The Cheese Life is a book by Patrick McGuigan and Mathew Carver and features plenty of cheese heavy recipes. Patrick is a cheese writer whose work you may have read in the broadsheets. He has judged at many international cheese competitions and also teaches at the Academy of Cheese. He's collaborated with Mathew Carver who runs The Cheese Bar, Pick & Cheese, The Cheese Barge and whose next big project is opening a cheese-topped pizza restaurant called Rind in partnership with The Courtyard Dairy in Settle. These two certainly know how to rustle up something delicious and cheesey. They've kindly shared their recipe for Baked Graceburn & Stewed Peppers with us here. If you'd like to try their other recipes you can buy ‘The Cheese Life by Mathew Carver and Patrick McGuigan now.
The Cheese Life by Mathew Carver and Patrick McGuigan, Kyle Books, RRP £25, Hardback, Out Now.
Salty and tangy, feta holds its shape beautifully when baked, becoming soft and fluffy rather than fully melting. Its flavours naturally work with other Mediterranean ingredients – red (bell) peppers, tomatoes and honey – in this delicious dish for dipping.
In our restaurants we use a British alternative called Graceburn. Softer than feta, it develops a lovely marshmallow puff texture on top of the tomato and pepper stew.
INGREDIENTS (serves 4 as a starter)
For the dressing:
1 red chilli, deseeded
2 garlic cloves, peeled juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon honey salt
For the dish:
2 red (bell) peppers
1 tablespoon oil (preferably from your feta)
250g (9oz) tomatoes, thinly sliced and deseeded (keep the seeds aside for later)
25g (1oz) caramelized onions (see page 52)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
200g (7oz) feta or Graceburn cheese, drained from oil
salt and pepper crusty bread, to serve
To make the dressing:
- Place the chilli and garlic in a blender or food processor with the lemon juice.
- Blitz until the contents have been cut to chunks; this might take a bit of Halfway through, add the honey and blitz until you have tiny chunks and a runny consistency.
- Pour into a bowl and season with salt to
- The final taste should be spicy, sweet and slightly acidic from the lemon. You should be able to taste everything, including the salt.
To make the dish:
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F), Gas Mark
- Start by giving the (bell) peppers a good char all over on the gas flame on the hob (stove). Use barbecue tongs or a fork to hold each pepper over a high heat, so you don’t burn your You’re looking to get a blackened skin all over.
- Once charred, wait for the peppers to cool a little and then carefully remove the skins and deseed them, then cut them into thin slices and set aside.
- Place the oil, tomato seeds and caramelized onions in a skillet or oven dish over a low heat. Start to sauté, and then add water to just cover the onions. Turn the heat to high until all the water evaporates. Re-cover with water and cook until it evaporates again. Repeat four or five times until the onion becomes almost a purée.
- Add the reserved peeled and sliced peppers, tomatoes and smoked paprika to the pan over a high heat. Cook for 3–4 minutes until it has reduced and become a nice saucy consistency. You may need to add a few tablespoons of water.
- Add large chunks of feta on top and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese becomes soft, fluffy and slightly golden.
- Finish with a healthy drizzle of the dressing and a good grind of black pepper over the feta. Serve with crusty bread for dipping. It also makes a great sauce for pasta.