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Cheese is an extremely versatile food offering a myriad of ways in which to be enjoyed. It can be served on its own, matched with a glass of wine, presented on a cheese board or used in a favourite dish. Here you'll find tips for serving each cheese style, along with wine matches and recipes. If you're looking for a quick and simple solution, check out our short order suggestions.

General tips for a cheese board

For the perfect cheese board offer three or four different styles of cheese. Alternatively, select one cheese and make it the focal point of the cheese board and serve it with several different accompaniments.

Allow between 30g to 50g of cheese per person.

If you wish to match wine with several cheeses, select just one style and serve a variety of cheese within this style to avoid major clashes.

Always serve ripe cheese (i.e. as close to its 'best before' date) so that it's at its optimum flavour.

Allow cheese to come to room temperature which will help the flavours develop further.

Use a separate knife for each cheese to avoid cross contamination.

Keep the bread or biscuits simple as strong flavours will overwhelm the taste of the cheese.

 

 

General tips for matching wine with cheese

Balance the flavour of the cheese with that of the wine. For example, the stronger and more mature the cheese, the richer and heavier the wine should be. The whiter and fresher the cheese, the crisper and fruiter the wine should be.

Sweetness in wine counter balances the salt in cheese (which is why blue cheese partners well with dessert and fortified wines).

Perfumed or floral reds can be too overpowering with cheese, as are heavy tannic wines which steal the nutty richness of the cheese.

Generally speaking, if you had to select just one grape variety over any other to have with a cheese board, the best wine is a Pinot Noir or a crisp white.

Experiment with cheese and wine matching to discover your own preferences.

 

Great Cheed Dishes:

 

 

Cumin-Crusted Chicken  and Cheddar Quesadillas with Basil Sour Cream

Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins

Ingredients

For chicken:
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)


For sautéed mushrooms:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 portabello mushroom caps, cleaned and thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced, salt and pepper, to taste


For basil sour cream:
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups sour cream


For quesadillas:
6 (12-inch) flour tortillas
3/4 pound Cheddar cheese, grated

 

Directions

For chicken: In a small bowl, combine cumin, salt, pepper and cayenne. Rub chicken breasts with spice mixture. Grill chicken 6 minutes on each side or until tender. Remove from heat and thinly slice; set aside.

For sautéed mushrooms: Heat butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add sliced mushrooms and onions. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook until mushrooms are soft. Remove from heat and set aside.

For basil sour cream: Combine basil, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor. Process until pureed. Mix into sour cream. Set aside.

To assemble quesadillas: Pre-heat grill or griddle to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place tortillas on a flat surface. Generously sprinkle cheese onto one half of each tortilla. Combine chicken and mushrooms; divide evenly on top of the cheese. Sprinkle cheese on top of the chicken and mushroom mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Fold each tortilla in half (creating a half circle shaped quesadilla). Cook each quesadilla about 4-6 minutes, until cheese is melted and the tortilla begins to brown and crisp. Flip tortilla and repeat about 4-6 minutes. Remove quesadilla from heat and cool about 30 seconds before cutting into 3 triangle slices. Serve with basil sour cream.

 

Two Cheese Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken

Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 tsp minced garlic
1 6 oz. bagbaby spinach
1 cup part-skim, shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
4 boneless, skinless medium chicken breast halves (approx. 1.5 lbs)
2 tsp Italian seasoning blend
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

 

Directions

 

Heat oil over medium heat in a nonstick skillet. Add onion and cook, stirring until onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and garlic. Add spinach, cover and cook for about 3 minutes until spinach is soft. Remove from heat. Let mixture cool slightly; stir in Mozzarella and Parmesan.

Heat oven to 375°. Beginning in the center of the thicker end of the breast, insert a small knife horizontally, stopping about 1 inch from opposite end. Open incision to create a 1-inch-wide pocket and pack 1/4 of the filling mixture into each breast.

Season chicken with Italian seasoning blend and place in 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish. Pour broth over chicken. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 40 minutes; keep warm until served.

 

Fresh Mozzarella, Prosciutto and Fig Jam

Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

 


4 soft French or Italian rolls (or half-baked if available)
10-12 ounces fresh Mozzarella, thickly sliced
8 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced
1/4-1/2 cup fig jam or fig preserves, to taste
soft butter for spreading on bread

 

Directions

Split each roll, and layer with the Mozzarella and prosciutto. Spread the top slices with the fig jam, then close up.

Lightly butter the outside of each sandwich.

Heat a heavy nonstick skillet or panini press over medium-high heat. Place the sandwiches in the pan, working in two batches depending on the size of the pan. Press the sandwiches or close the grill and brown, turning once or twice, until the bread is crisp and the cheese has melted. Though the rolls start off as round, once pressed they are considerably flatter and can be easily turned, albeit carefully.

Serve right away, cut on the diagonal.

 

Light Feta Tacos

Servings: 4

Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins

Ingredients

8 ounces mushrooms (portobello, shiitake, oyster, or a mixture) trimmed (stems removed if using shiitakes)
2 tablespoons chile-flavored oil or olive oil
2 poblano chiles
1/2 medium white onion, thinly sliced
8 lettuce leaves, washed and dried
2 ripe tomatoes, cut into 16 thin slices
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into 16 thin slices
8 ounces feta, cut into 8 slices
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
Salt to taste
2 chipotle chiles in adobo, cut into thin strips, for garnish (optional)
4 sprigs fresh cilantro, for garnish

 

Directions

Heat a gas or charcoal grill or the broiler.

Brush the mushrooms with the oil and grill or broil, turning once, until browned on both sides. Remove, cut into thin slices, and set aside on a plate.

Place the poblano chiles on the grill or under the broiler and roast, turning, until the skins blacken on all sides. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to steam until cool. Remove the skins, stems, and seeds and discard. Cut into thin strips and set aside on the plate with the mushrooms.

Place the sliced onion in a colander, rinse under cold water, and shake well to drain. Place on paper towels and pat dry, then place on the plate with the mushrooms. Place the lettuce leaves, tomatoes, avocado, and feta in piles on another plate close by.

Heat a medium skillet or griddle over medium heat. One at a time, place the tortillas in the dry skillet and warm on each side until they become pliable. Transfer to a work surface. Place a lettuce leaf on each tortilla and top it with 2 tomato slices, a few strips of mushrooms and poblano, a few onion slices, 2 avocado slices, and a slice of cheese. Sprinkle with salt and roll up into a tube. Secure with a toothpick if necessary.

To serve, place 2 tacos on each serving plate. Garnish with the chipotle chiles, if using, and sprigs of cilantro. Serve immediately.