7 Foods that Pair Perfectly with Blue Cheese

Blue cheese is quick to disappear in our house, leaving mere crumbs for leftovers. However, if you happen to find some Roquefort, Blue Vinny, Gorgonzola or Stilton lurking at the back of the fridge and are looking for inspiration for how to make the most of it, here are 7 foods that pair perfectly with Blue Cheese.

blue cheese enjoyed at its best
Blue Cheese is a staple on any cheese board

 

1. Pears

Pears are the most obvious partner for blue cheese. These two aren’t just the food fad of the moment, they are in love and staying that way!  The sweetness of the pears really compliments the saltiness of the cheese. Then there is the contrasting texture; the crunchy crisp pear with the soft, creamy blue. A match made in heaven!

Try this: Poach the pears in red wine with some star anise, cinnamon, cardamom and a grating nutmeg and serve them with blue cheese, walnuts and rocket.

 

2. Figs

Just like grapes, pears, apples and pineapple (YES pineapple + blue cheese is a divine combo), figs are another fruit that pairs nicely with blue cheese. A very simple explanation is the combining of salty, sharp and sweet flavours. The tangy savoury notes of blue cheese are wonderfully complimented by the natural sweetness found in fruit or even honey.

Try this: The luscious fig has found its way onto many a cheese board with great success. Simply pop 3 -5 figs onto one corner of your cheese board at your next dinner party and allow your guests enjoy!

 

3. Mushrooms

It is the earthy flavour of mushrooms that makes it great mates with your Stilton or Roquefort. Legendary veggie burgers have been created from plonking a large portobello mushroom into a chewy sourdough bun and smothering it in a blue cheese sauce. Ooooh!

Try this: Take some Portabello mushrooms, remove the stalks and skins. Create a paste using garlic, olives, sundried tomatoes, fresh basil, a few drops of balsamic vinegar and some olive oil. Rub the paste all over the underside of the mushrooms and bake in the oven for around 30 minutes. Take out the oven, and turn on the grill. Add a small dollop of blue cheese and place under the grill for a few minutes until the cheese is mouth watering-ly gooey. A low carb wonder!

 

4. Celery

When in season, this low calorie veggie provides a deliciously crunchy contrast to a smooth and creamy blue cheese. Celery contains vitamins A, C and K as well as several antioxidants.

Try this: This combination can be enjoyed simply by spreading a small amount of blue cheese onto the celery or you can create a dip like this one found on bbc good food

 

5. Walnuts

Raw walnuts have a gorgeous earthy flavour too and you only need a few to really elevate a dish from ordinary to delicious. The same principle applies to blue cheese in salads – i.e. a little goes a long way!

Try this: Crumble some blue cheese like the Organic Perl Las or the famous Irish Cashel Blue onto a washed mixed leaf salad and then add a small handful of raw roughly chopped walnuts, a dash of olive oil, lemon juice, dijon mustard, honey, salt, pepper and a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper.

 

6. Port

Although technically a drink and not a food, I couldn’t resist adding port onto this list. Pairing a vintage port with a mature blue is another one of those classic combinations that is well known for good reason. Vintage Port is bursting with robust flavour and the piquancy and buttery soft texture of blue cheese ensure they match perfectly.

Try this: All you need for this combo is a great Port and a great Blue!

 

7. Whisky

Again, not technically a food but included here regardless as people are often surprised by the fact that whisky and blue cheese are happy bedfellows. It has even been whispered that whisky pairs better with cheese than Wine! The complex flavours of an excellent Blue like the Organic Perl Las can pair beautifully with a peaty whisky.

Try this: Visit a specialist whisky shop and ask for help picking an ideal whisky for your blue cheese of choice. Good whisky isn’t cheap, so asking an expert is the best way of getting a good result.

Dorstone Goats Cheese – Our Cheese of the Week

Dorstone Goats Cheese is a wonderful example of just how exciting (and far removed from bog-standard supermarket stuff) that artisan cheeses can be. Made right here in Britain, Dorstone has an interesting history, wonderful flavour and incredible (conversation starting!) appearance.  This is why it is our Cheese of the Week!

Dorstone Goats Cheese

 

Where is Dorstone Goats Cheese Made?

Made on top of Dorstone Hill overlooking the River Wye. This goats cheese is named after the small village of Dorstone, in Herefordshire.

How is Dorstone Created?

First, the curd from the unpasteurised goats milk (sourced from a farm in Gloucestershire) is set overnight in big buckets with a bulk starter & traditional rennet.

The curds are then left to pre-drain the next morning . It is left, as is, for a few hours and then salt is sprinkled over the mixture and the mixture is transferred to moulds.

The cheese rests in these moulds for 3 days, after which they are taken out & then rolled in a charcoal powder. This gives the cheese an interesting speckled black and white exterior when the cheese is young.

As the cheese matures, the Geotrichum (a type of mould) gives the cheese an extraordinary wrinkled appearance! This is really unique and looks very impressive on a cheese board – perfect for dinner parties where it is a real conversation starter (trust us, we know!). Sometimes, blue-green specks appear, adding  more interest to the appearance.

Why Try Dorstone?

Not only is the exterior beautifully impressive, we find that this goats cheese is flavourful + delicious – a real treat! It has a fluffy mousse-like texture and a flavoursome creamy yet zesty, lemony, salty tang. The Geotrichum imparts a savoury, nutty edge to the cheese. Dorstone doesn’t actually taste overly goat-y, making it a good choice for a dinner party.

Who Makes Dorstone?

Talented cheese makers Charlie Westhead & Haydn Roberts created Dorstone Goats Cheese. Interestingly, their farm has solar panels & a windmill to power their creamery & their waste water is processed using a wetland system. This filters waste water via reeds, wild Orchids & banks of Willows. Very impressive!

An Award Winner

In 2013, Dorstone Goats Cheese won a Gold Medal at the Mondial Du Fromage in France

Herby Goat Cheese, Tomato & Cumin Tart

This really is a very simple vegetarian goat cheese, tomato and cumin tart recipe that my mother taught me. I turn to this recipe again and again because it is very simple & easy to make, with great results! Serve with a salad for a tasty lunch or with lightly boiled jersey royals, green beans and broccoli for  a delicious dinner.

The great flavours come from the awesome Rosary Garlic & Herb Goats cheese which is subtly flavoured with a variety of complimentary herbs. This saves so much time because you don’t have to pick and chop different herbs – its all done for you!

Herby Goats Cheese Tart Recipe

 

Ingredients

  • 1 x packet of 375g fresh ready rolled puff pastry
  • 150g of Rosary Garlic & Herb Goats Button
  • 750g of tomatoes (we have used red and yellow vine tomatoes but you can use plum or beef tomatoes)
  • 1 x large clove of garlic
  • 1tsp of cumin seeds
  • 1/2tsb of chilli flakes or cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • Salt & pepper for seasoning

Prep time is 15 minutes, cooking time is 45-50 minutes.

 

Tomatoes and Cheese

Recipe Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C and lightly oil a large baking tray (approximately 30cm x 40cm in size)
  2. Remove packaging from pastry and carefully roll onto baking tray until flat.
  3. Using a sharp knife, carefully score a line all the way around the pastry, about 1cm in from the edge. This will create the crust of the tart. Don’t cut all the way through the pastry, just score lightly.
  4. Crush or very finely chop the clove of garlic. Transfer into a bowl, add in the goats cheese + mix thoroughly to combine. Season the mixture well with 1/2tsp of salt and several grinds of black pepper. (TIP: It really helps if the goats cheese is at room temperature, as it is much easier to work with)
  5. If you love chilli, add the 1/2tsp of chilli flakes or cayenne pepper to the goats cheese mixture here.
  6. Carefully & gently spread the goat cheese and garlic mixture onto the pastry using a palette knife or the back of a spoon, always working within the scored lines you created earlier.
  7. Thinly slice the tomatoes.
  8. Place the tomato slices on top of the goats cheese (remember to keep working within the lines) and position them lengthways down the tart with the slices overlapping one another (see picture for reference)
  9. Sprinkle 1tsp of cumin seeds evenly over the tomatoes.
  10. Season the tomatoes with a few grinds of salt and pepper and then drizzle with the olive oil.
  11. Place on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for between 45-50 minutes. The tart will be done when the pastry is golden and the tomatoes are beautifully roasted.
  12. Let the tart cool for a few minutes, then cut into thick squares.
  13. Serve with a green salad for lunch or some lightly boiled potatoes for a delicious dinner.

Delicious Vegetarian Tart

 

Tackle The Monday Blues

Tackle the Blues with Blue Cheese

So the weekend has ended and the week has begun again, ushered in by the always unwelcome morning alarm. Back to clock-watching every 5 minutes, counting down until the end of day.

We can’t pretend that we can cure the Monday blues, but what we can do is introduce you to some fantastic blue cheeses to give you something to look forward to. With a great selection of mouth watering, taste bud tingling blue cheeses from around the country (and a few from across the pond) there really is no better way to beat the Monday blues!

Irish Blue Cheese
Crozier Irish Blue Cheese

Perl Las

One Blue Cheese virtually guaranteed to put a smile on your face in the award winning Perl Las. An organic welsh star, as fantastic on the tongue as Katherine Jenkins is on the ears. Strong, yet wonderfully creamy with lovely lingering blue overtones.

Crozier Blue

Then there is Crozier Blue, Ireland’s only blue cheese made with Ewes milk. Made by the Grubb family in Ireland, the same family that make the world famous Cashel Blue. With its fresh and tangy flavour, it is definitely worth a try.

Blacksticks Blue Truckle

Or there is the Blacksticks Blue truckle, labelled the daddy of all blue cheeses by Chef Simon Rimmer. With a wonderful amber hue, creamy with a delicious texture & soft enough to spread on toast. Ideal to tuck away in the fridge ready for any celebration.

Cotswold Blue Brie

And then there is the unforgettable, unmissable Cotswold Blue Brie by Simon Weaver, a wonderful creamy Brie with the added richness of the blue taking this cheese to a whole new level, not to mention it is organic too. Pears like a dream with…. well, pears!

Want to check out these cheeses for yourself? Order any Blue Cheese from The Cheese Market LTD before the 20th October and you will receive 20% off all blue cheeses with the code “blues2go”

Cheese of the Week – Organic Oak Smoked Cheddar

Introducing our very first Cheese of the Week: The award winning Godminster Oak Smoked Cheddar

I must admit that I normally bypass the smoked cheese. Although I enjoy it, I generally prefer other styles. The same cannot be said for my better half though, who adores the smoked varieties!

When I first heard about the Godminster Oak Smoked Cheddar, I immediately ordered some in for tasting to win some brownie points with the missus. Alongside a few family members and friends I divided up the cheddar and we got down to the serious business of eating!

Godminster Oak Smoked Cheddar
Oak Smoked Cheddar by Godminster – made here in Britain using organic milk

 

I wasn’t surprised at all to hear murmurs of appreciation (and even squeals of delight) from everyone trying this cheese as it has had glorious reviews from across the foodie world. I must admit that I too, truly loved it. The texture was smooth and creamy with a lovely depth of flavour. The smokiness wasn’t overwhelming like other smoked varieties can be and it perfectly complimented the creaminess. We enjoyed this cheese with Godminster Rosemary Water Biscuits and a sweet chutney.

The unforgettable flavour of the Godminster Oak Smoked Cheddar has not been missed by the Big Cheeses of the Cheese World. It won a gold star at the 2013 Great Taste Awards, along with a gold in the Naturally Smoked Cheddar category at the 2014 International Cheese Awards. It also won a silver medal at the 2014 British Cheese Awards.

In further homage to this fromage, in a world where health & the environment are becoming increasingly more important this cheese is not only a certified organic cheese, using organic milk from their own herd of cows on the Godminster Farm, is it also naturally cold smoked with oak chippings sourced from sustainable woodland. Unlike many of the mass produced smoked cheeses which are chemically smoked.

The Godminster Oak Smoked Cheddar ticks all the boxes for us and is a great addition to any cheese board, grated into mashed potato, or even enjoyed simply in a sandwich or hot toastie on a cold winter day. It also makes a great ingredient for a recipe where its smokiness can take centre stage, like with our mouth-watering frittata recipe (coming soon!).

Our final word on this cheese is a word of warning – consider where in the fridge you can hide it because it won’t last long otherwise!

Creating the Perfect Cheese Board

 

Dinner Party Favourites – Cheese board

Forget todays boring board meeting with a fabulous cheese board for eating!

The Perfect Dinner Party Cheese Board
An Ideal Dinner Party Cheese Board

An impressive cheese board can be created with minimal time & effort. Simply follow the advice below and your cheeseboard will be the perfect finale to a memorable dinner party.

  1. Select between 3 – 5 cheeses – Aim for 3 to 5 cheeses. Any less and there will not not enough variety, any more and it will overwhelm the palate.
  2. Start with a soft cheese, hard cheese & then a blue cheese – As a rule of thumb, start with one hard cheese, like the Quickes vintage cheddar, one soft cheese, like the Tunworth & one blue variety like the Oxford blue. This way you have three great cheeses with varying flavours and textures to really hit the taste buds. From this starting point you can then add more. Great accompaniments to these types of cheeses would be a) a washed rind cheese like the Golden Cenarth or b) a light goats cheese like the award winning Rosary Garlic & Herb Goats Button.
  3. Make it interesting – Giving a theme is a great way to add extra interest to your dinner party cheese board. It could be an all British Board or a Fantastic French selection, a Gorgeous Goat cheese platter or even an alliteration of Brilliant British cheeses beginning with B.
  4. Choose Artisan Cheeses – The best way to impress is to choose cheeses that are artisan and not readily available in the supermarkets. Some artisan cheese suppliers will provide you with detailed information about the cheese (like where it originates from and who created it) with your order, so you can dazzle your guests with not only the flavours of the cheeses but their history & awards too. Cornish Yarg with garlic is a great example of a cheese with an award winning flavour and an interesting story.
  5. Accompany them with style – Don’t let the board down with poor biscuits; add a selection of artisan biscuits, breads or other accompaniments that help enhance the flavour of the cheeses without being bland. Don’t forget the chutneys and grapes!
  6. Know your knives – Whilst not an essential addition, a knife for each cheese is always helpful. A specialised soft cheese knife is a nice touch for cutting the soft cheeses & a cheese wire always makes a novel addition to the board.
  7. Prepare  –   

I.  Aim for approximately 100g of cheese per person, more if the board is part of a main meal.
II.  Remove the cheeses from the fridge roughly 2 hours before serving so they can reach room temperature allowing their tastes and textures to be fully appreciated upon serving.
III.  Take off wrappers but leave on rinds.

We hope these tips on creating the perfect cheese board help you create a selection that disappears from the plate in seconds but is a talking point for weeks to come.

Or if you feel like you need a little extra help in creating that perfect cheese board selection, getting in touch via our website: www.thecheesemarket.co.uk

Caring for your Cheese

Where to keep it

Many artisan cheeses are matured and stored in cellars and caves but for most of us this isn’t a possibility. The most convenient way to get the best out of your cheeses is to store them in the fridge preferably the vegetable draws where the humidity is likely to be higher and a bit more to their liking.

How to keep it

Humidity is also important with cheese, left open the cheese will most likely become too dry, but if wrapped in plastic film will likely become soggy and smelly. We wrap all our cut cheeses in waxed paper which is the best way to counteract these problems.

How to prepare it

We recommend that to get the best flavour from your cheese take it out of the fridge roughly 2 hours before you intend to serve it.

Use by & Best Before Dates

To give a brief background on these 2 terms and how they differ. Some cheeses will have a use by date, this in short is the date at which point after the food item should not be consumed for health and safety reasons. Best Before, and this is seen a lot on many cheeses related to at which point the food item is deemed to have reached its best, this is not to say

That after this point the food is any less safe or that it is inedible, in fact with many cheeses the flavours will continue to develop. A straight forward way to look at it is that the manufacturer or retailer believes that at this date, or just before, the item is at its best flavour. It is always best to try and buy cheeses that you intend to consume shortly that are reaching their best before date. Here at The Cheese Market we offer a “”Ripe & Ready” Service on checkout, by letting us know you would like cheeses getting close to their best flavour we will select whichever ones benefit from being close to their best before date and are in stock. We also offer a “Taste over Time” bar with most of the cheeses that’s flavours develop over time so you can choose when you want to use it.

Retailer of Artisan Cheeses + Other Fine Foods