The Five Best Ways to Enjoy Blue Stilton

Blue Stilton

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Blue Stilton

Blue Stilton

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The British rejoice in their Stilton. This blue cheese, with its PDO status, can only be made from local cow’s milk in the counties of Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire in the Midlands. The distinctive blue veins come are caused by a strain of penicillin, Penicillium roqueforti, which is injected into the truckles.

Early Fame

No doubt, centuries ago, the blue veining would have formed naturally as penicillin moulds are abundant in the air and will out-compete other moulds given favourable conditions i.e. cool damp cellars. There were plenty of those in England in the early 1700s, which is when the first reliable records make mention of it. Indeed, by 1724 it was well-known enough for author Daniel Defoe to refer to it as ‘English Parmesan’.

Seasonal highlight

There is possibly no more seasonal cheese than Stilton. It graces nearly every British cheese board at Christmas. Its strong salty flavour works with earthy winter vegetables, its acidity cuts through even the richest meats; it can be paired with port, red wine, fruits and even single malt whisky. Here are just a few of our favourite ways to enjoy middle England’s most famous cheese.

Figs with Stilton

Figs with Stilton 

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Stilton & figs

The sweetness of the figs perfectly matches the salty creaminess of Stilton. Cut open the figs and stuff each of them with a lump of Stilton cheese. Close them as best you can, place them in a baking dish, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and bake in a hot oven for 8-10 minutes.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed Mushrooms

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Mushrooms stuffed with Stilton and crabmeat

The earthiness of mushrooms work well with Stilton’s assertive flavour. Soften finely chopped onion and garlic in a little butter, then add a handful of breadcrumbs, the crabmeat and Stilton with a pinch of salt and a little chopped parsley. Place the filling inside large upturned mushrooms and bake in a hot oven for 20 mins or until the filling is bubbling. Garnish with a little more parsley.

Potted Stilton

Potted Stilton

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Potted Stilton

This is a great way to store Stilton and is delicious served on toast or over your beef burger. Mash the Stilton with about 2 teaspoons of ruby port and a little butter until smooth. Spoon into a sterile ramekin dish and flatten the top, then seal with a little melted butter. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. If sealed with butter this should last in the fridge for a couple of months.

Pear, Stilton and walnuts

Pear, Stilton and walnuts

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Stilton, pear and walnut salad

Pear and Stilton is a classic combination, the walnuts add an earthy depth and firm texture. Just crumble the cheese and the chopped walnuts over the ripe pear which can be sliced or diced and arrange over a bed of salad leaves - lamb’s lettuce works particularly well. Drizzle with a little honey and walnut oil.

Steak and Stilton Pie

Steak and Stilton pie

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Steak and Stilton Pie

A rich, warming winter dish: simply crumble about 150g Stilton on top of the hot beef pie filling before closing with the pastry lid. The Stilton adds a wonderful creamy richness of texture and flavour.

 

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