How to cook toasted cheese and chilli relish sandwich

toasted-cheese

Ok, here’s another easy one I just wanted to knock off my list of recipes for Learning how to cook with Delia Smith challenge. It’s a toasted cheese and chilli relish sandwich, instead of the chilli relish I used a tomato chutney and boy is it a great combination. I’m glad I tried it, even if it was one of the simplest recipes in the book. Delia calls it “a vegetarian version of Croque Monsieur”.

Delia’s Complete How to Cook – Fishpond.com.au (Australia)
Delia’s Complete How to Cook – Book Depository (UK)

Written for the Learning how to cook with Delia Smith challenge

How to cook Croque Monsieur

croque-monsieur

OK so Croque Monsieur is basically just a flash ham and cheese toasted sandwich. Delia says it reminds her of the cafes in Paris and that it is “one of the nicest snack meals for one that I know”.

It’s an easy recipe, so I thought I’d knock it off my list of recipes on the Learning how to cook with Delia Smith challenge. I didn’t use grated Parmesan on the outside of the sandwich as I like to keep our sandwich press clean. Instead of Gruyere I used cheddar cheese. It hardly needs a recipe. A quick and easy meal for when you are in a hurry and lacking inspiration.

There are a couple of other people doing cooking challenges, so pop over to their website and cheer them on:

Delia’s Complete How to Cook – Fishpond.com.au (Australia)
Delia’s Complete How to Cook – Book Depository (UK)

Written for the Learning how to cook with Delia Smith challenge

How to cook goats’ cheese, onion and potato bread

goat-cheese-bread

So the first recipe I cooked for my Learning how to cook with Delia Smith challenge was goats’ cheese, onion and potato bread with thyme.

I had to preheat my oven to 20 degrees higher than the recipe, because our oven always lets us down and needs adjusting. The red potato I choose was a little too large for the recipe at 250g, so I didn’t use all of it. We had no thyme so I used oregano instead.

I had a heap of trouble with our scales. They only work when you take the battery out of them and then that seems to kick start it, otherwise you can press the on button repeatedly and nothing happens. I had to test my maths skills when I weighted the flour in a bowl.

We didn’t have any self-raising flour, so I added 2 teaspoons of baking powder to add a raising agent to plain flour. I don’t think my grater is very sharp, as the potato kept getting stuck half way when I was grating it. I mixed together the ingredients as per the instructions and the flour stuck to the potato. I wish I had cut the cheese into smaller chunks. I also left out the mustard because we didn’t have any.

My palette knife is over 30 centremetres long, so I stirred the mixture with a teaspoon. I used it for measuring something and was trying to save on washing up! Why I tasted the batter I’m not sure, but it was quite salty. I don’t know whether Matt will like it, because he doesn’t add salt to his food. I used a paella dish for cooking the bread with some baking paper, but I forgot to grease it. I’m usually not very good at following instructions in recipes – I like to get creative and make changes.

Fifty minutes later I had a small loaf which didn’t rise much. The potato bread was yummy with a good crust, although I think I’d prefer the red onion version over spring onion. Matt said “you wouldn’t know there was potato in it” and it “was very nice, a bit like damper.”

Delia’s Complete How to Cook – Fishpond.com.au (Australia)
Delia’s Complete How to Cook – Book Depository (UK)

Written for the Learning how to cook with Delia Smith challenge

How to match wine and cheese?

maleny-cheese

The idea of matching cheese and wine and accompaniments is to provide a complementary balance of flavours and textures. To simplify the process, cheeses are classified into eight cheese varieties. Certain cheeses have characteristics which match certain wine types, but mostly it can be trial and error to experiment and find out which are your own preferences.

Cheese Varieties Styles Accompaniments Wine Matching
Fresh Unripened Cheese Cottage cheese, Creamed cottage cheese, cream cheese, feta, mascarpone, neufchatel, quark, ricotta and stracchino Olive bread, olives, anchovies, fresh herbs, capers, prosciutto, semi-dried tomatoes, olive oil, roasted capsicum, fresh berries, basil and olive oil, slow-roasted onions Sparkling, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc, Pinor Noir, Grenache or cool climate Shiraz, Dessert wines
White Mould Cheese Camembert, Brie, Double Brie and Triple Cream Brie baguette, almond bread, water crackers, quince paste, fresh or frozen grapes, figs and poached pear Chardonnay or Semillon, Sparkling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or warm climate Shiraz
Blue Cheese Blue Brie, Gorgnozola Style Blue, Danish Style Blue Drizzle of wild honey, warm waxy potatoes, peaches, sweet potato, smoked meats, pickles, gherkins or dried fruit Dessert wines, Fortified wines, Riesling or Gewurztraminer
Washed Rind Cheese Semi-soft washed rind, wine washed rind and reblochon toasted raisin bread, pears, bitter greens, apple puree, sultanas, hazelnuts, fruit bread and rye bread Dessert wine, Fortified wine, Pinor Noir, Grenache or cool climate Shiraz, Sparkling red, Beer
Stretched Curd Cheese Mozzarella, Pizza Cheese, Bocconcini and Haloumi Olive bread, olives, anchovies, fresh herbs, capers, prosciutto, semi-dried tomatoes, olive oil, roasted capsicum, fresh berries, basil and olive oil, slow-roasted onions Sparkling, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc, Pinor Noir, Grenach or cool climate Shiraz
Eye Cheese Swiss style, Emmenthal, Gruyere, Tilsit, Raclette, Gouda and Edam warm waxy potatoes, peaches, sweet potato, smoked meats, pickles, gherkins or dried fruit Chardonnay or Semillon, Pinot Noir, Grenache or cool climate Shiraz, Dessert wine, Fortified wine
Cheddar and Cheddar Styles Cheddar, Cheshire, Club Cheese, Colby Muscatels, chutney, sourdough bread, oatmeal or wheatmeal biscuits, green tomato chutney, celery, green apples, quince paste, fig jam and fruit cake Chardonnay or Semillon, Cabernet Saurvignon, Merlot, or warm climate Shiraz, Dessert wine, Fortified wine
Hard Cheese Parmesan, Pepato, Pecorino and Romano apples, chutney, pears, rocket, tomatoes, grapes, walnuts, olives, ham, prosciutto, nashi Chardonnay or Semillon, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or warm climate Shiraz, Fortified wine, Sparkling wine

What’s your favourite accompaniment to cheese?

How to select and store cheese

gfws-cheese

Dairy Australia says to remember the three R’s when selecting Australian cheese.

“When a cheese is Ripe and at Room temperature, it’s Ready to serve.”

They also make the following recommendations for selecting cheese:

  • Where possible, always taste the cheese prior to purchasing
  • Choose one or two perfectly ripened cheeses, rather than a collection of mediocre cheese to feature on a cheese platter
  • If possible, buy cheese freshly cut from a larger wheel or piece.
  • Choose cheese close to use-by date. Cheese is often reduce in price close to the use-by date for a quick sale. This is great for consumers as cheese is often ripe and at its best by then.

Storing cheese

It is best to store cheese wrapped in its original wrapper. Otherwise use waxed paper or loose cling wrap to allow the cheese to breathe.

Avoid using foil for wrapping blue cheese as it will react with the cheese. Instead store blue mould and washed rind cheeses in a covered container to reduce odours in the refrigerator.

Avoid stacking cheeses with rinds on top of each other as this hinders the maturation process.

Tomato twinkies

tomato-twinkies

I predict that heirloom tomatoes will become a food trend some day soon, similar to how sun-dried tomatoes and balsamic vinegar were a few years ago. A couple sells heirloom tomatoes at the local markets and that’s where we were introduced to all the different flavours and colours. They can range from peachy yellow ones to ugly black flecked sweet ones.

Tomato twinkies are a family favourite and something I fondly remember eating with my dad after school. I haven’t a clue if anyone else calls them that. It’s important to use real butter and home-grown tomatoes. A few years ago, I changed the version slightly to Jatz biscuits with mozzarella cheese, cherry tomatoes and torn basil. Either way they’re still the best snack.

Sao biscuits
butter
tasty or cheddar cheese
tomato
salt and pepper

  1. Butter sao biscuits
  2. Top with sliced cheese and a slice of tomato.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.