Nigel Slater’s Cheese puddings for cold winter nights

They peer out from the back of my fridge, forgotten nubbins of cheese, skerricks drying out on their inevitable march to the bin. They are my guilty cheese secrets as I reach for a newer, more appealing piece. This week though, rather than sweep them into the rubbish, I have given these refugees from long-forgotten cheeseboards a second life. Mashed with egg yolk and cream, folded into beaten whites and cooked into puddings, this is a decadent but ultimately frugal feast perfect for an early dinner, Sunday night. Thank heavens for Nigel Slater – the battle cry of the time-poor … Continue reading Nigel Slater’s Cheese puddings for cold winter nights

Cheese rolls – a South Island tradition

Cheese rolls are one of New Zealand’s few regional food specialities. They ignite nostalgia in Mainlanders living up north, are a fund raising stalwart in Southland/Otago, and a source of fascination for this cheese obsessed North Islander. Sheltering from a wet Autumnal day I spotted some in the basement café of a posho department store in Christchurch last week, and was inspired to find out more about this uniquely South Island treat. Te Waipounamu tell us your secrets! A cheese roll, for the uninitiated, is a pre-prepared cheese mixture spread on thin white bread, rolled up and toasted under a … Continue reading Cheese rolls – a South Island tradition

Watermelon, Feta and Mint salad

On a hot summer day nothing cools like Watermelon and after an afternoon gardening this simple salad with mint and feta brought succor to my parched tastebuds. The recipe is pretty loose, more of an idea really. Crisp, clean melon against salty cream of feta, aromatic mint, pretty and cooling in pink, white and green. I scoffed my bowl of salad, so be generous, the joy of this salad is the flavours and colours playing off against each other. I kept my salad simple, but you can add other ingredients. My brother Matt suggests adding toasted pumpkin seeds, while Nigella … Continue reading Watermelon, Feta and Mint salad

Classic ’70’s Cheese Ball – my nostalgic Christmas nibble

Christmas is a time for nostalgia and when I want a cheese redolent of Christmases past, it’s not Stilton or vintage Cheddar I hanker for, but my Mum’s classic ’70’s Cheese Ball. This is the cheesey taste of Christmas to me. Rolled in walnuts, paired with Snax biscuits, and a glass of something bubbly, it’s a perfect Noel nibble. Just right for my Christmas barbie last week. My Mum’s recipe uses processed cheese and, to my dismay, I couldn’t find blocks of Chesdale in the supermarket. I was so concerned I rang Goodman Fielder and was told by a customer service … Continue reading Classic ’70’s Cheese Ball – my nostalgic Christmas nibble

Apple and fennel cheese straws – temptation on a platter

To my surprise these flew off the plate. Air-light flakes of pastry with the sweet crunch of caramelised grilled cheese. The addition of apple and fennel seeds had transformed the mouth-puckering dryness of traditional cheese straws into delicious flakey moreishness. The extra effort was well worth it. I love cheese straws, and am usually content to eat most myself, few others seeming to share my love of cold puff pastry. These ones however come with a warning – make sure you get your fair share before handing them around, because they won’t last! These are the evangelists of cheese straws. … Continue reading Apple and fennel cheese straws – temptation on a platter

Cheese canapés for cocktail parties

Ah cheesey friends I have been in a conundrum, a cheese conundrum – what does a curd nerd to take to a cocktail party? I couldn’t recall 007 eating anything with his Martini and Audrey Hepburn certainly just seemed to smoke. But I wanted to make some sophisticated cheese canapés to hand around. A bit of research later and a whole new world opened up. So over the next few weeks I’ll share a few easy canapés to grace any cocktail party. Cocktails are intense with strong flavours, so I wanted canapés that could stand up to high alchohol beverages. I … Continue reading Cheese canapés for cocktail parties

Grilled Cabécou and asparagus – a spring starter

At last asparagus has burst into the stores, and we hope with its arrival the beginnings of spring and the inevitable glory of summer. I love how seasonal asparagus is, and how its brief appearance reminds us of the soil and the seasons. I love this too about cheese, and in particular artisan cheese. It speaks of place and breed and particularity. I found this recipe when researching a little gem of a cheese called cabécou (pronounced ka-be-coo) and translated it from French, care of Babelfish. Cabécou du Perigord Cabécou is a tiny disc of a cheese, only 5 cm … Continue reading Grilled Cabécou and asparagus – a spring starter