Evelyn Chartres Author
Cheese

Quick Read Before Christmas

A gal has to look out for herself after all.

Christmas is fast approaching! So there is plenty of time to grab a copy of my Dark Fantasy eBook, the Van Helsing Paradox and polish it off before all those book store gift cards are unwrapped! Vampires, gods and hunters! Oh my!

What are you waiting for? Get it now!

Synopsis for the Van Helsing Paradox:

Clara Grey’s parents once said that the world was a dark and dangerous place. There was more truth than fiction to those words. There were things that lurked in the shadows which defied the laws of nature: perversions that fed on the dead, terrorised the living, or escaped the chill touch of the grave.

Clara is a member of the Tower, a religious order of hunters who work outside the confines of the Church. As keepers of the arcane, her order takes an active role to counter these threats. The life of a hunter can be short, and many disappear before their training is completed. So, what does it take to succeed against all odds?

Explore Clara’s origin, a child born before the dawn of the twentieth century. Witness her rigorous training, how she faces adversity, and fights in the Great War to become the derringer wielding flapper she is.

Throughout her tale, keep in mind that no matter the threat, a gal has to look out for herself after all.

Baked Camembert

A quick and easy treat that is sure to please. This recipe features Camembert, garlic, and a onion jam (or similar) to create a ready-made cheese fondue.

This dish can be enjoyed with toasted baguettes, Grissols/Melba toast, bread sticks, and/or crackers. Guests can either scoop the cheese directly, or use a spoon for a more cultured experience!

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces (225 g) of Camembert
  • 2 cloves (5-10 g) of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) of Herbes de Provence
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of onion jam

Instructions

  1. (Optional) Place the cheese in the freezer for 30 to 45 minutes to harden the cheese prior to cutting.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  3. Remove the cheese from it’s packaging. Peel away the top part of the rind, while cutting in towards the center, to create a well.
  4. Cut into the cheese in a grid pattern, be sure not the pierce the rind.
  5. Peel then fine mince the garlic cloves. Rub the garlic into the cheese.
  6. Pour olive oil onto the cheese, then top with herbes.
  7. Place atop a sheet of tin foil, then bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and add the onion jam. Bake for another 5 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven. Serve with toasted baguettes, or ready-made Grissols/Melba toast and enjoy!

Garlic and Parmesan Scalloped Potatoes

Here is my recipe for scalloped potatoes. My take on this recipe adds garlic, parmesan, and cheddar cheese to the recipe to infuse it with a distinctive flavour. This recipe is enough for four servings and can be easily scaled up to feed more.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (450 g) of potatoes
  • ½ cup (120 ml) of finely chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of butter
  • 2 cloves (5-10 g) of crushed garlic
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of flour
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 can (355 ml) of evaporated milk
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • ½ cup (120 ml) of shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).
  2. Peel and then cut potatoes into thin slices.
  3. In a greased stoneware pot, layer sliced potatoes. Leave some gaps and sprinkle a part of the chopped onions over reach layer.
  4. In a small saucepan over medium heat melt butter. Add garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Add flour and whisk until you have a consistent finish. Pour in evaporated milk while stirring constantly. Add parmesan cheese, sauce will remain on heat until cheese is melted.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Remove from heat and pour into the stoneware pot. Top with shredded cheese.
  8. Bake for 60 minutes covered. Remove lid and bake for another 20 to 30 minutes until top is a golden brown.
  9. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Fondue au Fromage

A cheese fondue is one of the better known variants. White wine and cheese slowly melted into a thick dipping sauce. I prefer to use a french baguette to dip, since the hard crust will give you a surface for the forks to bite into.

Be careful not let the cheese come to a boil, that will cause the fondue to curdle. If your cheese fondue is too thick add some wine. Alternatively add more cheese or cornstarch to thicken the fondue.

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups (355 ml) of dry white wine
  • ¾ pound (350 ml) of shredded old cheddar cheese
  • ¼ pound (115 ml) of shredded mozzarella
  • ¼ pound (115 ml) of shredded havarti
  • 2 cloves (10-15 g) of garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) of pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of cornstarch
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) of cognac (optional)
  • 1 French bread baguette

Instructions

  1. Cut baguette into ¼ inch (0.6 cm) slices and set aside.
  2. In a heavy pot add wine, cheese and garlic. Mix and melt contents under low to medium-low heat, careful to never bring cheese to a boil.
  3. Stir occasionally, until you have a consistent finish.
  4. Add nutmeg, pepper and cognac, continue to stir. Add cornstarch as necessary to thicken the sauce.
  5. When ready transfer to the fondue pot, maintain heat and serve.

Tartiflette au Brie

A recipe that combines potatoes, bacon, white wine and cheese to create a ready-to-serve meal or served up as a side. This recipe is said to have its origin from the French Alps, and is traditionally prepared with Reblochon cheese.

Since I have difficulty finding Reblochon cheese in local stores, I opted to use Brie or Camembert instead. Make sure to remove the rind prior to slicing. It also helps if you freeze the cheese for thirty minutes or so to make removing the rind easier.

Ingredients

  • 1½ pounds (680 g) of potatoes
  • ½ pound (225 g) of sliced bacon
  • ½ cup (120 ml) of minced onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic (5-10 g) pressed
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of salt
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of pepper
  • ½ cup (120 ml) of dry white wine
  • ½ pound (225 g) of brie or camembert (divided)

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. (Optional) Place cheese in the freezer.
  3. Peel and cut potatoes into small cubes. Heat in the microwave on high for 3 to 6 minutes until soft. Immerse in water and set aside to prevent discolouration.
  4. Cut bacon into ¼ inch (0.6 cm) long pieces. Sauté over medium-high heat until browned. Drain, remove from heat, and set aside.
  5. Oil pan, add onions and garlic. Sauté until browned.
  6. Add bacon and drained potatoes. Season with salt, pepper, and herbs. Mix thoroughly.
  7. Add wine and heat for about five minutes. Alcohol will evaporate and wine will thicken into a sauce.
  8. Remove from heat and place first half of mixture in a baking dish. Set aside what’s left.
  9. Remove rind from cheese using a vegetable peeler or a paring knife. Cut into two half-circles then slice into three or more layers. To prevent cheese sticking to the blade, run it through warm water prior to every slice.
  10. Layer half of the cheese onto the potato mix in the baking dish.
  11. Layer remaining half of potatoes, and top with last of cheese.
  12. Place in the oven for about 20 minutes or until hot and bubbling.