Local cheese adds a great taste to some great dishes

Today I decided to share a recipe I love, using a local, award winning, Gouda style farmhouse cheese. Carrowholly Cheese is the only cheese produced in Mayo and the garlic and chive cheese is perfect for this recipe.

It is important to support our local businesses, so if you have never tried Carrowholly cheese, give it a try, you will not be disappointed.

Baked Carrowholly cheese with spiced strawberry jam

This is, as with most of my recipes, very simple to make. I prefer not to mess about too much with fresh food, whether it is meat, fish, or cheese, and let the product speak for itself.

Ingredients

Four sheets of filo pastry (thawed )

8oz Carrowholly garlic and chive cheese

1oz melted Irish butter

1lb fresh strawberries

8oz sugar

10 crushed green peppercorns

2oz Irish butter

Method

To make the jam, melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat, add the strawberries and stir with a wooden spoon until they have softened.

Then add the sugar, butter, and the peppercorns and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Let the whole mixture boil for five minutes, turn off the heat and stir until cool.

Pre heat your oven to 180c. Then cut the cheese into four triangles. Brush the filo pastry on both sides with the melted butter, then place a piece of cheese into the centre of each sheet of filo.

Wrap the cheese parcels carefully with the pastry and then stick them on a tray and into the oven for 12 to 15 minutes until the pastry is golden and the cheese is trying to burst out.

Serve the baked Carrowholly cheese with the spiced jam. The peppercorns give an unusual twist to the jam, (although I have been eating strawberries with black pepper for years ) but complement the cheese perfectly.

Mini quiches

We are so lucky in this country to be able to access any food, but sometimes we overlook the basics and take them for granted. Eggs for example are one of the most versatile of ingredients. Apart from frying or boiling for breakfast, what would we do without our eggs for cakes, meringues, and custards? Not to mention mayonnaise, batters, and sauces. Here is one of my favourite egg recipes that is easy to make and is equally delicious. I use Carrowholly cheese in this recipe as well.

Ingredients

300g plain flour

150g margarine

100ml water

Salt and pepper

Oregano

3 eggs

200ml milk

75g Carrowholly cheese, grated

1/2 onion sliced

12 cherry tomatoes halved

1 bacon rasher sliced

4 mushrooms sliced

Method

Heat the oven to 190c. This recipe will make a dozen mini quiches so I use a well-greased muffin or bun tray. To make the pastry, put the flour and margarine into the mixing bowl and rub together to form small crumbs.

Add the water, a pinch of oregano, and a pinch of salt and pepper and mix together to make the dough. Roll out the pastry to a thin layer, on a floured surface and use a cutter to cut out reasonable sized circles to fit the muffin tin and place into the moulds and up the sides.

Push down to flatten. Crack the eggs into the milk and beat gently. Add the cheese and mix using a fork. Fry the bacon, onion, tomatoes and mushrooms and when cooked, put evenly into the quiches. Pour the egg, milk and cheese evenly into the pastry moulds. Do not overfill. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Simple and delicious and a lovely starter or buffet food.

To find out more about our local Mayo cheese, contact Andrew at [email protected]

Contact me at [email protected] if you want any advice on any food related questions, and I will do my best to answer it.

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