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Entries in cheese (63)


spaghetti cacio e pepe 


i have a bit of a thing for black pepper - i love the idea of it being one of the main ingredients in a recipe. this was the main thing that encouraged me to create this black pepper and taleggio risotto. it’s also what drew me to rowley leigh’s recipe for spaghetti cacio e pepe.

this roman dish (from rome, rather than from ancient times) is very simple – freshly crushed black pepper, pecorino romano (yes, it does need to be pecorino romano) and (good quality) spaghetti. rowley says “when made properly, the rasping acidity of the pecorino and the fierce bite of the pepper are a formidable combination, but the method is equally beguiling.”

and that will be the other thing that intrigued me about this recipe – the spaghetti is cooked only briefly and then finished risotto style, with you stirring it while gradually adding some of the pasta’s cooking water plus the pepper and cheese.

the result is fabulous and the richness belies the simplicity of the ingredients - the water, pepper and cheese combine to coat the spaghetti, which has a silkiness that is similar to pasta cooked using the absorption method. as you can see there were also occasional “nuggets” of cheesy peppery goodness. i’m not sure if this is a fault in my technique but i don’t mind as they provided a wonderful burst of pepperiness every now and then.

i served this with a salad of cherry tomatoes (they were from the isle of wight and had a proper tomato flavour – the first of the year!), basil and rocket. a perfect way to welcome the warmer weather and something i’ll be making again and again.

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burrata, fennel, orange and coriander

this dish was inspired by a menu item at nopi – burrata, blood orange and coriander.

burrata is a wonderfully decadent type of mozzarella – a mozzarella pocket encloses a silky mix of mozzarella pieces and cream so that when you cut it open, it slowly and silkily oozes over the plate. it has to be eaten when it is very fresh and has a light creaminess that feels incredibly indulgent.

in this dish i mixed slices of blood orange and fennel together and topped this with some burrata (for a starter i used half a ball per person, as we were following it with a rich main course) which was sprinkled with lightly crushed toasted coriander seeds (the orange flavour of the spice brings everything together) and a sprinkling of my smokey lapsang souchong and lavender salt. a final drizzle of olive oil and some dressed watercress on the side were the finishing touches.

i loved this so much i made it two nights in a row and am already planning when i can do it again. if you’re struggling to find burrata i got mine from natoora.


sorrel omelette

when i saw that foodari had sorrel in i knew i had to get some. this lovely herb isn’t easy to track down but it’s sharp lemony taste makes it worth the effort.

eggs are the obvious starting point and i added a large handful of shredded sorrel to a cheese and mushroom omelette. i really like the idea of using it to make a loose pesto which can be served on top of a poached egg with crunchy sour dough toast.

by the way, sorry the blog is quiet - i managed to cut the tip off one of my fingers last weekend (ouch!)which has made me nervous of knives, especially given my dexterity is less good as a result of the accident.


ultimate macaroni cheese?


macaroni cheese is a favourite of mine. it’s something i eat only occasionally as david is not a fan and it can rarely be described as healthy which means it’s not on my “go to” list when i have a quiet night home alone.  

a friend coming over for supper gave me the perfect excuse to cook up a batch and pimp it up using a few ideas i’ve read about recently. 

adding pancetta is something i’ve never done and i liked the idea of a herby breadcrumb topping which jamie oliver touted on his recent 30 minutes meals tv show. i added garlic and sundried tomatoes to the topping mix as well, using a mix of oregano and rosemary.  

the result was wonderful and something i can see myself making again and again. given how good it is, i think this is a fitting contribution for the 4th anniversary edition of presto pasta nights, founded and hosted by the divine and delectable ruth at once upon a feast! happy birthday ruth, and thanks for all the inspiration.

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mustardy cheese on toast


my cheese on toast obsession is continuing and i’ve been trying out a few different ways of making it, including this mustardy version which was suggested by simon in the comments on my original post about this: 

"this is how i do cheese on toast - grate the cheese [v strong cheddar] into a bowl , add loads of worcester sauce, a few spoons of wholegrain mustard, 1 teaspoon of dijon or english mustard. stir it all up and grill it on some nice crusty bread."

very delicious, i love it! thanks simon. any more suggestions out there?