Tag Archives: cheese

Easy Västerbotten Cheese Quiche

August 10, 2017 | Leave a comment

Easy Västerbotten Cheese Quiche

A great side dish for a crayfish party – this traditional cheese tart is really lovely served with caviar dressing.

For the pastry:
125g cold butter
200g plain flour
pinch of salt
1 egg (plus water, if needed – add a few drops if dough is not coming together)

For the filling:
250g Västerbotten cheese, grated
3 eggs
100ml whole milk
250ml double cream
½ tsp paprika, salt and pepper

You’ll need a tart tin (25-28cm diameter) with a loose base.

Method:

  1. Blitz your pastry ingredients in a food processor (egg and water at the end only) to form a dough, then leave to chill for about 30 minutes in the fridge.
  2. Heat the oven to 180°C.
  3. Roll out the chilled dough and line the pastry tin. Prick the base with a fork and blind bake using baking beans for 10-12 minutes. Remove the beans and bake for a further 5-6 minutes.
  4. For the filling, mix together everything except the Västerbotten cheese.
  5. Scatter the cheese on the base of the pastry, evenly all over – then pour over the egg mixture.
  6. Return it to the oven for about 15-20 minutes. It’ll puff up quite a bit towards the end, but will turn golden on top. It’s done when it is ‘set’ so do keep an eye on it.

Leave it to cool before slicing. Serve cold or lukewarm.

Västerbottenpaj goes well with romsås, a caviar sauce. Alternatively, if you can get real bleak roe (Löjrom), serve the tart with a spoonful of this, some crème fraîche and finely chopped red onion.

Romsås Caivar Sauce:

In a bowl, mix together 3 large tbsp. crème fraiche and one jar of red lumpfish roe (80g). Leave to set in the fridge, then stir again just before serving.

Scandinavian Cheese: A Handy Guide

March 9, 2017 | Leave a comment

The Essential Guide to Scandi Cheese – Part 1

We first posted this no less than four years ago, and considering how much we love cheese it is due a re-visit – we consider it our duty to share the with you the wonders of Scandinavian cheese. Over the next two weeks we’ll introduce six of our favourite cheeses.

To kick off we will give you a brief introduction to the many faces of Scandinavian cheese – because let’s be frank – Scandinavian cheese doesn’t have a very sexy reputation (with names like ‘Old Ole and ‘Old Cheese’ we really don’t get why).

Many of us have memories of sitting in a field on a summer’s day eating crusty French bread and sharing a kilo of creamy Brie (also French). In fact, some of us would like nothing more than to spend most of our days doing just that, had it not been for the eventual need to be moved around by a pick-up truck.

Fewer people have such glorious thoughts when thinking about Scandinavian cheese – in fact, most people associate Scandinavian cheese with Eurovision. The exception is those – very few – of us who know just how many amazing cheeses actually come from our northern corner of the world.

Cheese has been made in Scandinavia since the days of old Harold Bluetooth, and the vikings reportedly had a diet rich in milk, butter and cheese – and it was thought to be a sexual stimulant.

Here’s a brief introduction to some of the more famous Scandinavian cheeses.

Gamalost Scandinavian Cheese

1. Gammelost (Old cheese)
A recipe dating back to the Viking times, ‘Old cheese’ needed very little help to mature. Most people say both taste and smell resembles something that has spent a few months inside a sweaty old sock. As you know, nothing pleases a true tyrophile more than a slice of stinky old sock. Admittedly, perhaps due to the taste, younger Norwegians are falling out of love with it, even if it is does have the nickname of Norwegian Viagra.

Danablu Scandinavian Cheese

2. Danablu (Danish Blue)
We had to include this as it is the most popular Danish export cheese and it is a darn fine cheese. Invented originally to emulate Roquefort, and quickly making its own mark on the cheese scene, Danablu has a sharp, salty note and is excellent served on just about any kind of bread. Swedes tend to love blue cheese on ginger biscuits (we say don’t argue with anyone who invented Billy bookcases, Volvos and the zipper) – and the rest of us agree. A match made in cheese-heaven.

Brown cheese - Scandinavian Cheese

3. Brunost (Brown cheese)
Comes in many different varieties: the two best known are the Gudbrandsdalen (cow and goat) and Ekte Gjeitost (pure goat); the latter is the connoisseur’s choice

Okay, so it’s an acquired taste, but, vasterbottenon average, Norwegians eat about 4 kilos each of this stuff a year so there must be something to it. It’s as Norwegian as trolls and fjords. It looks a bit like a block of plasticine, tastes a bit like caramel and is enjoyed on its own, on open sandwiches or with freshly baked waffles: all you need then is a patterned jumper and people will soon start calling you Håkon.

4. Rygeost (smoked cheese)
A very Danish invention that is never exported due to its very short shelf life. Unmatured, smoked cheese made from buttermilk and milk and turned in less than 24 hours, after which it is smoked very quickly over a mixture of straw and nettle and topped with caraway seeds. This cheese is simply amazing, light and divine eaten on a piece of rye bread. Resembles a firm ricotta in texture.

Vasterbottensost Scandinavian Cheese (1)

5. Västerbotten
If ABBA is the queen of cheese, Västerbotten is the king. A firm, kinda crumbly, aged Swedish cheese not unlike parmesan in smell but with immense flavour and character. This cheese is a welcome addition to any cheeseboard and is also a partner to any crayfish party. Can also be used to make the excellent Västerbotten pie.

hushallsost - scandinavian cheese

6. Hushållsost
A cheese that has a name that translates as “household cheese” sounds like it belongs on a value shelf in a corner shop in Hackney, but it is actually an excellent cheese. Mild, creamy and full of small holes, this cheese is usually a big hit with the younger generation. Hushållsost is one of six Swedish food products with a so-called TSG protection (only one other cheese, Svecia, also holds this distinction). Taste wise it is unoffensive and buttery – a good all-rounder.

Gamle Ole Scandinavian cheese (2)

7. Gamle Ole (Old Ole)
A sliceable mature Danish cheese, this baby stinks. Oh yes. Don’t touch it too much or your fingers will honk all day. The taste, however, is mellower and really lush. Also known in Denmark as Danbo 45, there are many varieties in the same vein: ‘Sorte Sara’ is another good version, popular in Norway.

Prastost Scandinavian cheese (1)

8. Prästost (Priest cheese)
Sweden’s most popular cheese. It was given its name because the farmers at the time it was invented could pay their church taxes in dairy products. Prästost comes in many varieties, from the mild to the mature and flavoured with anything from vodka to whisky.

Squeaky Cheese Scandianvian Cheese

9. Leipäjuusto (also known as “squeaky cheese”)
This is a fresh young cheese from Finland. The milk is curdled and set into a flat round shape, then baked. In the olden days it was dried for months and people put it on the fire to re-activate it. The name comes from the sound it makes when you bite into it. The taste is not unlike feta. Hugely popular – very difficult to export due to its fragile nature.

Prawn cheese - Scandinavian cheese

10. Rejeost (Prawn cheese)
For some reason, spreadable prawn cheese (ideally in a tube) is immensely popular across all of Scandinavia. Not really a great cheese from a connoisseur’s point of view, but surely any product that manages to combine cheese and prawns and make it taste good needs a mention. If cheese and prawn can be coupled in peaceful harmony, then there’s hope for world peace.

For all our cheeses, click here.

Västerbotten cheese – three different ways

May 28, 2015 | Leave a comment

Västerbotten cheese – three different ways

It’s our favourite Swedish cheese. In Sweden, it’s known as the King of Cheese – and there is a reason for this: It’s utterly delicious.

Initially created in 1872 by a loving mistake, when dairy maid Ulrika Eleonora Lindström was wooed by the milk man and left the cheese at the Burträsk Dairy go spoilt while she went out for cuddles. They shelved the spilt cheese anyway – and tasted it over a year later, realising the mistake had resulted in an amazing cheese discovery. The dairy have since tried to make Västerbotten in other locations, but have failed: no matter what they try to do, it never tasted the same as when it’s made in the town of Burträsk.

We’ve been stocking Västerbotten cheese since the day we opened, before it was more widely available in the UK. We like to think of ourselves as small time Västerbotten pioneers, really!

Perhaps this is why the makers asked us to give some classes on how to use Västerbotten in your every day cooking. We went along last Monday and met some great bloggers and food writers at a cooking school in London – and went through some super simple ways how to use this amazing cheese.

Here are some of the recipes. We highly recommend you make the spread (‘Västerbotten crème’) – it may seem the most simple of the lot, but it’s worth it. Go on, you’ll know why, once you’ve tasted it.

Västerbotten is available at our place (in store and online) – this week save £2 a pack now only £7.95 for 450g – and also nationally in smaller packs at selected Waitrose and Ocado, too.

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Västerbotten Paj – cheese quiche.

This Paj (pie) is served at room temp, not usually hot. Serve as part of a summery smörgåsbord, or with a simple leafy salad. This ‘Paj’ is an essential item at a Crayfish party (always in August).

Pastry

  • 125g cold butter
  • 200g plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • (water, if needed – add few drops if dough not coming together)

Filling:

  • 250g Vasterbotten cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 100ml whole milk
  • 250ml double cream
  • ½ tsp Paprika
  • Salt, Pepper

Tart tin with loose base (22-23cm diameter)

How to:

Turn the oven on 180C

Make the pastry:

  • In a food processor, blitz all ingredients until a dough forms, Leave to chill for 30 minutes before using. This step can also be done by hand, of course.
  • Roll out the dough and line the pastry tin. Prick the base with a fork and bake weighed down with baking beans (Bake blind for 12-13 minutes).
  • Meanwhile, mix the ingredients for the filling, adding the grated Vasterbotten cheese last – and stirring.
  • Carefully, pour the mixture into the pastry case. Pop it back in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until done – it will puff up quite a bit towards the end. The final baking time will depend on your oven.
  • Leave to cool down before slicing.

Serve with Romsås – a kaviar sauce – or if you can get real bleak roe, serve with a spoonful of this and some crème fraiche and chopped fresh red onion.

Kaviar Sauce

  • 1 jar of red lumpfish roe
  • Crème fraiche (3 tbsp)
  • Mix together, leave to set for a while – stir again and serve as a sauce for the Paj.

Vasterbotten Crème

They say some of the best things are the really simple things. This recipe is not really a recipe, more a cream cheese with flavour. I save all the crumbs of my Västerbotten make a delicious spread for crispbread.

Actually, that’s a bit of a lie… I grate it because there’s never enough crumbs for my consumption levels of this spread: It’s lovely.

Västerbotten pairs really well with a tart jam – such as cloudberry or lingonberry. The quantities below are just guidelines: For a spread at home, I prefer a strong, thicker mixture, but I sometimes add more crème fraice if I want to use it as a dip. If I want to pipe out the mixture to use on canapés, add more of the cream cheese.

What you need:

  • 75g grated Västerbotten
  • 50g Philadelphia cheese
  • 50g Crème fraiche
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Cloudberry jam / Lingonberry / other tart berries
  • Finncrisp or similar (dark rye bread, toasted, is also a wonderful match)
  • Optional: Chopped chives

Mix the cheese and crème fraiche and cream cheese together. Season. You won’t need salt as the Vasterbotten is salty enough.

When smooth, use as desired – try to spread it onto crispbread. Top with jam and chives, if using.

Raw courgette salad with Västerbotten

Serves 2-3

What you need:

  • 2 medium sized courgettes
  • 1 small bunch of rocket (or leaves of choice – although stronger flavours work well)
  • 50g shaved Västerbotten cheese
  • 50g flaked almonds

Simple dressing:

  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt, pepper

How to:

Toast the almonds lightly. Shave the courgettes into thin strips length ways – this is best done using a mandolin (the slicer, not the musical instrument) or even a flat metal cheese slicer. The strips need to be quite thin.

Add the courgette to a big bowl, add the salad leaves and mix gently. Add the cheese and fold again.

Make the dressing by combining the vinegars and oil in a bowl, whisk well, season with salt and pepper. Dress the salad (you may have too much dressing for your taste – this salad doesn’t really need much, so you can reserve the rest for next time).

Arrange on a serving plate, scatter with toasted almonds and serve immediately.

Final helpful recipe tip:

Mashed potato gets a new lease of life when you add a bit of grated Västerbotten cheese. You don’t need a lot – it really adds a lot of flavour so a little goes a long way.

    Abba Röd Stenbitsrom – Lumpfish Roe 80g
    £3.79

 

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Summer Salad: Courgette & Västerbotten cheese

July 24, 2014 | Leave a comment

Need a delicious salad for lunch? Look no further. This simple salad has bags of flavour and takes only a few minutes to make.

Serves 2-3

What you need:

2 medium sized courgettes

1 small bunch of rocket (you can add a bit of baby spinach, too, if you want a more leafy salad)

50g shaved Västerbotten cheese (or mature Präst cheese if you can’t get Västerbotten).

50g flaked almonds

Dressing:

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Salt, pepper

How to:

Shave the courgettes into thin strips length ways – this is best done using a mandolin (the slicer, not the musical instrument) or even a flat metal cheese slicer. The strips need to be quite thin.

Add the courgette to a big bowl, add the salad leaves and mix. Then add the cheese and fold again.

Make the dressing by combining the vinegars and oil in a bowl, whisk well, season with salt and pepper. Dress the salad (you will have too much dressing, you can reserve the rest for next time).

Arrange on a serving plate, scatter with toasted almonds and serve immediately.

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