Tag Archives: cheese

Cheese, herb and yoghurt scones

As a result of my membership of the UK Food Bloggers Association I found out that Total yoghurt were giving away a selection of their yoghurt in return for bloggers coming up with recipes that use yoghurt.  Having been a long-time fan of Total yoghurt I had to put my name forward for this one.  Sure enough a hefty delivery of yoghurt arrived, including the full-fat version, 2% and 0% fat, and even ones with corners of honey to drizzle straight into the waiting yoghurt pot.  My first foray into yoghurt cooking are these scones.  I have wanted to make soda scones (or indeed bread) with yoghurt instead of buttermilk for a while, so this was the perfect opportunity.  I had made minestrone soup and left it to simmer gently in the simmering oven of the Aga whilst I took the girls to the local play pit for an afternoon of racing around with their friends.  So, when we came in all I had to do was add the pasta, warm the soup bowls and make these scones to go with the soup.

They take very little time to make and are a delicious accompaniment to soup.  They were also good the next day, reheated and refreshed by a five-minute burst in the oven, and spread thickly with marmalade.

You could do almost endless variations of these; leaving them plain, or adding olives, chopped crispy bacon bits, chopped Peppadew peppers, your favourite herb or spice, or you could add currants and raisins for a fruity scone.

The addition of yoghurt made them more dense than I think they would have been had I used buttermilk (or milk with added lemon juice, if you don’t have any buttermilk, see my post on soda bread for an explanation) but I think in this case this was a bonus as it suited the minestrone soup perfectly.  You may not be quite so happy with your tea-time scone being this heavy, though.

I used half plain and half spelt flour as I love the nuttiness of the spelt, but you could use all plain flour for a lighter scone or use half plain and half wholemeal.  Feel free to experiment.

220g (8oz) plain flour
220g (8oz) spelt flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (bread soda or baking soda)
1 tsp salt
½ tsp dried thyme
50g (2oz) grated cheese (I used Red Leicester)
500g Total yoghurt
100ml milk
juice of ½ lemon

Method

Mix the flours and salt in a bowl and sieve in the soda.  Sprinkle in the thyme and the cheese and mix well with your hand to get it all evenly mixed.

In a jug or bowl, mix the yoghurt, milk and lemon juice and then pour this into the flour mixture.  Mix with your hand until combined.  Place on to a floured surface and roll to a depth of about 2-3 cm.  Using an 8cm cutter cut out scones with one tap.  Don’t turn the cutter or the scones will fail to rise. Try to do this as quickly as possible as you need to get these in the oven whilst the soda is still doing its magic. Place onto a floured baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at 220°c (gas mark 8) (or on the floor of the roasting oven of the Aga)  for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.   Allow to cool for five minutes, but they are best served warm, with lashings of good butter.

Bread, cheese and pickled damsons

Well this isn’t a recipe but it is a photo of my supper.  Lovely bread, lovely cheese and lovely pickled damsons.  The damsons I pickled in September are now very good and combined with the walnut bread and mature cheddar made for a very good snack.

Macaroni Cheese

mac cheese

I had a tub of creme fraiche in the fridge last night that needed using up so I did an experiment with macaroni cheese, replacing the usual white sauce with a creme fraiche base.  It was good, adding a little zing to the dish. I served it with slices of ham and it made a good meal and saved wasting that tub of creme fraiche.

200 g macaroni pasta
200 ml creme fraiche
1 tsp Dijon mustard
a pinch of cayenne pepper
50 g mature cheddar, grated

25g breadcrumbs mixed with 25g grated cheese for the crunchy topping

Method
Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add salt if you like ( I tend not to, which is probably a heinous cooking crime), add macaroni and cook for 7-8 minutes or as advised on the packet until al dente. It will cook a little more in the oven so don’t overcook at this stage. Drain well.

In a bowl mix the creme fraiche with the Dijon mustard and a pinch of cayenne. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add the drained pasta and stir to combine.  Pour into a baking dish. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs and cheese over the top and cook in a preheated oven at 200°c (400°f, gas mark 6) for 20-25 mins until bubbling and golden on top. Serve warm with crusty bread and a salad.