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Baked cheese (V)

cheese1


Serves 4 as a starter, or 2 as a main, depending on accompaniments

 

For the cheese

1 small, whole, round, soft cheese, in its box (e.g. camembert, coulommiers, vacherin: ask your cheesemonger for a recommendation), about 250g

a few sprigs of thyme or rosemary

1 clove of garlic, peeled and sliced finely

a few drops of white wine

black pepper

 

Accompaniments, e.g. –

raw carrots, peppers, celery, etc, cut into batons

cubes of coarse sourdough bread

cornichons

small roast or steamed potatoes (my favourite)

pieces of fried steak

sliced ham

 

Get the cheese out of the fridge an hour or so before you want to cook it. Heat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5.

 

Take the cheese out of its box, remove and discard any additional packaging and return the cheese to the box. Make a few slits in the top of the cheese with a sharp knife and poke the slivers of garlic and a few herb leaves into the slits. Dribble over a few drops of white wine and grind over some black pepper. Put the lid back on the box, and place the box on a baking sheet covered with foil (just in case the cheese leaks during cooking).

 

Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the cheese is soft and can be seen to wobble inside its rind.

 

Serve immediately, in the middle of the table, for everyone to dip their chosen accompaniments through the rind and into the soft molten cheese inside.

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Photo by Kristi Korotash


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