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At Cathal Armstrong's flagship Restaurant Eve, they always serve a composed platter of Irish cheeses. One of Armstrong's favorites is Cashel Blue, a creamy and salty sheep's milk blue. In his new cookbook, My Irish Table, Armstrong shares his restaurant's recipe for a simple terrine made from this cheese and toasted chopped pecans. He pairs the cheese with a simple tangy apple jam and barely dressed frisée salad. It's a great example of how a restaurant-style dish can elevate an ordinary party platter—each component on the plate is something I'd put out with cheese, but I normally wouldn't take the extra steps to refine the dish.
Why I picked this recipe: I wanted to sample a recipe from Restaurant Eve without committing myself to days of extra cooking.
What worked: On their own, each of these components are a little dull, but combined into one bite, each begins to sing—the blue cheese's funky bite is brought in check by the tangy-sweet jam and the crunchy bitterness of the frisée prevents a sugar rush.
What didn't: I needed to cook the jam for another five minutes in order for it to turn jammy. I also thought the pecans could have benefitted from a finer chop; as written, their larger pieces cause the terrine to crumble when sliced.
Suggested tweaks: If you can't find Cashel Blue cheese, you can substitute another sheep's milk blue cheese like Roquefort or else English Stilton. You can mold the terrine in just about any shape you'd like—I used a medium-sized bowl.
About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American, KQED's Bay Area Bites, and Berkeleyside NOSH. She blogs at Cooking Wolves. Follow her @KateHWiliams.