Back in July I spent a day judging at the International Cheese Awards. During the day I sampled hundreds of cheeses, learned a fair amount about cheese making and met celebrity chef Joe Hurd for a chat about Parmesan. As you do.
The International Cheese Awards is a great opportunity to try lots of new cheeses and to see what I like and what I probably wouldn’t try again. I spent quite a lot of time visiting the trade stands. I made a bee-line for the Lactalis stand which featured familiar household names such as Galbani, President and Seriously Strong Cheddar.
Joe Hurd was on hand to give cooking demonstrations throughout the day and to talk about his love of Anglo-Italian cookery. We chatted about Galbani Parmesan which is an iconic brand in Italy. It’s matured for 9 months and is sweet and dense and used predominantly as a seasoning in Italy.
I asked Joe how he likes to serve Parmesan and his answer quite surprised me. Joe said that Parmesan barbecues really well with garlic and Italian sausage. Apparently it grills really well and doesn’t melt like a cheddar style cheese might. Sounds delicious! In Cyprus I’ve had Parmesan with honey as a dessert, so it really is a surprisingly versatile cheese.
I came home from the International Cheese Awards with bags bursting with cheese from all over the world, but my goodies from Lactalis were especially lovely. After my chat with Joe I was keen to see what I could make with them.
Being a simple soul, and it being summer and the season of picnics I decided to make some Cheese and Onion Pinwheels. I’ve never made pinwheels before, but they seemed the sort of easy thing a busy person could throw together in very little time and have something impressively homemade for a picnic in the park with friends.
As it happened, they were delicious. They required very few ingredients and took no time at all to knock together.
Cheese and Onion Pinwheels
Super simple and really speedy cheesy snacks for picnics and parties.
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of butter
A pinch of salt, pepper and sugar
1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
A pack of ready made puff pastry
1 tub of Seriously Strong spreadable – Caramelised Onion flavour
1 tablespoon of Galbani Parmesan, finely grated
In a frying pan melt the butter and gently fry the onion until soft but not brown. Add the salt, pepper, sugar and balsamic vinegar and stir. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
On a large board unroll the sheet of puff pastry, leave it on the paper it comes wrapped in. Spread the Seriously Strong Caramelised onion cheese all over the pastry, be fairly generous but spread it evenly if you can. Cover with the cooled fried onion.
Roll the pastry up along its long side, wrap in the paper and put in the fridge for 10 minutes or so. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and carefully cut into rounds approximately 1.5cm thick. You should get around 15 pinwheels from this.
Place each round on a greased baking tray and top with a little of the finely grated Galbani Parmesan. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a rack for 15 minutes or so.
Serve on their own or with your favourite chutney.
It really is a very simple process, my cheese and onion pinwheels hardly took any time at all and now I know what I’m doing I can go wild with the fillings and flavours if I want to.
You can easily put these together in no time at all and once they’re cooked they look like you’ve spent hours slaving away in the kitchen. They’re so easy you could even get the kids involved.
The Seriously Strong spreadable cheese is ideal for these cheese and onion pinwheels. It cooks really well and with it being a caramelised onion flavour it packs a lovely punch which works beautifully.
What flavour combinations would you try in your pinwheels?