How to create the Perfect Cheese Board

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The first rule of creating the perfect cheese board is that there are no rules!

A single generous dollop of gorgonzola dolce with a baked fig ball and a scattering of hazelnuts is just as impressive as a vast array of cheese.

The classic board consists of three types; A Hard (Cheddar), A Soft (Brie) and a Blue (Stilton)  and this can be a good backbone to your cheese board, but you don’t need to stop there.  Let your creative side blossom…
Add a seasonal cheese such as a Vacherin Mont d’Or
Or a Goats Cheese like the Ragstone Roll or for an unusual shape the Tor Pyramid
Add a local – Swaledale, Wensleydale

If you know a guest is pregnant, vegetarian or lactose intolerant there’s still loads to add to keep them included.  All our main cheeses are written up on the blackboards and are marked if Pasteurised, or Vegetarian, and the type of milk used, Cows, Ewes or Goats etc.  If you don’t want too many cheeses think about swapping one or two.  Perhaps swapping the Stilton (cows) for a Roquefort (ewes) Mrs Bells Blue (local & ewes) or swapping the Cheddar for a Manchego (ewes milk) or Ribblesdale (local & goats milk)

Channel your inner Artistry!
Think about the shape of your cheese board, is it wooden, china or slate?  Long and thin, round or square?  Then think about the way you position the cheeses.  Contrasting shapes, heights and colours all add drama.

Yes chutney is a great condiment to put with a cheese board but what about some Membrillo, a baked fig ball, an almond cake or some truffle honey.  A Farmhouse cheddar and a bowl of piccalilli will soon get demolished on Boxing Day.

Perfect Partners
Whilst Red Wine is the classic partner its not the only good choice.  White wine goes much better with a lemony goats cheese.  A sweet Sauterne goes well with a salty blue. And champagne is fabulous with a creamy cows milk like the Delice de Bourgugone.  Beer is equally as good, try a strong blonde with Parmegiano Reggiano or a cider with an English Farmhouse Cheddar like the Wookey Hole and a shot of Sloe gin will make you think twice about automatically reaching for the Port bottle.

Basic Cheese Care
Love your cheese – don’t suffocate it!  Wrap cling film over the front of the cheese but leave the rind uncovered to breath.  Wax paper is much kinder on soft cheeses like a brie – feel free to ask for a couple of extra sheets we have lots and lots of it!  Foil is the best for Blue cheeses.
Lastly remember that in order to appreciate all the flavours and textures of the cheeses you need to serve them at room temperature.  Take them out of the fridge at least one hour before you want to eat them.  Leave them uncovered somewhere in the cool if possible, if the only space available is a tiny perch in a warm kitchen just pop a damp tea towel over them to stop them drying out.

We’ve lots of Cheeses in the fridge now so please pop in and browse.  If there’s something particular you’d like me to get hold of please let me know.   Usually we can get things within a day or two.

Enjoy!  Soph x

What to Cook in January

Sometimes we all need a little help with some cooking inspiration when its cold and miserable outside.  The new year starts with good intentions of cooking healthyish, flavourful food but it can be hard to keep the ideas coming after the first week or two.  Planning and painting are my prioritise through January, neither or which are my forte  and both of which create in me a longing to grab a cookery book, light the fire and shut the world out; but if I’m honest, its fresh flavours and bright colours that appeal.  I keep the slow cooker for making bone broths and the over night cooking of shoulder joints that end up as pulled meat in a zingy salad, often scattered with Pomegranate seeds.
Salads are not just for summer days!  I eat just as many through the winter months as through the summer. the deli counter at Relish will usually boast at least 5 salads on any one day.  Fennel Bulbs grilled, brussel sprouts sliced to within an inch of their lives, root vegetables roasted, brassicas steamed.  To eat a rainbow of colours is still possible through these grey months; we just have to use our imagination!

Enter stage left the wonderful world of Ottolenghi, Sabrina Ghayour & Anna Jones.   Ottolenghi recipes often read like an essay and can turn take a very long time to create but it’s a great excuse to explore some unusual ingredients whilst dreaming of hotter climes.  Sabrina Ghayour is the newest member of my “Yorkshire Women that should be Gods” Group.  Having been to stay at Tommy Banks pub, The Black Swan, at Oldstead, she decided to leave London and move up here, buying a house near Easingwold.  Her Instagram account is now equally full of gorgeous views in Yorkshire and produce that she has come across up here as it is the Persian Feasts she is famous for around the world.  Anna Jones writes for the Observer Food Monthly, in my opinion the only reason worth buying a Sunday Newspaper.  She worked for Jamie Oliver for many years, starting out as a chef then joining his Creative Team, before striking out as a Food Stylist, and with two best selling cook books, this in one veggie girl who we should all be paying attention to.  Her recipes are simple and delicate, often using fresh herbs which I absolutely adore, always vegetarian and often very quick, letting the quality and freshness of the vegetables do all the work.

Brussel Sprouts with Burnt Butter and Black Garlic, by Ottolenghi

450g Brussel Sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 tbs Olive Oil
1 tsp Caraway Seeds
20g Black Garlic (available from Relish!)
2 tbs fresh thyme leaves
30g Unsalted Butter
30g Pumpkins Seeds
1.5 tsp Lemon Juice
1 tbs tahini
Salt

Black Garlic has a highly concentrated taste: liquorice meets balsamic meets the absolute essence of garlic. It’s a quick way to inject a huge amount of flavour into a dish. Best to get everything chopped and ready so you can eat the sprouts fresh from the pan.

1.Preheat the oven to 220C

2. Mix the sprouts with the olive oil and a grind of salt. Spread on parchment and bake in the Oven for 10 mins until golden brown but still crunchy.

3. Meanwhile in a pestle and mortar, lightly crush the caraway seeds. Add the black garlic and thyme and crush to form a rough paste.

4. Put the butter in a large pan and cook on a medium heat for 3 mins until melted and dark brown. Add the crushed garlic paste, sprouts, pumpkin seeds and another grind of salt. Stir for a few seconds and then remove from the heat, stir in then lemon juice and drizzle with tahini. Serve up immediately.


July Fish Night & Supper Club

July Fish Night, Friday 12th

Cured Salmon with beetroot and Horseradish Cream

Fillet of Cod with Puy Lentils, Pickled Lemons & Tomatoes

Carpaccio of Tuna with Grape & Lime Salsa

Barbequed Salmon with Chilli Roast Aubergine,
Roasted Red Pepper Sauce & Black Olive Relish

Fig Halloumi & Pistachio Tart

 

 

July Supper Club, Wednesday 24th

Tomato & Spring Onion Shortcakes with whipped Goats Curd

Iceburg Lettuce stacked with Blue Cheese & Radishes

Spiced Lamb Pastries with grilled Aubergine Salad

Roast Chicken with Roasted Pepper Cous Cous Salad

Tahini, Chocolate and Pistachio Cheesecake