A few moons ago, a group of cheese-loving foodies gathered together in a beautiful room at Morton’s, overlooking Berkeley Square.
We had assembled to celebrate the best of Cornish produce with Davidstow Creamery, over an extravagant dinner curated by culinary whiz, Lee Westcott (head chef at the Typing Room)…
While I’m familiar with Davidstow® cheese, often picking it up at my local supermarket, I’d always wondered what gives this brand of cheddar its particularly rich intensity.
So I was quite interested to learn that it hails from the rugged North Cornish Coast, where Davidstow Creamery’s traditional method of cheese-making has been adapted to accentuate the unapologetically creamy and full-fat profile of milk in the area… The result, a cornucopia of complex and full-bodied flavours with an extra kick of protein giving it more structure!
Also revelatory, were the insights lent by Davidstow®’s Master Cheese Grader, Mark Pitts-Tucker, on how the flavours and texture of the cheese sharpen with age, as it becomes more rugged and crystallised.
On a side note, can I say that Mark’s role inspired some serious #JobGoals, as his responsibilities essentially revolve around taste-testing all the cheese, to keep in check the consistency in quality and depth of flavours…
We had the chance to nibble on Davidstow®’s full range of cheeses too, starting with the 3 Year Vintage – firm yet crumbly, this was an easy one to stomach; while the delightfully creamy notes were a real highlight of the 12 Month Mature cheddar.
But I think my favourite of the lot, was the 18 Month Extra Mature cheese, which had a notch more flavour with a flinty sweetness to it. It was speckled all over with naturally-occurring crystals, which added a pleasantly crunchy-texture typical of such aged cheeses.
We even had the unique opportunity to try a 50 Month Mature cheddar, which was a really decadent treat as this is not something easily found on the shelfs anywhere, nor in a cheese room!
As for the dinner itself, we were in for quite the feast with an exquisite series of dishes, evoking the spirit of Cornwall…
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A brilliant match between spinach stuffed-paccheri, summer truffles and 12 month mature #DavidstowCheddar 😻 This was just one of the many highlights this evening, from the stunning series of plates by @LeeWestcott bringing a bit of Cornwall to London with #DavidstowDining @MortonsClub… Delicious doesn't even begin to describe it! #CheeseIsAllYouNeed #ButTrufflesDontHurtEither #TopLondonRestaurants #TheFoodieDiariesLondon
… These were curated specially by acclaimed chef Lee Westcott, who’s been kind enough to share some of the recipes he’s created for Davidstow®. It’s a wonderful note on which to revive the Kitchen Inspiration series on this blog!
Here’s handing over to Lee, who shows us how to whip up a Cornish seaweed and cheddar frittata (a perfect summer snack for tucking into al fresco, a glass of chilled white wine in hand); as well as a scrumptious batch of cheddar and sage scones (this is particularly one to bookmark for the festive season)…
Cornish Seaweed and Davidstow® 3 Year Special Reserve Vintage Cheddar Frittata
The frittata recipe pays homage to Cornwall’s beautiful beaches. I love to cook with freshly harvested Cornish seaweed as it is full of vitamins, minerals and protein. Nori and Kombu are the perfect alternatives for when Cornish seaweed can’t be sourced.
- 5 Jersey Royals potatoes, medium sized
- 9 medium eggs
- 5 tablespoons yoghurt
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 30g chopped fresh chives
- 1 small onion, peeled and diced
- 30g Cornish harvested seaweed, washed and then soaked in water for 30 minutes before using
- 3 sheets of dried nori, soaked in water for 2 minutes, before using
- 1 pinch turmeric
- 1 large pinch onion seeds
- 80-130g Davidstow® 3 Year Special Reserve Vintage cheddar sprinkled over the top (dependant on your personal taste)
- Pre-heat a fan assisted oven to 160°c.
- Cover the potatoes in olive oil, add the garlic and thyme. Cook slowly until soft (in the kitchen we call this confit, it’s a French term for this method of cooking).
- Once cooked, allow the potatoes to cool in the oil at room temperature.
- Drain the potatoes from the oil and break up into rough large chunks using a fork. You can keep this oil to use for another day.
- Mix the yoghurt, turmeric and eggs in a bowl.
- Over a gentle heat in a large frying pan with a little olive oil, sweat the diced onion until softened without browning.
- Break the nori and Cornish seaweed sheets up roughly with your hands and, in a frying pan, add to the above yoghurt mixture along with the potatoes.
- Allow the egg mixture to set on the bottom of the pan but keep the heat on a low temperature to ensure it doesn’t overcook.
- Sprinkle the onion seeds, chives and grated Davidstow® 3 Year Special Reserve Vintage cheddar over the top of the mixture. Now place into the pre-heated oven and bake for 8 minutes. Then turn the oven up to 180°c for a further 4 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool at room temperature. Once cool, carefully remove the frittata onto a chopping board. Cut into equal sized portions and serve.
Sage and Davidstow® 18 Month Extra Mature cheddar scones
Makes approximately 10 scones
These scones are inspired by favourite festive ingredient, sage. They are a great canapé to get you in the festive mood.
- 30g plain flour
- 15g baking powder
- 65g butter
- 80g Davidstow® 18 Month Extra Mature cheddar, grated
- 5g chia seeds
- 10g marmite
- 100ml milk
- 5 leaves sage, chopped
- 60g thick crème fraiche
- 50g whole cooked chestnuts, finely chopped
- Sprinkle of chia seeds
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat a fan assisted oven to 160°c.
- Scones: Mix together the flour and baking powder. Now rub in the butter. Mix in the seeds and cheese, then the milk and marmite. Rub all together to form a dough. Wrap the dough and rest for 20 minutes.
- Roll out on the kitchen surface to around 2cm thick and cut using a ring cutter approx. Scones should be approximately 1-2 inches diameter, depending on which size you’d like to use. Brush milk on the top of each scone and bake for 13 minutes.
- For the filling: Mix all the ingredients well in a bowl and season to taste.
- Now cut the scones in half and fill with as much of the filling as you’d like!
Photo credits – Davidstow®/ Lee Westcott