up last nights leftover mashed potatoes, and I used a cheddar cheese and chives. This was also an opportunity for me to use one of the many bags of breadcrumbs I have in the freezer!

Really easy to make these, my 6 year old helped and she enjoyed the egg and breadcrumb stage! There wasn’t too much of a mess!

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I didn’t need to add any flour to my mixture, it was light yet holding together well. I baked these rather than fry, think I’ve been doing a lot of frying recently! After 20 minutes they are lovely and golden, with a nice crispy coat. They have started to ooze a little but I think that adds to the charm!

We had these with some bacon and were great. They are really quite light and the cheese and chive flavour is really brilliant. They are nice and crisp and then the bits of cheese that have oozed out add a sort of extra stickiness which I quite liked!

Would I make these again? Yes we all loved them and I do quite often have left over mash!
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Cheese Fondue

I’ve never had a cheese fondue and after reading a post about fondue on Fromage Homage I felt I had to give it a go. I knew there was a fondue recipe in the book so here goes

Ingredients

1 clove of garlic
Quarter pint of white wine
Squeeze of lemon juice
8oz cheese cut into strips ( half emmental and half gruyere)
2 level tsp cornflour
1 liquer glass of kirsch
A little pepper and grated nutmeg

Rub the inside of a flameproof dish with the garlic, place the dish over a gently heat and warm the wine and lemon juice in it. Add the cheese and continue to heat gently, stirring well until the cheese has melted and started to cook. Add the cornflour and seasonings, blended to a smooth cream with the kirsch, and continue cooking for a further 2-3 minutes; when the mixture is of a thick creamy consistency it is ready to serve.
Traditionally fondue is served at the table in the dish in which it was cooked, kept warm over a small spirit lamp or dish warmer. To eat it, provide cubes of crusty bread which are speared on a fork and dipped in.
An anglicised version of fondue can be made using a strong cheddar cheese, cider instead of wine and brandy instead of kirsch.

So these are the classic cheeses used for a fondue but I refer you back to Fromage Homage who made some British versions that sound amazing which I will be trying at a later date.

I am also entering this into another Fromage Homage Cheese Please challenge as a comfort food and winter warmer, pretty sure this ticks both those boxes!

Fromage Homage

I really like gruyere on its own but not a massive fan of emmental just as it is. I had to just make in my cast iron pot. I was given a fondue set 2 years agin but I exchanged it for something else as I didn’t think I’d use it. I was wishing now I had it! To keep it warm at the table I used an electric dish warmer thing I was given from one of my friends parents.

This is pretty easy to make, the only thing that threw me was the volume of kirsch. I had no idea what size a liquer glass was, so did a bit if research and it varies from 2oz to 5oz. After opening the bottle and getting a whiff of the alcohol I opted for 2 oz.

As the cheese was melting it did look great and I was having high hopes. The smell was mainly of the kirsch so I was hoping that would burn off a bit.

I made the full quantity of this. It should be enough for 4 but I was offering this as an actual dinner; well I was including the main food groups!!

So the recipe says to serve with bread which I did, but it also threw in a few other things; cooked chicken, chorizo, crackers and gherkins! No idea if these don’t quite meet with fondue etiquette but I wanted to try them!

So how did this taste? Honestly it was a bit heavy on the alcohol! Just as well my husband wasn’t having to go to work after this! The first few dips are pretty clean, but then after that it does start to turn into a cheesy stringy mess, which actually was quite fun! The bread was the best dipper followed closely by the gherkin. The meat wasn’t quite right; it was ok but quite a strange combination of cold meat and melted cheese!

Excuse the dated looking photo!

Would I make this again? Yes but would cut back on the kirsch.
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Cheese Aigrettes

This recipe actually features in two chapters; cheese and appetisers. We are having these as an appetiser with some champagne, well it is our wedding anniversary so why not!

I’m also adding these to the Cheese Please feature from a fellow blogger. Fromage Homage is a blog entirely about cheese! So being a lover of cheese it’s a blog I enjoy very much and since reading it I have been introduced to some new and wonderful cheeses. So Cheese Please is like cheese recipe blog challenge and you can see the details here

The idea is each month there is a featured cheese but in Decembers it’s a bit of a free for all and any cheese recipe can be included. I thought this sounded like a good cheese recipe to share via Cheese Please!

Fromage Homage

So here’s the recipe..

Ingredients

1.5oz butter
Quarter pint of water
2.5oz plain flour
2 eggs
2oz strong cheese
Salt, pepper and cayenne pepper
Oil for frying

Heat the butter and water in a saucepan until the fat dissolves and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, add the flour all at once and beat well until the paste is smooth and leaves the sides of the pan. Allow to cool slightly, then beat in the eggs gradually. Add the cheese and season well. Heat the oil and drop in teaspoonfuls of the mixture. Fry until golden.

These are basically little deep fried balls of cheese choux pastry! Not the healthiest but who cares! It says strong cheese so I felt it had to be Stilton. If you don’t like Stilton you could just use a cheddar. I think you could use any hard cheese really depending in what you like or what you have leftover from the Christmas cheeseboard.

I’ve made choux pastry a few times and always worked well, but that’s when I’ve been making something sweet and baking in the oven. I was worried at first about frying but after first batch I was pretty happy as they worked out really well.

These are just little golden, puffed up balls of cheesy wonderfullness!! Perfect with a glass of champagne! I had made the full quantity and between the two of us we managed to finish them. They were light and fluffy and really delicious. My only comment would be that I couldn’t taste any cayenne, bit sure if that was overpowered by the Stilton or I just didn’t add enough.

Would I make these again! Yes! Brilliant little appetiser, or snack or lunch or supper…..
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Quiche Lorraine

I’ve never made a quiche before, made a few onion tarts in my time that are quite similar but never an actual quiche. This is probably the most popular quiche recipe and quite a classic that I thought I’d start with this one

Ingredients

4oz ready made flaky pastry
3-4oz bacon, chopped
3-4oz gruyere sliced
2 eggs
Quarter pint single cream

Roll out the pastry and line a 7 inch plain flan ring or a sandwich cake tin making a double edge. Cover the bacon with boiling water and leave for 2-3 minutes then drain well. Put into the pastry case with the cheese, mix the eggs and cream, season well and pour into the case. Bake towards the top of the oven for about 30 minutes, until well risen and golden.

The recipe gives a few variations; omit the bacon, replace the cheese with blue cheese mixed with cream cheese, adding leeks or onions.

I do own a large tart tin but I decided to half this and make individual quiches for the two of us. This may not be surprising but I have bags of pastry in the freezer that I’ve made before. Quite often I make full quantities of pastry, only use half and then freeze the rest. So on this occasion I defrosted one of the bags of flaky pastry I had made before

I have no idea what it means by a double edge, I lined the dishes with the pastry and then had to only assume I was to put a second layer around the edge, this may not be the correct thing to do but I couldn’t figure out what else it could mean!

There also seemed something wrong about covering the bacon with boiling water but I suppose the further half an hour in the oven will cook it properly! I really like gruyere, has a lovely nutty flavour, but you could use any hard cheese.

These came out of the oven all gloriously puffed up, but by the time I took the photo they had shrunk back a bit. These tasted amazing, the pastry was just right with no soggy bottom. The filling was great, the bacon was cooked perfectly and the creamy egg mixture was just the right amount of egginess! Overall really brilliant!

Would I make these again? Yes yes yes
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Quick pizza

Believe it or not but pizza does feature in the book, only two recipes, this one and one with a more traditional pizza base using yeast. This is actually from the cheese chapter of the book.

Ingredients

4oz self raising flour
Half tsp salt
5 tbsps cooking oil
3-4 tbsps water
1 small onion chopped
1 medium can of tomatoes or half-quarter lb of fresh tomatoes skinned and chopped
1-2 tsps mixed herbs
1oz butter
4oz cheese cut in to cubes
Olives or anchovies

Mix the flour and salt and stir in 1 tbsps of the oil and enough water to mix to a fairly soft dough. Roll out to a 7 inch round and fry on one side in the remaining oil in a large frying pan. Meanwhile make the topping by frying the onion, tomatoes and herbs in the butter. Turn the dough over and spread with the tomato mixture, the cheese and olives or anchovies. Fry the underside until golden and place under a hot grill until the cheese is golden and bubbling.

I started the onion and tomato mixture before cooking the dough in the frying pan. The dough cooked pretty quickly and I didn’t think that would allow enough time for the onion to cook. I used fresh tomatoes and allowed them to cook with the onion for a good ten minutes. I just used Red Leicester cheddar, that’s all I had in the fridge except for blue cheese! I think a mozzarella or tallegio would’ve been better. The book suggests this is enough for 2-3, we had this between the three of us with some homemade oven chips and was enough.

This makes a scone like pizza base, it does rise when cooking and is quite a soft base. Was a bit messy to eat as well, but think that’s to do with my tomato sauce, I think it could’ve done with even more cooking to make it a bit thicker. I used olives, and there are so many ways you could adapt this. You could also roll the dough out even thinner for a thinner crust. I really like the way the pizza base tasted and the texture, next time I’d consider adding some herbs to the actual base as well.

Would I make it again? Yes, as the name suggests it was quick to make, and was tasty.

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