Cheese and Rosemary Scones

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I’m not usually one for cheese scones, but Andrea has converted me with this lovely recipe.  This recipe makes eight small scones.

Preheat oven to 210 degrees.

200g SR flour

a quarter teaspoon each of salt, mustard powder and cayenne pepper

40g butter

60g mature cheddar cheese (plus extra for sprinkling)

one tablespoon fresh finely chopped rosemary (plus extra for sprinkling)

100ml milk

Sift the flour, salt, mustard powder and cayenne pepper into a large bowl.  Add the butter (in small, cool cubes) and rub in gently until it looks like breadcrumbs.  Stir in the cheese and the rosemary.  Add the milk and stir gently, using your hand to bring it together into a dough.  Press down lightly until it is 2cm thick, then use a small cutter to shape your scones.  Cover a baking sheet with greaseproof paper and pop the scones onto it.  Dab over a little milk, sprinkle on the rosemary and cheese and then bake in a hot oven for about ten minutes, until well risen and golden.

 

Omelette Arnold Bennett

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Much as I love food, I think I’d be a bit miffed if I was more famous for eating a smoked haddock omelette than for writing ‘The Old Wives’ Tale’.  Arnold Bennett’s books don’t seem to be fashionable at the minute; I have no idea why not.

Anyway, if you like smoked haddock, and don’t mind the occasional rich omelette, you’ll love this.

Firstly, pop about 140g undyed, smoked haddock into a small pan with 250ml milk and simmer for 8-10 minutes until just cooked.

Meanwhile, preheat the grill, grate about a tablespoonful of cheese (I used Gran Padano but parmesan would be fine too) and chop a few chives and about half a tablespoon of parsley.

Lightly whisk 6 eggs with a small pinch of salt..

When the haddock is cooked, lift it out of the milk and flake into juicy pieces, retaining the milk.

Now, melt 40g butter in a pan with a dessertspoonful of cornflour, stirring all the time over a low heat.  When it has melted, add the warm milk and whisk over a medium heat until the sauce is thick, smooth and just bubbling.  Take it off the heat and stir in the parsley, the haddock, a very small pinch of salt and some freshly grated nutmeg.  Set aside.

Next, let a big knob of butter foam all over a medium-sized frying pan, then pour in the eggs.  When the omelette is practically cooked, take it off the heat and pour the sauce all over the top.  Sprinkle with cheese and grill until golden and delicious.  Throw over a few snipped chives.

Peach and Lime Cheesecake

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I know that you can get baked cheesecakes everywhere now, but I didn’t have my first one until I was sixteen, when I bought a slice from a small bakery in Eichstätt on a snowy morning and ate it straight from the paper bag.  It was a very messy business, but totally magical.

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees and prepare a 20cm springform tin by putting tinfoil over the base, popping over the ring, then pulling the tinfoil up the outside of the tin.  Sit the tin on top of a second bigger piece of tinfoil and pull it up so that it covers the whole of the outside of the tin.

Fill and boil your kettle.

Whoosh up 200g of digestives (or any other dry biscuits) in the processor.  Add 80g soft (but not necessarily melted) butter and process until it feels like wet sand.  Press evenly over the base of your tin.  Place the tin in the fridge while you make the filling.

Quarter and roughly peel a juicy, soft peach and pop it in your already cleaned processor with the juice of two limes.  Give it a really good blast, then add 150g sugar and whoosh again.

Now add 600g cream cheese (I used 400g Philadelphia and 200g mascarpone) and process until smooth, pushing down the mixture from the edges to ensure a good mix.  Now add 4 whole eggs and one egg yolk and a teaspoon of vanilla extract.  Whoosh again for about 20 seconds, again pushing down the mixture from the edges halfway through.

Pour this into your springform tin.

Optional:  If you’d like a little zingy raspberry hit, take a tablespoon of raspberries and the juice of half a lime or lemon and process for a few seconds before swirling through your cheesecake.  It won’t look tidy and impressive as it does in the shops, though, so don’t be disappointed.

Put the tin into a large roasting tray and surround it with some boiling water.  Don’t make it so deep that it’s lethally turbulent as you transfer it to the oven.  Bake for 30 minutes, then check and turn 180 degrees.  I like it to brown a little, but if it’s going too far, cover with a very clean baking tray or tinfoil for a further 20 – 30 minutes.  When there’s still a tiny wobble, take it out of the oven, out of the bain marie and leave it to cool.  It will be much nicer on Day Two, so leave it be if you can.

Serve with roasted peaches (done in the same way as the nectarines:  https://salutationrecipes.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/baked-nectarines-with-mascarpone/)

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Fromage du Moment

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My favourite cheese at the moment just has to be Blacksticks Blue.  Absolutely delicious with oatcakes and quince jelly.

This is the second Get Healthy resolution.  Only consume the treats if they have an acceptable calories:enjoyment ratio.

The second favourite cheese is – I’m afraid – also the choice of Daily Telegraph readers:  Chaource.  It’s soft and chalky.  I know that’s not normally considered a good thing, but I love it.

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