Cheshire Cheese Recipes

Congratulations to Diane Crimes for her winning recipe in the Warrington Guardian, "Get Stuffed with Cheshire Cheese".

(Serves 4)

 

4 Large yellow peppers

4oz Cheshire cheese

3/4 pint Vegetable stock

8 oz Long grain rice (uncooked)

1 Chopped onion

1/2 Tin chopped tomatoes

2 Tablespoons sultanas

4oz chopped mushrooms

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Pre-heat oven to 190c (gas mark 5)

 

Cut peppers in half, lengthways and discard seeds. Place hollow side up on a greased baking dish. Put stock in pan and bring to the boil, add rice and simmer with lid on for 15 minutes. Heat the olive oil in a second pan, add onions and mushrooms and cook gently for 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and sultanas and season to taste. Add to the rice. Divide the mixture evenly between the 8 halved peppers. Top with grated Cheshire Cheese and bake for 20 minutes.

 

Serve with a fresh green mixed salad for a perfect supper dish.

 

SPRING RECIPE IDEAS

 

 

Cheshire Lamb Crumble

(Serves 4)

 

A good way of using up cold roast meat - in this case lamb - for a tasty supper dish

 

12 oz cold roast lamb

3 oz onions 4 1/2 oz plain flour

1 level tablespoon of tomato puree

1 level tablespoon of tomato ketchup

1/2 pint of stock

2 oz butter

3 oz grated Cheshire Cheese

1/2 level teaspoon dried mixed herbs

Salt and pepper for seasoning

 

Pre-hear oven to Gas Mark 5 (375 F) Mince together the meat and onions. Mix in 1/2 oz of flour, the puree, tomato ketchup, stock, salt and pepper and turn into a pie dish Rub the butter into the remaining flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs then stir in the grated cheese, herbs and a little black pepper. Spoon the crumble over the meat. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Serve with mixed salad or fresh vegetables.

 

Cheshire Scones

(Makes 10)

 

A traditional teatime treat.

 

8 oz (225 gms) plain flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon of ready made English Mustard

2 oz (50 gms) butter

4 oz (100 gms) grated Cheshire cheese

1/4 pint (150 ml) of milk

 

Sieve the flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the grated cheeses. Mix the mustard with a small amount of milk and then add this and the rest of the milk to give smooth dough. Knead the scone mixture lightly and roll out on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 2 inches (5 CMS). Cut into 2 1/2 inch (6.5 cm) rounds and bake at 220 C or Gas Mark 7 for 1- to 12 minutes or until the scones are golden brown.

 

Couscous and Cheshire Cheese Salad with SunBlush Tomatoes

(Serves 4 as main or 6 as a starter)

 

Preparation time: 20 minutes, one hour in advance

 

225g/8oz couscous

300ml/1/2 pt hot vegetable stock

110g/4oz fine green beans

1 medium red onion, chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

1 large clove garlic, finely chopped

75g/3oz SunBlush tomatoes, halved

3 tbsp chopped flat leaved parsley

200g/7oz Cheshire Cheese

 

Dressing:

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice

Salt and pepper

Pinch of chilli flakes (optional)

 

Put the couscous into a bowl, pour over the hot stock then set aside until all the stock is absorbed. Then break up the grains with a fork. Meanwhile cook the beans in boiling water for 2 minutes, drain and plunge into a bowl of cold water. When cool, drain and cut into 2.5cm/1” lengths. Heat the oil in a small frying pan, add the red onion and cook over a high heat for 3-4 minutes until lightly golden, add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Add to the couscous and fork through. When cool add the beans and parsley. Break the Cheshire cheese into roughly shaped small pieces and add to the salad. Whisk the dressing ingredients together. Pour over the salad and toss. Leave to stand for at least 1 hour so the flavours can develop before serving.

 

Toasted Brioche with Melting Cheshire Cheese and Honeyed Apricots

(Serves 4)

 

Fancy a girls’ night in? Then make this yummy recipe for a tasty snack or light meal to enjoy with your girlfriends, whilst watching a DVD and catching up with the gossip.

 

Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 12 minutes

 

250g/9oz fresh apricots, halved and pitted

2 tbsp clear honey

150ml/1/4 pint unsweetened apple juice

Pinch ground mixed spice or ground cinnamon

4 thick slices brioche or fruit bread

4 tsp butter, softened

150g/5oz Cheshire cheese, sliced

Mint leaves, to decorate

 

Put the apricots into a saucepan with the honey, apple juice and ground mixed spice or cinnamon. Simmer over a medium-low heat, uncovered, for about 6-8 minutes, until the apricots are tender. Lift them from the pan with a draining spoon. Continue to simmer the liquid until it has reduced down to a syrupy consistency. Preheat the grill. Spread one side of each slice of brioche or fruit bread with a little butter. Grill this buttered side until lightly browned. Flip the slices over and top with the Cheshire cheese. Grill until melted and bubbling. Serve the toasted brioche or fruit bread with the apricots spooned on top, drizzled with the reduced apple juice and honey syrup and decorated with mint leaves.

 

 

SUMMER RECIPE IDEAS

 

 

Cheshire Cheese and Spring Onion Soup

This wonderfully warming soup is so easy to make –with very few ingredients – yet it tastes so good! It’s perfect for a light lunch served with crusty bread – or enjoy a smaller portion as the starter to a special meal.

 

(Serves 4)

Preparation time 10 minutes.  Cooking time 30 minutes.

 

15g/1/2oz butter

2 bunches spring onions, trimmed and sliced

900ml/1 ½ pints vegetable stock

1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

100g/4oz low fat soft cheese

2 tbsp cornflour

150ml/1/4 pint milk

100g/4oz Cheshire cheese, crumbled

Freshly ground black pepper

Fresh thyme sprigs, to garnish

 

Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add most of the spring onions, reserving a few for garnish. Cook the spring onions over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until softened.

 

Add the stock and thyme leaves. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes.

 

Transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and add the soft cheese. Blend for 15-20 seconds until smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan. Alternatively, use a hand-held stick blender to blend the soup in the saucepan.

 

Stir the cornflour into the milk until smooth, then add this to the saucepan with most of the crumbled Cheshire cheese, reserving a little for garnish. Heat gently until thickened and smooth, though avoid boiling the soup. Season to taste with black pepper.

 

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Serve, garnished with the reserved spring onions, Cheshire cheese and thyme sprigs.

 

Cook’s Tips: Use 1 large onion instead of the spring onions, though don’t use it as a garnish as the flavour will be too strong.

 

Try sprinkling crumbled Cheshire cheese over your own favourite soups – its flavour will really add to the overall taste. Try it crumbled onto Leek and Potato Soup, Tomato Soup or Minestrone.

 

Cheshire Cheese, Leek and Potato Gratin

This tasty baked gratin is ideal for vegetarians – though it’s equally good for meat-eaters too. It makes a meal in its own right, or serve it as a tasty side dish. You can even enjoy it cold as part of a packed lunch.

 

(Serves 4)

 

Preparation time 15 minutes.  Cooking time 40 minutes.

 

A little butter

1kg/2lb 4oz potatoes, thinly sliced

2 leeks, thinly sliced

200g/7oz Cheshire cheese, finely crumbled

1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme

2 eggs

200ml/7fl oz reduced fat crème fraiche

200ml/7fl oz milk

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Green salad, to serve

 

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/gas mark 4. Use the butter to lightly grease 1 large or 4 individual baking dishes.

 

Partially cook the sliced potatoes in lightly salted simmering water for 10 minutes, adding the sliced leeks for the final 3-4 minutes. Drain well and cool for a few minutes.

 

Arrange the potatoes, leeks, and Cheshire cheese in layers in the baking dishes, sprinkling with the herbs and adding a little salt and pepper as you go. Reserve some of the Cheshire cheese for sprinkling on top.

 

Beat the eggs, crème fraiche and milk together and pour into the baking dish or dishes. Sprinkle the reserved Cheshire cheese over the surface.

 

Transfer to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until set and browned. Cool for a few minutes, then serve with a green salad.

 

Cook’s Tips: If you make the gratin in a round cake tin, you can leave it to serve cold, cut into wedges, to have as part of a packed lunch.

 

As an alternative to fresh herbs, substitute 1 tbsp mixed dried Italian herbs for both the rosemary and thyme.

 

Roast Butternut Squash, Red Pepper and Crumbled Cheshire Cheese Pasta

Pasta is a great favourite – ideal for quick and tasty family fillers. This vegetarian recipe marries roasted vegetables with cooked pasta and crumbled Cheshire cheese – delicious!

 

(Serves 4)

 

Preparation time 15 minutes.  Cooking time 25 minutes.

 

450g/1lb butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into small chunks

2 tbsp olive oil

2 red peppers, deseeded and sliced

16 cherry tomatoes, halved

40g/1 1/2oz pine nuts

350g/12oz dried pasta shapes

150g/6oz Cheshire cheese, crumbled

1 tbsp roughly chopped flat leaf parsley

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Flat leaf parsley, to garnish

 

Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan oven 180°C/gas mark 6.

 

Put the butternut squash into a roasting pan and sprinkle with the olive oil, tossing to coat. Season with a little black pepper, then roast for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the peppers, tomatoes and pine nuts, stirring to mix. Roast for another 10 minutes.

 

At the same time, cook the pasta shapes in plenty of lightly salted boiling water for about 10 minutes, or according to pack instructions.

 

Drain the pasta well, then return it to the saucepan. Add the Cheshire cheese, roasted vegetables, pine nuts and chopped parsley. Season with black pepper and a little salt, if needed. Serve, garnished with sprigs of flat leaf parsley.

 

Cook’s Tips: The pasta tastes equally good served cold for a packed lunch or buffet dish.

 

If you like, roast some extra vegetables with the butternut squash, such as courgettes, red onion and parsnip.

 

Cheshire Cheese and Smoked Haddock Omelette

For a simple, sustaining recipe for one – that’s ready in a matter of minutes – you can’t beat this delicious omelette. It’s ideal for breakfast, brunch, lunch or supper.

(Serves 1)

 

Preparation time 5 minutes.  Cooking time 8 minutes.

 

150g/6oz skinless smoked haddock fillet

3 eggs

2 tbsp milk

Knob of butter

1 tbsp chopped fresh chives

Freshly ground black pepper

40g/1 1/2oz Cheshire cheese, crumbled

Salad, to serve (optional)

Put the haddock fillet into a shallow pan with enough just-boiled water to cover it. Simmer gently for about 6 minutes. Test that the fish is cooked with a fork - the flesh should be opaque and should flake easily. Lift out with a draining spoon and set aside.

 

Beat the eggs and milk together. Melt the butter in an omelette pan and add the eggs. Cook over a medium high heat until set, then push the cooked mixture to the middle of the pan, so that the uncooked egg flows around the pan and sets.

 

Sprinkle the chopped chives over the surface, then lift the cooked fish onto one side of the omelette. Season with black pepper, then scatter the crumbled Cheshire cheese over the top.

 

Slide the cooked omelette onto a warm serving plate, fold in half and serve with salad, if you like.

 

Cook’s Tips: Just use a couple of eggs and a smaller fillet of smoked haddock if you want a lighter meal.

 

For a special treat that’s even quicker to make, snip about 75g-100g/3-4oz of smoked salmon over the omelette instead of using smoked haddock.

 

Potted Cheshire

(Serves 4)

 

An easy way of using up left over cheese. By sealing the surface with butter, this extends the life of the mixture.

 

(Adjust other ingredients according to how much cheese you have)

 

8 oz (225 gms) grated/crumbled

Cheshire Cheese

2 oz (50 gms) softened butter

1 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce

1/4 teaspoon of grated nutmeg

3 tablespoons of Sherry (dry, medium or sweet)

Melted butter to seal the surface

 

 

Mix the cheese with the butter in a bowl, add the Worcestershire sauce and nutmeg. Add the Sherry until evenly mixed. Spoon the mixture into small pots or ramekins, pressing down firmly to remove air. Smooth the tops and cover with a thin layer of melted butter. Keep in the fridge until needed but remove from fridge at least 1 hour before serving. Spread on toast or biscuits for a great snack or with salad as a starter.

 

Cheshire Barbecue Dip

 

Perfect as an appetiser whilst the barbie is cooking!

 

3 spring onions

1/2 red pepper

4 oz (125 grams) coloured Cheshire

5 oz (150 grams) natural low fat yogurt

1 tablespoon tomato ketchup

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper

Chives or parsley for garnish

 

Discard the core and seeds from the pepper and finely chop. Finely chop the spring onions. Finely grate or crumble the cheese. Combine all the ingredients, season to taste and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle with chives. Serve with mixed raw vegetables, biscuits or fruit

 

Herby Cheshire Sausages

(Serves 4)

 

These meatless sausages make an ideal teatime snack served with salad.

 

6 oz (175 grams) Grated Cheshire Cheese

14 oz (250 grams) fresh white breadcrumbs

2 spring onions - finely chopped

1 to 2 teaspoons ready-made mustard

1 teaspoon chopped basil leaves

1-teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Freshly grated nutmeg

2 eggs - separated

Flour for dusting

Vegetable oil for shallow frying

Seasoning to taste

 

In a bowl, mix the Cheshire cheese, 9 oz (250 grams) of the breadcrumbs, spring onions, mustard and herbs. Season with a little nutmeg and ground black pepper. Add the egg yolks and mix well to form a soft paste. Refrigerate for 1 hour and form into 12 sausage shapes. Whisk the egg whites. Dust the sausages in flour, dip in egg white and roll them in the remaining breadcrumbs until well coated. Shallow fry the sausages for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden, turning occasionally. Drain on kitchen paper and serve with a mixed salad.

 

Cheshire Stuffed Peppers

(Serves 4)

 

A tasty and satisfying supper dish.

 

4 large peppers - any colour you like

4 oz (100 gm) Crumbled Cheshire Cheese

1 oz (25 gm) Grated hard Italian style cheese (eg Parmesan)

3/4 pint (425 ml) vegetable stock

7 oz (200 mg) uncooked long grain rice

1 chopped onion

2 cloves of garlic

4 oz (125 gm) chopped mushrooms

4 fresh tomatoes - chopped

1 carrot - grated

2 tablespoons of sultanas

Olive oil for frying vegetables

Salt and pepper for seasoning

Optional - add herbs (eg basil) to suit your taste

 

Pre-heat oven to 190 C - Gas mark 5. Cut the peppers in half, lengthways, and scoop out seeds. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add the peppers and blanche for 5 minutes. Carefully remove peppers and leave to drain upside down. Place hollow side up on a greased baking dish. Put the stock into another pan, add rice and bring to boil and simmer with lid on for about 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat and with lid still on stand for 5 minutes. Whilst rice is cooking heat a little olive oil in a pan and add the onions, garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms, carrot and tomatoes and season to taste. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes then mix in the rice, herbs and sultanas Divide the mixture and add to the halved peppers. Top with the grated cheese and bake for 20 minutes or until the surface is brown. Serve with a green salad

 

Gammon Steaks with Apple and Cheshire Cheese

(Serves 4)

 

An interesting change from the more common gammon with pineapple

 

4 oz (125 grams) grated Cheshire Cheese

2 dessert apples - peeled, cored and grated

1 dessert apple, cored and sliced into 4 rings

Worcestershire sauce

Grated rind of a half orange

Parsley - for garnish

4 gammon steaks

 

Put half the cheese in a bowl and add to the grated apples, orange rind and a few drops of Worcestershire sauce. Mix well. Cook the gammon steaks as per instructions. When cooked remove from grill. Divide the mixture into 4 equal parts and spread on each steak. Add a ring of apple and top with the remaining grated Cheshire cheese. Heat under a hot grill for 3 minutes.

 

Cheshire Rarebit

(Serves 4)

 

An easy to make standby recipe for a light supper.

 

8 oz (225 gms) diced Cheshire

2 teaspoons of ready made English mustard

3 fl oz (90 mls) of lager

4 standard eggs - separated

Pinch cayenne pepper

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Serve with toast

 

Put the cheese, a tiny bit of salt, as much black pepper as you like, the cayenne pepper, lager and mustard in a heavy saucepan and heat gently until the cheese melts to a smooth consistency. Remove from heat. Beat the egg yolks and blend them quickly into the cheese mixture. Whisk the egg whites with a tiny pinch of salt until stiff and fold gently and evenly into the mixture. Return to heat until the mixture starts to thicken. Pour the mixture over hot toast on very hot plates and serve immediately. For a less rich mixture, leave out the egg yolks.

 

Cheese Pate

 

This is a great way of using up cheese left over from a dinner party to provide a taste snack.

 

7 oz (175 grams) of mixed cheese - Cheshire, blue Stilton and Red Leicester are ideal

2 tablespoons of low fat natural yogurt

4 tablespoons of single cream

2 teaspoons of chopped chives

3 teaspoons of chopped parsley

1/4 teaspoon ready-made mustard

Parsley to garnish

 

Mash to the cheeses until soft and mix with the cream and yogurt. Add the chives, parsley and mustard and mix thoroughly. Transfer to individual ramekins or to a larger bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight.

 

Take out of fridge one hour before serving with hot toast, biscuits or your flavoured bread.

 

Rocket, Strawberry and Cheshire Cheese Salad

(Serves 4 as a starter)

 

Preparation time: 10 minutes

 

50g bag rocket leaves

225g/8oz strawberries

150g/5oz Cheshire cheese

40g/1 1/2 oz chopped toasted hazelnuts

 

Dressing:

2 tbsp sunflower oil

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp sugar

Salt and pepper

 

Divide the rocket leaves between four plates. Hull and slice the strawberries and scatter on top of the leaves. Break the Cheshire Cheese into small pieces and divide between the portions. Whisk the dressing ingredients together, drizzle over the salad then scatter the chopped nuts on the top. If rocket is unavailable this salad will taste delicious with watercress or a small bag of mixed baby leaves.

 

Summer Rice Salad with Cheshire Cheese and Citrus Mint Dressing

(Serves 4-6)

 

200g/7oz long grain and wild rice

250g/9oz Cheshire cheese

10cm/4” piece cucumber

175g/6oz baby plum or cherry tomatoes, halved

3 spring onions, thinly sliced

Small handful of mint

 

Dressing:

Grated zest and juice 1 small orange

Grated zest and juice 1 lemon

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

 

Cook the rice in boiling salted water for 15-18 minutes until just tender. Drain and rinse under cold water then drain again very well. In a large bowl, whisk together the orange zest and juice with the oil and seasoning, add the rice and mix together. Break the Cheshire Cheese in small pieces, add to the rice. Quarter the cucumber lengthways, cut off the seeds then cut each piece in half again and then into dice. Add to the rice with the tomatoes and spring onions. Shred the mint leaves and fold into the salad.

 

Spicy Apple and Cheshire Cheese Pie

(Serves 4)

 

A traditional Northern dessert for serving hot or cold with custard, ice cream or clotted cream. In some other recipes the Cheshire cheese is added to the pastry rather than the fruit filling.

 

16 oz (450 grams) cooking apples - peeled, cored and chopped

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

A pinch of nutmeg - ideally freshly grated

2 oz (50gram) sultanas

3 oz (75 grams) caster sugar

4 oz (100 grams) crumbled Cheshire cheese

8 oz (225 grams) short crust pastry

1 Egg and 1 tablespoon of water for glazing

 

Pre-heat the oven to 200 C. 400 F, gas mark 6. Mix together the apples, spices, sultanas, sugar and cheese and place in deep 8-inch (20-cm) pie dish. Roll out the pastry to a size slightly bigger than the dish and cut a thin strip from the circumference and press onto the rim of the pie dish. Brush with a little of the beaten egg/water mixture. Cover the pie with the remaining pastry, press down on the edges to seal, trim and flute the edges and make a hole in the centre. Any unused pastry can be cut out into shapes and placed on top of the crust for decoration. Brush all over with egg/water mix and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the pastry is golden. Reduce the temperature to 160 C, 325 F, gas mark 3 and cook for a further 25 minutes.

 

Serve hot or cold.

 

Cheshire Fruit Salad

(Serves 4)

 

You can ring the changes and use any fruits that are available for this easy to prepare and healthy dessert - ideal for unexpected guests!

 

2 red dessert apples

Half a melon

1 small can of pineapple slices - drained

2 tablespoons diced cucumber

2 oz (50 grams) dried fruit - such as sultanas or chopped dates

2 celery sticks - chopped (optional)

6 oz (175 grams) Cheshire cheese - cubed

5 oz (150 grams) Natural yogurt - low fat

Lemon juice

Lettuce leaves

 

Core and slice the apples and toss in lemon juice to stop them going brown. Remove seeds from melon and scoop out the flesh with a melon baller or simply cut our flesh and dice. Mix all the fruits, celery and cheese together in a bowl, stir in the yogurt. Line a serving bowl with lettuce leaves and pile in the fruit.

 

 

AUTUMN RECIPE IDEAS

 

 

Apple and Cheshire Crumble

(Serves 6)

 

Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes

 

75g/3oz unsalted butter

130g/4 1/2 oz plain flour

50g/2oz porridge oats

150g/5oz golden granulated or demerara sugar

700g/1 1/2 lb Bramley cooking apples

40g/1 1/2 oz sultanas

1 tbsp lemon juice

150g/5oz Cheshire cheese

 

Pre-heat the oven to 190C/374F/gas mark 5. Grease an ovenproof dish. Put the butter and flour into a bowl, and rub together with your fingertips to make rough crumbs. Stir in the oats and 110g/4oz of the sugar. Set aside. Peel, core and cut the apples into chunks. Put into a large pan with the sultanas, lemon juice, remaining 25g/1oz sugar and 2 tbsp water. Cook over a medium heat stirring for 5 minutes until just beginning to soften. Turn into the ovenproof dish. Break the Cheshire cheese into large pieces and scatter over the apples. Take the crumble mixture and nip together with the fingertips to make it slightly lumpy. Scatter evenly over the cheese. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until the top is golden and crisp. Serve with Greek style yoghurt, custard or crème fraîche.

 

Cheshire Soup

(Serves 4)

 

A tasty, nutritious and warming soup made from store cupboard

 

2 pints (1.2 litres) Chicken Stock

8 oz (223 gms) diced potatoes

2 leeks - chopped

3 oz (75 gms) grated carrot

10oz (25 gms) oatmeal

4 oz (50 grams) grated Cheshire cheese

Salt and pepper for seasoning

 

Pour the stock into a pan add the potatoes and leeks and season to taste. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the carrot and the oatmeal and bring to boil stirring continuously. Simmer for a further 15 minutes before serving into bowls. Sprinkle generously with the grated Cheshire cheese and eat immediately.

 

Add other vegetables according to taste or season.

 

Warm Roast Root Vegetable and Cheshire Cheese Salad

(Serves 4)

 

Preparation time: 20 minutes. Cooking time 45 minutes

 

1.4kg/3lb selection of root vegetables – choose from carrots, pumpkin or butternut squash

Sweet potato

Small turnips

Swede and parsnips

3 small red onions

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Few sprigs fresh thyme

225g/8oz Cheshire Cheese

 

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Peel the vegetables and cut into approximately 1 inch chunks - keep the pumpkin or butternut squash in slightly larger chunks as these cook and soften more quickly. Peel the onions, leaving the root intact. Cut into quarters, lengthways through the root. Put all the vegetables into a large roasting tin, drizzle over the oil and toss together. Season and scatter the thyme over the top. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, turning the vegetables once during cooking. Break the Cheshire Cheese into chunks about the size of a small walnut and add to the vegetables. Return to the oven and cook a further 10-15 minutes. When the vegetables are golden and the cheese is soft, remove from the oven. Discard the stalks from the thyme and serve. Try this recipe with other vegetables such as celeriac, baby beetroot or salsify.

 

Onion and Cheshire Cheese Tart

(Serves 4)

 

Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes

 

225g/8oz ready rolled puff pastry thawed

A little beaten egg, to glaze

700g/1lb onions sliced

2 tbsp olive oil

2 sprigs rosemary

175g/6oz Cheshire Cheese

175g/6oz cherry tomatoes, halved

 

Pre-heat the oven to 220C/425F/gas mark 7. Unroll the pastry and place on a baking sheet. With the tip of a sharp knife, gently score round inside the edge to make a border of 1.25cm/1/2” all round. Brush the border with egg glaze. Cook for 10 minutes and remove from the oven, then reduce the oven temperature to 220C. Leave to cool slightly. Meanwhile heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the onions and cook over a medium high heat for 15 minutes, stirring until softened and golden in colour. Season the onions. Remove the spikes of rosemary from their stalks and chop finely, and add to the onions. Gently push down the centre of the pastry with your hands and spoon the onion mixture over the top, within the border. Add the crumbled Cheshire Cheese and cherry tomatoes, forking them into the onions. Cook the assembled tart for 10-15 minutes with the oven at 200C until the cheese has softened. Serve with salad leaves.

 

Apple and Celery Salad with Cheshire Cheese

(Serves 4 – 6)

 

Preparation time: 20 minutes

 

3 tbsp reduced calories mayonnaise

4 tbsp half fat crème fraîche

Grated zest and juice 1 lemon

3 red dessert apples

5 sticks celery, chopped

6 medjool dates, stoned and roughly chopped

1/2 bunch radishes, trimmed and sliced

100g pack pecans, roughly broken

225g/8oz Cheshire cheese

 

Mix the mayonnaise, crème fraîche and the grated lemon zest in a small bowl. Put the juice into a large bowl. Cut the apples into quarters, remove the core and cut into 1/2 inch pieces, add to the bowl and toss in the lemon juice. Add the remaining ingredients to the mayonnaise and toss until they are evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

Green Bean, Mushroom and Cheshire Cheese Salad

(Serves 4)

 

Preparation time: 15 minutes

 

225g/8oz green beans, trimmed

225g/8oz closed cup mushrooms, trimmed and sliced

175g/6oz Cheshire cheese

 

Shallot Dressing:

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 shallots, finely chopped

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

 

Cook the green beans in boiling water for 3-4 minutes until just tender. Drain, rinse in cold water and drain again. Cut the beans in half and put into a bowl. Add the sliced mushrooms and crumble in the cheese. Mix the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl, seasoning with a little black pepper. Pour over the salad and toss together.

 

Pork Fillet with Cheshire cheese and Apricot Stuffing

(Serves 4)

 

Preparation time: 25 minutes Cooking time: 45 minutes

 

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

411g can apricots in juice, drained

150ml /1/2 pt dry white wine

110g/4oz Cheshire cheese

2 tbsp freshly chopped sage leaves

500g/1lb 2oz pork fillet

15g/1/2 oz butter, softened

200ml/7 fl oz chicken stock

3 tbsp reduced fat crème fraîche

 

Heat the oil in a medium frying pan, add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until they have begun to soften. Chop the apricots into small pieces and add to the pan with the wine and simmer 4-5 minutes until most of the liquid has almost evaporated. Spoon half of the mixture into a bowl and leave to cool. Heat the oven to 200/400F/gas mark 6. Cut the pork lengthways (but not all the way through) and open out like a book. Then, with a rolling pin or meat tenderiser, flatten the meat slightly. Season with pepper. Crumble the Cheshire cheese into the bowl and add the sage, mix together then spoon into the middle of the pork. Fold the pork over to encase the filling and tie with string at 5cm/2inch intervals. Smear with the butter and season. Place in a roasting tin and cook in the oven for 35 minutes, turning it over halfway. Meanwhile, pour the stock into the pan with the remaining onion and apricot mixture, and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Remove the pork fillet and stand covered with foil while finishing the sauce. Add any juices from the meat to the sauce with the crème fraîche, transfer to a food processor and whiz until smooth. Return the sauce frying pan to reheat and season if needed. Remove the string from the pork, cut into thick slices and serve with sauce poured around. Serve with cooked lightly buttered and seasoned cabbage.

 

 

Spinach, Pear and Cheshire Cheese Salad with Rosemary Dressing

(Serves 4 as a light lunch)

 

225g bag baby spinach leaves

2 ripe pears, unpeeled and thinly sliced

175g/6oz Cheshire Cheese

3 stalks celery, thinly sliced

 

Dressing:

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp sherry or wine vinegar

Pinch sugar

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary spikes, finely chopped

1 tbsp chopped parsley

 

Put all the dressing ingredients into a large bowl and whisk together. Add the spinach leaves and toss together. Divide between 4 deep plates. Top with the sliced pears, celery and finally, crumble over the Cheshire cheese.

 

Four Seasons Cheshire Cheese, Spinach and Potato Salad

(Serves 4 as a main or 6 as a starter)

 

This year-round salad is full of interesting tastes, textures and colours. It’s perfect served for a light main course and it makes a brilliant side dish, starter or buffet salad too. What’s more, it’s an excellent source of calcium – present in the Cheshire cheese, spinach, watercress and almonds.

(Serves 4 as a main and 6 for a starter)

 

Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes

 

450g/1lb Vivaldi or small new potatoes, scrubbed

Pinch of salt

2 tsp wholegrain mustard

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

1 medium red onion, finely sliced

2 large oranges

135g bag spinach, rocket and watercress salad

200g/7oz Cheshire cheese

50g/2oz blanched almonds or unsalted cashews

 

Cook the potatoes in lightly salted boiling water for 15-20 minutes, until tender. Meanwhile, mix together the mustard, vinegar and olive oil in a large salad bowl. Season with ground black pepper. Add the red onion, stir well and allow to marinate whilst you prepare the oranges - the onion will soften and release a lovely pink colour into the dressing. Add the potatoes whilst warm, so that they absorb the flavour of the dressing. Using a sharp, serrated knife, peel the oranges, removing all the pith. Do this over the salad bowl so that you catch all the drips. Segment the oranges with the knife to remove all the membrane, adding them to the bowl with the juice as you go along. Add the spinach, watercress and rocket salad. Toss together to coat in the dressing. Break up the Cheshire cheese into chunks and add them to the bowl. Toast the almonds or cashews, either under the grill or in a heavy-based frying pan, until they begin to brown lightly. Tip onto the salad whilst hot, and serve immediately.

 

Roasted Haddock with Cheshire Cheese, Peppers and Vine Tomatoes

(Serves 4)

 

This colourful, healthy recipe takes just twenty minutes to cook from start to finish, making it the perfect dish to prepare quickly after work.

 

Preparation time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes

 

4 x 175g/6oz skinless, boneless haddock or sea bass fillets

175g/6oz roasted red peppers (from a jar)

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp dried oregano (or 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano)

Freshly ground black pepper

110g/4oz Cheshire cheese, sliced

4 small bunches cherry tomatoes on the vine

1 part-baked ciabatta loaf

250g/9oz mangetout or sugar-snap peas

Pinch of salt

 

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Arrange the fish fillets on a lightly greased baking sheet or in a roasting pan. Tear up the peppers and arrange them over the fish. Sprinkle with the olive oil and oregano, then season with freshly ground black pepper. Top with the sliced Cheshire Cheese and vine tomatoes.

 

Transfer to the oven and roast for 12-15 minutes, putting the ciabatta bread in the oven after 5 minutes to bake on the shelf above the fish. Meanwhile, simmer the mangetout or sugar snap peas in lightly salted water for 6-8 minutes. Drain well. Serve the fish, with the mangetout or sugar snap peas and the warm ciabatta bread.

 

Cheshire Cheese and Mediterranean Vegetable Risotto

(Serves 4)

 

This creamy Cheshire cheese risotto is ideal for healthy family meals and for entertaining – and is easy to adapt. The basic recipe is vegetarian – so it’s perfect for non-meat eaters, though the risotto could be served topped with grilled chicken breasts, roast or grilled fish or pan-fried pork tenderloin – making it a very flexible dish.

 

Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes

 

1 tbsp olive oil

300g/10oz arborio or carnaroli rice

1 bunch spring onions, finely chopped

150ml/1/4 pint dry white wine

1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped

1 yellow pepper, deseeded and chopped

1 courgette, chopped

75g/3oz closed cup mushrooms, sliced

1 litre/1 3/4 pints hot vegetable or chicken stock

110g/4oz Cheshire cheese, finely crumbled

Freshly ground black pepper

Basil leaves, to garnish

 

In a very large frying pan or saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the rice and sauté gently until it looks translucent - about 5 minutes. Add the spring onions and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the wine to the rice and cook gently until it has been absorbed, stirring frequently. Stir in the peppers, courgette and mushrooms, then add about one quarter of the stock. Stir and simmer gently, adding further stock to the rice as needed, to keep it moist. Stir from time to time until it is tender - it will take about 20 - 25 minutes to cook. Add most of the crumbled Cheshire cheese. Cook gently, stirring occasionally, for 1-2 minutes, then season to taste with freshly ground black pepper. Stir well. Serve, sprinkled with the remaining Cheshire cheese and garnished with basil leaves.

 

 

WINTER RECIPE IDEAS

 

 

Spiced Lamb and Chick Pea Bake with Cheshire Crumble

(Serves 4)

 

Try this delicious main-course dish made with spicy lean minced lamb, courgettes, aubergine and canned chickpeas with a tasty Cheshire cheese crumble topping. It’s a perfect choice for a healthy mid-week meal – and it’s economical too!

 

Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 45 minutes

 

500g/1lb 2oz lean minced lamb

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 medium aubergine, thinly sliced

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp chopped fresh red chilli or 1/2 tsp medium chilli powder

1 tbsp tomato puree

125ml/4fl oz red wine or water

1 medium courgette, grated

50g/2oz sultanas

410g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Freshly ground black pepper

Topping: 100g (4oz) plain flour

50g (2oz) chilled butter, cut into pieces

75g (3oz) Cheshire cheese, finely crumbled

 

Preheat the oven to 180°C / fan oven 160°C / Gas Mark 4. Heat a large saucepan and add the lamb, searing it over a high heat until browned. Add the onion and garlic, reduce the heat and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Meanwhile, char-grill or grill the slices of aubergine for about 2 minutes on each side to soften them. Stir the spices and herbs, tomato puree and red wine or water into the lamb mixture and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the courgette, sultanas and chickpeas, then remove from the heat. Season with black pepper. Spoon half the mixture into a deep baking dish. Layer the aubergine on top, then add the remaining mince mixture, leveling the surface. Cool for a few minutes whilst preparing the topping. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the crumbled Cheshire cheese. Sprinkle over the mince mixture and bake for 30-35 minutes.

 

Cook’s Tips: You could use 1 tbsp medium curry powder instead of the cumin, ginger and chilli. Replace the aubergine with thickly sliced mushrooms, if you prefer – there is no need to grill them.

 

Bacon-wrapped Chicken with Cheshire Rarebit

(Serves 4)

 

If you want to create an easy, special meal – then try this dish. It’s perfect for relaxed entertaining, though it’s equally tasty as a family weekend meal. Bursting with bright colours and delicious flavours, it’s a meal that will soon become one of your favourites.

 

Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 35 minutes

 

75g/3oz Cheshire cheese, finely crumbled

15g/1/2oz butter

1 tsp wholegrain mustard

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

4 lean bacon rashers, rind removed

2 red peppers, deseeded and thickly sliced

1 yellow pepper, deseeded and thickly sliced

3 carrots, sliced into chunky sticks

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp cumin seeds (optional)

Freshly ground black pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 200°C / fan oven 180°C / Gas Mark 6. To make the rarebit mixture, put the cheese, butter, mustard and Worcestershire sauce into a mixing bowl. Use a fork to work the mixture together so that it is evenly blended. Cut a pocket into the thickest part each chicken breast using a sharp knife. Share the rarebit mixture between these pockets, then close them. Wrap each chicken breast in a rasher of bacon, tucking the ends underneath. Put the peppers and carrots into a roasting pan and add 1 tbsp of olive oil and the cumin seeds (if using). Season with pepper and toss to coat. Arrange the chicken breasts on top, then drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Roast for 30-35 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is done. Check that the chicken is thoroughly cooked by piercing the thickest part with a sharp knife - the juices should run clear.

 

Cook’s tip: Try using 2 large sweet potatoes instead of carrots - just peel them and cut into chunks.

 

Cheshire Cheese and Roasted Pumpkin Salad

(Serves 4)

 

Keep eating salads even though the temperature might be dropping – they are so good for you – and this one tastes fabulous! The warm pumpkin and toasted pine nuts complement the Cheshire cheese perfectly.

 

Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes

 

450g/1lb pumpkin or butternut squash (weighed without skin or seeds)

1 tbsp olive oil

175g/6oz fine green beans

1 red onion, finely sliced

250g/9oz baby spinach

100g/4oz watercress

Handful of rocket or lamb’s lettuce

20 cherry tomatoes, halved

225g/8oz Cheshire Cheese

50g/2oz toasted pine nuts

Freshly ground black pepper

 

Dressing:

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp walnut or sesame oil

1 tbsp white wine vinegar or lemon juice

1 tsp Dijon mustard

 

Preheat the oven to 200°C / fan oven 180°C / Gas Mark 6. Cut the pumpkin or butternut squash into 2.5cm/1 inch cubes and tip into the roasting pan. Add the olive oil, season with pepper, then toss to coat. Roast for about 25-30 minutes, turning once, until tender. Meanwhile, lightly cook the green beans for 4-5 minutes in boiling water. Drain, then rinse with cold water to cool quickly. Put the red onion, green beans, spinach, watercress, lambs lettuce or rocket and tomatoes into a salad bowl. Add the Cheshire cheese and pine nuts. Make the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, walnut or sesame oil, vinegar and mustard. Season with black pepper. Add to the salad with the warm roasted pumpkin or squash. Toss the salad, share between 4 bowls and serve immediately.

 

Cook’s Tip: Use flaked almonds instead of pine nuts, if you prefer.

 

Cheshire Cheese Melt with Apple and Red Onion Relish

(Serves 2)

 

Stuck for good ideas for a tasty snack? Then try a slice of this oh-so-tasty cheese on toast with a twist. The apple and red onion relish is easy to make, and you could double the quantities to keep some extra in the fridge for up to 3 days. Then you can make more of this delicious bite at a moment’s notice.

 

Preparation time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes

 

1 tbsp olive oil

Small knob of butter

1 red onion, thinly sliced

1 red apple, cored and thinly sliced

1/2 tsp caster sugar

Few drops of balsamic vinegar (optional)

2 thick slices crusty farmhouse loaf or ciabatta bread

100g/4oz Cheshire cheese, cut into slices (don’t worry if they crumble)

Fresh rosemary or thyme sprigs

Freshly ground black pepper

 

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the butter and onion. Cook over a medium-low heat, stirring often, for a few minutes. Add the apple slices and cook until softened. Sprinkle in the sugar and cook until the onion and apple turn a rich, golden brown. Remove from the heat and stir in a few drops of balsamic vinegar (if using). Preheat the grill to high. Toast the slices of farmhouse loaf or ciabatta bread on one side only. Heap the onion and apple mixture onto the untoasted sides. Top with the Cheshire cheese and a sprig or two of rosemary or thyme. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Toast under the grill for a few moments until the cheese starts to melt and bubble. Serve at once.

 

Cook’s Tip: Use an ordinary white onion instead of a red one, if you prefer.

 

Do you have your own recipes for Cheshire Cheese? If so we’d love to hear from you.