Thursday, May 15, 2008

Blog Princess Presents the King of Cheeses

I have already referenced my discovery of Colston Bassett stilton on this blog. Here is the full story and tonight's update.

A couple of years ago I was at a dinner party of all artists (two opera singers, one director, one pianist), all except for me - however we were all food appreciators. On the side board was perched a stunning piece of stilton and the hostess said to me, "I hope you'll be trying that later." I replied "Oh, listen, it looks great, but I really don't like strong cheeses." I went on to explain that I hadn't actually tried stilton in years. She replied with, "Do me a favour: just try a small piece."

And so after dinner I did. I couldn't believe it. I was so used to an eye-watering variety of smelly vileness, but this cheese, although very strong and smelly, had a rich, creamy smoothness that had me under its spell.

Then our hostess told us the delightful story of being in the Neils Yard store at London's Covent Garden market and asking them where in North America she might purchase Colston Bassett stilton. They fetched out a small box with hand written cards in it, and informed her that a certain Alex Farm Cheeses in the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto carried it. This was great luck indeed as this wonderful market happens to be about a five minute walk from where our hostess works and from where I live.

It wasn't more than a few days later when I showed up at Alex Farm Cheeses and made a very expensive purchase of the stilton to take to visit my parents over Easter. I've been a fan ever since.

And tonight we treated ourselves to a very rich and easy meal: Delia Smith's recipe for Stilton Soufflé Omelette. Here it is, transcribed:

This is a great recipe for one person. It's quick and easy, yet special and different. If you want to make it for two people, use a 9 inch (23 cm) pan and double the ingredients. It is excellent served with a tomato and basil salad.

Serves 1

3 oz (75 g) Stilton, crumbled
3 large eggs, separated
½ oz (10 g) butter
1 level tablespoon freshly snipped chives
salt and freshly milled black pepper

You will also need a 7 inch (18 cm) solid frying pan.

First pre-heat the grill, then put the frying pan on to a medium heat. Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks and leave them on one side while you beat the egg yolks in a separate bowl and season them well. Now melt the butter in the hot pan, being careful not to let it burn, then quickly fold the egg yolks and half of the Stilton, plus the chives, into the egg whites.

When the butter is foaming, pour the mixture into the pan, shaking the pan to make sure the mixture is evenly distributed – don't be tempted to stir it, though, or you will knock the air out of it. Cook the omelette for about 1 minute and then slide a palette knife around the edge to loosen it from the pan. Now scatter the remaining cheese all over the surface, then place the pan under the grill, 4 inches (10 cm) from the heat, and let the surface cook for about 1 minute, until it is lightly tinged brown and the cheese is melting. Then remove the pan from the grill and, using the palette knife, carefully loosen the edges, fold one half of the omelette over the other, slide it out on to a heated plate and serve immediately.

This recipe is taken from
Delia’s Vegetarian Collection. It has also appeared in Sainsbury's Magazine (Dairy Collection).

MY NOTES: I multiplied the ingredients for three people and about doubled the cooking times. I also used a 10" pan. The servings were very generous. VERY generous. This recipe is easy and so delicious. A real keeper! I'll try it again with different flavourings.

A hunk of beautiful cheese:

The mixture shortly after being poured into a hot pan. It was already incredibly fluffy and, with a hot pan, the mixture stayed this way:

The omelette has just come out from under the grill. Gently goldened and still wobbly-soft:

The omelette was folded over before being cut into servings. At its thickest it was about 4" tall and meltingly fluffy. We ate it with a very simply dressed salad.


Suza said...

Wow - fluffy, not stuffy. This looks delicious BPG. I love having eggs for dinner... although this takes eggs to a whole new level:)

glamah16 said...

I need to take the time to do this process when making omlettes. Yours look so fluffy and heavenly. I feel like a omlette hack now.

R.A.D. Stainforth said...

One of the most mouth-watering blog posts I have ever read Princess.

Rebecca said...

This looks incredible!! I'll definitely have to try this..You know, I tried Stilton not too long ago and it really grew on me after two glasses of wine( tee..hee...)..Honestly, I love trying new omelette variations and this one looks and sounds amazing...Thanks for sharing this.

ed det said...

Damn. :)

Blog Princess G said...

It's impressive and easy, that's what I love about it.