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Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Baked Camembert with Garlic and Rosemary: A Not-Quite Recipe with Lactalis

The International Cheese Awards at Nantwich is amazing. It's the biggest cheese show in the world, and is quite simply a cheese-lover's paradise. The inherent problem with the show, however - and I hate myself for admitting there even exists such a thing - is cheese overload; you eat cheese samples for a full, glorious day, and then get caught up in the whole excitement of the day and bring a load home as well. This leads to a fear of one's own fridge, which one barely dares to open for outright terror of the cheese mountain that looms there, growing ever more pungent by the day.

This is where helpful, cheese-loving friends come in handy. I brought back a bag of goodies courtesy of Lactalis, who are the largest dairy products group in the world and who had a ridiculously successful time at this year's International Cheese Awards, winning a total of 22 awards including nine golds. Three of these golds were for the Président range that you will all be familiar with, and as I ended up with two of the whole Camemberts, I elected to bake them whole and serve them up with bread for dipping. Thus I offer this up not as a recipe but as a suggestion really, and to commemorate how much I enjoyed the whole thing.

First, look in your fridge and locate a suitable cheese item. Ignore the rest of the cheese for now, even though it is glaring menacingly and appearing to multiply before your very eyes. Remove the whole Camembert from its waxy paper and put it back into its box, on a baking tray. Lightly score the top with a knife in a criss-cross pattern and then smother it with whatever pleasing ingredients you have to hand. I finely chopped a couple of garlic cloves and a sprig of rosemary, and then drizzled over a little garlic oil and a splash of white wine. Add salt and pepper and pop the whole thing in the oven for about 20 minutes or so - it should be obvious when it's ready as the cheese will have melted but won't yet be at the point where it's leaked all over your oven. Serve with crusty bread - the first of these I did served four as a starter, the second served three as part of a BBQ; but I could, to be honest, eat one of these to myself if absolutely required.

The Lactalis range also includes the Seriously Strong products (which now has a Caramelised Onion variety in the spreadable tubs - see here for a lovely suggestion from Good Egg Foodie on what to make with this) and Galbani Mozzarella, which I like to slice up over the top of a tomatoey pasta. I'm also (almost) looking forward to going back to work so I can use this lunchbox. Lactalis gave me these to celebrate their new products and their success at the awards, but one or more of these items tends to end up in my basket at the supermarket anyway - I might leave it a while before I buy any more though, at least until the salad items rumoured to be somewhere in the fridge have been uncovered.

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