Do you have cheese sandwiches for lunch? Are you a little tired of them, or maybe wanting to ring the changes a little?
How about making a potted cheese. I have lots of little bits and pieces of cheese stashed away in the freezer, things left over from various events, bits of Stilton from cheese boards, rinds of grana padano and Parmesan, and yesterday I got some out.
I used an ancient bit of soft goats cheese log, a bit of Brie that had gone stinky even in the freezer and a lump of Camembert. I grated and mashed it until it was smooth, then added some butter. Potted cheese I’ve made in the past had sherry and mace in it. I didn’t have either of those in, so had a rummage in the drinks cupboard and pulled out some blackberry liquer and added some of that, then squeezed in the juice of half a lemon and gave it all another good mash.
My tastings revealed a strong (obviously with all that pungency) cheesy, smooth and buttery spread, with a sweet undertaste that must be the blackberry liquer. I tried a tblsp on a slice of toast and it was deeply satisfying in terms of savouriness. A bit of a success I think 🙂
My bits and pieces weighed 250g, I added half that in butter 125g, 2 tblsp blackberry liquer and the juice of half a lemon. This amount made 2 big ramekins and 1 small one.
For enough to make 9 sandwiches
125g cheddar £5/kg, 62p
60g butter, 95p/250g, 14p
Total cost 76p, 8p per tblsp
1 level tblsp per sandwich, 20g. 98 calories, 3g protein, 9g fat
So with a couple of slices of value wholemeal, at 4p, that’s just 12p a sandwich, plus any flavourings you add.
Grate the cheese and mash together with the butter. That’s the basic cheese spread. The flavour will vary with all the different cheeses you can use, although don’t try and use any Parmesan rinds, they are too hard for this. You could try Wensleydale, feta, mild or strong cheddar, anything you like.
Now add the flavourings that will make it different to just a cheese sandwich. Fine chopped capers, a couple of tblsp of any liquor, so sherry, brandy or any strong liquor, generous grindings of nutmeg, mace (that tastes really good in this) curry powder, or individual spices. I would try a bit of turmeric, coriander and cumin. You can’t really try curry pastes in this unless you cook it first. Then there are little bits of fresh chilli.
You could add some fine chopped or ground nuts, raisins, dried cranberries, fine chopped dates. Or how about some fine chopped rosemary, sage, parsley or thyme, or stir in a little sprinkle of dried mixed herbs. A sprinkle of celery salt, amchur, fennel, pumpkin, sesame or sunflower seeds.
Then of course, there are all the things you can add to your sandwich. Slices of apple or pear, dried mango, thick sliced cucumber, tomato or lettuce, grated carrot, swede or parsnip, chopped celery, slices of red pepper, a sprinkle of seeds or any dried fruit, or of course, any combination of any of these, or indeed, anything else that takes your fancy.