If you have lots of leftover cheese pieces in your fridge and don’t like waste, have a go at some of these suggestions. Different types of cheese suit different methods; but, as always with cooking, don’t be afraid to experiment if you think a specific cheese will work instead of the ideas listed!
First though a word of warning; avoid using over-ripe soft cheeses (Camembert and Brie for example) as not only do they smell like the worst sweaty feet in the world, but also they become very bitter and their taste changes drastically!
Stilton Soup for 4-6
- 100g blue or white stilton, crumbled into pieces
- 50g cheddar, grated
- 50g butter
- 900ml chicken or turkey stock
- 45ml dry white wine
- 300ml milk
- 60ml fresh double cream
- 40g plain flour
- 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 celery sticks, scrubbed and thinly sliced
- Salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a saucepan over moderate heat. Gently fry the onion and celery for about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and continue to cook for another minute. Remove pan from the heat and stir in the wine and stock.
Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes and stir occasionally. Next, add the milk, cheese and cream. Stir well, until all the cheese has melted, then, remove from heat. Whizz the soup in a food processor/blender or rub through a sieve. Reheat without the liquid boiling.
Serve with croutons and/or fresh crusty bread.
Cheese and Bacon Bread for 6
This makes a really tasty savoury to go with vegetable soups or salads. Ingredients
- 100g cheddar or other hard cheese, grated (blue cheese is good too!)
- 100g bacon, or cooked ham, chopped
- 100g butter
- 120ml milk
- 225g self-raising flour
- 1 large egg, beaten
- Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 230C. Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl and add a pinch of salt. Rub in half the butter (or use a food processor) then, add the egg and 90ml of the milk. This process will combine the ingredients to make a soft dough. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead it lightly for a couple of minutes. Shape the dough into a round and mark it into six sections with a sharp knife.
Use the butter paper to grease a baking tray then bake the dough on this for 10-15 minutes, until well risen and golden brown. Meanwhile, fry the bacon in a pan the drain and leave to cool. Beat the remaining butter and milk with the cheese and seasoning to make a smooth spread. Then, add the cooked, cooled, bacon and mix together thoroughly to make the filling.
Slice the bread in half (like a cake) and fill it with the cheese/bacon mixture. Serve hot or cold.
Any semi-hard, sharp flavoured cheese works in this recipe. Will serve four to six people.
- 600ml chicken, turkey or vegetable stock
- 350g Arborio or similar risotto rice
- 150g Gorgonzola or similar cheese
- 150ml dry white wine
- 150ml water
- 1 red onion, peeled and sliced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Basil leaves, chopped
Heat the onion in a large frying pan and gently cook the onion and pepper for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir well.
Add half of the liquid ingredients until they have been absorbed, then, add the remaining liquid and simmer for 10-15 minutes. By then all the liquid should have been completely absorbed and the rice tender. Remove your pan from the heat and stir in the cheese and chopped basil leaves. Make sure it is heated through.
Serve on a warm dish.