Wednesday 19 July 2017

Getting Cheesy with Västerbottensost this summer

J'ADORE LE FROMAGE. Or jag älskar ost in Swedish. As a massive foodie, i'm always excited to get my hands on something new and with the Scandi scene becoming ever more popular in terms of both cuisine and interior design, the chance to cook with this famous Scandinavian 'King of Cheese' was a must.

So how does it taste I hear you fromage fanatics cry? In a word: Delicious. In a few words: moorish and salty with a subtle sharpness which likens a good, mature Parmesan. Aged for 14 months develops of a real hearty character, which gives it that 'once you start you just can't stop' trait.

Now that summer is upon us, I urge you to whip up one of the following recipes to lug along to your Prosecco fuelled picnics or alfresco feasts lazing within a quintessentially English garden. You'll be sipping on a crisp Sauvignon whilst introducing a taste of Scandinavia to your summer rendezvous(I hope i'm suitably painting the picture for you). Or if you're entertaining with a BBQ at home, the below recipes make a perfect treat amongst all the bangers and burgers typically on offer. Västerbottensost is available from Waitrose and I promise, it's pretty special. Get your hands on some before everyone gets a taste for it and bask in it's savoury glory throughout the summer months.

The recipes below are ideal for entertaining and have been co-created with famous Swedish chef Filip Fasten, allowing you to show off your culinary talents with some gentle guidance from a master! The cheese pie is an absolute MUST.

Västerbottensost cheese pie with fried onions

For the pastry:

125 grams of butter
300g of flour
2 tablespoons of water

Heat the oven to 200°c.
Mix together the butter, flour and water and roll it out to a thin dough. Put it in a pie dish with a detachable bottom, then let it cool in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Notch it with a fork and pre-bake it for 10 minutes. Let it cool off. While it cools, fry off your onions until soft.

For the filling:

4oog of grated Västerbottensost cheese
200ml of cream
100ml milk
200ml of fried onions
A grating of nutmeg
Pinch of salt

Put the onions on the bottom of the pie. Mix the remaining ingredients together and pour it in the pie dish. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 25-30 minutes until firm. Top it off with some wild herbs if you fancy and enjoy!

Wild herbs that could be used:

Wood sorrel

If you're a fish lover give the following recipe a bash. It's offers a very authentically Scandi dish to really give a taste of Sweden. Perfect on a BBQ spread. 

Potatoes Gratin with Whitefish Roe and Chive

Swedish traditional potatoes are usually boiled and accompanied by herring, but this recipe offers a twist one the classic, using oven baked potatoes. Absolutely delicious, easy to make and to be enjoyed by all.

1 kg washed fresh potatoes
200g Västerbottensost cheese, grated
200g parsley
200ml canola oil
200ml sour cream
50g whitefish roe
2 onions (sliced)
1 handful of dill
50g chive

 Turn on the grill.

Heat the canola oil to 60-70°c.

Place the parsley in a mixer, mix until it’s a smooth paste together with the oil, place the paste in a strainer with a coffee filter.

Boil the potatoes in salted water until they’re semi soft.

Place the potatoes on an oven tray. Make the cheese into small balls and place a cheese ball on each potato.

Bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and slightly crusted.

Mix the whitefish roe, sour cream and the parsley oil.

Top the potatoes with the roe mixture, picked parsley, dill and sliced onion. Finish off by crumbling down bits of Västerbottensost cheese and black pepper.


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