As you can probably tell, I love pretty much all cheese. I get asked a lot what my favourite cheese is or which cheese I would take to a desert island (which are completely different questions; halloumi isn’t my favourite cheese but that’s what I’d take to a desert island). There’s no one answer for it, as it depends on what mood I’m in, what the weather’s like and who’s paying. But Stilton would have to be up there in all its creamily piquant loveliness.
G.K. Chesterton was a very rotund writer famously quoted as saying: ‘Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.’ He attempted to redress this balance by writing a sonnet in praise of Stilton but, instead of reproducing that, I’ll take the tenuous opportunity to quote a humorous exchange between Chesterton and his svelte contemporary George Bernard Shaw:
Chesterton: To look at you, anyone would think there was a famine in England.
Shaw: To look at you, anyone would think you caused it.
Meow! But he was a fool to mess with GBS.
This recipe is for a savoury shortbread in which the flavours of Stilton and rosemary battle it out to happy effect. The only problem with cheese-flavoured biscuits is knowing what to put on them. Cheese or butter seems like over-kill. I solved the problem by drinking sloe gin with them.
70g Stilton cheese, crumbled
60g plain flour
Pinch of salt
Big grinding of black pepper
½ tbsp rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp finely chopped walnuts
Cream together the Stilton and butter.
Add both flours and the rest of the ingredients and mix together to form a dough.
Put the ball of dough into the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180˚C /160˚C fan-assisted/Gas Mark 4. Make the dough into eight cookie shapes. You can use a cutter but I just pressed them in the palm of my hand. Arrange them on some baking paper in a baking tin.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until they are lightly browned. They will still be soft to the touch but will harden up as they cool down.
Because this recipe uses blue cheese I am adding it to this month’s Cheese, Please! Challenge, which you can find here.
I am also adding it to Cooking with Herbs, hosted by Lavender and Lovage.