Cheese Showcase: Fruity Cheeses

Cheese and fruit have been paired together for centuries, the Romans blended their cheeses with fruit and herbs, the Dutch began adding cumin to their Gouda in the 17th century and today creameries regularly experiment with an assortment of wensleydale-with-cranberries-2flavours from Sticky Toffee Cheddar to festive Wensleydale & Cranberry, traditional Sage Derby to Stilton with Strawberries and Champagne. We explore our favourite fruity cheeses below.

Perhaps the most popular flavoured cheese is the Wensleydale & Cranberry. Many varieties of this classic can be found throughout the country and our version is made by Ford Farm in Dorset. The creamy, slightly crumbly Wensleydale provides the perfect base for the sweet and sharp contrast of cranberries and is Ford Farm’s take on the original Yorkshire recipe. This cheese is available in both catering 1.5kg half-moons and 150g retail packs.

stilton date & orange (2)The White Stilton with Date & Orange was recently our cheese of the week, it’s soft autumnal colours perfectly lending it to the season. Made by the Cropwell Bishop Creamery as part of their Speciality range, this is a mild, creamy cheese infused with tangy orange and sweet dates. We would recommend this as an alternative to dessert or as part of an after dinner cheeseboard. It is available in 1kg half-moon as well as 120g pre-packs.

The Snowdonia Cheese Company’s waxed truckles soar in popularity at this time of year. The Nature’s Nectar orange waxed cheese is a personal favourite, bursting with figs, honey and rich, fruity dark rum it makes a delicious and unique addition to any cheeseboard and is available in 200g waNatures_Nectarxed truckles.

Discover something new for your festive cheeseboard (or just for your Friday night cheese fix!) and browse our range of flavoured cheeses here.

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Cheese Showcase: Stilton

stiltonOur Blue Stilton is made at the Tuxford & Tebbutt creamery in Melton Mowbray, famed as being one of only six creameries permitted to make traditional Blue Stilton after the cheese was granted protected designation of origin.

The ‘King of English cheeses’ has been produced at the creamery since 1780 and today is as popular as ever. The producers at Arla’s Tuxford & Tebbutt creamery focus on traditional methods while making the cheese including using open vats and individually maturing and grading each cheese.

This traditional approach results in a rich and complex cheese that has a deliciously smooth creaminess and wonderful crumbly texture. It is currently available in whole 4kg rounds, 2kg ½ moons and in retail 200g packs.

stilton 2 (2)There are many ways of enjoying Stilton either simply as part of an after dinner cheeseboard with crackers, grapes, celery and chutney with perhaps a glass of port or baked into souffles for those more adventurous. At this time of year we’ve been enjoying it in a light salad for lunch with pear, walnuts and prosciutto parma ham with a balsamic dressing which we would highly recommend!

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Valentines Home-Cooked Food Ideas

sketchy-hearts-579be9955f9b589aa98c282dSometimes it just makes more sense to have a romantic, cosy night in for Valentines Day. With overcrowded restaurants, overpriced food and the cost of getting a babysitter in for the evening or a taxi home later on as well as gifts and cards for your significant other, it can be a less than relaxing evening. Instead, take your pick of one of these delicious menu ideas, grab a good bottle of fizz and take to the kitchen. A lot of these ideas can be prepared in advance or take little time to cook so you can simply enjoy each others company.

Starters
We’ve said it before and I’m sure we’ll be saying it many more times to come – we love a baked Camembert. Easy to prepare and deliciously naughty, we love it with some fresh, crusty bread and a balsamic glaze but you can jazz it up as cricket-st-thomas-camembert-220gmuch as you like. Score the top of the cheese and add some fresh rosemary and garlic before baking, pair with a variety of chutneys, add some finely chopped bacon – the opportunities for this baked box of goodness are endless. Why not try this Somerset Camembert made by Lubborn Cheese at Cricket St Thomas, Somerset full of delicious buttery flavours and a soft, edible white rind?

pateA simple starter that requires no preparation and is ready in the time it takes to burn some toast, this rich paté with some fruity chutney and peppery rocket is sure to hit the spot. Try our coarse cut duck paté  with orange zest and mixed herbs, paired with a Waterhouse Fayre handmade chutney for a truly delicious starter.

Mains
Create a restaurant style dish at home with cod lointhis baked cod loin wrapped in proscuitto ham full of the flavours of summer. We like this with some roasted Mediterranean vegetables and sauteed potatoes but if you’re feeling more adventurous, or really want to bring out those fishy flavours, try making a creamy crab risotto to go with it and we promise you won’t be disappointed.

Steak is becoming more of a staple for home stilton3cooked Valentines dinners and we can see the appeal – ready in minutes and with lots of sides to tempt you it’s the perfect meal to indulge and treat yourself and your partner. Serve with chunky, thick cut chips, roasted tomato and crunchy onion rings. We like experimenting with sauces so instead of traditional peppercorn why not try a luxurious Stilton sauce instead made with the rich and creamy Tuxford & Tebbutt Stilton?

Dessert
To be honest we’re not really dessert people so forgoing dessert we’ve chosen a locally sourced cheeseboard with crisp crackers, grapes, apple and chutneys 486-1instead. This is something you can pick at later in the evening after a few glasses of wine when you’re not feeling quite so full and the fresh fruit and maybe a few sticks of celery will make you feel not quite so decadent. How about a classic, rich mature Cheddar from Quicke’s, smooth and creamy Cornish Brie from Trevarrian Creamery, fresh tasting Devon Blue from Ticklemore Cheese and deliciously flavoured with pungent garlic leaves Lynher Dairies Garlic Yarg? Of course a cheeseboard can be filled with any of your favourite cheeses and these are just a few of those we think would work together, experiment and see what works for you.

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Christmas Cheeses

e339924a-47c5-48c2-a261-daadcf4d6c95-christmas-cheeseDare we say it but Christmas is now well on the way and it’s time to start thinking of all the festive goodies you’ll be able to indulge in in just a couple of months time. Yule tide seems to be creeping into autumn and no sooner is the sun cream and flip flops packed away than the tinsel and fairy lights are filling the supermarket shelves. We love Christmas and it’s no surprise that we also love Christmas cheeses. Whether it be a creamy blue Stilton, an oozing Camembert or something a little different like our Apple, Cinnamon and Raisin Lancashire, we have everything you’ll need to spread the Christmas cheer this year.

Tuxford & Tebbutt Stilton
A classic choice, this traditional blue Stilton has been made to the same recipe1V9A0088 using time honoured techniques since 1780. It is one of only six creameries in the world permitted to use the name Blue Stilton under the EU Protected Designation of Origin. Each cheese is matured individually and graded and turned by hand resulting in a delicious Stilton with rich and creamy flavours and a piquant finish.

Somerset Camembert
letterbox_resizeimage593x426xnXdgilhT5jA perfect treat for Christmas this Somerset Camembert from Lubborn Creamery, Cricket St Thomas is rich and creamy with a soft, edible rind. As it matures the curd softens and a buttery, yellow colour and full flavour develops. As a real treat try baking in the oven with some rosemary, garlic, thyme and maybe even some dried cranberries for that real festive flavour.

FD41066FHMCHEESERed Waxed Wensleydale and Cranberry 
Cranberries really come into their own over the Christmas period and this creamy Wensleydale is a welcome combination. Perfect as a gift for a cheese lover or great on a Christmas party cheeseboard this red waxed Wensleydale truckle from Ford Farm in Dorset is a sweet, fruity cheese with a rich creaminess and crumbly texture.

Christmas Apple, Cinnamon and Raisin 
Bowland31_1The clue’s in the name with this one, creamy Lancashire with apples and raisins and coated in cinnamon this makes a fantastic dessert cheese or is perfect for those with a sweeter tooth. A unique cheese with tangy, fruity flavours and a slightly crumbly texture it has both sweet and savory notes.

We hope you like the sound of some of these cheeses, however we have so much more in stock so head over to the cheese pages on our website http://www.iscafoods.co.uk/cheese/ or call 01392 661001 to request a Christmas brochure!

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Midweek Recipes

Cooking during the week can often be uninspiring and more concerned with filling up than actually focusing of flavour. These simple, quick and easy recipes will turn midweek meals into gourmet delights.

Bacon and Stilton Risotto 

A tasty risotto that can be ready in just 15 minutes, this uses smoked, streaky bacon and Tuxford & Tebbutt Stilton to create a rich and creamy risotto.

bacon-and-stilton-risotto2Ingredients:
400g risotto rice
2½ pints hot chicken stock
125g smoked streaky bacon
50g crumbled stilton
large handful chopped curly parsley

Method:

1: Heat a large pan until hot, add the rice and toast for 1 minute. Gradually add the stock making sure to stir well after each addition, only add more once the stock as been absorbed. Continue until the rice is cooked.
2: While the rice is cooking preheat the grill. Grill the bacon until crisp and set aside to drain on a kitchen towel, roughly chop.
3: Stir two-thirds of the bacon and parsley into the risotto then crumble in the stilton. Garnish with the remaining parsley and bacon.

Spanish Style Sausage and Chorizo Tray Bake

Bring the tastes of Spain to your dinner table with this easy to prepare and great tasting bake, best of all – all in one pot so less washing up! We’ve used W F Chinn’s red onion sausages which go really well with the paprika and oregano flavours as well as authentic Spanish chorizo dry cured with smoked paprika.

Ingredients:

1 red onion, cut into wedges16402926_252133628557583_5575190899514164418_o
500g new potatoes, quartered length ways
8 whole garlic cloves, unpeeled
8 tomatoes, quartered
4 courgettes, sliced
75g chorizo, sliced
8 Chinn’s red onion sausages
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ dried oregano
1 green pepper, sliced

Method:

1: Preheat the oven to 200C/ gas mark 6. Put the onions, potatoes, garlic, courgettes and tomatoes into a large roasting tin and season with salt and black pepper, toss together and roast for 20 minutes.
2: Meanwhile slice the chorizo and score the sausages. Mix the paprika and oregano together and set aside.
3: Take the roasting tin out of the oven , add the sliced pepper and scatter in the chorizo then turn everything over a few times. Place the sausages on top and sprinkle with the paprika and oregano. Return to the oven for 20 minutes and its ready to serve!

Haloumi with a Lime and Caper Salad

Ready in under 30 minutes, filling yet reasonably healthy this is a cheese lovers delight. We’ve used authentic Greek haloumi, dry fried for that crispy coating.

Ingredients:

1 250g haloumi cheese
2 tbsp flour
1 large tomato, diced
2 spring onions, chopped69zshSap_720x450_a9f2cd03

For the dressing:
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 heaped tbsp capers, drained
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 heaped tsp wholegrain mustard
1 heaped tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method:

1: Unwrap the cheese and pat it dry with kitchen paper then slice it into eight slices, including the ends.
2: Prepare the dressing by simply whisking all of the ingredients together in a small mixing bowl
3: Heat the frying pan on a medium heat, no oil is needed for dry frying the haloumi. Press each slice of cheese into the flour to coat it on both sides. Cook for 1 minute on each side.
4: Assemble the salad and serve the haloumi on top with the dressing.

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Stilton and its Mysterious Origins

bellstilton1Alongside Cheddar, Stilton is one of the UK’s most famous cheeses. But unlike Cheddar its origins are steeped in mystery and until as late as 2009 it was universally accepted that it was never actually produced in the village of Stilton but took its name from being sold in the village. The cheese was sold from The Bell Inn which was a resting point for weary travellers on their way to and from London along the Great North Road. Its landlord, Cooper Thornhill, became an entrepreneur selling the cheese not just to travellers but into London itself and as demand for the cheese grew Thornhill began seeking new sources from neighbouring Leicestershire. It is believed that this is where the myth of Stilton originating from this area began. However extensive research uncovered convincing evidence of a cheese made in Stilton in the early eighteenth century.

Today Stilton has been given Protected Designation of Origin status which means that it can only be produced in the counties of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire by only six individual dairies: Colston Bassett, Cropwell Bishop, Hartington Creamery, Long Clawson, Tuxford & Tebbutt Creamery and Websters. In order to call their cheese Blue Stilton they must meet certain criteria; it must be made using local, pasteurised milk, must form its own crust and must have blue veining radiating from the centre of the cheese.stilton3

We are lucky enough to stock Stilton from both the Long Clawson Dairy and Tuxford & Tebbutt Creamery. Made to a traditional recipe dating back to 1780 the Tuxford & Tebbutt brand is a guarantee of award-winning Blue Stilton with delicious rich and creamy flavours and a piquant finish. Long Clawson Dairy was established in 1911 to ensure that the cheese and the methods used to make it would survive for generations to come. It is a bold, expressive cheese with rich and tangy flavours.

This rich and unique history results in a fantastic cheese. It is no wonder that it has stood the test of time and is still considered the ‘King of English Cheeses’.

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Chinns Sausages

ChinnsSausageHead

Chinns sausages are well known and highly regarded throughout Devon and the South West and have been hugely popular with our customers.

Established over forty years ago by W. F. Chinn, the business has continued to develop and thrive over the years with owners Tony and Rose Palmer. Based in Crediton, Devon their sausages are made to a secret recipe developed in the 1950’s by W. F. Chinn himself using locally sourced, West Country meat.

There are a variety of flavours available from traditional Cumberland, Pork & Leek and Pork & Honey to the more unusual Pork & Stilton, Smoky Chorizo and Pork & Marmalade. Back for Christmas 2017 is their delicious Pork & Cranberry sausages and Pork Cocktail sausages which are perfect for buffets. All are available in packs of four 225g and packs of eight 450g.

 

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