Hayes & Harlington Gazette - - Food & Drink - Tio Pepe Fino

(Serves four to six as a starter)

250g Tun­worth cheese in a box

A few sprigs of thyme Hot crusty bread or toasted bread crisps, to serve

For the fig and ap­ple chut­ney:

5 ju­niper berries 1tsp co­rian­der seeds 2 cloves

2 cin­na­mon sticks

2 star anise 400ml cider vine­gar 200g Bram­ley ap­ples, peeled and grated 130g white onions, finely diced


1. Pre­heat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas Mark 6. Mean­while, to make the chut­ney, put the ju­niper, co­rian­der, cloves, cin­na­mon and star anise in a piece of muslin and tie it with string to form a bag.

2. Put the bag in a large, heavy-based saucepan with all the re­main­ing in­gre­di­ents, ex­cept the Cal­va­dos and diced ap­ple. Slowly re­duce over a low heat to a thick, jam-like con­sis­tency, stir­ring reg­u­larly so it doesn’t catch.

3. Add the Cal­va­dos and re­duce for one to two min­utes to the same con­sis­tency. EV­ERY year I don my ‘Sci­en­tific Ex­per­i­ment’ hat ahead of In­ter­na­tional Sherry Week and mix and match a glass or two with some tasty morsels.

I browsed 101 Great Ways to En­joy Sherry (de­tails later) for sherry and food pair­ings.

(RRP £10, 75cl, widely avail­able) is my first match and a fino is per­fect with salty foods. I flashed padron pep­pers in a pan with olive oil un­til they blis­tered, then sprin­kled with sea salt. Oh my, so in­cred­i­bly mor­eish. I’d chilled the fino and its cool al­mond, savoury na­ture was a per­fect glass with the warm, salt-smoth­ered pep­pers.

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