Seasonal Snacks with Smoked Cheese:
Most of the time I cook straightforward family meals. But, Christmas is coming and I decided it would be great to have some ‘nibbles’ – things I could leave out for Santa -0r (more probably) enjoy myself with a glass of wine or a beer. So, trying to be creative, I thought I would rustle up some interesting nibbles that we all would like using the Applewood cheese I was sent. The Applewood Spreadable is a really versatile item as it allows you to blend in other items to create a nice cheesy mix without being ‘stringy’ to eat. It also tastes great.
So using a handful of seasonal items and a tub of Applewood Spreadable cheese, I set about creating my nibbles.
- 1 carton Applewood Spreadable
- 1 Small Celeriac
- 1 Medium Chilli
- 1 handful Walnuts Shelled
- 1 handful Chestnuts Shelled and cooked
- 1 medium slice Bacon
- 1 tablespoon Wholegrain Mustard
- 1 packet Jus-Rol Filo Pasty So much simpler than making it all yourself
- 1 Small Egg white For finishing if required
Scoop out half a tub of Applewood Spreadable into a microwaveable bowl, or use its own container if half used already. Microwave for 60 seconds to slightly melt the spreadable cheese into a smoother mix.
Cut the celeriac and chop into fine pieces. You need to chop about one fifth in size of the spread mix. Mix this into the Applewood Spreadable cheese
Finely chop up the walnuts and add to the Applewood mix.
If you want to add bacon, chop up and add some cooked rashers.
Cut the chilli into thin rings and add to the mix. This is to add a hints of heat but mainly for colour. Don't go overboard with hot chilli as you want to be able to eat without blowing you head off. Add in the mustard, as this adds a nice 'graininess' to the texture and just a hint of heat.
For seasonal taste, add some diced cooked chestnuts. They flake and crumble easily, and can be easily stirred into the Applewood mix. Really stir the mix to get all the ingredients mixed evenly.
Lay out the just-rol pastry and place a teaspoon of mix in the middle. Fold up to make little parcels. You can also create other shapes to create an assortment of parcels.
If you want to make larger bites, suitable for a starter rather than a nibble, place a headed tablespoon of mix in the middle of two layers of pastry and fold as normal.
To get a nice brown finish, glaze the pastry with some egg white. If you leave unglazed you get a seasonal white snow appearance form the flour on the pastry. Cook for 10-15 minutes depending on how big your parcels are, or until the pastry has cooked. The Applewood cheese mix is absorbed by the nuts and celeriac so the parcels firm up and do not ooze cheese whilst cooking.
Remove from the oven and then you can decide to eat them hot or cold. Enjoy.
The ability to grab a pack of jus-rol pastry makes creating little snacks, appetisers or starters very simple, and well within the abilities of a Dad like myself.
If you want them to stand out, then make sure you have egg white or oil on hand to glaze the parcels before going into the oven. Without any glaze you get a ‘snow’ effect from the pastry, which is seasonal and festive, but not for all year around. My Applewood smoked cheese Christmas parcels might not look quite like the ones you see in the shops but they did taste delicious.
Disclaimer: I was sent samples of Applewood cheese to review