Souped up sandwiches for a busy day

It can be hectic in the kitchen today, so here are two tasty ways with bread and blue cheese that will fill a gap. Photographs: Harry Weir

 

VANESSA’S WAY: MINI BLUE CHEESE SCONES WITH FIG JAM

I spent many a Christmas eve with my Dad, delivering gifts to colleagues – when wine was the standard present. If you’re looking for a gift for a food lover, buy them an artisan Irish farmhouse cheese hamper instead, which should include a strong flavoured blue cheese.

To make it extra special, cheesemongers can guide you on the best blue cheeses to buy, including Bellingham Blue, made in Co Louth or Young Buck, made in Co Down (both made from raw cow’s milk).

Raw milk cheese producers persevere with their passion despite facing unwieldy regulations, so they deserve to be supported.

GARY’S WAY: BLUE CHEESE AND LYONNAISE ONION TARTINE

Today is one of those days that you just want to get through. Time is obviously at a premium, with preparations well under way for the big dinner tomorrow, so this is a lovely, simple dish to throw together while still bringing the wow factor.

When I started cooking, many years ago, I did not like blue cheese. It’s hard to believe that now, as a week wouldn’t go by without me having it in some form or other.

I use it blended with mayonnaise for my buffalo chicken beignets, whipped with mascarpone and melted over an aged rib-eye with red onion mustard seed compote, or drizzled with white truffle honey and served with some crackers. Its versatility is immense.

The only thing that takes time with this dish is the Lyonnaise onions, but you simply put them on the stove and you can pretty much forget about them for an hour.

The butter content is a little high, but once they are cooked, set them over a strainer and leave them for five minutes to drain off as much excess as possible. You can reuse the butter to make soups or sauces.

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