Hey there people of the internet!
Take a look at this super delicious snack plate. Good at any time – but my favourite? A snack plate, a sunny Sunday afternoon,sitting on my balcony with a good book and a cheeky glass of wine = heaven!
The star of this particular snack plate is some potted cheese. .
Which sadly relies on two ingredients that may as well be unicorn’s tears and dragon’s blood for the times they have ever been available in this kitchen. Just one of them is nigh on a miracle and as for both, you had better go outside and look up because that moon out there will be bluer than Tobias Funke!
So what are these two magical, nigh on mythical substances?
- Leftover cheese
- Leftover wine
Whoever has them? No one I want as a friend!
My cheeses were the remnants….actually it even pains me to say that. The cheeses were items from a cheese platter (probably the previous weeks snacking plate) that I had just not got around to eating yet. And I cheated and opened a bottle of wine to make this.
I used a goat’s cheese, a blue cheese, a pecorino pepato and some cheddar. You can use any cheese you have.
First up, place all your bits of cheese into a food processor and whiz it up! Then add in your flavourings – I added port, a splash of red wine, Worchestershire sauce, cayenne pepper and then, because it was a little dry after the first whiz through, a little more port and a bit of cream. My recipe is based on a classic one by Jane Grigson but you can play with the flavourings to suit your palate and your mix of cheese.
Once you have whizzed it all up , pop it into a pot:
The next step is optional but traditionally the pot was then sealed with a layer of clarified butter:
Why Potted Cheese?
The idea behind potted cheese is simple. Back in the day when refrigeration was not as it is today, cheese was far more perishable than now. Potting your ends of cheese prolonged it’s life – I’m guessing the booze helped to preserve it whilst the clarified butter seal stopped bacteria getting in.
Nowadays, it is done more because it tastes delicious than for the preserving factor.
What Can You Do With Potted Cheese?
OMG, so much. Have it on crackers with a glass of wine! Quick, easy, delicious.
Replace regular cheese in a grilled cheese sandwich! Here is my salami, potted cheese, red onion and tomato version. With a pickle to add some sharpness.
So much oozy goodness!
I haven’t made these next lot but I think potted cheese would be delicious used in the following ways:
- Replace sour cream in a baked potato. Or add it to chips and gravy for a take on a poutine.
- Saute some bacon or steam some broccoli (or do both), cook up some pasta, top with potted cheese and stir through the bacon or broccoli
- Fill celery sticks, add a topping of chopped walnuts
- Replace crackers on a snack plate with slices of apple or pear
- Heat up a dollop, add some more cream if necesary and use as a mornay or gratin sauce over anything you want to mornay or gratin
- Spread it on bread, make up a savory custard and you have a super strata to go!
- 250g cheese - whatever you have.
- 90g softened butter
- 2 generous Tablespoons Verdelho Madeira, tawny Port or Amontillado Sherry or wine
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or Tabasco)
- ¼ teaspoon mace, (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon dry or prepared mustard
- A splash of Worcestershire
- Melted clarified butter (optional)
- Whiz all the ingredients except the clarified butter in a food processor until it forms a thick paste.
- Place into small pots.
- Top with the clarified butter and place in the fridge for 24 hours to allow the flavours to develop
- I added a splash of cream because my mix was quite dry and I thought adding more wine or port would make it too boozy. (Yes, there is such a thing!).
Have a fab week!