I was in Clifden this weekend to get some fresh air, exercise, and see some breathtaking views. After a long bike ride on Sky Road my friend and housemate Mollie and I popped into some shops around town. When I saw a little specialty foods shop called The Connemara Hamper, I had to check it out. They sell a variety of bread, crackers, meats, wines, and of course, cheeses! I beelined it for the cheese counter and my eye was immediately drawn to their selection of blue cheeses.
They featured Cashel Blue and Wicklow blue brie. When I asked the woman at the counter what the difference was between the two she let me find out myself and I got to sample both (there are few things in life better than free cheese). The Cashel blue was a little stronger and crumbly, a stereotypical, but the nonetheless delicious blue. The Wicklow blue brie on the other was creamy (hence being called a brie), and had a subtler flavor. I picked up the tiniest sliver (it only cost me €1.35!) and we were on our way.
So I had a beautiful blue hanging out in my fridge, and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. I could have always spread some on a cracker and complimented it with a jam, or fruit such as apple, pear, or fig, but I wanted to be a little more creative and integrate it into a meal. I could have gone the easy route and made it into a mac and cheese, but the strong taste of the blue compounded with the richness of mac and cheese might have been a little too much to handle. Blues work best if paired with either sweet or spicy flavors, so that’s what I was looking for.
In my research I stumbled across a recipe for a blue cheese, bacon, and fig pizza, which sounded heavenly. When I went to Dunnes they were out of figs so I settled on Asian pear to add sweetness.
Using a pre-made dough I whipped up greek yogurt, cream cheese, and the blue cheese into a white sauce, topped it with pear slices, a drizzle of honey, prosciutto/ parma ham, and rocket/ argula., then popped it in the oven.
The leftover ingredients I had I ate like a little salad while waiting for the pizza to cook, and it was delicious. The pizza however was not. The dough was definitely not a pizza dough, the rocket was much too bitter, and in all honestly after eating a couple of slices it started to smell a little like throw up. So I admit to my blue cheese transgressions and now I know I shouldn’t try experimenting.
So, lessons learned:
- Do not use Aldi pizza dough
- Do not heat up a concoction of greek yogurt, cream cheese, and blue cheese and try to eat it
- Stick to throwing stuff together like a little salad. Edible, and doesn’t smell like throw up
At a later point I’ll find out some different blue cheese arrangements, but right now I need to go to Cheese Church and confess my sins. Forgive me Cheesus!