Take a culinary adventure. Try robust Stilton. Imported from England, Stilton reigns as the king of flavorful, cows’ milk blue cheeses. Stilton is England’s only name-protected cheese, which means that cheese makers must prove that they used milk from the Leicester-shire, Nottingham-shire, Derbyshire areas, and that they produced the cheese in those same localities, to earn the respected name. It is aged for six to eighteen months. Good quality Stilton should taste full-bodied, creamy, and complex. Good Stilton should never be dry, but should remain moist yet crumbly. Look for a wedge shaped ivory colored cheese with a brown rind and slivers of blue weaving throughout. You may have to travel to a cheese shop to acquire one of the top brands, but it’s worth it. Never rule out blue cheese until you’ve tried a morsel of Stilton.
Once you’ve fallen for the taste of Stilton, you’ll want to add it to your meals. Stilton augments the flavors of fruit and full-bodied red wines. It also adds zest to cream cheese in spreads. One easy way to share the strong taste of Stilton with guests is through stuffed mushrooms. In less than 30 minutes, you can whip up a batch of Stilton stuffed mushrooms to serve to friends or family. These easy treats blend the simple with the gourmet. Try the recipe below and your friends will soon sing Stilton’s praises.
Stilton Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe
For the cold stuffing*:
4 ounces Stilton cheese
4 ounces cream cheese
1 tablespoon half and half
14 small, fresh basil leaves (can substitute dried basil in a pinch)
14 pecan halves
For the shell:
14 mushrooms, stems removed
Yields-4 large servings
Directions: Hollow out the mushrooms and set them aside. In a medium bowl, combine the Stilton and the cream cheese. Beat them with an electric mixer until the mixture is smooth. Add the half and half. Stir cheeses and liquid together, and then beat them with the mixer (briefly) until the mixture is fluffy. Carefully fill the mushroom caps with the cheese stuffing. Move mushrooms to a decorative platter. Top each mushroom with a basil leaf and a pecan half. Serve and share your new appreciation for Stilton.
*(Cook’s Note-Stilton stuffing should not be baked inside baked mushrooms).
For something different at supper time, try my tuna and cheddar pie of Grenada at www.examiner.com/x-12601-Cheese-Examiner~y2009m9d10-Cheddar-and-tuna-fish-pie-of-Grenada-recipe.