Cheese comes into its own in the autumn to enjoy as an ingredient.
The smoked cheeses are especially good in recipes, such as a Smoked Montgomery Cheddar toasted sandwich, by spreading butter mixed with Marmite onto thick slices of bread before showering over shards of cheddar and making sure that you also butter the top sides of the bread before placing under the grill or in a pan. A favourite with all the family.
For a pizza we suggest making a slow roast tomato as the base for the pizza and then slices of Smoked Scamorza generously layered on top (an option of adding stoned black olives is also good) before placing into a hot oven for around 10 minutes until the cheese is melting and bubbling. For something a little more elegant to enjoy with wine, the Sottocenere al Tartufo is a unique cheese from Treviso with truffles mixed into the curd and the outside of the cheese is pressed in ground cinders mixed with spices and more truffle. This is perfect accompanied by our biscuits for cheese and a fruity Ripasso wine.
Vacherin du Haut Doubs cheese is a comforting rich cheese when it is baked in its box. The trick to achieve the hot melted ‘fondant’ is to make sure the cheese is at room temperature. Lift off the lid and brush over a fruity dry white wine before popping the lid back on and wrapping the whole box in foil. Place in a hot oven on the middle shelf for at least 25-30 minutes – remove the foil – lift off the lid and scrape back the ‘rind’ on top of the cheese. All it needs now is a few grinds of black pepper and it’s ready for steamed potatoes & broccoli or Romanesco to be dipped into the molten cheese. A perfect wine is a Savoie Chignin, Gamay or Mondeuse.
Try Vacherin du Haut Doubs in our Bonfire Box.
Everyone loves a fondue and we have all the cheeses available here in the right quantity for you. There are a few easy steps to prepare this in a matter of minutes. First grate all the cheese; let it be at room temperature before you start making the fondue; pour a couple of glasses of wine into a saucepan to heat up and when it just starts to bubble add a dessertspoon of cornflour and whisk until the cloudy appearance is starting to clear. Scatter in a handful at a time of the cheese whisking with a wire balloon whisk until smooth after each addition. As you finish simply add ground black pepper, a few pinches of ground nutmeg and a final flourish of a shot of Kirsch. It’s good to dry out the cubes of bread in the oven a little to make it easier to dip into the fondue, and have steamed potatoes and broccoli ready as well as plates of charcuterie and salad for a perfect meal.
Raclette is traditionally melted under a special grill until it is scraped like a river of hot melted cheese onto potatoes, crusty bread or over vegetables. However, you can improvise with melting thin slices under your conventional grill and simply topping your chosen vegetables. Remember that the rind has all the flavour so don’t be tempted to cut this away, as your cheesemonger should already have lightly scraped the rind ready for you to melt.
by Patricia Michelson
CAMPANIA • PASTEURISED COW MILK
A stretched curd cheese, shaped as it is cooked in the traditional gourd. This is a handmade cheese, similar to Mozzarella, with a light fruity milky taste and hung over fresh oak chippings to smoke the rind into beautiful burnt sienna colour. The aroma is intensely smokey and the taste is light and earthy with the sweet oak flavours.
SMOKED MONTGOMERY'S CHEDDAR
NORTH CADBURY, SOMERSET
UNPASTEURISED COW MILK
Smoked for six hours at the Brown & Forrest Smokery in one of their oak-smoking rooms, the result is an intensely smoky cheese. The rind takes on a rich sienna hue and the pate – which is inherently a light gold – deepens in tone. Pairs nicely with dark beers.
SOTTOCENERE AL TARTUFO
TREVISO • PASTEURISED COW MILK
This is a smooth-textured, slightly chewy cheese with flakes of truffle mixed into the pate before placing it into moulds. After a little ripening the cheese is washed in brine to help intensify the sweetness of the curds, then left to dry before being rubbed in olive oil and rolled in spices including cinnamon, nutmeg and truffle essence. Fine ash cinders are then pressed on the rind to help retain the aromatic characteristics.