Tag Archives: feta

Yorkshire Fettle

I once met someone who told me that his friend had written her dissertation about cheese names. It might sound a bit daft and perhaps the sort of thing that would trigger a spluttering Daily Mail article about the pointlessness of academia. But, actually, I think it sounds quite interesting. Cheese names can often tell an informative or evocative story. They can be geographical (Fosse Way Fleece, Parlick Fell), historical (Edmund Tew, Howard) or even linguistic (Norfolk Mardler, Mouth Almighty). I had heard about Yorkshire Fettle precisely because of how it came by its name but hadn’t managed to track any down, so was chuffed when Aldi sent me some to try as part of their new range:

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Five-hour Kleftiko with Feta Cheese

kleftiko with feta cheese

I’m afraid this recipe doesn’t feature British cheese and that this time I didn’t make the feta myself (although after last year’s home-made feta slime-fest I think my family are probably quite glad). I was going to write a very exciting cheese post but under-estimated how long that particular ‘recipe’ would take to reach its conclusion, so instead I bring you what I had for Sunday lunch: Kleftiko, slow-cooked for five hours with feta cheese.
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August’s Cheese, Please! Recipe Round Up – Feta

Feta cheese was on the table for August’s Cheese, Please! Recipe Challenge – and with it the challenge to prove that it’s more than just a salad cheese (although I still got myself a good-natured ticking off from a Greek chap annoyed that I had bracketed it with ‘other salad-style cheeses’ so I hoped that we could do it justice!)
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Greek Salad Bread Tarts

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I love bread tarts. Simple to make, no fussy pastry involved and even the most discerning gourmand usually fails to guess they’re eating white bread and butter. I had previously made Cheshire Cheese and Marmalade Bread Tarts but for this month’s Cheese, Please! Challenge I was looking for a way to use Feta.

Greece is one of my favourite countries in the world. My first holiday overseas was to island hop across the Cyclades Islands with my big sister when I was 18. Although the television would have you believe that all young people abroad are staggering about with their vomit-spattered boobs hanging out, we were ridiculously civilized, with not so much as a waiter-snog between us. My memories are often of the food; of fresh grilled calamari, swordfish steaks and thick creamy yogurt and honey for breakfast. We ended up having a food budget of about £5 a day and so lived on Spanakopita (spinach and feta pies) and Greek Salads. (I confess the budget didn’t include beer and ouzo money.)
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Home-made Feta Cheese (or Fetter Cheese, as it shall be legally known)

So, this Feta sort of started off as halloumi. I found a recipe for halloumi and bought myself a few pints of unpasteurised milk. I was looking forward to some nice squeaky halloumi.

However, as anyone who has followed my previous cheese-making adventures will know, I’m actually not very good at making cheese. I think I’m generally good at concentrating and fine details but the process of cheese-making takes things to a whole new level and seems to turn me into the world’s clumsiest fool. And so it was that, within the first few minutes, I dropped my thermometer and it looked like this:

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August’s Cheese of the Month – Feta (and other salad-style cheeses)

I realise it seems a strange title – ‘and other salad-style cheeses’ – but Feta is a bit of a sensitive subject these days. Granted PDO protection in 2002, true Feta can now only be made from goat’s and ewe’s milk in several mountainous regions of Greece. On the one hand, it seems cheesy poetic justice, given that the first record of cheese-making was probably in Homer’s Odyssey and featured a suspiciously Feta-sounding recipe but, on the other hand, the decree was a blow for many cheese-makers across Europe and beyond who had been making ‘Feta’ for generations and now had to find another name for it.
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