Well, it's leftover Christmas week
month. As usual.
Not only do I have my own leftover cheese to eat up, but this year I've also got Flora's. And her leftover sprouts.
Flora kindly donated a tub of salmon pâté, an overripe Chaorce and one of the rare and relatively short-seasoned
wooden tubs of Vacherin Mont d'Or
It was absolutely fabulous scooped straight out of its box with hunks of bread, but unfortunately a little too ripe to bake.
Consequently I revisited a couple of my staple cheese-guzzling recipes
and cheese risotto
I made the tartiflette with the Mont d'Or I couldn't manage to guzzle raw, the Chaorce
and the salmon pâté and very nice it was too.
So you don't need to restrict yourself to Reblochon, whatever those Savoy cheesemakers' aggressive PR agents might want you to believe.
I also revisited another couple of dishes from a previous mustard feast
for our West Coast Charter Reunion Dinner.
After the success of our original charter holiday
we thought we'd enter the expedition log into our yacht club's annual competition.
Which was all the excuse we needed to get together and eat and drink whilst pretending to write it up.
I had another go at getting a crispy crust on the intriguing
oyster-stuffed saddle of lamb
(distinctly rubbery the first time around - and I promised myself I'd take another run at it),
and getting the timing right for the complementary
butternut squash gratin
The secret there being to cook it for an hour longer than you thought it could possibly take.
Still a bit too much of an onion-string-vest vibe about it for my taste though. Might be worth a re-re-visit.
Leftover Cheese Risotto
Not just a great way of using up leftover Christmas cheeses - you can get rid of your goose stock too!
- splash olive oil
- butter, lots of butter
- 1 onion, quartered, thinly sliced
- 2 cups risotto rice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- generous glass white wine
- 1 litre stock
- leftover cheeses (Brie, Roquefort, Grana Padano, Mozzarella)
- double cream
- leftover quince jelly to decorate, cut into small cubes
Set the stock to simmer in a saucepan.
Heat a little olive oil and a generous chunk of butter in a large, deep frying pan.
Sweat the onion until they're on the point of colouring then stir in the rice until its glossy with the butter.
Add the garlic, then the wine and bubble it off.
Gradually add ladlefuls of the stock allowing it to be absorbed, then adding more until the rice is creamy, bubbly and just softening.
Grate the hard cheese, cut away the crust from the soft cheeses, chop the Mozzarella into decent chunks.
Now add the grated cheese, gently mix in the soft cheese, add a little cream ,
season if necessary, dot with pieces of Mozzarella and simmer gently until the cheese has melted.
Sprinkle with herbs of choice and serve decorated with quince jelly.
Roast Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
veg meat side
Discovered randomly while looking for something to do with all of Flora's leftover Christmas sprouts.
- 1½ pounds Brussels sprouts
- 2-3 tablespoons melted butter, ghee or olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 4-6 bacon slices, diced
- Aged balsamic vinegar
Preheat your oven to 400°F/200°C/Gas Mark 6.
Trim the ends and any old outer leaves from the Brussels sprouts, cut larger ones in half,
and put them in little more than a single layer an oven dish.
Toss them with melted fat of choice. Season. Sprinkle the bacon on top.
Bake for about half an hour, turning every 10 minutes.
When tender and golden, check for seasoning and sprinkle with balsamic vinegar, if you like.