What to Do with Cheese Leftovers
Don't throw away that leftover cheese, try these recipe ideas instead.
The Blues: Blue cheese dip
Trim off any rinds, crumble the cheese into a blender with a sprinkle of pepper, a homeopathic amount of garlic and a dollop of crème fraiche, and blend into a fairly smooth paste. The more crème fraiche, the milder the flavour. Personally, I like mine quite spicy.
Use as a dip for crudités, spread on small rounds of toast and enjoy with a punchy off-dry white wine, or, if you don’t think this is sacrilegious, have it on top of a steak.
Soft goats: Roast garlic dip
Peel the papery skin off a bulb or two of garlic and roast whole in an oven dish with a glug of olive oil and a sprig of thyme or rosemary – about 40 minutes at 150C ought to do it. The heads should look browned but not dried out. Squeeze the cloves out into a blender, add the goat’s cheese, another glug of olive oil to loosen things up and blend into a smooth paste. The best cheese to use for this is a loose textured rindless fresh style. If you’re using elderly mould-ripened cheese, add more olive oil or a little crème fraiche.
Serve with rounds of crusty white bread as a starter.
Any old hard cheese: Welsh rarebit
Rarebit/rabbit? Who cares? This is my wife’s birthday breakfast of choice, bearing in mind that every year she refuses scallops in Champagne, or red caviar with blinis.
Make a roux with butter and flour, add a generous splash of beer, a good shake of Worcestershire sauce, a dusting of cayenne pepper and as much grated hard cheese as you think you can get away with. Cook to the texture of a thick paste, spread on bread, toast under the grill and serve with the rest of the beer. Any beer will do although I prefer a nice bitter, porter or stout. The more different varieties of hard cheese go into this dish, the more fun it is.
End stage cheese: Fromage fort
This is the big one. Use any cheese at all, trimming off harder rinds – like those on Cheddar or Comté, and of course Gouda, and any particularly frightening looking bits from softer cheeses. For the most rustic simple version, simply add white wine, a little garlic, salt and pepper and blend to a paste. For a gentler dish, add crème fraiche or cream cheese.
If you really want to go all out, put the creamy fromage mix into a glass or earthenware jar and leave in a cupboard, stirring occasionally until it re-ferments and becomes truly fort. Always remember to drink a little something when you eat this version, whether that’s coffee or marc, to stop the fiery paste blistering your mouth. At the request of my wife, I do now keep mine in the fridge, although after a month or two, it is still pretty strong.
Spread on bread or toast, take with a little coffee, marc or anything else lying around.
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