Monday, 20 December 2010
Living in Chester as we do, we are right on the gateway to Wales. Indeed . . . a short five minute walk from the house, and we are in Wales!
Our Housing estate is actually surrounded by fields of leeks, which fill the air at certain times of the year with their pungent oniony smell. I think it's quite delightful, myself!
In fact, as we travelled to church this morning we passed by a field of frozen leeks . . . kind a pretty actually, all frosty green and icy tipped . . . but I wonder how the farmer feels. Are frozen leeks any good to him? Somehow I think not . . .
The Leek is the Welsh national symbol. ( I can think of worse things to represent you!)
This supper dish is a savoury bread and butter pudding, filled with the lovely flavours of slivered leeks and Caerphilly cheese, which is a Welsh variety of cheese, hailing from the Welsh village of Caerphilly!
Caerphilly sits in the shadows of one of Europe's largest castles. (Caer means Castle in the Welsh language) You can tell their cheese means a big deal to the people of Caerphilly as they hold a big festival there every year, called . . . "The Big Cheese" . . . what else!!
Caerphilly is a cow's milk cheese, light in colour and quite crumbly. It matures a lot quicker than cheddar giving it a dry crumbly centre and creamy edge . . . with a somewhat tangy, sour, but not at all unpleasant flavour.
We love this hearty supper dish as we love leeks and cheese, but you can also make it with cheddar and onion, which is also quite delicious!
I like it with a bit of Branston's Beetroot Pickle on the side. Yummo!
*Welsh Cheese Pudding*
Serves 4 - 6
Kind of like a savoury bread and butter pudding made with cheese and leek sandwiches. You can use sliced onions if you don't have any leeks. It's quite delicious!
3 medium slices of white bread, crusts removed
3 medium slices of whole wheat bread, crusts removed
2 ounces (1/4 cup) butter, softened
1 medium leek, washed, trimmed and very thinly sliced
8 ounces caerphilly cheese, crumbled (can use strong cheddar)
2 large free range eggs
1/4 tsp dry mustard powder
1 pint of milk (2 cups)
salt and pepper to taste
a small handful of walnuts, toasted and chopped
finely chopped spring onion to garnish (optional)
Spread each slice of the bread thickly with butter. Using one white slice and one whole wheat slice for each, make 3 sandwiches using the leek and 3/4 of the cheese. Press firmly together and then cut each sandwich into 4 triangles. Arrange them with the points up, in a 2 litre shallow ovenproof dish.
Beat the eggs together with the mustard powder and milk. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour over top of the sandwiches. Allow to stand for half an hour before cooking.
Preheat the oven to 160*C/325*F/ gas mark 3. Scatter the remaining cheese and walnuts over top of the pudding and then cook it in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes. Scatter the top with the spring onions, if using and serve to some lucky people.