Tag Archives: blue cheese

blue cheese and pecan scrolls

29 Jan

pecan snail scones

Scones that come ready rolled up with extra butter, melting cheese and crunchy, toasty pecans. All in one bite. Genius. Like a savoury snail bun. When there is no bread in the house, when there is a boring soup or an overly virtuous salad that needs livening up, these scrolls can be made in 20 minutes flat. Use any odds and ends of cheese in the fridge: blue cheese, a mustardy cheddar, gruyere. Add chopped herbs, thyme or basil, swap the pecans for walnuts or almonds. Called scrolls after the oversized Australian buns these are manageable, moreish, marvellous… We had them with Swedish Pea Soup as per our Christmas Eve tradition (in our totally un-Swedish family), spicy soup and miniature cheese scones.

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Blue cheese pecan scrolls

Makes 9 regular or 18 mini – recipe adapted from Belinda Jefferey

300g self-raising flour

½ tsp salt

1 tsp caster sugar

70g butter, cold

180g milk

Filling:

70g butter, softened

100g blue cheese or other strong cheese

100g pecans, roughly chopped

1 egg for eggwash

Preheat oven to 170C. Cube the cold butter and rub into the flour, salt and sugar, to the consistency of breadcrumbs, with lumps no larger than peas. Add the milk and stir together to form a dough. (Add an extra tablespoon of milk if necessary.) Knead once or twice to bring together. Roll out onto a floury surface to about 20x40cm. Whiz the soft butter and cheese in a food processor. Spread over the cheese mixture and sprinkle pecans, leaving a couple of centimetres bare on long side; brush the bare strip with a little water. Roll up the dough from the other long side and press gently to seal. Slice into 9 or 18 depending on size wanted. Brush them with a little egg and bake for 12-15 minutes until nice and golden brown. Serve warm.

(Can be frozen, sliced, before baking – just bake them for an extra couple of minutes.)

endive, blue cheese and pear salad

20 Feb

pear and endive salad

My February kitchen has not been much to write home about. Though I resolved to try 10 new recipes from neglected cookbooks, I often end up eating leftover cake for supper (hurrah for being a grown-up) or a plain salad to balance out the cake (curses on adult responsability).

There was a whole mackerel roasted with lemon and a particularly nice dinner among girlfriends with beef, apricot and spinach meatballs simmered in tomato sauce – but that is all self-explanatory.

I can only offer this salad, in imitation of a wonderful Lyonnais bistro in St-Germain, whose address I will be not sharing (bribes notwithstanding) because it was too full and their seven-hour lamb was too delicious.

Endives can be jarring – too bitter, too teeth-squeakingly watery. But here, sliced as finely as coleslaw, they are the the star of the plate, crunchy but delicate, spotlit by a mustard dressing. Its subtle colours – cream, pale green. mottled blue – hide a wallop of flavour: bitter endive, sweet pear, sharp cheese. It is a wintery salad full of promise, for crunch and light and better things to come.

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Pear, endive and blue cheese salad

serves 4 as a starter

4 large endives

2 crisp, slightly unripe conference pears

200g blue cheese

3 tbs olive oil

2 tbs lemon juice

1 tsp dijon mustard

1/2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

a pinch of pepper

Halve and core the pears. Slice them and the endives as thinly as possible. Shake the dressing ingredients in a jar, toss most of it with the salad, add more to taste. Crumble the blue cheese over the top.

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