Tag Archives: main courses

Cheddar, Onion and Potato Pie

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I first thought of making this dish a couple of weeks ago when some Irish Cheddar arrived as part of the Pong Irish Selection Box. There’s nothing fancy about it and – so I thought at the time – nothing controversial. But that was before the latest Mary Berry furore, otherwise known as ‘Pie-Gate.’ So, it turns out that a pie is not a pie unless there’s a great deal of pastry involved. Mary tried to get away with just a pastry top but was soundly castigated by the chairman of the British Pie Awards. Mine is entirely free of pastry. I’m still calling it a pie. I could call it a bake but I’m not going to. So there.

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Cashel Blue and Mushroom Arancini

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Those of you with a critical eye may be thinking that I’m frying up way too much cheese lately, as this recipe follows hot on the heels of last week’s St Tola Ash Log and Wild Leek Fritters. I would counter that there is no limit on how much cheese you can fry.

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Dorset Blue Vinny, Veggie and Bean Soup

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Dorset Blue Vinny was the first cheese I ever wrote about on this blog. At that point, I was planning to find out about cheeses from all over the world but, as I researched the Vinny, I realised that, cheese-wise, there was enough history and variety on the British Isles to keep me going for some time. Nearly four years later and there’s still about 500 cheeses I have yet to track down!

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Jerusalem Artichoke, Parsnip and Quicke’s Cheddar Gratin

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Jerusalem artichokes are like the tube engineers of the allotment. From February until November, whilst other vegetables are getting all showy and plump above the soil, the artichokes beaver away underground, doing their thing. Considering, or perhaps because of, their unstoppable ability to produce monster yields, they are not a popular vegetable, despite their sweet and nutty taste. Admittedly, this might also be due to their reputation for causing…ahem…digestive mayhem. As far back as 1621, John Goodyer was moaning that ‘which way soever they be dressed and eaten, they stir and cause a filthy loathsome stinking wind within the body, thereby causing the belly to be pained and tormented, and are a meat more fit for swine than men.’

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Red Onion Soup with Dewlay’s Lancashire Toasts

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It’s hard to know what to eat for lunch when you work from home. Unless you live somewhere a lot cooler than me, gone are the days of sushi on a Monday, falafel on a Wednesday and mashed-avocado-something on a Friday. For a long time I relied on fish-finger sandwiches or cheese toasties, both of which are delicious in their own right but, long-term, don’t tend to deliver much in the way of either filling you up for the afternoon, or providing much nutritional benefit. So recently I switched to salads in the summer and soup in the winter. You really can’t beat toasted cheese though, so here it is, ingeniously incorporated into some soup.

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Pumpkin and Chestnut Macaroni Cheese

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Never fear, Halloween haters, it’s safe to come out for another year. Love it or hate it, it’s undeniable that the surge in spooky celebrations has been a boon for pumpkin farmers. Every year, we enter the fiercely competitive Tooting Common Pumpkin Carving Competition and even managed to score a second prize last year with the scary fellow above. This year – allotment smugness alert – we managed to grow our own. I would love to take credit for their vastness by claiming that I’d administered secret potions or performed arcane fertility rites but, in reality, I forgot what I’d planted and only discovered them when we returned from a fortnight’s holiday.

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Cornish Blue and Veggie ‘Stargazy’ Pie

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One of my favourite blogs is Mrs Portly’s Kitchen. If you haven’t come across it before, do check it out for a wealth of local, seasonal and also more exotic recipes. I do, however, have one criticism of its author, Linda, and that is her point-blank refusal to cook and write about Stargazy Pie. For those unfamiliar with the dish, it’s a Cornish speciality, renowned for the fact that the heads of the baked pilchards poke out through the pastry. You can see photos of it here, as well as read about the legend of heroic fisherman Tom Bawcock, who is said to have inspired the dish.

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