Pot­ted ched­dar with poppy seeds

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SERVES 6 PREP THE CHEESE Finely grate 150g ma­ture ched­dar. In a large bowl, work 50g un­salted but­ter us­ing a wooden spoon un­til re­ally soft and creamy, then fold in a large pinch of ground mace and a pinch of cayenne pep­per. Work the cheese into the but­ter a quar­ter at a time, adding 2 tbsp medium sherry with the fi­nal quar­ter. Spoon into small pots or a shal­low bowl, smooth­ing the sur­face. Dust with a thin layer of poppy seeds. Cover and chill un­til re­quired (it will keep well in the fridge for a week or two). SERV­ING IDEAS Dol­lop a heaped tea­spoon on to hot crisp toast tri­an­gles and flash briefly un­der the grill un­til the top just starts to melt. Or, for a retro bite with a glass of sherry, sand­wich wal­nut halves with a tea­spoon of the pot­ted cheese.

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