Cheese of the month from Radfords Fine Foods of Oswestry
1st May 2013
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Manchego – A Spanish Love Affair

Manchego is the most well known cheese of Spain and comes in three forms, soft, cured and matured.  Here in the UK we are most familiar with the cured variety.  In texture it is slightly crumbly and chalky, like a Pecorino (not surprising, as they are both made with sheep’s milk).  The taste is nutty with a tangy back taste.

In the cool of the Spanish evening, with a glass of Fino,  Jamon Tapas and a bowl of olives or fresh figs, a slice of Manchego adds that perfect umami taste on the tongue.  It really is best eaten as part of a cheeseboard, or as tapas (See Jamie Oliver’s Thirty Minute Meals for a great Tapas feast) but here is a delicious quick brunch or light supper for our more wind and rain blessed lands.

Mushroom Manchego Toasts (serves 3 – 4)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 small shallots, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 200g chestnut or portobello  mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Handful of chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese or crème fraiche
  • Sliced sourdough bread or baguette
  • 100g of manchego cheese, thinly sliced into triangles

Preheat the oven to 180°C/160 fan/gas mark 6. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan  over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until soft and transparent, stirring frequently.

Add the garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, for another three minutes.

Now add the sliced mushrooms to the pan with the paprika and season with salt and pepper. Turn up the heat to medium high, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Add the sherry and stir well, turn down heat and let the sherry reduce by half.

Turn off the heat and stir in the cream cheese or crème fraiche, add parsley and stir through.

Place the bread slices on a baking sheet. Carefully spoon the mushroom mixture onto the slices and arrange the cheese shavings on top.  Bake in the oven for 5 – 10 minutes, or until the cheese begins to just bubble. 

Remove from the oven and serve with side salad.

You could also try: Summer Pea and Thyme Risotto from the wonderful Natalie Ward at Cook Live Eat Vegetarian, who has a lovely range of Manchego recipes.

 

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About the Author

Rosie R

Member since: 16th April 2013

Proud owner of Radfords Fine Foods - The Deli on the Bailey in Oswestry Market.

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