Cheese Accompaniments....Done to death or room for more discussion?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by jennianydots, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. jennianydots

    jennianydots

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    I know this has probably been done to death, but I am looking for some new ideas for cheese accompaniments. I generally serve just one cheese with a fruit/nut/jam or whatever as a 3rd course, some of my go-tos are:

    Triple Cream Brie with Strawberry, Black Pepper and Balsamic Jam and French Baguette

    Blue Veined Cheese with Warm Gingerbread

    Chevre with Honeycomb and Crostini

    Aged Cheddar with Spiced Apple Chutney and Rough Oatcakes

    Would love to hear some new ideas!
     
  2. gunnar

    gunnar

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    those are some interesting mixes..i mean that in a good way.. I am curious how well the Blue and gingerbread works. The cheddar and oatcake sounds good. I guess I am a bit rustic in my service as I like a selection of cheese, breads and smoked or cured meats. I do like a variety of apples and fresh fruits. some fresh herbs like basil, cilantro,chives, depending on the cheese and what I am making.

    Cheese is so open as a food it can't be done to death as a conversation, people just need a break from the discussion.
     
  3. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    apricots or figs on the blue or 3 creme, I like pecans but walnut's work....try making shortbread with a touch of bacon fat. You can caramelize the fruit or serve with jam....sometimes I throw in a hint of smoke hot chili

    Fresh chevre.....just about anything.   if you're doing after dinner I tend to go fruity rather than savory olivey....amazingly good with lemon curd.

    blue is great with orange and sorghum.....
     
  4. ishbel

    ishbel

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    I tend to present a cheeseboard, with lots of different cheeses, including various artisan cheeses from around the UK, as well as French, Greek or Spanish.  I always serve goat's cheese on a separate cheeseboard, as I don't like the taste or the smell!

    I serve cheeses with any or all of the following

    celery

    grapes

    walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds and in season, Kentish cobnuts

    home made Scottish oatcakes

    Abernethy biscuits (also homemade)

    Water biscuts

    The idea of serving cake with cheese sounds interesting, but probably something I'd try for a lunchtime snack on my own!
     
  5. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Yes the subject has been done to death but those who don't want to rehash it can just skip this thread.  I on the otherhand am a cheese fanatic so I will join right in on one of my favorite discussions.

    I've never had a proper cheese course that comes at the end of a meal.  This is a french tradition am I right?  What is the purpose of this course, how does it fit in to the whole meal, and is it supposed to be like dessert?  I remember the first season of Top Chef Harold had a cheese course instead of a proper dessert.  He served a fig tart with a selection of 3 cheeses and I remember thinking how smart that was.

    I'm more used to cheese platters.  Most of the time I serve them along with hors d'ourvres at my dinner parties.  But often enough I serve them as dinner for the two of us.  There ain't no better dinner than cheese, bread, charcutes, and wine.  It's a feast.

    My guilty pleasure snack is to take a mission fig, stuff it with a glob of gorgonzola, and wrap it in half a slice of proscuitto.  Figs are perfect now since they're in season, but when they're out of season I make fig jam from dried figs any time I want a proper cheese platter.  Fig jam and asiago are heavenly together. 

    My DH likes acidic accompaniments to cheese in the form of olives, pickled peppers, etc.  Me not so much.  I like the sweet stuff.
     
  6. ishbel

    ishbel

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    Most dinner parties here have a cheese course.  Lots of people don't want puddings, so I tend to serve puddings and cheeseboard at the same time.
     
  7. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    I serve cheese prior to a sweet.....usualy fruit sometimes chocolate....depends on rest of menu.
     
  8. siduri

    siduri

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    "Dal tavolo no si alza il saggio

    se la bocca non sa di formaggio"

    (The wise man doesn't get up from the table if his mouth doesn;t taste of cheese)

    Personally, however, I don;t see how cheese can be considered a good ending to a meal.  For me cheese IS the meal.  Or the snack.  I like it either way.  But to end a meal with cheese seems to me to just repeat a protein course, and is redundant.  And no, please, please don;t replace desert with cheese!  One of the nicest things about a fancy meal is to wonder what wonderful desert it will end with! 

    That said, I know plenty of people like cheese courses at the end of meals.  I do like cheese with sweet things, and can go on eating a piece of gorgonzola then think, hey, that needs a slice of pear.  Then eat the pear and say, yeah, but what would be perfect after this is a nice slice of cheese.  and so on through all the cheese and several pears.  That would be lunch for me.

    But if you're bringing out a cheese course, you might want to have something salty with it, some sort of cracker (carta da musica is great) or nice bread - walnut bread, for instance.  Not everyone likes sweet stuff with cheese.  Maybe have a choice. 

    This is also somewhat sweet, but very slightly so - a walnut quick bread.  I think i posted it here somewhere - from Cakes by barbara maher.  The touch of sweetnness and the clove are perfect for cheeses.
     
  9. jennianydots

    jennianydots

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    Yum, some fabulous ideas, Chevre and lemon curd has me salivating! Now that I think about it I do tend towards sweet/fruity accompaniments with cheese, but if I'm not doing a formal type dinner I will go for the gherkin, cured meats, fruit and crudites...mmm, thinking about raiding the fridge now and doing an afternoon cheese plate! 

    The gingerbread blue cheese combo works amazingly well, but after many experimentations I have found that the cheese needs to be relatively soft and creamy as opposed to crumbly and the gingerbread should be made with treacle not molasses and served warm from the oven it's really moreish! 

    I will have to have a look for the walnut quick bread, that sounds really good too. I definitely agree that the cheese should not be the end, I always tend to serve it between main and dessert, and however hard I try I always seem to veer towards something chocolatey for dessert.

    Last night I macerated some dried fruit (dates, figs, prunes and apricots) in vintage port with a touch of dark brown sugar and served it with a large round of melting Brie...quite delicious and felt very autumnal. 
     
  10. chrislehrer

    chrislehrer

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    Blue cheese and ginger in general are a good combination, and good gingerbread is a reasonable way to accomplish it. I prefer a very sharp, very crunchy ginger cracker -- i.e. relatively little sugar -- but then I'm not that big a fan of sweets to begin with.

    I think a cheese course is a lovely thing. Remember that it is often preceded by salad coming after a remove of meat. The other thing is quantities: if your courses are generally large, putting cheese on top of them and then adding a rich sweet is pretty deadly. If your courses are small, a cheese course is a great way to do a little nibbling and filling up the corners. It also depends on pacing: if dining is going to take an hour or less, a cheese course seems a good deal less attractive than if everyone is at table for 2 hours or more.