This month saw a bumper crop of entries to Cheese, Please! reflecting, I think, both the popularity and versatility of cheddar cheese. I certainly enjoyed trying some of the traditional farmhouse varieties that ranged from grassy-tasting to downright dirty (in a good way). Alas, I’m afraid I did go back on my promise to cut open my own home-made cheddar; I just couldn’t do it. So he lives on down in my cellar, maturing for a few months more.
First off the block was Selma’s Table with her Gorgeous Tiny Cheese Muffins. In a post that manages to encompass both Kenya and New Zealand, the end result was lovely little muffins stuffed with cheddar and parmesan that look just the right size to stuff into your mouth in one go.
I was next up, sharing my recipe for Montgomery’s Cheddar and Salmon Fishcakes. Using Montgomery’s Cheddar, which packs a heck of a farmhousey punch, the cheese oozes out between the breadcrumbs and contrasts well with the soft red onions and parsley. A hit with adults and children alike.
The magnificently-named Cheeze-elle brought a Tomato Cheddar Pie to the table. Using a Canadian clothbound cheddar called Avonlea, she employed the classic combination of tomatoes, basil and garlic to make the perfect tangy pie for using up the last of the tomato glut.
A strong contender for most moreish-looking recipe of the month, Food Day-Dreaming’s Cheese Gougeres are made from choux pastry and cheddar and again look perfectly mouth-sized. One commenter called them ‘little balls of cheesy happiness’ which just about sums them up, I think.
I came along to share a second recipe, based on a US favourite, Quicke’s Cheddar Cheese and Beer Soup. Vegetables, potatoes, bacon and mellow beer are cooked with a delicious cheddar to create a comforting soup, fit for the coming chilly evenings. It’s clearly not a slimming soup but lovely as a treat (and to the person who was kind enough to comment that I will ‘die from a heart attack’, thanks for your ‘concern’ but I DON’T JUST LIVE ON CHEESE, DUH!)
Dinner with Crayons contributed to the comfort food vibe with her Old School Cheddar Cheese and Potato Pies. Made with Godminster cheddar, these were exactly like my mum used to cook, with slices of tomato going slightly squidgy on the top. A gorgeous combination of mashed potato and cheese, it’s easy to see why Dinner with Crayons got an A in Home Economics.
In another testament to the happy marriage of cheese and potato, Ice Cream Magazine served up a Homity Pie, which added leeks to strong West Country cheddar and a shortcrust pastry bottom to make a pie fit for the fireside after a night of smoky bonfires. Serve with a salad of beautiful heirloom tomatoes.
The first (and last) to serve up a hunk of meat this month was Caroline Makes with her Cheese-stuffed Burgers. Caroline fills home-made burgers with slices of cheddar (and feta) so that they melt whilst cooking to create the ultimate in oozy cheeseburgers. Worth a last go on the barbeque, I reckon.
Sumptuous Delights dashed back from holiday to get baking Cheddar Cheese and Chilli Bread. The cheesiness of the bread is offset by a spike of spice from the chilli – perfect to partner a warming chunky soup or to mop up chilli con carne.
Offering up another soup to the challenge was Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary with her Roast Harlequin Squash, Cauliflower and Mature Cheddar Soup. A twist on a classic, Elizabeth cooks leeks, cheddar, cauliflower and squash with a pinch of spice for a real winter warmer – and gets top points for presentation, serving up the soup in a stunning stripy squash shell.
Our final entry for the month was The Worktop with her Skinny Mac and Cheese with Kale and Mushrooms. Proving yet again that loving cheese isn’t necessarily a one-way ticket to clogged arteries, this recipe makes a silky-smooth Mac and Cheese with low-fat cheese and adds chestnut mushrooms and kale for some earthy autumn flavours.
Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to share their recipes. There was definitely an autumnal, comfort food feel this month with pies and soups booting out salads and sorbets.
Look out for a new October cheese tomorrow!