Comté cookery class with Chef Laura Pope at Central Street Cookery School

We were invited to attend a cheese cooking class by the lovely people at Comté. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the deliciousness of Comté it’s a hard cheese made from raw milk by cows who graze Alpine meadows full of flowers in France. The flavour and texture of the cheese depends on which flowers and plants were on pasture, how aged the wheel of cheese is (can be up to 24 months) and the expertise of the affineurs who look after the cheese during the ageing process. If you have the self restraint to do more with your Comté than eat it as it comes here are a couple of ideas!

Our first dish was one of my favourites, asparagus (perfect at this time of year) covered with a velvety blanket of cheese sauce. It came out so bubbly and golden I had to struggle not to dig into the demo version as it emerged from the oven.

Lightly blanch the aspargus in boiling water, drain and put in an ovenproof dish.
Make a white sauce, add 100g of Comté and stir over heat for 2-3 minutes til it thickens. Then take it off the heat and add an egg yolk, mustard, Worcester sauce and seasoning to make the best cheese sauce ever. Pop it in the oven for 8 minutes on 180 oC and finish it under the grill for 1-2 minutes or until you can bear the wait no longer and have to dive in!

The next was a salad which I’m a bit scarred by having eaten too many limp, sorry supermarket pre prepared salad. I have to say that I was unprepared for the beauty and tastiness of this. Enjoy!

Comté, broad bean, pancetta and hazelnut salad.

Put oven onto 190 oC put 50g hazelnuts in for 10-12 minutes. Set aside to cool and roughly chop. Boil 200g broad beans for 3-5 minutes,drain and skin. Fry 100g pancetta and put on kitchen towel to drain fat. Make a dressing in a clean jam jar by shaking 2 tbsp virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1/4 tsp Djion mustard and 1/4 tsp maple syrup together. Chop 10g basil and 10g mint, add it to 50g mixed salad leaves and toss through the dressing. Add the broad beans, hazelnuts and half the pancetta. Dish up and top with the remaining pancetta and Comté cut into thin batons.

Twitter: @MBATheAgency @MeganRex @katriekemann @comte_cheese #CookingWithComte @central_st

Instagram: @gottobegourmet @katriekemann @mba_the_agency @comtecheeseuk @patrickmcguigan1 @thedorsetkitchen @centralstreetcookeryschool #CookingWithComte @savlafaire @londonkirsty @bethlwebb

Comté UK website: http://www.comtecheese.co.uk/

 

Thanks to Kat and Megan at MBA The Agency for the invite to this fun Comté food blogger event.

… Kat serving us Comte and pancetta filo parcels on arrival with processo:

Also, great having the company of fellow bloggers including Seetal & Kirsty (fellow cookery team mates) and Beth .

About goantolondon

International food and travel blog by London based British Goan duo: Jason and Chiara Pinto. Twitter: @goantolondon @jasonpinto100 @chiarapinto About Goa: Goa is a small state on the western coast of India. Though the smallest Indian state, Goa has played an influential role in Indian history. Goa was one of the major trade centers in India, thus it had always been attracting the influential dynasties, seafarers, merchants, traders, monks and missionaries since its earliest known history. Throughout its history Goa has undergone continual transformation, leaving an indelible impression on various aspects of its cultural and socio-economic development. History of Goa: The East-West symbiosis of Goa makes it different from other parts of India, more than the historical and social niche. The history of Goa is a sweet and sour story of colonial heritage, oppressive rulers, a glorious culture, and uneventful immediate past. As a land with the identity of its own, Goa was brought into focus when it was liberated of Portugal from its oppressive rule of around 450 hundred years in 1961. Goa was captured and annexed to the Portuguese in 1510 following the urges of trade and demand of spices and also cottons and indigo. But, Goa has a history that starts much before Portugal even thought of Goa being where it is. Goa was coveted and ruled by a great number of Indian kingdoms and dynasties from the 4th century onwards. The first kingdom to rule Goa and Konkan were Bhojas, who were the feudatories of Ashoka in 4th and 5th centuries AD. The city of Chandrapur (present Chandor) was founded by Prince Chandraditya, son of Chalukya King Pulakesin from 566 to 597 A.D. after this, Goa was ruled consecutively by Silahara Dynasty, Kadamba Danasty, and finally Hoysalas from 1022 to 1342 A.D. From the 14th century onwards, Goa became a great trading center on the west coast, especially in the vast trade of horses imported from the Middle East. This was the time for bigger empires to move in and Vijayanagar Empire conquered it in 1344. But there empire was not going to last too long and in 1347, Bahmani Sultans defeated Vijayanagara forces in 1347 and controlled Goa. Afterwards, it was a time of great prosperity and peace for Gpa, especially during the rules of Yusuf Adil Shah and Ismail Adil Shah. They created beautiful houses, fortified Goa, and encouraged local craftsmen. Their liberal and progressive rule was not going to last too long and situation changed in 1510 A.D. Goa for all purposes was not on the Portuguese Radar even after a long time of their presence in India. When the Portuguese nobleman Alfonso de Albuquerque and his cousin Francisco de Albuquerque were sent with a powerful fleet in 1503 on the orders of King Dom Manuel I, the purpose was to defend the cargoes of spices, mostly pepper, against Arab Muslim raiders. The center of spice trade was Calicut at that time and Portuguese had built forts in Cochin and Cannanore. It was in 1506-08 that an opportunistic pirate, Timoja, persuaded Albuquerque to attack Goa and acquire a better land base. This made Goa, Portugal's first real territorial acquisition in Asia. After a brief period of recapturing by the Muslims, Goa Albuquerque finally captured Goa in 1510. The inquisition of Goa in 1540 reversed the previous liberal policy of Albuquerque and imposed strict censorship of literature and new laws to forbade non-Christians from professions. Forced conversions took place continuously, censorship was established on literature, the temples were destroyed, and non-Christian priests, holy men, and teachers were evicted. This led to continuous fleeing of Hindus from Goa to other parts of India. It is not that the relationship with Portugal brought only destruction for the Goans. Portuguese also built great churches like the church of St. Cajetan and Bom Jesus basilica in Old Goa, which is a pilgrimage site for the Christians from around the world. But it is also true that pre-1961; Goa was a highly impoverished region very backward and primitive. It is after the liberation that Goa of today has emerged and it has surprised even the locals many of whom had left their homeland before its liberation. Portugal and India are today friends and Goa continues to be a fascinating blend of Latin and Oriental. Information sourced from: http://www.royalorienttrain.com/goa/goa-history.html
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