Look in your fridge – go on, be brave. It’s just wall to wall cheese, isn’t it? ‘Is this Wallace and Gromit’s house?’ you wonder. No, it’s yours. Cheese as far as the eye can see. And you’ve already ran out of crackers – there’s just never enough in the packet, is there?
Uncle George hasn’t been round with his present yet either, and you know he always gets you cheese from the Christmas market, so that’ll brie even more to contend with. Sorry, we can’t resist a cheesy pun. One more: which cheese should you use if you need to hide a small horse? Mascarpone! As you were…
Cheese is marvellous, but there’s only so much of it you can eat on its own before you feel a little sick, sadly. But cheese is incredibly versatile, so you can use it in all kinds of yummy recipes. Here’s a few ideas to drag you away from the usual cheese on toast and cheese and crackers.
Before we get cracking, what do you call cheese that doesn’t belong to you? Nacho cheese! Sorry – all that cheese in your fridge is definitely yours. And you need to get using it up, pronto.
Traditionally, Welsh rarebit is served as toast, topped with a mustardy sauce and bubbling melted cheese. It’s certainly not broke so technically doesn’t need fixing, but we love this take on the classic from Andy’s Kitchen Food Blog that replaces the toast with crumpets.
The only thing better than cheesy mustardy sauce on a thick slice of toast is cheesy mustardy sauce on soft, chewy crumpets. Andy’s recipe uses classic cheddar, but literally any of that cheese in your fridge – yes, even that garlic and nettle one, and definitely that ale and mustard one – will work beautifully in this. Get melting.
Ham, cheese and pea muffins
We all know cheesecake is amazing. But mascarpone and other types of soft cheese tend to take a backseat at Christmas time in favour of the stronger, smellier, harder stuff, so we’re proposing that you bake with cheese in a slightly different, more savoury way.
Got leftover ham from Boxing Day? And leftover veg? Then these ham, cheese and pea muffins from Handbags and Cupcakes are the ideal recipe.
Again, any kind of cheese will work here, so get experimenting. Make a few with chilli cheese and a few with something mild and creamy for a little tastebud roulette – you’ve got to walk on the wild side occasionally in this life, haven’t you?
Tartiflette is a traditional Alpine dish – if you’re off skiing in France or Switzerland this winter, you will most definitely come across it at some point. It’s usually made from layers of potatoes, onions, bacon and cheese to create a melty hearty comforting bake, which is brilliant and probably doesn’t need messing with.
But if you’ve got leftover sprouts and carrots and the like still knocking around from Christmas dinner, we reckon you should take inspiration from Holly Cooks’ British tartiflette recipe and add them in too. You could go even more crazy and add in some leftover slices of turkey as well. Christmas dinner tartiflette: officially the only way to make a tartiflette even more amazing.
We’ve not had a cheese pun for a while. Which cheese do you need to be most cautious with? Caerphilly!
Broccoli and stilton soup
Now, if you wanted to blend all the cheese in your fridge and create a giant cheese soup fondue, there is technically nothing stopping you. Except common decency. And the fact it would probably make you feel quite ill.
But using cheese – in controlled amounts – in soup can be absolutely lovely. The Fairytale Pretty Picture has a recipe for broccoli and stilton soup that contains just four ingredients – two of them are stock and seasoning, and we’ll leave you to work out the others.
Serve with big hunks of bread, or use the opportunity to get rid of more of your cheese supply by making cheese toasties to dunk in it. Extra points for bacon.
Macaroni cheese pizza pie
Macaroni cheese, pizza and pie are three separate meals, right? Well, they don’t have to be. You could make a macaroni cheese pizza pie of dreams, using this spectacular recipe from The Bearded Bakery. Let us explain…
So, it’s a pie. But the base and sides are made out of a sort of hybrid between pastry and pizza dough. If you weren’t hooked on this idea already, we know you definitely are now.
Once blind-baked (remember, that’s giving it a quick blast in the oven, nothing to do with covering your eyes) the pie case is filled with mac’n’cheese. But not just any old mac’n’cheese – mac’n’cheese covered in a pizza sauce. We know, it’s a mind-blowing concept!
The whole thing then goes back in the oven for its proper bake. Remember that while you want that pizza sauce taste from passata or tomato puree, garlic and herbs, you don’t want your mac’n’cheese to be too saucy (oo-er), or you’ll end up with a soggy bottom (oo-er indeed).
We think these cheese recipes are tempting enough to even prise Wallace and Gromit away from their cheese and crackers – we know that’s a bold claim, but surely even Wallace couldn’t resist a mac’n’cheese pizza pie?!
And we leave you with one of our favourite all-time cheese puns: What does cheese say when it looks in the mirror? Halloumi!