Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 26 May 2011 Contents WHAT'S COOKING
Page 12 | 26 May, 2011
Cheese, unfortunately, has
become a little bit of a luxury.
The basic Cheddar that has
been a mainstay of school
lunches and after-school snacks
for years, has most mothers crying
"Cheeses! What are the alternatives?"
It is the price of milk that has increased the price of most cheeses.
As a result of these increases, ordinary cheeses are, in many cases,
almost as expensive as specialty cheeses such as those made from
goat, sheep or buffalo milk. At my local supermarket a 250g block of
tasty Cheddar sells for $6.69 and a 200g goat chèvre for $7.59.
Buffalo milk is a relatively new addition to New Zealand's cheese
making but for generations has been traditionally used in many parts of
Europe to prepare mozzarella and ricotta. The milk is higher in calcium,
magnesium and fat than cow's milk but is much lower in cholesterol. It
is also suitable for people with an intolerance to cow's milk.
The award-winning Clevedon Valley Buffalo mozzarella is now distributed
nationwide and has fast become one of my favourite cheeses. (The
company -- see www.clevedonbuffalo.co.nz -- also produces a ricotta
and a delightful range of velvety yoghurts.)
Another current favourite of mine is Kapiti's Ramara. This golden,
washed rind, cow's milk cheese is made in the style originally pioneered
by Trappist monks. It has the characteristic strong, highly-pungent
aroma of a wash rind cheese with a soft and creamy texture when
young that almost flows when mature.
I love it on crostini with slices of ripe pear -- an easy aperitif -- or 'just'
melted over sautéed portabello mushrooms.
12 profiterole cases
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon wasabi paste
100g Clevedon Valley Buffalo Milk
Bocconcini or Mozzarella
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 small tomatoes, sliced
1 cup watercress leaves or small
Toast the profiteroles in a 180°
oven for 4-5 minutes to crisp.
Cool then slice in half horizontally.
Combine the mayonnaise with
the wasabi. Cut 24 thin slices of
cheese to fit the profiteroles.
Spoon a little of the wasabi into
the base of the each case. Top
with 2 slices of the cheese, some
freshly ground black pepper, a
tomato slice, watercress or rocket
and the tops of the profiteroles.
Chill for up to 1 hour.
Serve as nibbles with drinks.
1 cup penne or orecchiette pasta
1 each: shallot, diced, garlic clove,
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ green pepper (capsicum) or 1
small courgette, diced
250g cocktail tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons each: chopped
chives, chopped oregano
freshly ground salt and black
pepper to taste
Cook the pasta in a large
saucepan of boiling water,
according to the packet
Meanwhile, sauté the shallot
and garlic in oil on low heat, until
Add the green pepper or courgette
and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
Drain the pasta well and return
to the saucepan. Add the shallot
mixture, the tomatoes, ricotta,
lemon juice, chives and oregano.
Stir over low heat until the ricotta
melts and the mixture is hot.
Serve in bowls. Season.
Pasta with ricotta, herbs and tomatoes
150g blue cheese eg Kikorangi
150g cream cheese
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons lightly toasted pine
1 French stick bread
1 large clove garlic
Cream the blue cheese and cream
cheese, until smooth. Add the
parsley and pine nuts.
Slice the bread in rounds. Brush
each side with olive oil and rub
with a cut clove of garlic.
Place under a medium grill for
about 5-8 minutes until golden
and crisp on both sides.
Spread the cheese mixture thickly
onto the crostini and serve.
Serves about 6.
Crostini with blue cheese
4 thick slices feta cheese,
about 50g each
4 thick slices tomato
3 cloves garlic, crushed
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon each: chopped
basil, chives, marjoram
2 tablespoons extra virgin
crusty bread to serve
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Cut four squares of foil, one for
each slice of feta. Place the slices
in the centre of each square.
Top with the tomato, garlic, black
pepper, herbs and the oil.
Fold the foil over the ingredients
Bake the packets on an oven tray
for about 10-15 minutes.
Place on serving plates together
with slices of crusty bread.
Spread the melted cheese on the
bread and enjoy.
Serves 4 as a starter.
Baked feta with tomatoes and herbs
I used buffalo milk ricotta but any other good, smooth ricotta could be used.
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