Showing posts with label Sheridan's Cheese. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sheridan's Cheese. Show all posts

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Cinnamon Cottage. A Treasure Trove

Cinnamon Cottage
A Treasure Trove
Ali and Patrick are just over 12 months into their adventure at Cinnamon Cottage and the hard-working pair are doing just that, working hard. Much done, more to do, but you can see the difference. The deli has been expanded and the wine selection has been doubled.

And still the work goes on. Fun too. They’re enjoying the run-in to Halloween and you (and the kids, of course!) are invited to the Rochestown cottage for face-painting and balloon animals on the Saturday. And don't forget to get the brack, complete with all the bits and pieces, including that all important ring.

Ali and Patrick

After that it’s Christmas. More work, more fun. And speaking of Christmas, you can already buy your cake. If you don't want a big one, you can get a small one. A slice will suit some people fine and Ali and Patrick do that too. Lots of cakes here, most available by the slice, including the very popular Coconut and Raspberry cake and old favourites like the Victoria Sandwich! And Chocoholics will be in their element!

And they do salads to beat the band, eight to ten freshly made each day, all seasonal. At the moment, look out for the Roast Pumpkin and Butternut Squash with feta and chilli. And then there’s the winter coleslaw. 


On every cabinet, every shelf, there’s something delicious including a few surprises, jams and chutneys and porridge oats. And they have a selection of excellent cheeses, most of it coming via Sheridan’s. Six months back they started doing Kiddies Meals, with no added sugar, no added salt. Choose from a Mild Chicken Curry, Mac n Cheese, Cottage Pie.

You’ll see lots of local produce, beef from O’Connell’s, chicken from Sheehan’s, puddings and sausages and more from Kanturk’s Jack McCarthy, free range eggs and chickens from East Ferry, Shell fish from Dingle, Basil Pesto and Ravioli from Glanmire, popular stone-baked pizza bases made in Ireland by Pizza da Piero, Amodeo dressing from Tuscany Bistro in Limerick, Shine’s Wild Irish Tuna, Green Saffron spices, and the new Irish Tonic Water from Poacher’s in Co.Wexford! And that’s just a handful of what’s available in this treasure trove.

And they bake. Not just cakes but breads and buns. Check out those scones and croissants. In the deli counter, you’ll see artichokes, sun dried tomatoes etc. There’s readymade meals, fresh and frozen, including warming soups, chicken and beef dishes and more, and handy side dishes such as Wholegrain Mash with Gruyere cheese!


You’ll need a good wine to wash down all that food. And again, no shortage here. The Cottage have three main suppliers and that adds up to a big selection, including quite a few organic bottles, getting more and more popular, according to Patrick. I spotted a few favourites: the Pedra da Auga Albarino, the Walnut Blocks and the Gran Martinez Rioja Crianza. 
There is so much more in this lovely place, including Badger & Dodo Coffee; I’ve just barely scratched the surface here. It must be the most productive cottage in Ireland. Well done to Ali and Patrick and their staff on a great 12 months. There are eight regularly employed and, on busy days, that can rise to 15, most of them local.


The Cinnamon Cottage
Monastery Road
Rochestown
Co. Cork
Tel: 021 4894922
Facebook: @Cinnamoncottage
Twitter: @Cinnamoncottage
Web: http://cinnamoncottage.ie
Hours
 Mon - closed;
Tue-Fri: 9.30-6.30;
Sat: 9.30-5.30;
Sun: 10.00-4.00.


Monday, February 8, 2016

Taste of the Week. Cashel Blue

Taste of the Week

Cashel Blue
When I’m looking for a blue cheese, I rarely venture beyond Cashel. Here, the Grubb family are famous for Cashel Blue (cows) and Crozier Blue (sheep). Of course I’ve tried many of the other Irish blues and very good they are too. Some French ones too.

Indeed, it was in France, a few years ago, that I once had reason to fly the Irish flag. In a wine shop in Rasteau, a lady was giving me a tasting of their sweet red wine, recommending I pair it with my Stilton. I couldn't stay quiet on that one and so told her all about our very own Cashel. She was unfazed, started her sales speech again and told me to pair it with Cashel Blue! As if it was all her own idea. We had a good laugh, a very enjoyable visit and left with a few cases of their Cotes du Rhone and a few bottles of the Rasteau vdn.

I was lucky in the days before Christmas to win a cheese hamper from Sheridan's Cheese and the biggest piece in the box was a mature Cashel Blue, our Taste of the Week. Blue for sure but contained in that marvellous irresistible creaminess from the well watered grass of Tipperary. This Cashel Blue Extra Mature "is selected and matured to be creamy and buttery, with perfectly integrated blue flavour". I reckon the Grubbs and the Sheridans have this spot-on!

One of the great blues. No wonder it is so popular in Ireland. Indeed, it is sold all over the world including in dozens of outlets in France (mainly in Paris). Stockists here.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Taste of the Week. Watermelon Rind Pickle

Taste of the Week

Watermelon Rind Pickle
Watermelon Rind Pickle on Cashel Blue
Hadn't heard of this Watermelon Rind Pickle until Michael Creedon recommended it to me in Bradley’s, North Main Street, before Christmas. I was chasing cheeses and he told me that this was a brilliant match with blue.

I have never had a bum tip from Michael and this proved to be another winner. I meant to try it with his Wicklow Blue but that was sold out. In the meantime, I won a Cheese hamper in a Sheridan's Competition and that included a large piece of Cashel Blue, one of my all time favourites. The match was brilliant, no doubt about it. And it also went well with 15 Fields, a mature cheddar that was also in the hamper. Lucky me!

The pickle is by made by Passion Preserved, based in Ballinderry (between Lisburn and Lough Neagh), the idea coming from the southern states of the USA. This Dixie Delicacy takes three days to make. Try it with pork chops! Also in cocktails, wrapped in bacon and baked, even with ice-cream. They make a whole range of preserves, including Rhubarb and Date, Kasundi (spicy Indian), Sunchoke Relish (another from the southern states) and more. Check them all out here or at Bradley’s.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Taste of the Week. 15 Fields Cheese

Taste of the Week
15 Fields Cheese

Our Taste of the Week is the 15 Fields mature cheddar cheese. It is a cooperative effort between Eamonn Lonergan of Knockanore Cheese and Sheridan’s. The name refers to the fifteen fields of Eamonn’s West Waterford farm. The cheese is produced from “great raw milk” in Knockanore and is then transferred to the maturing room in the Sheridan’s warehouse in Meath.

Many of you will have noticed at various tastings that it is usually the young cheddar that gets the popular nod ahead of its mature cousin. Generally the reason given is people don't particularly like the usually very dry texture of the mature. Sheridan’s seem to have got over that hurdle with 15 Fields (matured for 14 months).

It is their first venture as affineurs and, while it is early days yet, they “are really happy with how it is going”. I tasted it over the Christmas (having won a hamper in a Sheridan's online competition!) and it is terrific, a lovely Cheddar, mature but not dry, full of great flavour and our Taste of the Week.

Sheridan's recent book Guide to Cheese classes cheddar as a Pressed Uncooked Cheese and you’ll also see it classed as a Scalded Hard Cheese. The group is large and varied and includes Farmhouse Gouda, Cantal, Raclette, Pyrenees, Tomme de Savoie (and other Tommes) plus most of the English county cheeses such as Red Leicester, Wensleydale, Cheshire and Double Gloucester.

They are particularly good for use in cooked dishes, the stronger flavoured ones giving the best results. Don't overcook or apply strong heat or the cheese will become stringy and leathery. They are also ideal for light meals and snacks, especially picnics and packed lunches. Versatile!
Visitors at Knockanore Farm

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Quelle Fromage! Bradley’s Cheese Board

Quelle Fromage!

Bradley’s Cheese Board
It’s late in the evening and you are supposed to have the cheese board under control. You had this one job and blew it! Maybe not. In a flash of inspiration, you remember that Bradley’s in North Main Street (Cork) are open when the cheese specialists are closed. And, to make it even better, Bradley’s have quite a selection, including Watermelon Rind Pickle (by Passion Preserves) that you won't find everywhere!

You’ve been told not to overdo the number of cheeses, four has even been mentioned as a max. So okay, let's take a look at the shelves here. Maybe start with a soft cheese. It's okay to mix the milks. And you spot the Ardsallagh Goats Cheese from East Cork. Chalk it down. If you think your guests might prefer a cow’s cheese, then Cooleeney is your man (maybe I should say woman!).
Wheels of freshly made cheese at Lonergan's Knockanore farm
Now to pick a semi-soft cheese. The choice is large here and the quality is high. Pick from three West Cork classics: Durrus Og, young Gubbeen or Milleens. Not easy.

Now, we’re onto the harder cheeses and Bradley’s carry various offerings at this level from Knockanore, Bandon Vale and Carrigaline. You’ve been warned not to include flavoured cheeses so that cuts the choice a bit. How about a change of colour here, Leicester from Bandon Vale or Red Cheddar by West Waterford’s Knockanore. Then again, many would be thrilled with Hegarty’s Mature Cheddar.
Can’t have a cheese board without a blue onboard. Many good ones now in Ireland though my favourites are still the Tipperary pair of Cashel (cows) and Crozier (sheep). But neither is available at Bradley’s, but happy to pick the Wicklow Blue. The cow's milk cheese has the rind pierced and the Penicillium roqueforti begins its work. Sheridan’s new book says this type of hybrid blue, moist and soft, “is a great introduction for those who find the traditional blue cheeses a little too strong.”

You’ll also need some bread and crackers. Bradley’s are stockists for Arbutus and their sourdough is a favourite with cheese. No shortage of crackers here either. Among others, you’ll find the Sheridans range, the chunky Gubbeen Cheese Oatcakes and the Carrigaline Cheese Biscuits made by Seymour’s of Bandon.

Chutneys in Bradley’s include:
Sheridan's range (Chutney for Cheese, Onion Marmalade, Chutney for Everything,
Christmas Chutney).
A great range too from Passion Preserved, including a fab Watermelon Rind Pickle, which is great with blue cheese!
Now you have everything you need and the guests are due in about half an hour or so. Where’s the cheese? In the fridge? Get it out, quick - you need to serve it at room temperature. Just before the doorbell starts to ring, cut that cheese (avoids leaving the mess that can happen if everyone cuts their own bits). Cut yours into wedges and strips (making sure the rind is evenly distributed), taking your cue where practical from the original shape.

And remember, when the compliments start coming in, that you got all this in Bradley’s in something of an emergency. Next time, why not consider the North Main Street shop for your cheese even if there is no emergency.

I’ve confined the cheeseboard to Irish products but there are also some international stars available in the venerable shop, founded as a dairy in 1850, including classics such as Mont D’Or (we had fun with that last week…), Parmigiana Reggiana, Stilton, and Manchego.

And cheese is just one of the many Irish artisan products available here and that’s all before you ever hit the off-licence at the back where you have wines from all over the world and beers and spirits (many of them Irish) galore.

The Bradley’s Cheeseboard
1 - Ardsallagh Goats Cheese
2 - Gubbeen (young, unsmoked)
3- Knockanore Vintage Red Cheddar.
4- Wicklow Blue

Seymour’s of Bandon Cheese Biscuits.
Passion Preserved Watermelon Rind Pickle (great with the blue).
Sheridan’s Chutney for Cheese.
Lisanley Honey (also in Bradley’s) for drizzling.
A few grapes and thin slices of apple will also be appreciated.
We’ll leave the wine and the beer, maybe a port, up to you (no shortage of the drinks or indeed advice in Bradley’s)

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Mountain Cheese and Oregon Wine. Mont D’Or and Riesling. Divine.

Mountain Cheese and Oregon Wine

Mont D’Or and Riesling. Divine.
Yum!

One 500gram box of Mont D’Or (AOC) cheese from Bradley’s.
One bottle of Kings Ridge Oregon Riesling 2013 (Willamette Valley), 12%, €15.00 (reduced from 19.99) SuperValu Christmas Wines.

Sharing a half kilo of baked cheese is fun on a winter's evening as we found out this week. It is recommended for four but the two of us managed quite well, thank you!

Our cheese came from Bradley’s in North Main Street, Cork, and was the famous Mont D’Or from France (there is also a Swiss version). Like wine, the French version has its own AOC and is a much prized cheese from the Franche-Comté, made with whole cow’s milk, and is generally available only from October to March.


The rind (inedible) can be peeled back and the runny cheese simply spooned out. But baking it, in its box, is the treat. Again, it is not the only cheese that comes in a box. Camembert is another and that too can be baked. Sheridan’s suggest that both Durrus (360g) and Gubbeen (450g) can get the same treatment but they don't have a box so you’ll have to improvise with a sheet of foil.

Indeed, it was a recipe in the new book, Sheridan's Guide to Cheese, that we followed (more or less) with the Mont D’Or. You simple score the top rind, add in a couple of sprigs of thyme and a clove of garlic and a half glass of white wine and bake in a pre-heated oven for ten minutes. For some reason, the ten minutes was totally inadequate and ours needed double that.

It was carefully brought to the table, the rind peeled back and then we dug in with chunky bits of Arbutus Sourdough (bought at Davidson’s, the local butchers). And then we dug in again. And again… You get the picture! All the while sipping from the Oregon Riesling.

That gold coloured wine proved to be a gem and also quite a match for the cheese. White fruits on the nose and also that petrol but reasonably muted. Palate is crisp and fruity, fresh, light and fragrant, no sign of that petrol, good acidity and a decent dry finish. Some of the fruit used comes from one of the oldest vineyards, planted in 1968, and this “adds depth and complexity to our Riesling.” A Very Highly Recommended Riesling indeed.

So there you have it. Quite a treat. And wouldn’t all three, a box of cheese, a bottle of the Riesling and the Sheridan's book be quite a present for that special someone. They might even share!

  • Got a tip too from Daniel Emerson of Stonewell Cider. He suggested having the Mont D’Or as a fondue with potatoes. “It is divine.”