We've Uncorked Emma's Fromage Dinner
Mini Parmigiano-Reggiano, Thyme & Paprika Shortbreads with Roast Peppers & Feta
1 red pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
4 oz feta, crumbled
Basil leaves, chopped
2 oz flour
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 1/2 oz butter
2 1/2 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano
* Preheat the oven to 350F.
* Place all the shortbread ingredients in a food processor and whiz to form a smooth dough.
* Flour a clean surface, and roll the dough out to a 1/4-inch thickness.
* Using a 1-inch fluted pastry cutter, stamp out rounds and place them on a baking sheet that is lined with baking parchment.
* Gather leftover dough, roll out again, and stamp out more rounds. Continue until all the dough is used up.
* Bake in the oven for 7-8 minutes until lightly golden.
* Remove and place on a cooking rack. These may be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for a month.
* On the day you need them, preheat the oven to 350F.
* Place the cut pepper in a small roasting pan with the olive oil, salt and pepper.
* Roast the peppers for 30 minutes.
* When ready to serve, top each shortbread with a few pieces of pepper and some feta.
Grilled Apple & Sage Sausages Stuffed with Smoked Applewood Cheddar
5 apple & sage sausages
2.5 oz smoked Applewood cheddar
* Preheat the oven to 350F.
* Roast the sausages for 20 minutes, turning halfway through.
* Cool and slice each sausage into 5-6 pieces, on the diagonal.
* Cut the cheese into small pieces (about 1/4 inch x 3/4 inch) and place one into each sausage slice.
* Place on a baking tray, under the grill, for about 2 minutes.
* Serve immediately with miniature wooden skewers or toothpicks.
Plum Port Compote & Brie Gougeres (Choux Buns)
3 oz butter
7 fl oz water
3 3/4 oz plain flour, well sifted
Pinch of salt
3 oz fromage blanc for 1/2 the mixture
6 plums (about 1.2 lbs)
2 oz sugar
3 fl oz Port
4 oz Brie, cut into small pieces
* Cut the plums in half and place them in a large pot with the sugar and port.
* Place over a low heat and stir to dissolve the sugar.
* Cover with a lid and gently simmer on a very low heat for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
* Fish out the plum seeds and cook the plums a little longer until they are completely broken down.
* This compote should keep well for at least a week in the fridge.
* Place the butter and water into a small pot. Heat until the butter has melted, then turn up to a boil.
* Once the water is at a rolling boil, pour in the flour and mix vigourously with a wooden spoon.
* Pour into a large bowl to cool. Preheat the oven to 400F.
* Slowly add the eggs, beating well with each addition.
* You want the mixture to be soft, shiny and smooth, and be of dropping consistency.
* On a baking sheet, place teaspoonfuls of the choux pastry, 2 inches apart -- make 20.
* Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven and make a slit in the top of each, with a sharp knife.
* Meanwhile, stir the fromage blanc into the remaining mixture.
* On another baking sheet, place teaspoonfuls of the mixture, 2 inches apart -- make 20
* Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove and cool.
* Place the plain choux buns back in the oven for 3 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
* Make a slit in the top of each choux bun. Store in an airtight container. These may be stored in the freezer
* When ready to serve, preheat the oven 350F.
* Place the choux buns on a baking sheet, and reheat to crisp them up, for a few minutes.
* Stuff a piece of brie inside the top of each bun, place in the oven for a couple minutes to slightly melt the cheese.
* Top each with the compote and serve immediately.
Sweet Potato, Split Pea & Gorgonzola Soup
1 x 12 oz pack green split peas
4 large sweet potatoes, peeled & cut into 1 inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 quart homemade chicken stock
1 1/4 lbs Gorgonzola
Sea salt & black pepper
* Soak the split peas in plenty of water for a few hours. Drain and rinse well.
* Place the split peas in a pressure cooker, and top with six cups of water.
* Cover and seal the pressure cooker, bring to the boil and simmer for 8-10 minutes.
* Remove and cool until the lid can open.
* Add the sweet potatoes, onion, garlic and chicken stock. Top up with more water, if needed, to cover all the potatoes.
* Bring to the boil and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the potatoes are soft.
* Cool slightly and whiz everything in a blender, adding water if needed. At this stage the soup can freeze.
* Return to the pot, stir in 1 lb of the Gorgonzola, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
* When piping hot, spoon into soup bowls, and place a small piece of gorgonzola in the centre of each.
* Serve immediately with fresh bread.
5 Garlic cloves
1 lb 4 oz Gruyere, grated
1 lb 2 oz Comte, rind removed, grated
1.4 oz Smoked Applewood cheddar, rind removed, grated
1 bottle Chardonnay
2 1/2 fl oz Schladerer (mixture of raspberry, cheery & plum flavours)
1/4 nutmeg, freshly grated
3 tablespoons cornstarch
* Wipe the fondue pot with the garlic cloves, and leave them in the pot.
* Add the wine, bring to the boil, and then add the grated cheeses slowly, stirring constantly so that they melt completely.
* Stir in the Schladerer and the nutmeg.
* Place the cornstarch in a small bowl and add some of the liquid floating on top of the fondue, stirring to amalgamate.
* Pour this back into the fondue, and continue to stir.
* Serve over a low fondue flame at the table, using skewers or fondue forks to dip bread and broccoli into the hot melted cheese.
Green Leaves with Roasted Beets, Ossau-Iraty, Toasted Pine Nuts & Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette
3 packs fresh local spinach, torn
1 head of lettuce, torn
8 medium beets (boiled for 1 hour 15 mins, peeled & cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons sweet balsamic vinegar
4 - 4 1/2 oz pignola seeds (pine nuts), toasted
6 oz Ossau-Iraty cheese, shaved
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
7 tablespoons lemon juice
7 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar (sweet)
7 tablespoons olive oil
* Preheat the oven to 400F.
* Place the beetroots in a roasting pan with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and roast for 20 minutes.
* Combine all the vinaigrette ingredients in a glass bottle and shake well to mix.
* Just before serving, toss all the salad leaves in a large bowl with as much of the dressing as you like.
* Place a handful of salad on each plate, top with beetroot, shavings of Ossau-Iraty, and toasted pine nuts.
* Serve immediately.
Gouda Extra 5 Year Ages
* Place the Taleggio and Gouda on a cheese board with grapes, and serve with Port!
Pear, Vanilla & Bleu d'Auvergne Soufflés
1 pear, peeled & cored (4 oz)
2 1/2 oz vanilla sugar (jar of white sugar with a vanilla bean pod split open inside) -- add pod
1/2 oz flour
1 1/2 oz white sugar
2 1/2 fl oz milk
2 eggs, separated
1 egg white
1 1/2 oz bleu d'auvergne
1 oz white sugar
* Place the pear and vanilla sugar in a pot, heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.
* Turn the heat up, and boil for 20 minutes.
* Stir in the flour, 1 1/2 oz white sugar and the milk. Simmer and stir continuously, until thickened.
* Remove from heat.
* Just before you are ready to bake the soufflés, preheat the oven 400F.
* Butter the inside of 3-4 ramekins, and place on a baking sheet.
* Reheat the pear mixture slightly, remove from heat and stir in the egg yolks and the bleu d'auvergne.
* Whisk all the egg whites until stiff, add the 1 oz white sugar and whisk again.
* Pour into ramekins, about 2/3-3/4 full, and bake for about 8-10 minutes until well risen.
* Serve immediately on little plates.
Goat's Fromage Blanc & Dark Chocolate Truffles
12 oz dark chocolate
10 oz goat's fromage blanc
1 1/2 oz icing sugar, sifted
2 fl oz heavy cream
1 tablespoon Brandy
1 1/2 oz cocoa powder, sifted
1 1/2 oz icing sugar, sifted
* Place the chocolate in a metal bowl over simmering water. Stir until melted, then remove from heat.
* Gently beat the fromage blanc with the icing sugar and cream.
* Stir the melted chocolate into the fromage blanc, and mix well. Then add the brandy.
* Place in the fridge until it begins to get firm.
* Remove from the fridge. Mix the cocoa powder and icing sugar in a large bowl.
* Dust your hands with the cocoa mixture and roll the chocolate mixture into truffles, then roll in the cocoa mix.
* Place on a tray lined with baking parchment. When all the truffles have been made, cover with more parchment paper, and store in the fridge until ready to use.
— Emma Dalton-Brown