Keep it Classic: There are few finer ways to enjoy Tunworth on a balmy afternoon than simply smeared over a crusty baguette. The perfect romantic picnic for two, you can easily add some finesse by adding a few cornichons, some quality sliced meats (we are spoiled to have the likes of the Ham and Cheese Co and Brindisa on our doorstep) and perhaps a bunch of grapes or a juicy pear. Grab a bottle of chilled cider or sparkling wine to serve alongside. If that’s not the makings of a heady romance, we don’t know what is!
Gooey on the Grill: We recently had lots of Tunworth left over after a tasting with cheesemaker Stacey Hedges. We were having a think about how to use them up over a weekend that promised virtually tropical temperatures in London. We’ve all heard of baked Tunworth, and your writer has enjoyed many a “fondue in a box” snuggled up of a winter’s evening. A lightbulb moment struck! Tunworth cooked until melted and oozy on the BBQ? When you have gorged on all the delicious meats and salads over lunch, and your guests need just a little something to keep them going through the evening... this is just the thing!
We removed the paper wrapper from the cheese, and the sticky label from the bottom of the box. We rinsed the empty box under a tap to dampen it (this prevents the wood from getting singed), then strengthened it by clicking top and bottom together. We then popped the Tunworth back inside, with a little nest of tin foil around the box to contain any runaway cheese and stop the box from catching alight.
If you are so inclined, you can glam up your cheese by spearing it with a knife and slipping slivers of garlic or sprigs of herbs into the slits. Some may enjoy the addition of a swill of wine, or a shaving of truffle.
Pop on the BBQ at the end of your cook-off and allow to cook until molten and unctuous. Serve as you would a fondue- with crusty bread, boiled baby potatoes or crudité for dipping. One cheese will happily serve 4 people.
Crisp and Creamy: Inspired by the Normandy dish “pommes braytoises” we recently threw together a simple supper of Tunworth stuffed potato skins. Served with a classic green salad dressed in vinaigrette, this is a perfect dish for mid-week garden dining.
We began by roasting 4 jacket potatoes, their skins salted and oiled, for about an hour in a hot oven. Once cooked, you need to halve the potatoes carefully and scoop the flesh into a mixing bowl, keeping the skins intact. Roughly fluff the potato and mix in the following: 1 tbsp. chopped fresh herbs (we used thyme, parsley and marjoram), 100g diced cooked ham (optional), 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 2-3 tbsp butter or crème fraiche, 1 whole diced Tunworth, 1 medium beaten egg, a good pinch each of salt and pepper.
Heat your oven and grill. Generously fill the potato skins with your mix, topping with a little grated/crumbled hard cheese (we used Kirkham’s Lancashire) if you wish. Arrange on a baking tray and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes until heated through. Flash under the grill until the cheese atop of the spuds is melted and golden, then serve. Again, this is plenty for 4 hungry people, and could stretch to 6-8 if you fancy a lighter meal.